2019 Vintage Racing Events
Sonoma Speed Festival and Radwood-Sonoma Raceway-May31-June2
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion-Laguna Seca-Aug10-11
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion-Laguna Seca-Aug 15-18
CSRG 16th Annual Charity Challenge Vintage Car Road Races-Sonoma Raceway-Oct. 4-6
2019 CSRG 52nd Season Finale & Awards Dinner-Thunderhill (3 Mile)-Nov. 1-3
Vintage race car racing season is back in action in Northern California with established events and two notable additions. Your’s truly missed the Trans Am Speed Festival in May. But friend of DWA/historic Datsun racer Glen Chiou tipped us off and helped develop the B-sedan class in the revamped event that shows the growing interest in vintage racing amongst the younger generations. Radwood fans take note that the Trans Am classes allowed later generation race cars like the Acura Spice SL91 and 1995 Nissan 240S. Mark your calendars for next May if you also missed it.
This weekend’s Sonoma Speed Fest features features race groups similar to the Monterey Historics and, of course, it’s own RADwood! If you want to celebrate great cars from all modern eras (not just the baby boomer hits) and can’t make it to the Historics because a $700 a night room at the Best Western during car week makes you cringe…come on out this weekend!
The start of this year’s California car nerd cons, the David Love Vintage Races in April, did not disappoint. After too much rainy winter here, locals and visitors alike were treated to sunny skies and a dry (of water, at least) track. Unfortunately much of Saturdays’ qualifying was plagued with cars dripping oil, cutting into the racers’ time to tune and perfect their lines. Come Sunday’s races though, the caution flags were limited allowing for good, clean racing.
The most exciting race group featured SCCA Trans-AM A,B, & C Sedans & IMSA GTU & GTO compatible production based cars from 1969-1990. With displacements big and not so big, two drivers, Jeffrey Abrahmson and Troy Ermish, really showed what you can achieve with a lot of preparation, favorable conditions, and skilled driving.
One corner worked told me Jeffrey tests often at Sonoma, and it showed. Sitting in the front bleachers on the straight, this beastly V8 shook your whole body as Jeffrey walked the whole race group with a best lap of 1:46.953 and the overall win.
Meanwhile, in the same race, were the John Morton Cup cars. Both the John Morton Cup and the SCCA Trans-AM groups were features at this year’s event.
Competition in the Morton Cup was equally exciting with Troy Ermish’s perfectly prepared #9 510 dominating most of the weekend. In fact, Troy finished on the same lap as the A Group…an impressive feat considering his 4 cylinder, under 2.5 litre motor (below) vs the A cars’ V6’s and 8’s.
With so many great racing events, on top of the myriad of car shows and rallies, 2019 proves to be another banner year in Northern California for fans of all things vintage cars. If you are a local, come on out! If you are from out of town, time a vacation to California around one of these events. If they’re not into it, the rest of your family can go wine tasting...or to the beach (now I’m just rubbing it in, sorry).