Savannah Speed Classic: Racing returns to its roots

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1910 EMF set for Savannah show | Hilton Head Island festival photos
1910 EMF set for Savannah show | Hilton Head Island festival photos

The Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance begins October 22 just across the state line from South Carolina on Hutchinson Island in Savannah, Georgia, where the Savannah Speed Classic vintage sports car races run for three days (October 23-25).

Savannah holds the title of “the birthplace of Grand Prix racing in America,” as the site for internationally recognized “Grand Prize” events in 1908, 1910 and 1911.

HSR competitors on the track
HSR competitors on the track

In addition to Historic Sportscar Racing Ltd.-sanctioned racing on the track at the Westin Savannah Harbor golf resort and spa, the speed classic includes a 35-race car parade from the track to Ellis Square in the Savannah City Market area, ride-along laps on the 10-turn, 1.965-mile road course in Heritage BMW race cars, M3s and Minis with driver such as Brian Redman at the wheel. There also will be a car-club corral in the racetrack infield.

Racer-turned-driving instructor Skip Barber will be honored as grand marshal for the weekend.

Racing classes for the Savannah Speed Classic include vintage sports cars, vintage/historic sports cars and sedans, classic monoposto and formula cars, modern-era formula cars, big-bore sports cars and sedans, historic/post-historic/modern-era prototypes, historic/post-historic sports racers, American stock cars, post-historic/modern era GT cars and global GTs.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.