The 1954 Jaguar XK120 can be raced at Infineon, or driven on the road. (Dennis Grey photo)
The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival – the new event at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., put on by Steve Earle's General Racing group, formerly involved with the Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca – has announced its selection of 375 cars, from a pool of more than 500 seeking entry. The event takes place over the weekend of June 5-6. Earle, best known for founding the Monterey Historic Races over three decades ago, said he is “gratified” by the quality and quantity of the entry applications.
“I wish that it were possible for us to accept everyone, but our entry numbers are commensurate with the amount of paddock area we have,” said Earle. “The cars are the stars, and when they aren't racing they are easily accessible in this area for the fans who come for that up-close-and-personal experience of inspecting engines, talking with owners or otherwise learning more about the sport and the restoration and maintenance of vintage cars.”
According to Earle, the entries run the gamut between a 1914 Ford and a 1991 Roush Mustang and will be divided by age and engine size into 13 individual groups for competition on Infineon Raceway's 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course. All of the groups will practice on Friday, with the seven "A" Groups taking to the Infineon racecourse on Saturday and the six "B" Groups on Sunday. (Registration and Tech Inspection will take place on Thursday.)
While some historic automobiles leave their garages only for Concours d'Elegance events, the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival is for treasured racing cars that are restored and maintained by owners who enjoy the opportunity to run them on the track. In addition to their racing cars, participants may also bring their period cars in which they will drive to and from the track on a daily basis, adding not only another dimension to their personal enjoyment of the event but also giving passersby the pleasure of seeing rare vehicles traveling the scenic roads of Wine Country.
"To see an Allard on the road is an exciting moment,” said Earle. “The possibility of seeing an Austin-Healey, Bugatti, Hot Rod, Impala, Jaguar XK-120, MG-TC, Packard, Sportsmen or Woody Wagon in this setting would be an enthusiast's dream. Our mission has always been to bring dreams to life and that is why we are encouraging Car Clubs and individuals to drive their cars and join us at Infineon Raceway and on the roads of Sonoma.”
Sonoma Plaza, a National Historic Landmark that is surrounded by a number of historical buildings, will be the setting for the Vintage Race Car Festival on Saturday evening, June 5. The event, which will benefit the Speedway Children's Charities, will combine a wine and food tasting with the opportunity to view 30 vintage vehicles chosen from racecars participating in the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival. The cars will parade from the track to Sonoma Plaza where they will be on public view from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets ($35), for the wine and food tasting, can be obtained from Infineon Raceway or at Sonoma Plaza on the evening of the event. For additional information on the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, visit www.generalracing.com.