Living Legends: Sonoma Historics ready for new era

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The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival opens May 28-31 at Sonoma Raceway, marking the first time the event will be operated by the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (“SVRA”).  In late 2014, SVRA merged with General Racing (Steve Earle), founder of the famed Monterey Historics. With Earle having moved his event from Monterey to Sonoma six years ago, Sonoma now stands on its own as an event on the historic racing calendar.  Hopefully, SVRA’s size and market share will allow the event to continue to grow.  As part of its “gold medallion” celebration, SVRA plans to focus on cars that are presented as-raced.

Allard will be the featured marque for this year’s invitation-only event.  Just mentioning “Allard” evokes the great Bill Pollack and his fabled wins at Pebble Beach in 1951 and 1952.  Fitted with a massive Cadillac engine, Pollack’s Allard managed to beat fellow Californian and future F1 champion Phil Hill.  Bill is celebrating his 90th birthday this summer, a true legend among road racers in California.

Best in Show – the 2014 Ecurie

Here, in no particular order, are 10 of the most visually compelling cars that I photographed in 2014.

1. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testarossa, CSRG Sonoma Opener

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2. 1967 McLaren M6B, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival

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3. Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype, Tudor United Sports Car Championship

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4. Corvette C7.R, GTLM Class, Tudor United Sports Car Championship

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5. 1970 Porsche 917, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival

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6. 1965 Holman-Moody NASCAR Ford Galaxie, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival

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7. 1972 Can-Am Shadow DN2, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival

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8. Krohn Racing 458 Italia, GTLM class,Tudor United Sports Car Championship

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9. Pirelli World Challenge Bentley Continental GT

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10. 1954 Ferrari 750 Monza Spyder, CSRG Sonoma Opener

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Spring fling at Sonoma

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I’m forever grateful to the dedicated men and women who keep historic race cars running.  Not content merely to polish and preserve, these owners aren’t afraid to let their cars get dirty (like the lovely Lotus 11, above).  The historic season starts at Sonoma this weekend with the opening round of the Classic Sports Racing Group. Members of the CSRG take over the twisty wine country circuit for two days, racing on Saturday and Sunday with an amazing field of machines ranging from 1950s sports cars to disco-era single-seat formula cars.

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