Report and photos by Dennis Gray
The 8th annual Classic Sports Racing Group (CSRG) Charity Challenge was held October 1 – 2, 2011 at the 12-turn, 2.52-mile Infineon Raceway Sears Point in Sonoma, California.
The 2011 CSRG Charity Challenge featured more than 200 historic race cars, including pre-war cars, sports racing cars and formula cars as well as production and GT cars. Lotus was the honored marque. In addition, Lyn St. James served as Grand Marshal and featured driver for the race weekend. St. James, one of seven women to qualify for the Indy 500, posted two victories at the 24 Hours of Daytona and also won the 12 Hours of Sebring during her career.
Headline cars at the 2011 CSRG Charity Challenge included the 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 of Peter Giddings; Greg Mitchell’s 1969 Lola T163 Can-Am; Jeff Abramson’s 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial; the 1975 AAR Eagle of Tom Malloy; Fred Cziska’s 1974 Shadow DN4A Can-Am; 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera driven by Dann Boeschen; 1964 Alfa Romeo TZ of Marnix Dillenius and Tom Malloy’s 1972 McLaren M8E.
All proceeds from the CSRG Charity Challenge 2011 benefit Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway Sears Point. CSRG has generously donated nearly $500,000 to the charity since 2004. Charity events included track rides, raffles and a race gear sale. The guest ride was real popular with fans, as there seemed to be cars on the track constantly for the two-hour lunch/guest ride period. Prices ran from less then $100 for a smaller production car to $250 or more for a Can-Am car.
CSRG Charity Challenge 2011 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)
CSRG Charity Challenge 2011 – Cars of Interest
1969 Gurney Eagle Formula 5000 Chassis 510 – Doug Magnon / Tony Adamowicz
This car was built by Dan Gurney’s All-American Racers for Milestone racing and driven to the 1969 Continental Grand Prix Championship by Tony “A2Z” Adamowicz. Highlights of the season include two 1st place finishes, two 2nd places finishes and three 3rd place finishes.
Tony Southgate designed the chassis; AAR built fourteen cars to this design during the 1968-70 production run. The suspension and chassis bear a heavy resemblance to the AAR factory Indy-USAC car. The 1969 F-5000 Eagles were the first Eagles to receive aerodynamic wings.
Traco built the Chevy 302ci engines topped off with Weber carburetors and mated to a Hewland LG600 transaxle. The very last race of the 1969 season saw the engine fitted with a Ryan Falconer fuel injected Ford 302ci engine.
Chassis #510 disappeared from public view until bought and restored by Doug Magnon. Doug undertook the complete restoration at his Riverside International Automotive museum in Riverside, California. Chassis #510’s original driver Tony ‘a2z’ drove the car during the CSRG Charity Challenge.
1964 Chevrolet Corvette Race car Chassis # 40867S104780 – Jim Gallucci
This 1964 Corvette Stingray has been a race car from its first day. Jeff Miller was the car’s principal driver for the MGN Racing team out of Plymouth, Wisconsin. Wearing number five, it was unbeaten during the 1969-71 seasons in SCCA Midwestern Regional competition. It also won the SCCA Nationals at Road America in 1970 and 71.
Jimmy Gallucci acquired the Corvette in 2005. The car was refreshed including a fresh 331ci engine with 11:1 compression, ported and polished heads, big journal crank, roller rockers (when allowed), and a race prepared Rochester fuel injection unit, finished with a dry sump lubrication system. This engine sees 485bhp on the dyno. A ‘rock-crusher’ M22 close-ratio four-speed gearbox transfers the power to a limited slip differential. Other goodies include aircraft lines and fittings, engine oil cooler, MSD ignition, Guldstrand/Herb Adams suspension bits, Koni shocks, J56 dual pin heavy-duty disc brakes and an 18-gallon fuel cell. Owner-driver Jimmy Gallucci drove this car at Infineon Raceway Sears Point.
1937 Austin 7 Special – Mark Sange
The Austin 7 single-seat is built from pre-war Austin 7 engine and parts to the rules of the time. Supercharged 750cc four cylinder engine drives through an Austin 4-speed crash box. The body is a pretty aluminum form that resembles early American sprint cars. The main updates are a rollover bar, fuel cell and safety harness.
In 1936 a London tradesman wrote off a brand new Austin van leaving his local pub. This chassis, engine and suspension parts served as the basis for the special. The race car was up and running by late 1937. With the out break of hostilities in 1939 the owner-driver, a RAF Flight officer, put the car in storage. The poor man was lost over England during the Battle of Britain. His widow kept the car in her estate’s barn until discovered in 1991. In 1995 Don Rawson was commissioned to rebuild the Austin 7 Special to ‘in the day’ rules. Today it sits with a resplendent aluminum body painted in dark blue with many polished suspension pieces.
The Austin 7 raced with Roney Smith from 2000 to 2007 including four appearances at the Monterey Historics. At the 2009 Monterey Historics, Mark Sange drove the Austin 7 Special to second in class and he also won the Rolex Award for presentation and performance.
Plans to race the Austin 7 were upset when the rear end let go on Saturday afternoon. Owner / driver Mark Sange drove home and replaced the Austin 7 with his Avia Mk. 3 for Sunday’s race and practice.
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[Source: Infineon Raceway Sears Point; photo credit: Dennis Gray]