Historic Sportscar Racing Has Stellar Season Opener at Sebring
Historic Sportscar Racing's (HSR) season-opener at Sebring International Raceway (SIR) got off to a great start with nearly 200 vintage and classic cars featured in nine classes, competing over three days. Lots of track time and exciting, close racing were part of the weekend far Fourteen feature races, four special challenge races, two 40-minute night races and two three-hour enduros made an excellent weekend of historic car racing. Classes competing included Vintage Production, Historic Production, Open Wheel, Cayman Interseries, Championship of Makes, Historic Stock Cars, IMSA Historic GT, Klub Sport Porsches and Historic GTP/Group C/WSC/DP, along with the Muscle Car Challenge and International/American Challenge.
"We had a great season-opener at Sebring," said Ken Fengler, HSR Vice President of Race Operations. "The competitors raved about the full schedule of racing we had assembled and we couldn't ask for more perfect weather. Everyone really enjoyed their races and there were some tight battles with a lot of excitement. Sebring is such a great venue to open the HSR schedule because the history is very hallowed on this track. Our customers enjoy racing their historic cars and this historic facility. Celebrating our 20th season in 2010 made it even more special."
The Al Holbert Memorial for GTP, WSC, and DP was a highlight event of the weekend. Saturday's race was won by owner/driver George Robinson, in the 2001 Riley & Scott MK111C.
Sunday's 90-minute race was won by Bill Adam and Butch Leitzinger in the Jim Rogers owned 2005 Audi R8 and the overall 3-hour enduro victory went to "Ironman" Travis Engen in a 2005 Audi R8, who drove solo the entire three hours.
"We were lucky enough to win the Rolex HSR Endurance championship two years ago," said Bill Adam, a former IMSA GT winner. "George Robinson won it last year and he has always been our number one competitor. The car is beautifully prepared and he's got a bunch more horsepower than we do. So we have to set our sights really high to beat him and that's what makes it extra special about today is beating him under a real hard, heavy race. We were really close. It's great fun! One of the really nice things about HSR is it is almost like what racing used to be. If anybody needs a part or a tire or a whatever, you go to your main competitor and they say, 'yeah, sure not a problem'. I love that! It's very, very special here. We do the same for George and he would do it for us. That's rare nowadays. There's no cut throat in HSR."
The Cayman Interseries, featuring 2009-2010 Porsche Cayman S cars painted in famous historic Porsche racing paint schemes, had its inaugural race at Sebring. The winning driver of both Saturday and Sunday's feature races was Jim McCormick, of New York, New York, in the No. 44 Martini Porsche-liveried 2009 Porsche Cayman.
The Klub Sport Challenge's inaugural race on Friday, featuring Porsches from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, awarded its first "Circle of Champions Trophy" to Andre Herke, who competed in a 1962 Porsche 356. Sebring's "Circle of Champion" trophy was a rededication of Elliot-Forbes Robinson's Can-Am winning trophy from his 1978 victory at Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, Canada.
The Chiera Foundation hosted kids with cancer at the race and one young child was thrilled with the honor to give the command of "Start Your Engines" to Sunday's Sebring Endurance Challenge 3-hour feature race. The foundation, celebrating its 17th year, raises money to send kids with cancer to R.O.C.K. camp (Reaching Out to Kids with Cancer) in Eustis, Florida and offers cancer survivors college scholarships. HSR has partnered with the Chiera Foundation to raise more than $50,000 over the past few years, sending more than 50 kids to camp.
The next HSR race will be the "MITTY presented by Classic Motorsports Magazine and sponsored by Mazda", celebrating its 34th year, at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia on April 29-May 2. The very popular race weekend will be highlighted with a tribute to Formula 5000 and Peter Brock's BRE heritage of Datsun 240Z's, 510's and Shelby Daytona Coupes with Peter Brock on hand as Grand Marshall.