Talk about future classics: Early Miatas to race at Road America

Talk about future classics: Early Miatas to race at Road America

Mazda Miata Heritage Cup for 1990-93 roadsters on the schedule this weekend at SVRA Spring Vintage Festival

The famed Road America racing circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, opens its 2018 calendar this weekend with a weekend of races staged by the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association. Among the latest additions to the racing schedule is the Mazda Miata Heritage Cup, open to first-generation, 1.6-liter spec Miatas produced from 1990-1993.

The Heritage Cup was introduced last year but this year has expanded to a seven-race series.

On both Saturday and Sunday during the SVRA Spring Vintage Festival, the track will offer spectators the opportunity to drive their own road cars around the racing circuit during the racers’ lunch break. Those interested can sign up at the Registration Office inside Gate 6 off Highway 67, and must attend a mandatory drivers meeting.

For details, visit the track’s website.

Road America lands FF 50th anniversary event

The Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association has announced that the 50th anniversary party for Formula Ford racing will be held September 18-22 at the Road America circuit.

Untimed practice laps will be offered that Thursday, with qualifying on Friday and head and feature races Saturday and Sunday. As many as 200 of the Kent- and Cortina-powered FF cars can be accommodated under the schedule with separate race groups of cars with slick and treaded tires.

1934 MG K3 at speed | Donington track photo

Historic MG returns to Donington Park

The recent Donington Park Historic Festival at the British racing circuit marked the return to the venue of a 1934 MG K3 that had not raced at the facility since 1938.

Entered in an event called the Pre-War Mad Jack race was a car that was one of three MG works racers that competed in Italy’s Mille Miglia in 1934 and also had racing history at Donington. The car currently is owned by Teifion Salisbury of Bakewell, UK.

Also competing in the same race at a Morgan 4/4 that raced at Le Mans in 1937 and at Donington in 1938.

Staged during England’s May bank holiday, the Donington festival included 19 races. Among the winners were the father/son driving team of Mike and Andrew Jordan in Andrew’s Austin GT40 in the “Touring Greats” race, and touring car star Steve Soper, who won the U2TC Trophy in the pre-1966 under-2.0-liter touring car event in his For Lotus Cortina.

Group C Jaguars join XK70 Festival

Organizers of the XJ70 Jaguar Festival scheduled for June 9-10 at Shelsley Walsh in England have announced that three of Jaguar’s famed Group C cars, including the 1987 championship-winning XJR-8, will take part in the festival celebrating the 70th anniversary of the introduction of the Jaguar XK120 sports car.

As many as 700 XK models of various generations are expected for the event, including some rebodied by the likes of Ghia and Bertone. Also scheduled to be on hand during the weekend is Jaguar’s former chairman, John Egan.

Ronnie Bucknum in the original Honda F1 car at the ‘ring | Honda archives photo

Honda celebrates its Nurburgring history

Honda recently celebrated its debut in Formula One racing by returning to the Nurburgring’s famed Nordschleife circuit, where its latest Civic Type R TCR competed in the FIA World touring Car Cup.

It was in 1964 that Honda entered F1 racing with its RA271, with American racer Ronnie Bucknum at the wheel for the German Grand Prix. The RA271 was the only V12-engined car in a grid dominated by V8s. A year later, the successor RA272, would be the first Honda to win an F1 event. 

It also was in 1964 that Honda claimed its first victory in European racing when a Honda S600 sports car won the Grand Touring 1,000cc class in the Nurburgring 500 kilometer race, with New Zealand racer Denny Hulme. Three years later, an S800 also would win at the track.

Honda also was the first Japanese automaker to establish a testing base outside Japan when, in the late 1980s, it set up a base near the Nurburgring as part of its development and validation of the NSX sports car in the late 1980s.

Honda notes that on two occasions its vehicles have held the Nurburgring speed record for front-wheel drive cars, most recently with the FK8 Type R Civic, the current lap-recordholder for FWD.

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