The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival will take place the weekend of June 5-6, 2010, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, with a strong field 375 vintage race cars from a pool of over 500 seeking entry.
The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival continues the traditions that its organizer, Steve Earle of General Racing, Ltd., is credited with originating and shaping into the standard by which all other historic automobile racing is measured in the United States. Known for founding the Monterey Historic Automobile Races over three decades ago, Earle has moved the energy and focus of that event to Sonoma, and he is “gratified” by the quality and quantity of the entry applications.
“I wish that it were possible for us to accept everyone, but our entry numbers are commensurate with the amount of Paddock area we have,” said Earle, a traditionalist when it comes to putting the quality of the participant experience first among priorities. “The cars are the stars and when they aren’t racing they are easily accessible in this area for the fans that come for that up close and personal experience of inspecting engines, talking with owners or otherwise learning more about the sport and the restoration and maintenance of vintage cars.”
According to Earle, the entries run the gamut between a 1914 Ford and a 1991 Roush Mustang and will be divided by age and engine size into 13 individual groups for competition on Infineon Raceway’s 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course. All of the groups will practice on Friday, with the seven “A” Groups taking to the Infineon racecourse on Saturday and the six “B” Groups on Sunday. (Registration and Tech Inspection will take place on Thursday.)
While some historic automobiles leave their garages only for Concours d’Elegance events, the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival is for treasured racing cars that are restored and maintained by owners who enjoy the opportunity to run them on the track. In addition to their racing cars, participants may also bring their period cars in which they will drive to and from the track on a daily basis, adding not only another dimension to their personal enjoyment of the event but also giving passersby the pleasure of seeing rare vehicles traveling the scenic roads of Wine Country.
“To see an Allard on the road is an exciting moment,” said Earle. “The possibility of seeing an Austin-Healey, Bugatti, Hot Rod, Impala, Jaguar XK-120, MG-TC, Packard, Sportsmen or Woody Wagon in this setting would be an enthusiast’s dream. Our mission has always been to bring dreams to life and that is why we are encouraging Car Clubs and individuals to drive their cars and join us at Infineon Raceway and on the roads of Sonoma.”
Charity Event at Sonoma Plaza — Sonoma Plaza, a National Historic Landmark that is surrounded by a number of historical buildings, will be the setting for the Vintage Race Car Festival on Saturday evening, June 5. The event, which will benefit the Speedway Children’s Charities, will combine a wine and food tasting with the opportunity to view 30 vintage vehicles chosen from race cars participating in the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival. The cars will parade from the track to Sonoma Plaza where they will be on public view from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tickets ($35), for the wine and food tasting, can be obtained from Infineon Raceway or at Sonoma Plaza on the evening of the event.
“For over 40 years, General Racing has been dedicated to encouraging the restoration, preservation and use of historic sports and racing cars,” said Earle. “Those efforts are now rewarded at every event we attend around the world. We all can now see cars we never dreamed that we would see, and for some more fortunate, they can drive a vintage automobile they never expected to sit in. All of this will be front and center at Infineon Raceway and over the roads of Sonoma and Napa Valley come June.”
[Source: General Racing; photo credit, Dennis Gray]