Exhibitions, educational displays will be part of Indy, Sonoma and Watkins Glen weekends, and there’s more vintage racing news as well
Pioneering racing cars that competed through the World War I era will be featured in 2018 at three Sportscar Vintage Racing Association events, the sanctioning body has announced.
“These cars are important and deserve a showcase,” Tony Parella, SVRA president and chief executive, is quoted in a news release. “Not only will these historic cars be stretching their legs on the track, but with the work of Brian Blain and his foundation along with Hagerty there will also be educational and informative displays of tools, spares, period clothing that capture the feel of life in 1920 and before.
“This is rich content that adds to our automobile-themed festivals at SVRA events.”
“Our long-term vision is to create traveling road show that will extend beyond SVRA weekends and out to other automobile celebrations, such as concours events,” added Brian Blain, president of the Blain Motorsports Foundation.
“We believe that doing justice to these rare vehicles by giving them their own run group will attract spectator interest as well as sponsors. These cars and displays offer wonderful educational value to youngsters.”
Blain owns the National Motor Vehicle Company racer that Charlie Merz drove to seventh place in the inaugural Indianapolis 500.
In 2018, fields of 15 to 20 vintage vehicles are expected for the Brickyard Invitational at Indianapolis, the Sonoma Historic Motorsportrs Festival in northern California, and the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix in upstate New York. Blain hopes to eventually attract fields of as many as 50 such machines and is working with the SVRA and Hagerty to seek sponsors to assist car owners with travel expenses so they can showcase their racers from “The Heroic Age.”
Plans call for drivers and crews to dress in period attire and to use tools and other period-correct equipment at the tracks, where displays in the paddocks will be designed so spectators can “get up close to the equipment and take in all the sights, smells, and sounds of what some motorsports historians refer to as, ‘The Heroic Age’,” according to the SVRA news release.
There also will be opportunities for visitors to take rides around the tracks while sitting in the mechanic’s seat that are part of most of cars from the era.
2018 SVRA schedule
SVRA also announced its 2018 vintage racing calendar:
February 16-18, Bob Williams Heritage Cup and Driving School, Bloomingdale, Georgia
March 1-4, Sebring Vintage Classic, Sebring, Florida
March 29-31, Road Atlanta Grand Prix, Braselton, Georgia
April 27-29, Southern California Historic Sports Car Festival, Fontana, California
May 17-20, Spring Vintage Festival, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
May 31-June 3, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, Sonoma, California
June 13-17, Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, Indianapolis
June 21-24, Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, Lexington, Ohio
July 26-29, Portland Vintage Racing Festival, Portland, Oregon
September 6-9, U.S. Vintage Grand Prix, Watkins Glen, New York
September 20-23, Heacock Classic Gold Cub, Alton, Virginia
October 5-7, Slaying the Dragon Hill Climb, Robbinsville, North Carolina
November 1-4, U.S. Vintage National Championship, Austin, Texas
Laguna Seca managers receive FIA honors
The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula, which operates Laguna Seca Raceway on the Monterey Peninsula, recently received the FIA Members Heritage Cup for the success of the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
SCRAMP noted that this is the first time the cup has been awarded for an event in the United States.
“The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion was nominated… as an example of an organization that maintains the highest standards of authenticity and preservation in the cars that are accepted and in the dedicated and superb organization of the event that attracts worldwide appeal,” the news release noted.
“This year, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion eschewed a featured marque and instead celebrated the 60th anniversary of Laguna Seca. More than 500 race cars competed and the paddock display was capped by the Racing Through the Decades display that featured 12 significant race cars and bikes with ties to the iconic road course, including the Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa that Pete Lovely drove to the inaugural race in 1957.”
“To have 28 international FIA representatives (one from each country) vote and recognize SCRAMP for such an honor is testament to the passion and professionalism of SCRAMP staff, volunteers, sponsors and the County of Monterey,” said Gill Campbell, who accepted the award on behalf of the association.
Porsche announces Rennsport Reunion run groups
One of the events taking place in 2018 at Laguna Seca is the sixth Rennsport Reunion, an all-Porsche celebration scheduled for September 27-30. Porsche Cars North America has announced the run groups for the event:
Group 1: Porsche Club of America race cars
Group 2: 904/6, 906, 910, 907, 908, 908/2, 908/3, 909 and 917
Group 3: 911 (up to 2.5 liter), 911 TR, 911 ST, 914, 914/6
Group 4: 911 (over 2.5 liter), RSR, 3.0 RSR, 2.1 Turbo, 934, 935, 936, 924 GTS, 924 GTR
Group 5: 550 550A, RSK, RS60-61, 2000 GS GT, Abarth Carrera, 356, 904-4cam, Porsche specials
Group 6: 956, 962, 911 GT1, WSC, RS Spyder
Group 7: Type 964, 993, 996, 997 GT911 race cars
Porsche also has opened registration for racers and race cars, which is open through April 1, 2018, at the Laguna Seca website.