Lodging Planner for Lake Tahoe Weekend Run - May 18 - 19, 2024

Saturday and Sunday overnight run to South Lake Tahoe. Enjoy the backroads, less traveled, and even more scenic than your usual run up the f...

Reasons To Join The MINI Invasion On June 2, 2012

NorCal MINIs and Redwood Empire MINI Enthusiasts have coordinated a MINI Corral in the prime race view location and parade laps for each day of the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival. We want all MINIs and Minis to JOIN THE INVASION.

If a parade lap and expensive historic cars racing on Sonoma Raceway aren't enough for you maybe what Autoweek says will get you out there in your MINI/Mini:
The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, the third-annual event under that title, returns to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on June 2-3. The event this year is titled, “Moments in Time: a Celebration of the History of Motorsports.”

The 26th-annual historic-car event organized by General Racing Ltd. in Sonoma will focus on highlights of the 1950s, '60s, '70s and '80s—the eras in which auto racing began to cement its status as a world-class spectator sport. In addition, 400 historic race cars will compete and parade around the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course, including a number of significant cars ranging from a 1911 National Indy 500 racer to a 1991 Roush IMSA GTO Mustang.

“Our plan for the third-annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival is to celebrate the important ‘moments in time' from the sport and the cars that defined each era,” said Steve Earle, president of General Racing Ltd., who has organized premier historic-car events for four decades.

Earle started the Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca that ran in conjunction with the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

“Our focus, as always, will be to bring the history of the sport to the attention of automotive enthusiasts, new and old, with the display of a number of important cars and the presence of personalities from specific events during those periods. This year, these will include the winning driver of the 1952 Golden Gate Park Races, and the winning car from the 24 Hours of Le Mans that same year.

“The theme will also focus on the emergence of GT cars, rather than Prototypes, as contenders for the 1962 FIA World Manufacturers Championship, the introduction of Group C sports cars and the dominating Porsche 956 of 1982,” Earle added.

“It's a little known fact that the city of San Francisco and its world-famous park was a gracious host in the early '50s to a number of SCCA racing events, and we'd like to take people back to those amazing days when a major U.S. city and a fledgling sports-car club joined together to entertain the public with exciting racing action.”

Cars considered significant in each era include:

1952: Allard J2-Cadillac (Golden Gate winner), Mercedes-Benz W194 (24 Hours of Le Mans winner)

1962: Ferrari GTO (introduced that year), the birth of the Cobra and the introduction of the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

1972: Racing prototypes (Ferrari 312, Matra, e.g.) in the World Sports Car Championships

1982: Group C, the Porsche 956 introduced

Fifteen race groups will compete on Saturday and Sunday, while the weekend will also include the popular Wine Country Pavilion, with samplings of fine foods and wines from the Sonoma and Napa valleys.

The paddock will be open to spectators, allowing everyone an opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal look at the race cars and various car corrals throughout the raceway.

The weekend also will include the Historic Race Car Festival in the Sonoma Plaza on Saturday evening, benefiting Speedway Children's Charities.