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Skyline Drive: Only Skyline in the field wins Nissan/Datsun feature at the Mitty


Driving the only Nissan Skyline in the more-than 40-car Nissan/Datsun feature race, Alex McDowell and his 1971 Skyline GT-R C10 took the victory at the 41st HSR Classic Motorsports Mitty, the vintage racing program this past weekend at Road Atlanta. 

The featured race included 50 years of Datsun and Nissan racing cars, the featured mark at the Mitty this year.

Joining McDowell on the podium were runner-up Grayson Upchurch in a 1970 Datsun SRL311 roadster and Scott Kissinger in a 1971 240Z.

Ron Branom won the special Datsun 510 class in his 1971 model, which was the only 510 to finish among the top 10 overall in the feature race. Brannon was ninth overall.

While the Nissan/Datsun event was the feature on Saturday, Sunday was the day for dual one-hour B.R.M. Chronographes Endurance Challenge races. 

In the Vintage classes race, Jamie Busby and Kevin Wheeler won in a 1970 Porsche 914/6 ahead of a 1972 Porsche 911 ST and 1968 Porsche 911 ST.

In the Prototype Modern competition, John Reisman won in a 2010 Coyote Corvette Daytona prototype, with a 1993 Kudzu DG3-Mazda second and a 2009 Oreca FLM09 “PC” third.

In the Historic Prototype class, Jim Farley won in a 1978 Lola T298 ahead of a 2008 Elan DP02 and 1979 Chevron B23/36.

In GT Modern, it was Linden Burnstein and Jonathon Ziegelman in a 1997 Porsche 997 CT3 Cup over a 2009 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup driven by Reisman’s father, Paul, and a 2010 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup racer.

Several drivers won their events both Saturday and Sunday. They were Doug Campbell in a 1964 Ginetta G4, Lawrence Cooper in a 1971 Datsun 240Z, Edward Sevadjian in a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette, John Finger in a 2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Jacek Mucha in a 2006 Swift JS-016P, and Mark Brannon in a 1997 Lola T97/20 Indy Lights car. Brannon also finished third in the Historic Prototype class.

In another highlight of the weekend, 16-year-old Willis Woerheide won a race in a 1975 Lola T332-based Schkee Can-Am car that was nearly three times as old as its driver.

Vintage race car, or something from ‘Star Wars’ to race at Donington

No Millennium Falcon, but plenty of Ford Falcons at Donington

It’s Ford Falcons rather than Millennium Falcons this weekend during the Donington Historic Festival in England, where activities begin Friday and run through Sunday.  

“Happily, there are no Stormtroopers, but the orange-clad army of marshals will do a splendid job keeping everything in order,” the British track promises. “And, with flypasts from the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire and Hurricane on Saturday and the BBMF Dakota on Sunday, there’s even action in the sky!”

Wow, the writer fought off the urge to make that sky(walker)!

In addition to the vintage races, there will be on-track demonstration runs Satuday and Sunday to commemorate the 1993 European Grand Prix which was held at Donington Park. Also, Group B rally cars with do a showcase, as well historic go-kart racers. More than 250 members of the Simply Mustangs UK are scheduled to show off their sporty Ford coupes.

The Top Ess curve at Shelshey Walsh

They’ll also be racing up the Shelsley Walsh hill

Not all of Britain’s vintage racing cars will be at Donington this weekend. Also on the calendar is the start of the Midland Hill Climb Championship season at historic Shelsley Walsh, which cars have been ascending for 113 years.

The Peterson tribute watch

Watch this!

In 1972, watchmaker Jack Heuer presented an 18k solid-gold Carrera chronograph to Grand Prix racer Ronnie Peterson. That watch is on display at the TAG Heuer Museum in La Chaux-de-Fonds. But to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Peterson’s death, Heuer has created a re-edition of the 1158CHN bracelet watch and are offering it up for bidding May 11 at Bonhams’ Les Grands Marques du Monde a Monaco auction. 

Proceeds from the watch’s sale will go to the Ronnie Peterson Memorial Foundation, which supports promising young drivers in Peterson’s native Sweden.

Also on the Bonhams docket is the 1969 Tecno-Novamotor Ford 69 Formula 3 car in which Peterson won 16 races, including the 1969 Monaco F3 event.

Ronnie Peterson and Jack Heuer | TAG Heuer photos

ARCA becomes part of NASCAR

Though technically not a vintage racing series (even if some of the competing cars through the years were speedway hand-me-downs), but it’s news of interest that NASCAR has purchased the Automobile Racing Club of America from the family of ARCA founder John Marcum. 

ARCA is in its 66th season as a Midwestern-based stock car circuit and will continue to operate under its traditional setup through the 2019 season, NASCAR said in its announcement. ARCA’s fate after that date has not been announced, but wouldn’t it be interesting if it became sort of a senior circuit for racers and vehicles?


Larry Edsall
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.



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