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18th Annual Vintage Celebration

From Friday, May 16 to Sunday, May 18, the 1.6 mile road course at NHMS will challenge veteran competitors from the world of road racing. The action will be friendly, but fierce as these vintage sports cars, formula cars, and motorcycles compete for bragging rights.

We had a great time at the races at NHMS.  Here are some pictures of Chris in his car and a short video clip of him racing.  Click to make the pictures larger.






Fantasy Motorcars Attends Vintage Races at Watkins Glen

On October 19th and 20th 2007, the Vintage Racers Group held their first annual VRG at "The Glen" event featuring two full days of practicing, qualifying and racing.

Watkins Glen is an ideal track steeped in history. Nestled in the fingerlakes region of upstate New York, it's 3.4 mile course is ideal for big bore cars such as Corvettes, Mustangs and Camaros to "air out" but is equally as fun and challenging for just about any other type of race car. It is for this reason that even though the forecast called for wet weather, we decide to pack up our 1964 B Production Corvette and make the trip.

The event drew over 121 cars separated into 4 race groups. Group 1 consisted of pre 1960 production and sports racing cars under 2 litres. Group 2 was pre 1972 small bore production cars. Group 3 was the big bore "Ground Pounders" and Group 4 were the open wheel cars.

Thursday night was spent unpacking and getting the car through tech. Since everyone else had the same agenda, tech was swamped and it took almost 2 hours to finally get inspected. After close scrutiny, the Corvette received its long awaited tech sticker and was ready to go racing.

Practice and Qualifying

Friday morning's weather was less than ideal. It had rained the night before and the skies continued their threat. The first practice for group 3 was set for 10:00am and the morning was spent completing final checks on the Corvette. The first practice proved uneventful and the Corvette performed well however, it was clear that traction was going to be an issue with the wet weather. The next practice session at 1:00pm saw an intermittent rain that made for some interesting moments as the tires fought for grip. At 3:10pm, the group 3 qualifying race was held and during the pace lap, the skies absolutely opened up! I was only able to complete one lap before having to retire to the pits with a fogged over windshield and significant puddles on the floorboards. Fortunately, the race was red flagged and rescheduled for Saturday morning. The rest of the day was spent trying to dry out the car... and myself.

RACE DAY

Saturday morning offered some hope with the sun beginning to peak through the clouds. Decision time, should I stick with the Hoosier tires that are more suited to the wet track conditions or switch to the Goodyears that are much more sticky but don't work well in the wet. I decided to make the switch and set to work changing all four tires. Warm up and qualifying was scheduled for 9:20a and fortunately, the track stayed dry. Once on the track, the new tires proved very effective and I was able to turn lap times that were some of the fastest of the weekend (for me) and qualified 8th.

The Feature race was set to start at 2:50pm and run for 45 minutes. However, there was a twist. At least one timed lap had to be longer than 9 minutes or you were disqualified. This meant some strategy with roughly a 6 minute pit stop to be factored in. With a strategy set and a dry track, the race was on! We had a clean start and I was able to gain a couple of positions early. Leading the race was a '68 Camaro Z28, followed by a '63 Elva Mk7, 2 '65 Shelby GT350s then me. The first 3 cars developed a bit of a lead while one of the Shelby's and I battled for 4th place. We went back and forth a few times before it was time to pit. We pitted together and waited the 6 minutes (which seemed like an eternity). The Shelby left the pits in front of me and we resumed the chase. The next lap got a little hairy as we were hit with a light rain but it didn't last. We continued to battle back and forth but when the checkered flag flew, the Shelby was in front. Still, it was an awesome run and I'd argue that the Shelby driver and I probably had the most fun even though neither of us won.

All in all it was a great event with lots of laughs and plenty of track time. We certainly look forward to attending again next year!