Story and Photography by Don Rucinski
It must be the economy because it couldn’t have been the weather or the venue. The number of entrants at this year's HSR fall event at Road Atlanta was down substantially from the previous year. However, those that were there put on a great show.
Saturday started off with qualifying, followed in the afternoon with eight lap sprints for all groups. The day wrapped up with a 1 Hour, 15 Min. Enduro for Historic GTP/WSC and Cayman with 26 cars participating. If anyone thought these drivers would pace themselves, forget it. It turned into a 46 lap sprint with the overall winner being Travis Engen in a beautiful and well prepared 05 Audi R8 of ALMS fame. Travis had to come from the back of the field after a late race pit stop (fortunately under yellow) to change a tire.
Sunday morning kicked with more of the same but, this time it was a 1 Hour, 15 Min. event for Vintage/Classic GT with 35 cars joining the fray. The overall winner was Cody Ellsworth in a 72 Porsche 911 ST. The remainder of the day was taken with 10 lap sprints for all classes.
As with all historic events, there are always a few interesting side stories. One concerned the overall winner (but not eligible) of the Sunday morning Enduro was Randy Beck in a beautiful Beck 904, a Porsche 904 replica built by Chuck Beck, http://www.chuckbeck904.com/. Check it out, they are for sale to the public in both street and race configuration.
Also on hand this weekend were Bob Bailey and his son Cannon who co-drove the number 22, a 1968 Porsche Lightweight, one of only 6 built. Purpose built for racing, Bob acquired the car in 1968 and spent the next two plus years racing the car successfully in the TransAm Series. The car was sold to a Canadian in 1970 where it was raced and underwent some modifications and changes, certainly not factory recognized. Some years later it was purchased by a Hollywood producer who had it restored to original condition by a classic car restoration shop in Huntington Beach CA. Bob became aware of the car's location and was in communication with the owner. As the car was ready to go to auction at Pebble Beach in 2010, Bob bought it back and he and his son have been racing it in various historic events. Bob says he is trying to get the car back to all the tracks he competed on back in the days of the TransAm series. Sadly not all the venues still exist.
It is people like Bob and all the other drivers of historic sports cars that keep this sport alive and thriving. As long as there are places to race and events like this weekend, men and women will be willing and able to restore, prepare and race these fabulous machines with so much history behind them.
Well done HSR. Thanks for the hospitality. For more information on this series visit; www.hsrrace.com/