Under sunny and warm conditions at the third annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival at the Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., more than 340 historic cars took the checkered flag in 15 groups of racing. Cars ranging from a 1911 National to a cadre of Can-Am cars from the 1960s and ‘70s, as well as the always-nostalgic Trans-Am cars of the same era, treated a strong, enthusiastic crowd to nose-to-tail, door-to-door competition at the 26th annual historic-car event organized by General Racing Ltd. in Sonoma.
This year’s theme was “Moments in Time: a Celebration of the History of Motorsports” and honored event Grand Marshal Bill Pollack, winner of the main event of the 1952 Golden Gate Park Road Races driving a Cadillac-Allard J2. Pollack’s G.M. duties included signing copies of his book, “Red Wheels and White Sidewalls: Confessions of an Allard Racer,” riding in a historic-car parade to the Sonoma Plaza from the track, waving the checkered flag for Group 9 (1946-1955 Sports Racing & Prod) in which the 1949 Jaguar Parkinson Special and 1949 Baldwin Special competed – cars that also raced in the Golden Gate Park Road Races. He also took part in a racing seminar discussing the early days of racing in California, and rode in Bruce McCaw’s 1952 Mercedes-Benz W194, the only Mercedes-Benz to date to win overall in the 24 Hours of LeMans.
Pollack was also on hand to present the Sonoma Historic Cup, “The Phil Hill Trophy,” to Brian Blain of Visalia, Calif., who drove a 1911 National to eighth place in Group 1 (Pre-1941 Sports & Touring Cars).
More than 1000 people per day visited the Wine Country Pavilion in the paddock area, enjoying wines, and local fare from Victor Scargle, executive chef at Lucy Restaurant & Bar at Bardessono in Yountville, Calif.
“We had great weather, safe conditions and everyone had a good time, and that is always our goal,” said Steve Earle, president of General Racing, Ltd., who has organized premier historic car events for four decades. “We are adding new elements to the event each year, as we get familiar with our new home here at the Raceway in Sonoma. This is such an ideal area for car enthusiasts.”
Complete official results will be posted on www.generalracing.com.
Race Winners Today:
Group 1 – Pre-1941 Sports & Touring Cars – Pete Thelander, 1934 MG NE
Group 2 – 1956-1963 Formula Cars – Denny Baker, 1963 Lotus 27 F-Jr.
Group 3 – 1956-1963 Sports Racing Cars – Jeff Abramson, 1966 Lotus 23C
Group 4 – 1963-1973 Grand National Stock – Jim Hague, 1972 Ford Gran Torino
Group 5 – 1955-1962 Production/GT Cars – Jeff Abramson, 1959 Morgan +4
Group 6 – 1962-1966 Prod/GT Cars 2000cc – John McKenna, 1963 Cobra 289
Group 7 – 1982-1991 Hist. IMSA GTO/SCCA – Peter Baljet, 1990 Chevy Beretta
Group 8 – 1925-1941 Racing Cars – Paddins Dowling, 1939 Maserati 4CL
Group 9 – 1946-1955 Sports Racing & Prod – Robert Manson, 1952 Manning Spl.
Group 10 – 1955-1960 Sports Racing Cars – Edward Nigro, 1960 Lola MK1
Group 11 – 1962-1966 Prod/GT Cars 2000cc – Ray Thompson, 1964 Ginetta G-4
Group 12 – 1973-1979 IMSA GT & FIA Cars – Ranson Webster, 1976 Porsche 935 K3
Group 13 – 1966-1974 Historic Can-Am Cars – Wade Carter, 1972 McLaren M8-FP
Group 14 – 1966-1972 Historic Trans-Am Cars – Chad Raynal, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Group 15 – 1971-1982 FIA Sports Racing – Keith Frieser, 1972 Lola 290
2012 Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival Awards
The Sonoma Historic Cup - “The Phil Hill Trophy”
Presented for Best Presentation and Performance Overall
Winner: Brian Blain, Visalia, Calif., 1911 National
The Sonoma Historic Trophy, Pre-1940 Category
Presented for Excellence in Presentation
Winner: Ed Archer, Hayward, Calif., 1915 Ford T
The Sonoma Historic Trophy, Post 1940 Category
Presented for Excellence in Presentation
Winner: Steve Schuler, Capistrano Beach, Calif., 1991 Mustang
The Sonoma Historic Award
Presented for Presentation and Performance in Race Group
Group 1 – Pete Thelander, Westminster, Calif., 1934 MG NE
Group 2 – Jimmy Domingos, Carmel, Calif., 1962 Cooper T-59 F-Jr.
Group 3 – Mike Blackie, Prescott, Ariz., 1964 Genie MK 10
Group 4 – Ron Myska, Benicia, Calif., 1969 Ford Talladega
Group 5 – Bill Lyon, Newport Beach, Calif., 1961 Porsche Abarth
Group 6 – Kristopher Matheson, Meadow Vista, Calif., 1966 Shelby GT 350
Group 7 – John McKenna, Auburn, Wash., 1985 Mercury Capri
Group 8 – Joe Harding, Vista, Calif., 1939 Lagonda V12
Group 9 – Don Martine, Pacific Grove, Calif., 1950 MG TD Von Neumann
Group 10 – Bruce Miller, Alamo, Calif., 1958 Lotus 11 LeMans
Group 11 – Dalmo de Vasconcelos, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 1965 Lotus Elan
Group 12 - Ned Bacon, Minden, Nev., 1975 Porsche RSR
Group 13 - Wade Carter, Woodinville, Wash.,1972 McLaren M8-FP
Group 14 – Mike Eddy, Torrance, Calif., 1969 Mustang Boss 302
Group 15 – Todd Smathers, Pleasanton, Calif., 1973 Lola T-282