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Mid-Ohio Vintage Grand Prix

Mid-Ohio Vintage Grand Prix June 2011
by Angelo Lisuzzo * SVRA Photojournalist and Writer

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Ohio - The SVRA Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio event was held on this technically challenging 2.4-mile, 14-turn, narrow ribbon of asphalt that follows the naturally rolling terrain of the countryside. It is a must visit for any race fan who have never been here to witness the cars negotiate the variety of high speed and tight turns. Drivers have to deal with the major elevation changes not only on the straight sections, like Thunder Valley, but in the middle of corners such as the one referred to as 'Madness.' With a park-like setting, spectators can view many corners of the track from the amphitheater-like grassy viewing mounds or grandstands around the circuit and from spectator fencing up close to the action. It is easy access to the spectator areas to watch these beautifully restored historic machines negotiate the same corners, like 'The Carousel' or Keyhole', as they may have in their own heydays. Speaking of which, over 220 cars were here to do battle among 12 group, enduro and feature races.

Friday started cool and wet. Weather suitable for rain tires lasted all day with the occasional let up giving hope of a drying track to the competitors only to rain again just as the a dry line formed on the. Practice saw a few brave souls venture out onto the slippery track made worse after a car dumped oil. Not many participated in qualifying because of the second session scheduled for Saturday was suppose to warm and dry, predicated by the weatherman. With a few off course excursions and spins they all survived the day in hopes of better conditions tomorrow and that should bring the viewing crowd count higher.

Saturday started out cloudy and cool, and spectators dotted the hillsides, as the chance of rain was slim even with the clouds passing all day. The track activities started early as every one prepared to log the track time they missed Friday with full groups participating in Practice and the Qualifying Races. No real issues occurred until the Group 7 had a major track oil-down. So with this lengthy delay before the Group 6 / 10 combinations and the Classic Enduro scheduled for 10:55 officials pushed the Group 12 and 7B / 11 combinations to after lunch. A great move by the officials because it gave everyone plenty of track time to set their times for later that afternoon leading to competitive events.

The Classic Enduro saw 42 cars take the green leading to many close battles throughout the field. There were few retirements. Overall winners and first in Group 6GTU were, Chip Vance driving a 1971 Porsche 914/6 completing 32 laps with an average speed of 76.597 MPH. Just 5.165 seconds back was Fritz Seidel in a 1967 Porsche 911S leading the Group 8A/P. Third place and second in 8A/P was the last car on the lead lap driven by Todd Treffert in a 1973 Porsche 911RS. A 1972 Porsche 911 driven by Nort Northam and Ron Zitza took third in 8A/P a lap down. A driver from back in the IMSA days, Pete Halsmer, started the Ford Lotus Cortina then handed it over to owner Don Heth who eventually finished 28th completing 28 laps. Pete started out his racing a Ford Cortina that lead to his successful racing career and when this opportunity arose to drive a similar car to the one he loved, he jumped on it.

For the Group 7B / 11Race-Cars.com Sprint Race 1 the crowd witnessed Andy Wallace win a spirited battle with his white 2005 Audi R8 at an average speed of 105.728 mph against George Robinson piloting his 2007 Lola Judd finishing back by a mere 0.315 seconds. However, George had the upper hand on fastest lap with a time of 1:19.718 at108.382 mph during the Group 7B / 11 combined Race-Cars.com Sprint Race 1. Travis Engen drove the silver 2005 Audi R8 LMP to third.

Sunday looked like rain and then cleared out. Sunshine and warm temperatures arrived as the cars shows packed the infield and the racing did the same for the viewing mounts with spectators for the Historic Enduro. Jack Baldwin shared the wheel of the Porsche Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman S with co-driver Bob Schneider for second place in class. Then the car was DQ'd for not making the required two pit stops. George Robinson had a guest co-driver in none other than Guy Cosmo for the 2007 Lola Judd and turned the tables on Andy Wallace and Doug Smith from Saturday but this time the margin of victory was over a minute. George Robinson even set the fastest race lap with a time of 1:17.759 at 111.113 mph. Again, in third was Travis Engen drove the silver 2005 Audi R8 LMP.

Doc Bundy loves to drive his1964 Lotus 23B, for the balance and the ability to oversteer or understeer per his input. The result was a win in the Group 5 Race-Cars.com Sprint Race 2 on Sunday with a seventh overall position in 5 F/M and his closest rival, Bill Luken in a similar Lotus 23B, trailing by a great distance. Third went to Graham Adelman in yet another Lotus 23, minus the B.

The large Group 8 field was lead to the checkers by Todd Treffert in a 1973 Porsche 911RS followed by Tom Briest in a Porsche 914/6, despite setting the fastest lap of the race, and James Fuerstenberg in a 1972 MGB. The margin of victory was only 0.559 seconds. Bob Leitzinger and the1969 Datsun 510 finished first in class and fifth overall in the Group 8 Race-Cars.com Sprint Race 2 on Sunday.

For the Historic Formula Feature Race Michael Snowdon in a 1971 GRD 272 F-2 squeaked out a victory by 0.349 seconds over Phil Harris in his 1979 March 79B after 13 laps. Third place was Stevie Hynes, also in a 1979 March 79B, followed by David Porter and Travis Engen. Peter McLaughlin had his day cut short running only four laps in the Ralt RT4
The top five were all on the lead lap.

Next up on the SVRA calendar is the Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix at Watkins Glen on September 9-11, 2011. Watkins Glen is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Grand Prix held on the famed track back on October 8, 1961. The raced marked the first win by Lotus and the only Grand Prix win by Innes Ireland.

With the Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen in town that Friday, it will sure be a major gathering for cars and spectators all weekend. Many historic cars will be on display lining Franklin Street prior to touring the original 6.6 miles street course that ran its first event on October 2, 1948. It was the first post-World War II road race in the U.S.

Galleries

1963 Lotus 23B  
1963 Merlyn MK6A  
1967 Brabham BT21  
1967 Ford GT40  
1968 Brabham BT21  
1969 Brabham BT29  
1970 Brabham BT29  
1970 Chevron B17B  
1970 Lola T200  
1970 Titan MK6  
1972 Crossle 20F  
1972 GRD 272 F2  
1972 Royale RP-16  
1978 March 78B  
1979 March 79B  
2001 Lola T97/20  

1955 Porsche 356  
1956 Lotus Eleven  
1957 Devin SS  
1957 MG MGA  
1958 Austin-Healey Sprite  
1958 Echidna Racing Special  
1958 Jaguar XK150  
1958 Porsche 356A  
1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT  
1959 Austin-Healey Sprite Mark I  
1959 Bocar XP-5  
1959 Devin DeMar MKII Special  
1959 Elva Mark IV  
1959 Lotus Fifteen  
1959 MG MGA  
1959 Porsche 356A  
1960 Elva 200  
1960 Porsche 356B  
1961 Lotus Seven  
1961 MG MGA 1600 MKI  
1961 Porsche 356B  
1961 Triumph TR3A  
1962 Austin-Healey Sprite  
1962 Lotus Super Seven  
1962 Triumph Spitfire MKI  
1964 Cooper Monaco  
1964 Elva Courier MKIV  
1964 Porsche 356  
1965 Beach MK4  
1965 Turner Mark III  
1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTV  
1966 Chevrolet Corvair Yenko Stinger  
1966 Ford Anglia  
1966 Jaguar XKE E-Type  
1966 Lotus Cortina MKI  
1966 MG Midget MkII  
1966 Sunbeam Alpine  
1966 Sunbeam Tiger Mark IA  
1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto 1600  
1967 Porsche 912  
1968 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA Jr.  
1968 Datsun 2000  
1968 Porsche 912  
1970 Brabham BT29  
1970 Porsche 914/6  
1970 Titan MK6  
1970 Triumph TR6  
1971 Porsche 914/4  
1972 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce  
1972 Lotus Seven  
2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra  

1956 Lotus Eleven  
1957 Devin SS  
1957 MG MGA  
1958 Austin-Healey Sprite  
1958 Echidna Racing Special  
1958 Jaguar XK150  
1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta  
1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT  
1959 Austin-Healey Sprite Mark I  
1959 Bocar XP-5  
1959 Devin DeMar MKII Special  
1959 Elva Mark IV  
1959 Lotus Fifteen  
1959 MG MGA  
1959 Turner MKI  
1960 Elva 200  
1961 MG MGA 1600 MKI  
1962 Austin-Healey Sprite  
1962 Lotus Super Seven  
1962 Triumph Spitfire MKI  
1965 Beach MK4  
1966 Ford Anglia  
1966 Jaguar XKE E-Type  
1966 MG Midget MkII  
1968 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA Jr.  
1973 MG Midget MKIII  

1961 LaBoa Cox Corvair Special  
1962 Lotus 23B  
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  
1963 Lotus 23B  
1964 Cooper Monaco  
1964 Lotus 23B  
1967 Ford GT40  

1963 Shelby Cobra 289  
1964 Chevrolet Corvette C2  
1964 Ford Falcon  
1965 Chevrolet Corvette C2  
1967 Chevrolet Camaro  
1968 Pontiac Firebird  
1969 Chevrolet Camaro  
1969 Chevrolet Corvette C3  
1970 Chevrolet Camaro  
1970 Porsche 914/6  
1971 Jaguar XKE E-Type  
1971 Porsche 914/6  
1972 Chevrolet Corvette C3  
1974 Porsche Carrera RSR 3.0  
1981 Furey MKII  
1985 Chevrolet Camaro  
2006 Ford Fusion  

1981 Tiga SC81  
1983 Tiga SC83  
1985 Lola T598  
1985 Lola T86/90  
1985 Swift DB2  
1986 Swift DB2  

1955 Porsche 356  
1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta  
1961 Porsche 356B  
1963 Lotus Super Seven  
1963 Merlyn MK6A  
1964 Porsche 356  
1965 Beach MK4  
1965 Ginetta G4  
1966 Ford GT40  
1966 Ginetta G4  
1966 Porsche 906E  
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia  
1967 Ginetta G4  
1967 Porsche 911  
1967 Porsche 911S  
1969 Datsun 510  
1969 Porsche 911  
1969 Porsche 911S  
1969 TVR Tuscan  
1970 Porsche 911T  
1970 Porsche 914/4  
1970 Porsche 914/6  
1971 Alfa Romeo GTV Veloce 1750  
1971 Porsche 911  
1971 Porsche 914/6  
1972 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV  
1972 Alfa Romeo Berlina 2000  
1972 BMW 2002  
1972 MG MGB GT  
1972 Porsche 911  
1972 Triumph TR6  
1973 Porsche 911 RS Carrera  
1974 Alfa Romeo GT Veloce 2000  
1974 BMW 2002  
1974 Ginetta G15  
1975 BMW 2002  
1981 Datsun 280ZX  
1986 Porsche 944  
1987 Porsche 944  
1998 Ford Mustang  

1972 GRD 272 F2  
1978 March 78B  
1979 March 79B  

1992 Porsche 911 Carrera  
2006 Chevrolet Corvette  
2006 Volkswagen Jetta  
2009 Porsche Cayman  
2010 Porsche Cayman  
2011 Porsche Cayman  

1969 Lola T70 MK IIIB  
1972 Chevron B21  
1975 TOJ 205C  
1976 Chevron B36  
1981 March 817 Can Am  
1989 Ford Mustang  
1995 Ford Mustang  
2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra  
2004 Audi R8  

1967 Porsche 911S  
1989 Ford Mustang  
1995 Ford Mustang  
2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra  
2004 Audi R8  

1972 GRD 272 F2  
1978 March 78B  
1979 March 79B  
1997 Lola T97/20  
2001 Lola T97/20  

1934 BSA TW 34  
1959 Austin-Healey 3000 MK I  
1961 Austin-Healey 3000  
1961 Morgan 4/4  
1962 Porsche 356B  
1965 Austin-Healey 3000  
1965 Chevrolet Corvette C2  
1966 Sunbeam Tiger Mark IA  
1967 Austin-Healey 3000 MK III  
1967 Porsche 912  
1967 Sunbeam Alpine  
1968 Ford Mustang  
1968 Saab Sonett II  
1968 Triumph GT6  
1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 GT Veloce  
1969 Datsun 510  
1969 Sunbeam Alpine GT  
1970 Fiat 124  
1970 Volkswagen Beetle  
1971 Triumph TR6  
1972 Datsun 240Z  
1973 Jaguar XJ6  
1973 MG B  
1973 Volvo 1800 ES  
1974 Lotus Europa  
1974 MG MGB MKIII  
1975 Alfa Romeo Alfetta  
1976 BMW 2002  
1979 MG MGB MKIV  
1979 Triumph TR7  
1980 Fiat 124 Spider 2000  
1981 Lancia Zagato  
1982 Fiat Spider 2000  
1983 Porsche 928S  
1984 Porsche 911  
1985 BMW M6  
1986 Alfa Romeo Spider Graduate  
1987 Porsche 944  
1988 Porsche 944  
1989 Jaguar XJ-S  
1991 Mazda Miata  
1992 Acura NSX  
1994 Nissan 300ZX  
2000 Porsche Boxster  
2001 Audi TT  
2002 Ford Mustang  
2003 Jaguar XKR  
2004 Ford Mustang  
2005 Ford Mustang  
2005 Mazda MX-5 Miata  
2006 Honda S2000  
2009 BMW Z4  
2011 Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX Experimental Electric  
2012 Porsche Cayman  
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