Report and photos by Marshall Autry
The weekend of May 15-16, 2010 broke sunny and clear in the Pacific Northwest for the SOVREN Spring Sprints. The second event of the vintage racing season always draws a large group of competitors – with over 130 racers taking to the 2.25-mile, nine turn Pacific Raceways road course outside of Seattle, Washington. The rain arrived mid-day on Sunday (it IS Seattle…), but the racing didn’t stop.
In conjunction with the regular classes, the feature event of the Spring race is a special group for under 2 liter touring cars and the assorted Porsche 911. Sponsored by Racecraft, a fabrication and restoration shop in Woodinville, WA, this group put on a good show all weekend long.
Big fields and split starts dominated Group 1, with the Formula V’s having their own dice at the back of the field, while the smaller engined vintage sports cars and several of the Historic small bore cars battled at the front of the pack. The Porsche-Cooper (#55) of Cameron Healy, along with the 1957 Corvette (#15) of Tony Garmey and the Triumph powered Peyote MkII (#222) of Bill Babcock were the class of the group, along with Thor Johnson’s 1959 Lotus 17 (#99) and the 1960 Lola Mk I (#41) of Kurt Del Bene. Dave Phillips was consistent in his 1957 Austin Healey 100-6 (#57). He races the old fashioned way – he drives it to the track towing a trailer with his race tires and fuel, runs all weekend, changes tires again and heads back home.
Group 2, the Historic small bore cars, spent the weekend chasing Art Conner’s 1961 Porsche S90 (#91) and the 1965 MGB (#41) of Will Hart. Gary Silcox debuted his 1963 Elva Courier Mk III (#58) with great success – running with the leaders in each of the heats. A relatively rare car – the Marcos 1800 (#2) of Gary Madsen ran well all weekend, along with the Porsche 356’s of Marianne Campbell (#141) and Jeff Rogers (#157).
Corvettes ruled Group 3, with Curt Kallberg (#68) and Bruce Leven’s (#86) coupes, along with Eric Dolson’s (#95) convertible running at the front, facing strong competition from the Camaro (#67) of Mike Kunicki, the ’69 Mustang of Tom Cantrell (#23), and the red Jaguar XKE (#56) of Mark Adams. The 1964 Studebaker Daytona (#11) of Jerry Taylor was fast last season and getting faster this year. A car that made a welcome return to the big-bore battle was the one-off 1965 Iso Rivolta Daytona Coupe (#18) of Richard Mattei.
The fastest car of the weekend again – on a dry track or in Sunday’s rain – was Miles Jackson’s F5000 Chevron B24 (#33). The Formula Atlantic Brabham BT40 of Kevin Roggebuck (#40) and the Formula B Brabham BT21 of Al Murray (#67) were very quick as well, along with the 1967 Porsche 910 (#30) of Thor Johnson. The Formula Fords were fast, especially in the rain, along with the Tiga of Rick Korn (#5) and the Lola T298 (#7) of William Morris.
The Racecraft Touring Group was all BMW for most of the weekend with the 2002’s of Jack Healy (#59) and Laurie Lyford (#95) putting on a show at the front, while the cars of Dan Durr (#22), Terry Forland (#62), Skip Foss (#50), and Ron Dempsey (#82) close behind. The Datsun Bluebird (#52) of Jim Froula was always fast, and upholding the honor of Porsche rested with the 911’s of Gary Tisdale (#16), Steve Schuler (#917), and Jim Loveall (#84).
Next up on the SOVREN schedule is the 22nd Annual Pacific Northwest Historics over the July 4 weekend. A 3-day event to benefit Seattle Chidren’s Hospital Research Foundation, it will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Alfa Romeo, and feature the large Bore Group Challenge, along with celebrity guest Augie Pabst.
SOVREN Spring Sprints 2010 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger photo and description)
[Source: Marshall Autry]