CSRG 2016 David Love Memorial Vintage Races

CSRG events are always great fun, because they lack some of the intense scrutiny and crowd action that you see in Monterey later in the year. CSRG cars are raced hard (but fairly), and I enjoy listening to the owners talk about the long journey many of these cars have made from factory birth to vintage racer. The David Love Memorial Vintage Races at Race Sonoma honor the late vintage racer who was a passionate Ferrari enthusiast.

Below: 1966 Alfa Romeo GTA (Auto Delta); SCCA Formula A/B lineup; 1967 Alfa raced by Nanni Galli; Morgan Plus 4; 1958 Devin SS; Ferrari Lusso; 1967 Porsche 911 TR; 1981 March 821 F1 car; 1962 Lola Mk.5; and, 1962 Lotus 22 FJ.

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Bell bottoms, big tires – F1 in the early 1970s

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As a child of the Seventies, I’m still fascinated by F1 cars of the early part of the decade. Cars like the 1973 McLaren M23 (above and below), decked out in Yardley’s classic livery or Chesterfield branding (in red, below).

Elf brought French blue to the 1970 March 701 (third below), which Tyrrell raced briefly while the team set out to build its first car (in secret!). Like a lot of you, I first heard Jackie Stewart’s voice on ABC’s broadcast of the Indy 500. My respect for Jackie led to an abiding love for Tyrrell and his non-corporate approach to F1.

The 1970 Ferrari 312 (bottom) was fast, with three wins in the hands of Jacky Ickx, but it couldn’t take the title from Lotus. All of these cars were designed at the dawn of the “aero” era, and they don’t look as if they were designed by a computer based on wind tunnel metrics. Think of bell bottoms, Ray Bans, fat rear tires, and wide-open racing. And the drivers: three-time world champion Stewart, six-time Le Mans winner Ickx, and the dashing, doomed Revson.

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Tyrell 007 as driven by Jody Scheckter:

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CSRG at Sonoma: Feeling the Love

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David Love raced historics with vigor and enthusiasm, and when he lost his battle with Parkinson’s disease, the vintage racing world mourned. The Classic Sports Racing Group dedicated its spring Sonoma race to Love, who was instrumental in forming the CSRG in the late 1960s. Reflecting Love’s passion for Ferrari, each car entered in the event bore a prancing horse on its flanks, “racing with Dave” one last time.

Love’s own 1957 250 Testarossa was a centerpiece in the garage.  Love raced it with gusto in historic events throughout California, after an earlier career as an SCCA racer.  At the Sonoma opener, the 250 continued to draw a steady stream of admirers despite being parked next to Tyrrell and Lotus F1 cars. Stop back for more photos from the CSRG opener in the coming days.

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