Report and photos by Dennis Gray
Classic Sports Racing Group’s (CSRG) Charity Challenge 2010 was held on the 12-turn, 2.52-mile Infineon Raceway Sears Point on October 1-3. The 7th annual CSRG Charity Challenge saw more than 220 vintage race cars competing on the road course over the weekend, which featured historic three-liter Formula One cars, as well as Formula 5000 and invited Formula Atlantic cars.
The race weekend also featured many well-known machines, including Alfa Romeo; Aston Martin; Corvette; Jaguar; Lola; Lotus; Porsche; and many others. The event offered testing on Friday, with vintage car racing held on Saturday and Sunday.
The CSRG Charity Challenge 2010 set new highs for spectator ticket and track ride sales, with all proceeds benefiting qualified Sonoma County youth groups through Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway. CSRG has contributed nearly $500,000 to Speedway Children’s Charities since 2002.
On-track action at CSRG Charity Challenge 2010 was competitive, with many groups seeing very tight racing action at Infineon Raceway Sears Point. Dave Olson won the competitive Group A with in alloy-bodied Jaguar XK120, Ed Nigro won both Group B races in his Lola Mk1, while the always fast Terry Gough finished atop Group C in his Chevrolet Corvette. The F1 race saw the Shadow DN1 of Keith Frieser and Steve Cook’s March 741 battle to the end, with Frieser picking up the win by a mere 3.1 seconds. Cook took fastest lap during the race with an even 100.00 mph, or 1:32.088 lap.
One of the favorites on the race weekend was the sights and sounds (!) of the Formula 5000 race, as the field of powerful historic race cars ranging from 1968 to 1976 created a great show. Overall winner of the Sunday Race and placing in first place in Class B (post-1971 cars) was Jay Esterer in a 1973 McRae GM1. Winner in Class A (pre-1972 cars) was Bruce Leeson driving a 1969 McLaren M10B. Second place in Class A went to Steve Davis driving a 1969 Gurney Eagle Mk5, while Rick Parsons finished second in Class B in the ex-Brian Redman Lola T332 1976 Championship car. Tony Adamowicz (Class A) and Jim Stengel (Class B) took third place in their respective class.
The CSRG Charity Challenge 2010 was the fifth and final round of this year’s F5000 Revival Race Series. Steve Davis, who came to Infineon Raceway leading in the standings with 200 points, finished in first place in the Qualifying Race on Saturday and second in the Feature Race on Sunday to clinch the 2010 Formula 5000 Championship with 256 points. Davis is a repeat Revival Series Champion having won the championship in the inaugural 2008 season. The other top ten finishing drivers in the 2010 F5000 Championship were: Jim Stengel, Rick Parsons, Tony Adamowicz, Bruce Leeson, Seb Coppola, Tom Malloy, Tim Osborne, Jay Esterer, and Dudley Cunningham.
CSRG Charity Challenge 2010 – Cars of Interest
Len Auerbach and his Aston Martins
Len started his CSRG career with his first race at the long-defunct Cotati Raceway in 1970. Len has a 40-year history of racing Aston Martins: 1959 DB Mk111, 1955 DB/3S, 1934 Mk 11 short chassis, and currently a 1960 DB4GT and a 1938 2-Litre short chassis with Ulster Body. Len has had the DB4GT for 12 years and has regularly campaigned the car at the Wine Country Classic, Monterey Historics and CSRG events. The DB4GT is one of the 75 true GT built, very standard with only period-correct factory practice modifications. The 1938 2-Litre was raced pre-war in the UK. It was re-bodied with the Ulster body after a pre-war crash, while after the war Sidney Allard added a Centric supercharger to the Aston. The car has VSCCA and AMOC East Coast racing history including an appearance at the 2008 AMOC Lime Rock and Rolex Line Rock events.
Dennis Losher and his Shadow DN8 F5000
Dennis Losher, an engineering consultant and almond grower from Turlock, California, has a love for Shadow race cars. He owns a 1971 Shadow Mk2, as well as the 1974 Shadow DN3 Formula 1, 1975 Shadow DN6 F5000 and a 1974 Shadow DN4 Can-Am car, all purchased directly from Don Nichols. For the CSRG Charity Challenge Dennis brought his beautiful 1975 Shadow DN6 Formula 5000 Dodge-powered race car that just emerged from a comprehensive engine rebuild. The car’s history includes drives by Jackie Oliver, Jody Scheckter and Tom Pryce during the 1975 F5000 season. The exhaust of this car sounds closer to a big block Chevrolet then to the other 302 CI Chevrolet power plants in the Lolas and Eagles.
Mark Sange and his 1956 AVIA BMW
Mark Sange can always be counted on to bring a car just a bit different from the “norm”. Mark has appeared at CSRG events over the past two years with a Ford Flat Head Kurtis midget (See Video Profile), Offenhauser Kurtis midget, U2L Mallock SR, original 1956 Elva Mk2 with polished aluminum body, 1962 Shirdlu H-Mod and now the 1956 AVIA Monoposto Streamliner powered by a 750cc BMW “Boxer” motorcycle engine. It features an aluminum body constructed in Czechoslovakia’s AVIA aircraft plant mounted on a ladder frame with four wheel independent suspension, torsion bars all around, 4-speed transaxle and torque tube, extensive use of aluminum, magnesium, and titanium along with tiny wire wheels and tires. In other words, it was very advanced for its period. The whole car ready to race weighs less than 900 lbs. Stories of smuggling the car out of Eastern Europe under the noses of Communist border guards and unfriendly US custom officers abounded around Mark’s pits all weekend.
CSRG Charity Challenge 2010 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)
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[Source: CSRG; photo credit: Dennis Gray]