The Coolest Grid on the Planet
The inaugural USRRC Tribute Series with CSRG kicked off under beautiful weather at Sonoma Raceway. Race entries tallied 24 for the opening event, the largest number of sports racers in nearly 10 years.
If morning qualifying was any indication of the afternoons main event, we were in for a treat. Sitting on pole in his ex-John Cannon MK10 Genie was Mac McGarry at 1.45.064. Starting beside Mac was the ex- Mario Andretti/Parnelli Jones Lola T-70 of Carl Moore at 1.45.375. Leading the Under 2-liter qualifying was the veteran racer and driver instructor, Troy Tinsley in his SR3 Bobsy at a blistering 1.49.344. Just a tic behind was second year CSRG driver Duke Zander in his Lotus 23b.
The afternoon main event field was flagged off behind the pace car with two drivers not yet in their cars! Seems there was a bit of confusion with race control as David Alvarado and Carl Moore were left behind, both still climbing out of their Formula Fords. Alvarado managed to lose only about six spots from his qualifying position but Moore was left way behind and only caught the back of pack as the green flag waved. McGarry bolted into the lead with Duke Zander in his red Lotus 23 tucked in behind. Behind Zander was Michael Reischl Chevron, Dave Hagan in his Elva MK7 and Mike Summers in his Lotus 23b. By the start of the second lap, McGarry had the tires up to temp on the Genie and started to pull away from Zander. The trailing Reischl, Hagan and Summers began to spread out. Behind Summers was Leland Osborn in his Genie, Jon Rosenthal Lotus 23c, Taylor Fudge, veteran Dave Olson, and the Bobsy of Randy Hill all dicing for position. Robert Davis in his Lotus 23 was picking them off one by one after coming back from a first lap spin.
A bit further back was Arthur Cook Elva MK8, John Grosseto in his newly acquired MK7s Elva and a pair of beautiful Beach race cars driven by Karl Krause and Dennis Losher. Oh, and did I mention Carl Moore? Carl was blasting through the field in his T-70 picking off several cars per lap and closing in on leader McGarry. With two laps to go Moore had passed then entire field and caught up with a “cruising” McGarry making a pass into the lead in Turn 4. Last to first for the Lola T-70. The top ten at the finish was, Moore, McGarry, Zander, Reischl, Hagan, Summers, Osborn, Rosenthal, Fudge and Olson.
Shortly after the race we gathered for a podium ceremony complete with drivers, crews, medals and Champagne. Moore, McGarry and Fudge were the over 2 Liter medalists with Zander, Hagan andSummers the Under 2 Liter winners.
Two special awards were easily decided. Hard Charger Award could only go to Carl Moore who came from last to first in his Lola T-70. The award for Most Beautiful Sports Racer went to Dennis Losher in his Mk4 Beach. What made Losher’s award all the more significant was not only that the little Beach is a beautiful car, but that only six months prior it was nothing more than a bodyless rolling chassis. A complete race car build from scratch in less than six months. That truly is the spirit of vintage racing.