The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) is the largest and one of the oldest Vintage racing organizations in the United States. The association has evolved since it was founded in 1978 by Ford Heacock III. It was originally called the Southeast Vintage Racing Association with a membership of approximately 25 drivers and supporters. Today, the organization host events for over 2,500 licensed competitors.

Race weekends are held throughout North America. The SVRA visits Sebring International Raceway, Road Atlanta, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Circuit of the Americas, Road America, Sonoma Raceway, Watkins Glen International, Auto Club Speedway and Virginia International Raceway. But their best-subscribed event is at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

To accommodate the wide range of vehicles owned by members of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Assocation, there are twelve race groups.

  • Group 1 – is for small displacement production sports cars and sedans such as the Mini Cooper and MG Midget.
  • Group 2 – this group is for pre-1973 Formula cars conforming to the association’s classic formula car rules.
  • Group 3 - sports cars and sedans manufactured prior to 1972 compete in this class.
  • Group 4 – sports cars built before 1960, such as ‘specials’ and sports cars with a limited production run, participate in this group.
  • Group 5 – this category was created for small-bore World Sports Car Championship and prototypes that were raced between 1960 and 1972 but also includes Sports 2000 cars, Spec Racer Fords and World Sports Racers.
  • Group 6 – Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs and other selected big-bore production sports cars and sedans built up to and including 1972 are in Group 6.
  • Group 7 – this class accommodates a wide range of cars referred to as sports racers - World Championship of Makes sports cars on slicks, under 2 Liter sports cars as raced after 1972, Can Am cars as raced after 1967 and center-seat Can Am cars. Also, cars that competed in the Sports Car Club of America’s A and B Sports Racer classes are eligible.
  • Group 8 - Sports cars and sedans manufactured before 1979 are placed in this division.
  • Group 9 – this group is for the quickest open-wheel cars. It includes Indy Lights, Formula 1, Formula 5000, Formula Atlantic and Super Vees.
  • Group 10 – this is an exciting category that includes everything from NASCAR Cup and Busch Series stock cars to Trans-Am and production-based cars that raced from 1999 to 5 years from today’s date.
  • Group 11 – in this class are sports racer machinery that raced from 1981 to 5-years from today’s date. The cars are very quick and previously competed in GTP/Group C, American Le Mans Series, Professional Sports Car Racing, World Sports Car and Grand Am prototype classes.
  • Group 12 – this division accepts GT sports cars and sedans raced between 1973 and 5 years before today’s date. These are Production-based cars such as Motorola Cup or any other stock / prepared racing series.

Across these very different race groups, the objective is to provide – safe, fair and fun competition for drivers, crews and fans.

The eleventh race weekend of the 2019 SVRA season was conducted at Watkins Glen International. The weekend included two races for each group, as well as an International GT event and the Trans Am series.

Competing in Group 9 was this Lola T-332. The car is chassis number HU56 and is painted in the original Boraxo livery as campaigned by Car Hass Racing in 1976. The 5.0-liter Chevrolet-powered Lola was originally driven by Brian Redman. That year, Redman won the F5000 championship. The current driver is Rick Parsons. Parsons won his class both days and finished fifth overall on Saturday and Sunday.
This is a 1965 Maserati TIPO 151. Production of TIPO 151 began in 1962. The car uses a tube frame chassis with an independent front end and a de Dion rear axle. The TIPO 151 was initially fitted with a 4.0-liter V8 engine – this model is equipped with a 4.7-liter motor and four-down draft two-barrel Weber carburetors. Driver, Charles Schwiner swept the 4CM category this weekend.
Ron Myska traveled for Grant Pass, Oregon and captured the 10SC1 class victory on Saturday and finished second the next day. Myska was driving the No. 98 1969 Ford Torino Talladega. Named after the Talladega Superspeedway, it was Ford’s aerodynamic response to the Plymouth Superbird that was produced by Chrysler for NASCAR competition. Based on the Ford Torino, only 754 of these specialty models were constructed.
Designed by Colin Chapman, the Lotus 11 was made from 1956 to 1958. This model was built with a tube frame chassis, which was often fitted with a Coventry Climax engine of various displacements. Timothy Scopes’ Lotus 11 was manufactured in 1957 and is equipped with a 1,270-cc engine. Scopes’ car was categorized in the 4FM2 class. He finished in the runner-up position both days.
This is one of two Triumph TR8 prepared by Huffaker Engineering to contest the 1980 SCCA National C Production championship. The Triumph was driven initially by Lee Mueller. The car is powered by a Triumph TR8 3.5-liter V8, which produces over 300-horsepower. Since the car was campaigned by Huffaker, it has been owned by several different individuals – it currently belongs to Curt and Debbie Johnston.
Group 2 for pre-1973 Formula cars was dominated by Joel Quadracci and Travis Engen, who battled for the overall victory. Engen drove the No. 1 Chevron which, was built in 1970. The No. 44 Brabham BT29 was piloted by Quadracci. In the first race of the weekend, Engen beat Quadracci by a narrow margin. On Sunday, it was another close contest with Quadracci getting the ‘upper hand.’
Travis Engen, the former president and CEO of Rio Tinto Alcan, hasn’t let retirement slow him down. Engen competed in four different race groups. The fastest car, he drove all weekend was this 2005 Audi R8 LMP1. In 2005, the 3.6-liter twin-turbo V8 won seven of the ten American Le Mans Series events and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Engen captured the overall and 11GTP2 class victories both days.
The Ferrari 365GTB4 was built from 1968 to 1973, with a production run of 1,284 units. The powertrain in this Ferrari is a 4.4-liter V12 engine fitted with six 40-mm Weber carburetors, which produces approximately 350-horsepower. Coupled to the motor is a five-speed manual transmission. The No. 71 365GTB4 was entered and driven by Canadian, Vito Bigioni. It competed in the 8NC class.
Devin Enterprises was founded by Bill Devin and operated from 1955 to 1964. This particular Devin is called the Ryan Special and was built in 1957. It was driven by Peter Ryan, an American who had a successful racing career in Canada before moving to Europe. The car is powered by a V8 and the suspension are from a 1957 Jaguar MKI with disc brakes. The current owner is Robert Bodin.
Kermit Upton was one of many drivers participating at Watkins Glen that had a successful professional racing career before entering the vintage scene. Upton was a regular in the SCCA’s World Challenge series and campaigned BMWs from 1990 to 1999. In 1995, he finished third in the TC championship and moved to the T1 category the following year, where he was third. Upton currently competes in a BMW 2002.
Connecticut’s, Jack Busch is always one of the top contenders in the GT1 class at the Sports Car Club of America’s National Championship. Busch’s record includes three podium finishes – two of which were in an Oldsmobile Cutlass and the most current in a Ford Mustang. In the SVRA events, he races a 4.2-liter Jaguar XKE in the 6BP category and was victorious in both contests at Watkins Glen International.
Hobart Buppert drove this Lola T70 and competed in class 7CA1. The T70 was built in the 60s and there were three versions – MKII Spyder (very popular in the Can Am series), the MKIII Coupe (used for long-distance races) and the MKIIIB (which was an updated coupe). This is a Lola T70 MKIIIB and is a continuation car with the chassis number HU76/161. Buppert won his category on Saturday and Sunday.
Racing this Crossle Formula Ford was Dennis Firestone. In 1976, Firestone won the Sports Car Club of America’s National Formula Ford championship, driving a Crossle 30F. He graduated to the USAC Mini-Indy Series in 1978 and captured the title the following year. Firestone moved to the Indycar Series in 1979 and competed until 1987 when he was forced to retire after breaking his neck at Indianapolis.
The Lotus 23 was another successful design for Colin Chapman. Over 130 of these sport racer models were produced from 1962 to 1963. The tube-frame chassis could accommodate a wide range of engines – 742-cc Coventry Climax to a 1,594 Cosworth Twin Cam. At Watkins Glen, Doc Bundy in the No. 24 Lotus and No. 1 of Travis Engen battled for 5FM class honours. Bundy won the first race and Engen took the victory on Sunday.
This is a reproduction of the 1957 Ford Battlebird. The original Battlebirds, of which there were two, were built by Indianapolis 500 winner, Peter de Paolo, to challenge the Chevrolet Corvettes. The car at Watkins Glen International belongs to former Trans Am and IMSA competitor, Dan Furey. Based on the Thunderbird, Furey’s Battlebird is powered by a four-barrel Holman-Moody V8 Y-block.
This beautiful Chevrolet Corvette was raced by Peter Klutt. The Corvette is powered by a big block engine and regularly wins the SVRA’s 6AP category. Canadian, Klutt owns Legendary Motorcar, which specializes in buying, selling and restoring rare classic, muscle and vintage cars. He has been are regular on the Canadian sports car scene and also competes in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
This Chevrolet-powered Doran JE4 has an impressive racing history and continues to be driven by its original owner, Forest Barber. In 2003, Terry Borcheller, with the help of Barber, won the Grand Am Daytona Prototype Driver’s Championship. The following year, he teamed up with Borcheller, Christian Fittipaldi and Andy Pilgrim to capture the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.
One of the many drivers making the long trek to Watkins Glen International was California resident, Doug Schultz. Schultz entered this 1969 Dodge Daytona, which is equipped with a Hemi engine. Only seventy models were produced with this powerplant. Before being replaced by the Plymouth Superbird in 1970, the Daytona was the first car in NASCAR history to break the 200-mph on a closed circuit.
British manufacturer, Marcos was founded in 1959 by Jem Marsh and Frank Costin. The company suffered through financial struggles and ‘changed hands’ many times before closing in 2007. Despite their troubles, they produced some good cars. Richard Brown entered this 1967 Marcos GT. The vehicle is powered by a 1.8-liter Volvo engine. The Marcos also has an independent front suspension and de Dion rear axle.
This Elva MK7S was driven by Mitchell Eitel and competed in the SVRA’s 5FM category. Fred Nichols started Elva Engineering in 1955 with the company ceasing operations in 1968. The companies unique name comes from the French expression ‘Elle va’ which translates to ‘She goes’ in English. Sixty-nine MK7S were produced between 1963 and 1965. They found success on both sides of the Atlantic.
The fastest lap during the weekend was a 1:39.918 set by Lewis Cooper driving a Panoz DP01. Cooper is a successful open-wheel racer who is always a contender at the Runoffs and won the 2011 National Formula Ford championship. The Panoz that he raced this weekend was the spec car for the 2007 Champ Car World Series. This carbon fiber monocoque is fitted with a 2.65-liter turbocharged engine that produces 750-horsepower.
Sean Brown was the class of the field in Group 8 and 12b – winning overall both days. Brown drove a 1975 Ford Escort RS MKI with a 2.0-liter engine. The Escort is rear-wheel drive with a manual transmission. MacPherson struts are used on the front suspension and in the rear, a live axle is mounted on leaf springs. The RS version was a successful rally car, but Brown demonstrated that it is a capable road racer.

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