Porsches 911 and Porsche 914-6

Savannah Speed Classic 2012 – Report and Photos

Report and photos by David Ferguson

The Savannah Speed Classic 2012 was held October 26-28 on the 1.96 mile, 10-turn Grand Prize of America Track on Hutchinson Island in Savannah, Georgia. Sanctioned by HSR, the event is part of the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance that continues on through November 4th.

The Speed Classic moved from Roebling Road to Hutchinson Island five years ago, and has been growing steadily ever since. From 20 entries the first year to 112 entries plus an assortment of vintage motorcycles this year. Concern over Hurricane Sandy proved unfounded. Saturday’s weather was cloudy and breezy and Sunday turned out to be a beautiful sunny, cool day.

The cars were split into four groups for racing and there were three enduros and an International/American Challenge. Notable entries at the Savannah Speed Classic 2012 included Johan Woerheide’s 1975 Lola Schkee DB1, Ted Wenz in an Interscope-liveried March Indy car and David Feigenhauer’s ex-Emerson Fittipaldi Marlboro 1986 March. Perhaps the most interesting car of the weekend not a race entry, but Chris Runge’s Frankfurt Flyer replica. The Frankfurt Flyer was a post WWII racer built by a VW dealer named Walter Glockler. It is this car from which the Porsche 550 was based. There was also a 1955 Chevy that races in dirt tracks locally. It was a real crowd pleaser despite not being set up for a road course, and it was crewed by high school students who are learning about race car preparation.

The Speed Classic also featured a celebrity driver panel with Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Hurley Haywood, Brian Redman, David Donahue, among others, sharing stories (mostly humorous) of their racing careers.

To many participants, the highlight of the event may have been the track itself. The Hutchinson Island Raceway is located on the Savannah River, accessible via the Herman Talmadge Bridge (US 17) or a Ferry. The track is partly situated near a golf course. Built in 1997, it hosted an Indy Lights race won by Helio Castroneves, the only spectator event ever held at the track. It fell into disrepair until the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival organizers took an interest in using it for their event. Though it is a public road, it was built for racing, with fast straights, a sweeping, slightly banked long curve, and several good places for passing. What makes it memorable is the vintage feeling about it. There are no permanent structures on the premises. There is a single layer of barriers or guardrails, with no catch fences obstructing the view. It reminded some of watching races in the sixties. That, plus the enthusiasm and friendliness of the volunteers running the event, makes it one of the most enjoyable experiences offered in the vintage car racing world.

Savannah Speed Classic 2012 – Photo Gallery

(click image for larger picture and description)

Savannah Speed Classic 2012 – Race Results

Group 2,3
Race 1
1. Jonathon Ziegelman 1970 Porsche 914.6 79.118 MPH Avg.
2. John Cloud 1998 Mustang
3.Jim Thomasson 1970 Porsche 914.6
Race 2
1. John Cloud 1998 Mustang 77.856 MPH Avg.
2. Danny Burnstein 1970 Porsche 914.6
3. Jim Thomasson 1970 Porsche 914.6

Group 4
Race 1
1. Ted Wenz 1987 March 87C 93.333 MPH Avg.
2. Jim Dixon 2004 Star Pro Mazda
3. Mike Bernhardt 1991 Lola Indy
Race 2
1. Jim Dixon 2004 Star Pro Mazda 93.790 MPH Avg.
2. Ted Wenz 1987 March 87C
3. Mike Bernhardt 1991 Lola Indy

Group 5, 7
Race 1
1. Danyel Torres 2006 Radical 90.528 MPH Avg.
2. Johan Woerheide 1975 Lola Schkee DB1
3. Peter Strasser 2011 Radical
Race 2
1. Danyel Torres 2006 Radical 91.158 MPH Avg.
2. David Ritter 1969 Lola T-70 Mk 3B
3. Jack Lewis 1974 Porsche Carrera RSR

Group 6, 8 and 9
Race 1
1. John Cloud 2002 Monte Carlo 91.172 MPH Avg.
2. John Reisman 2002 Lola B2K40
3. Paul Reisman 1992 Mustang Trans Am
Race 2
1. John Cloud 2002 Mont Carlo 90.040 MPH Avg.
2. Paul Reisman 1992 Mustang Trans Am
3. Debbie Cloud 2000 Mustang Cobra

International/American Challenge
1. Jack Lewis 1974 Porsche Carrera RSR 83.209 MPH Avg.
2. Bob Woodman 1974 Porsche RSR
3. Cody Ellsworth 1972 Porsche 911 ST

Small Bore Enduro
1. James Williams 1959 Austin-Healey Sprite 62.496 MPH Avg.
2. Dennis Gonzalez 1966 MG Midget
3. Greg Kimbrough 1974 Triumph Spitfire

Vintage/Classic GT Louis Chevrolet Enduro
1. Cody Ellsworth 1972 Porsche 911 ST 74.823 MPH Avg.
2. Bob Woodman 1974 Porsche RSR
3. Bill Riddell 2009 Porsche Cayman

Historic/GTP/WSC Louis Chevrolet Enduro
1. John Reisman 2002 Lola B2K40 84.194 MPH Avg.
2. John Cloud 2002 Chevy Monte Carlo
3. Danyel Torres/Peter Strasser 2008 Radical

[Source: David Ferguson]

Comments

  1. says

    So great to see your photographs David, looks as if you have a more relaxed attitude in America when it comes to mixing Historic cars with moderns, It could never happen under F I A rules that a Radical could be in the same race as that beautiful 66 Lola T70. One question, just how does Johan Woerheide get into his Lola Schkee DB1?, I´m picking your answer will be ” with great difficulty” ! Cheers Graham.

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