Photos by Dennis Gray
The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2011 was held the weekend of June 3-5, at Infineon Raceway Sears Point in Sonoma, California. A strong field of 400 vintage race cars competing in 13 groups took to the technical 2.52 mile road course, headlined by featured marque McLaren.
While rain showers disrupted racing action on Friday and Saturday, the final day of races at the 2nd annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival were thankfully completed under primarily dry conditions. Only the early race groups faced wet conditions, while the remainder enjoyed a cool yet dry racing surface at Infineon Raceway Sears Point.
“It’s unfortunate that we had to endure rain showers on Friday and Saturday,” said event organizer Steve Earle, “but race day turned out to be a great day of racing and it appears that each of the 400 entrants enjoyed the competition. And I know the fans were treated to some exciting racing action, not to mention the opportunity to see so many important race cars, including all the McLarens that were here.”
With McLaren the featured marque at the Sonoma Historics, Bruce McLaren’s only child, daughter Amanda, was on hand to be the Honorary Starter for the 1966-1974 Historic F1 and 1966-1974 Historic Can-Am race groups on Sunday, waving both the green and checkered flags.
The Can-Am race group included 12 McLarens, with Chris MacAllister leading a top-three McLaren sweep in his 1971 McLaren M8F, followed by Steve Cook in a 1968 McLaren M6B and Roger Williams in a 1970 McLaren M8E/F. The F1 group also showcased a number of McLarens, including the 1977 McLaren M23 that Danny Baker drove to victory, Scott Drnek’s fourth-place 1970 McLaren M14, along with three other McLarens.
Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2011 – Race Winners
Group 1A – 1955-1962 GT – Jeff Abramson, 1959 Morgan +4
Group 2A – 1949-1955 Sports Racing & GT – Rob Manson, 1952 Schaghticoke Manning
Group 3A – 1960-1965 Sports Racing – Byron Sanborn, 1965 Elva MK8
Group 4A – 1963-1966 GT over 2500cc – John Morton, 1964 Sunbeam Tiger
Group 5A – 1955-1964 Formula Jr, F2, F1/GP – Art Hebert, 1963 Lola MK5A F-Jr.
Group 6A – 1966-1974 Historic Formula One – Danny Baker, 1977 McLaren M23
Group 7A – 1966-1972 Historic Trans-Am – Ken Epsman, 1970 Dodge Challenger
Group 1B – 1911-1926, 1927-1949 Sport and Racing – Peter Greenfield, 1935 Alfa Romeo Tipo-C
Group 2B – 1955-1960 Sports Racing – Don Orosco – 1958 Lotus 15
Group 3B – 1962-1967 GT under 2500cc – Paul Quackenbush, 1963 Lotus S-7
Group 4B – 1966-1980 FIA Makes, IMSA GT – Bert Skidmore, 1976 Lola T-286
Group 5B – 1966-1974 Historic Can-Am – Chris MacAllister, 1971 McLaren M8F
Group 6B – 1981-1991 IMSA GTO, Trans-Am – Peter Baljet, 1990 Beretta
Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2011 – Awards
The Sonoma Historic Cup – “The Phil Hill Trophy” – Presented for Best Presentation and Performance Overall: Peter Greenfield, Freeport, NY, 1935 Alfa Romeo Tipo C
The Sonoma Historic Trophy, Pre-1940 Category – Presented for Excellence in Presentation: Jon Shirley, Medina, Wash., 1934 Alfa Romeo P3
The Sonoma Historic Trophy, Post 1940 Category – Presented for Excellence in Presentation: Chris MacAllister, Indianapolis, Ind., 1967 Lotus 49 R2
The Sonoma Historic Award Presented for Presentation and Performance in Race Group
Winner Race 1A: Brian Howlett, Hacienda Heights, Calif., 1961 Morgan +4
Winner Race 2A: Graham Smith, Melbourne, Australia 1950 Allard J2-Cadillac
Winner Race 3A: David Jacobs, Boulder, Colo.,1964 McLaren-Elva M1A
Winner Race 4A: Tom Fry, Morgan Hill, Calif., 1966 Shelby GT350
Winner Race 5A: Jeffrey O’Neill, Kentfield, Calif., 1957 Maserati 250F
Winner Race 6A: Scott Drnek, Hayward, Calif., 1970 McLaren M14A
Winner Race 7A: Forrest Straight, Mountain View, Calif., 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302
Winner Race 1B: Jim Stranberg, Berthound, Colo., 1949 Talbot-Lago T26C
Winner Race 2B: Thor Johnson, Kirkland, Wash., 1959 Lotus 17
Winner Race 3B: James LaMantia, Loomis, Calif., 1963 MGB
Winner Race 4B: Stephen Harris, Incline Village, Nev., 1979 Porsche 935J
Winner Race 5B: Roger Williams, Auckland, New Zealand, 1970 McLaren M8E/F
Winner Race 6B: Peter Baljet, Duncan, BC, 1990 Chevrolet Beretta
Senior Photographer Dennis Gray, replete with rain gear and more rain gear, documented the 2011 edition of the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival. He offers the following 150 excellent images that capture the world-class field of entrants, the aforementioned rainy conditions and the picturesque Infineon Raceway Sears Point.
Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2011 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)
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[Source: photo credit: Dennis Gray]