Ron Larsen

Ron Larsen Question

QUESTION:

What history do you have on Ron Larsen, Unlimited driver?

ANSWER:

Ron Larsen graduated to the Unlimited ranks in 1970 with Bob Fendler's Atlas Van Lines (U-29). The boat was powered by a pair of Keith Black V-8 Chrysler hemis. And since Larsen was Black's shop foreman, the assignment was a "natural."

The U-29 assignment didn't last long--only a couple of races. The boat never finished a heat. Fendler abandoned the Chryslers and went with a single V-12 Allison. Ron was then hired to take over the wheel of another hemi-powered craft in mid-season 1970. This was Dave Heerensperger's Pride of Pay ‘n Pak (U-25).

The U-25 showed some bursts of speed but couldn't quite keep up with the Allisons and the Rolls-Royce Merlins that dominated the Unlimited Class in those days. Ron's best finish was a fifth-place in the 1970 Horace E. Dodge Cup at Detroit.

Over the next few years, Larsen drove for several teams: Miss Timex (U-8) in 1971, Notre Dame (U-7) in 1973 and Miss Technicolor (U-76) in 1974. He finished fifth in the 1971 Tri-Cities Atomic Cup with U- 8, fifth in the 1973 APBA Gold Cup at the Tri-Cities with U-7, and third in the 1974 Desert Thunderboat Classic at Phoenix with U-76.

In all fairness, the Miss Timex was a bad-riding boat from Day-One (as Parco's O-Ring Miss) and had defied the efforts of her previous driver (Billy Schumacher). The Notre Dame/Miss Technicolor hull was likewise plagued with poor handling characteristics and had a disappointing career--no matter who was driving her.

Ron Larsen drove Limited inboards before, during, and after his Unlimited experience. An injury suffered in a Limited race prevented him from accepting an Unlimited assignment in 1972.