Irwindale, Calif. - - In what has become a eagerly-anticipated annual event, VARA (the Vintage Auto Racing Association) in cooperation with Irwindale Speedway, will stage its 2001 Race Car Technical Inspection & Car Show on the main parking lot of the Speedway from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 13. The special automotive event is open to the public at no charge for either parking or admission.

"If you love old racing cars, be sure to be at Irwindale Speedway on the 13th," advised VARA event chairman Todd Gerstenberger. "Not only will you see something like 150 vintage racing cars; but fans will be able to talk to the owner/drivers about these fascinating machines, ask them how they located them, restored them, and how they feel to race. It's really a terrific opportunity to get a personalized close-up look behind the scenes in vintage racing. It becomes a true car show in every sense of the word."

Great veteran competition cars from across the racing spectrum will be on display in a unique setting at Irwindale. VARA's annual technical inspection gives owners the opportunity to have their car inspected for rules compliance prior to the start of the racing season. "It's always been VARA's first car event of the season, this year it will be held on the week after our Annual Membership Meeting, so we know that everyone will be revved-up and raring to get the season started off at Annual Tech," said Gerstenberger.

To name but a few of the "marques" and types of competition cars that fans might see at Irwindale on January 13: Lotus, Corvette, Mg, Porsche, Genie, Morgan, Devin, Mallock, Caldwell, RCA, Beach, Cobra, Austin-Healey, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Indy Car, Can-An, Formula 5000, Formula 1, Champ Car, Triumph, Jaguar, Chevy, Shelby, Sprite, Allard, Alfa-Romeo, Elva, Lola, Chevron, Warrior, Turner, Merlyn, Mini-Cooper, Zink, March, Royale, Zeitler, Tecno, Ford, Titan, Cooper, Dolphin, Abarth, Tyrell, Maserati, Tojeiro, Ferrari, Ginetta, Lister, Formcar, and even a selection of Veteran Circle Track Racing Cars.

At last year's event VARA also had association members on hand to explain some of the opportunities for involvement for racing aficionados who do not own nor race vintage race cars. "There are always plenty of places where people who love racing to personally 'get in on the act' as well." Gerstenberger indicated. "We have over 100 volunteers per event who run timing and scoring, assist in race control, corner flagging, do check-in, assign pit spaces, control the pre-grid, and many other vital parts of the complicated operation of running a racing competition event weekend."

"There's a job for everyone who wants to be a part of the event and a lot of job satisfaction in every one of them." Volunteer workers get free admission to events as well as a free lunch at the track. They also get a lot of admiration and heartfelt thanks from the drivers and race crews after the races.

VARA's first on-track event of the 2001 racing year will be held on February 3 and 4 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park near Bakersfield. After that it will run a total of seven West Coast vintage racing events at tracks in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and a yet-to-be-named site in the Inland Empire.

Irwindale Speedway will kick off its 2001 season early with the first-ever west coast American Speed Association (ASA) Stock Car race on March 10. From there on its full speed ahead with 38 nights (all Saturdays but for the last one) of action-packed family-friendly short track racing. The Speedway is located on Live Oak Avenue just West of the 605 Freeway in Irwindale, California only 15 miles East of downtown Los Angeles.