Robert Ristuccia’s Lime Rock Historics

Group4 by Robert Ristuccia

With an amazing array of classic Mercedes Benz GP Cars brought up by the Revs Institute it was already going to be a fantastic weekend. Having Jochen Mass on hand to pilot the W-154 doesn’t hurt either.

Nestled in the Berkshires, Lime Rock has beautiful views from practically any vantage point on the track. Which is good because in addition to an all-around magnificent field, Lime Rock seems to draw an absolutely astounding Pre-War group. It seems that New England has as many Bugattis and pre-war American racing specials on the track as most tracks have 911s or MGs. They draw what is probably the country’s best Pre-War group—and they do it year after year… and that’s just one of the remarkable groups of racers that flock to the weekend to close out every summer.

Friend of the Chicane Robert Ristuccia was in the stands and walking to pits and captured a glorious series of shots of the action.

More of Robert’s vibrant photos of the event (and a bunch of other vintage weekends) at his site: Part 1 and Part 2.

CSRG’s Tremendous Charity Challenge and David Love’s Lonely Testa Rossa

David Love's 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa

This past weekend was the CSRG Charity Challenge race and was by all accounts a resounding success. With near record participation and incredible all-time record attendance by spectators, the event increased their charitable donation to Sonoma Chapter of the Speedway Childrens Charities by more than 40% over last year. Congratulations, CSRG!

Unfortunately, the weekend’s successes coincided with the passing of founding CSRG member David Love. His 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa has been a mainstay of west coast events for decades. The Charity Challenge was no exception. David always believed that the race weekends were about the cars, with the drivers taking a back seat. In a way, it’s beautiful that the car was there. There’s something haunting, though, about this image of the car paddocked for the weekend. It’s as though the car is serving as her own eulogy.

It really says something about David’s commitment to vintage racing that arrangements were made for the car to be a part of the event even though he could not. David’s remarkable spirit that he brought to vintage racing carries on.

More photos from the event below. I’m glad that CSRG’s communications of the event remain celebratory for the fantastic race weekend.

A Weekend in the North Woods

I spent part of Labor Day weekend at Minnesota’s Brainerd International Raceway for their Jack Pines Sprints racing weekend. Fans of CanAm racing will better recognize the Donnybrooke Speedway name as host to several events in 1970-72 where Denny Hulme, Peter Revson, and Francois Cevert took home victories.

The weekend also featured the Muscle Car Shootout on the drag strip that forms part of the main straight in the track’s 3.1 mile configuration. Thankfully, 2009’s addition of a 2.5 mile configuration of the track means that road racing and drag racing can happen at the same time.

This event was also a major personal milestone in that it was my 2-year-old son’s first vintage race weekend. Having him perched on my shoulders for much of the day didn’t make photography any easier, but here are some of the snapshots that I was able to grab in my now standard one-handed-phone-cam-while-steadying-a-squirmy-toddler photographic method.

Wandering back and forth between these two very different motorsport events is a great way to gain a greater appreciation for the variety within out sport. Seeing that there were many spectators trying to follow both the drags and the several road racing events of the weekend makes me realize that there’s less division between race fans than many motorsports outlets would have you believe.

Vintage sportscars on the twisty bits. Vintage Detroit iron on the drags. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday, eh?