The innovative sports racers of the 1950s are cherished for their important contribution to the growth of motor racing as we know it today. Marques like Lotus, Lola, Elva, Ginetta and Porsche all represent dramatic breakthroughs in the design of the modern racecar. To celebrate these important and iconic racecars the Vintage Sports Car Club of America again this year honored sports racers from the era with a special group race at the VSCCA, HRG and Empire Cup weekend at Lime Rock Park.
This weekend in early June has become one of the most popular vintage events in the Northeast with two major clubs, the SCCA affiliated Historic Racing Group and the VSCCA as well as track time for the lapping Empire Cup drivers group, formerly the Jag Club, all combining for a fun and action packed weekend. Some describe this weekend as a low key version of Historic Festival, the major Lime Rock vintage races on Labor Day weekend.
The event brought out some 150 entries including 24 sports racers. Lime Rock’s A paddock was full and overflowed into B paddock. One of the reasons racers enjoy this weekend, it is one of four at LRP that allows open exhaust. It also features timing and scoring unlike some VSCCA events.
Friday’s racing ends with a free hot dog cookout, with support from John Schieding and Hummel Brothers franks. All drivers, crews and course marshals are invited adding to the camaraderie that marks vintage racing.
Weather for the weekend was initially a problem on Friday morning but Saturday turned out to be mild and comfortable. However, the threatening rain on Friday morning broke over the track at 10:30 as the VSCCA Group 4 was on its first practice session. Several competitors said the situation on track was dangerous and pitted to wait it out. Chief Steward Bob Melhado threw the black flag and then decided with Event Chair Charles Bordin to call the lunch break and revise the schedule.
The consensus of the sports racers was that this was a great way to enjoy their special cars without having to battle less nimble but perhaps more powerful production cars. With the success of the Group 6 sports racers the VSCCA plans to once again provide a showcase for these historic and important cars next year.