Report and photos by David Ferguson
Over 150 vintage race cars presented themselves at the 2014 SVRA Spring Vintage Classic, held on February 28th through March 2nd at the venerable 3.74-mile, 17-turn Sebring International Raceway. Sebring, Florida is in the south central part of the state, about 80 miles South of Orlando. This year’s event has held under perfect weather, which was especially welcome to the participants from the North who have endured an unusually vicious winter. The warm days and blue skies with puffy clouds seemed to have put everyone in a very pleasant mood.
The cars were divided into eight groups, with each group having two sprint races. Group five had only ten entries, but each one would be welcomed in any automotive museum. They included a pair of Lola T70s, Porsche 910, three Lotus 23s, a Lotus Formula Junior, a Chevron B17 a 1964 Elva Mk7S. The T70s shared wins with Hobart Buppert’s MkIII winning the first heat and the MkIIIB of James Cullen the second heat.
Other cars of note at the 2014 running of the SVRA Spring Vintage Classic were three Porsche 962s, 1959 Porsche 718 RSK, Costin-bodied Lister Jaguar and an abundance of Shelby Mustangs, Porsche 911s and 935s, Jaguar E-Types among others. The paddock also included a Jaguar XK120, Shelby Cobra and a beautiful replica Ferrari 250 GTO that got everyone’s attention.
The best racing of the weekend was offered by Group 1-4, where five Porsche 356 Speedsters dueled each other all race long. Both heats had multiple passes for the lead, and both also had last lap passes. Paul Swanson won both of the heats, but he admitted that in heat one it was so close that he did not know who crossed the line first. Great stuff.
There were three enduros run at SVRA Sebring Spring 2014, including a night race that was very popular with, ahem, photographers and others. The Hawk Vintage / Classic enduro had a Le Mans start, which turned out to be very exciting and surprisingly clean. Thomas Grudovich’s 1966 Ginetta G4 nailed the start and led the first lap.
Known primarily as a retirement community surrounded by orange groves, Sebring was home to an airbase that trained bomber pilots during World War II. It held its first race in 1952. The annual 12 hour endurance event grew in popularity and reputation, and, despite its very pedestrian location, is one of the best-known endurance races in the world. The track has also become a favorite for teams to test their cars. As the weekend wound down, impressive looking race haulers from Penske, Andretti, Rahal-Letterman and others showed up to test before the upcoming Indy race at St. Petersburg. Audi was there with, according to rumor, their R18 LMP car. Juan Pablo Montoya, Penske Racing’s new driver took advantage of the GT/GTP/ALMS enduro to get some practice in David Robert’s Corvette. That was a nice cap to put on a very good event.
Photographer David Ferguson documented the 2014 SVRA Spring Vintage Classic, offering the following picture gallery that highlights the entrants and the famed circuit in Sebring, Florida. We split up David’s 225 pictures into two galleries. The first gallery starting below features our favorite images, all displayed in the full-width view of Sports Car Digest, while the second gallery can be found on the last page of the article and gives a comprehensive view of all the photographs.
SVRA Spring Vintage Classic at Sebring 2014 – Featured Photo Gallery
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