Legends of Motorsports – Sebring Finale 2010, A Bobby Rahal Signature Event
Report and photos by Louis Galanos
The Legends of Motorsports 2010 series of vintage races wrapped up their inaugural season with three days of racing and an awards banquet (December 3-5) at the legendary Sebring International Raceway.
With two days of practice and qualifying plus a fifty-minute Enduro on Saturday, everything came to a head on Sunday with six feature races.
With a record 126 entries running in six groups there was plenty to watch on the track even for the most rabid of vintage racing fans. In addition, sports car buffs (like me) were able to meet and talk to such racing legends as Brian Redman, Bobby Rahal, female British ace, Divina Gallica, plus 1980’s IMSA GT stars Doc Bundy and Howard Cherry.
During the fan forum on Saturday Brian Redman gave a very humorous talk detailing the trials, tribulations and dangers he has faced during his thirty-plus years as a professional driver. Redman is a legend in racing circles with two wins in the Sebring 12 Hour Grand Prix, three wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona, three consecutive F5000 championships and an overall win in the 1981 IMSA GTO series. He indicated that Sebring holds a special place in his racing career and he was glad to be back.
Brian Redman commented, “It was very enjoyable to see so many old friends and old cars (which are old friends also) in beautiful Sebring. I think Legends of Motorsports has done a very good job. This isn’t easy. There was a good collection of cars and it was all done to a high standard.”
Series promoter and Legends of Motorsport co-founder Bobby Rahal not only was the man running the show but he entered three of his vintage race cars in the event. Those cars were his 1969 Brabham BT29, a 1963 Lotus 23B and a 1970 Chevron B16. Rahal handed over driving duties for his Chevron to event Grand Marshal Brian Redman.
The weather cooperated for the event with mild temperatures and bright sun with one lone exception. On Sunday a fast moving cold front swept down the Florida peninsula bringing with it some heavy rains. The front swept through Sebring just as we went for our lunch break. The clouds were very dark and threatening and looked very much like the storm that flooded the Sebring track back in 1965. Fortunately it was only a brief shower that ended before racing resumed.
It was still cloudy and overcast when the opening ceremonies started at 1:05 p.m. but when they began to play the National Anthem the skies magically opened up and the bright Florida sunshine returned for the feature races.
“Sebring was the perfect end to our inaugural season,” said Legends of Motorsport co-founder Bobby Rahal. “We had our largest field of cars and spectators yet, and from what I could see and hear, everyone was having a great time. An event like this is how we want Legends of Motorsports to be remembered over the winter, so that everyone is marking their calendars with our 2011 dates.”
In the Group 1 Feature Race Guy Lemon’s Corvette finished first by 13.928 seconds ahead of the BMW M3 of David Hinton. Veteran Driver Gene Felton finished third in his Chevy Nova.
The Group 2 race saw the closest finish for the event with Farrell Preston in his McLaren M1B taking the overall win just 0.382 seconds ahead of Theo Bean in his Chevy Dekon Monza. Third overall was Trevor Dawe in his Porsche 911 RSR.
Group 3 concluded with a first for Travis Engen in his Lola T97/20, 2nd was Jim Stengel in his McRae GM-1 and Mike Snowdon third in his GRD 272 F2. Bobby Rahal was first in the Monoposto category but since he races only for fun, David Handy in his BT29 was given the win.
In the Group 4 race only four cars took the green flag and two finished. Travis Engen took another first driving an Audi R8 LMP while Jeff Borghesi took second in his Lola B2K40.
The Group 5 race saw the largest number of cars with 24 taking the green flag. Taking the overall win in the Thunder and Lighting category was Lawrence Ligas in his 1961 Jaguar XKE.
Following him was Brad Hoyt in his Corvette and third was Roger Johnson in a Porsche 911ST.
Group 6 categories included 2-liter sports cars and S2000. Hamis Somerville won overall in his Chevron B21-23, Keith Frieser was second in a Lola 290 with Derek Jones third in a Chevron B36. Jack Donnellan was first in the S2000 category in his Lola 598.
Legends of Motorsports will return to Sebring International Raceway, Dec. 2-4, 2011, following events at Alabama’s Barber Motorsports Park, May 20-22 and Canada’s Circuit Mont-Tremblant, July 8-10. For more information, visit www.legendsofmotorsports.com.
Legends of Motorsports Sebring 2010 – Results
Saturday’s Fifty-Minute Enduro
1st Mark Brannon, Riley & Scott 3C
2nd Derek Jones, Chevron B36
3rd Joe Blacker, Lola T298
Group 1 – American Thunder
1st Guy Lamon, Chevrolet Corvette
2nd David Hinton, BMW M3 V8
3rd Gene Felton, Chevrolet Nova
Group 2 – IMSA GT/USRRC/FIA Championship of Makes/Can-Am
1st Can-Am – Farrell Preston, McLaren M1B
1st IMSA GT – Theo Bean, Chevy Dekon Monza
2nd IMSA GT – Trevor Dawe, Porsche 911 RSR
3rd IMSA GT – Catesby Jones, Porsche RSR
1st USRRC – Archie Urciuoli, Lola T70 Spyder
2nd USRRC – Doc Bundy, Lotus 23B
1st FIA Makes – Kenne Bristol, Lola T70 MkIIIB
2nd FIA Makes – Chris Nussbaum, Porsche RS
3rd FIA Makes – Brian Redman, Chevron B16
1st S2000 – Jim Lenehan, Swift DB2
Group 3 – Classic Monoposto/Formula Libre
1st F/Libre – Travis Engen, Lola T97/20
2nd F5000 – Jim Stengel, McRae GM-1
3rd F/Libre – Mike Snowdon, GRD 272 F2
First in Monoposto awarded to Dave Handy driving a Brabham BT29
Group 4 – Group C/GTP
1st GTP – Travis Engen, Audi R8 LMP
2nd GTP – Jeff Borghesi, Lola B2K40
3rd GTP – Mark Brannon, Riley & Scott 3C
Group 5 Thunder and Lightning
1st T&L – Lawrence Ligas, Jaguar XKE
2nd T&L – Brad Hoyt, Chevrolet Corvette
3rd T&L – Roger Johnson, Porsche 911ST
Group 6 – 2 Liter Sports Cars/S2000
1st 2 Liter – Hamish Somerville, Chevron B21-23
2nd 2 Liter – Keith Frieser, Lola T290
3rd 2 Liter – Derek Jones, Chevron B36
First in the S2000 category was Jack Donnellan in a Lola T598
Legends of Motorsports Sebring 2010 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger photo and description)
[Source: Louis Galanos]