SVRA overcomes disruption on July 24-26 as Corvettes win Group 5 and Group 10 at Watkins Glen
Track re-paving disrupted the Glenora US Vintage Grand Prix re-scheduled this year on July 24-26 at Watkins Glen. Normally the USVGP is “a happening” in early September where big crowds gather at the birthplace of sports car racing in the US.
In addition to the date change, racers were relegated to the 2.4 mile “Short Course”. For the first time in memory the section known as “the boot” was closed off to sports car racers after the USCR Sahlen’s 6 Hrs at the Glen. Given the above and with less than a week to prepare after the big time HAWK at Road America, entries were off by about 60%. (The entire track was officially closed following the NASCAR Cheeze-it 355 on Aug 9).
Ron Ramsey and his # 13 C2 Corvette was not to be stopped. He raced at both circuits on consecutive weekends, ably assisted by his wife Laureen; and also took part in the road tour (see below).
In lieu of the Franklin Street festivities and the 6.6 mile race re-enactment, SVRA, track and town officials organized a police-escorted 18 mile road tour down highway 414 to the Corning Museum for a first class reception and glass blowing exhibition that exceeded expectations.
Ken Mennella, # 000 Grand Sport Replica won group 5 over the always fast Lotus 23 of Travis Engen.
Jeff Bernatovich # 90 driving his maxed out C4 tube frame GT1 is usually a sure bet to win group 10 which he did.
Ray Zisa # 4 in his very historic ex Kim Baker C4 World Challenge won his class in group 10
Bob Lima # 33 came close to winning group 6 in his big block C3 vs the favored Boss 302 Cobra Automotive Mustang of Curt Vogt and the ultra-light Donovan Motors E-Jags of Art Hebert & Jack Busch.
Bernie Chodosh # 59, a Brit, drove possibly the wildest most tricked out straight axle Corvette set up for road racing. Except for the frame & driveline it is built and equipped more along the lines of a C2 or C3 race car. The organizers took an open view and allowed Bernie and Simon Lane coming from afar to race the car in both groups 5 and 6 where they performed quite well.
Photos thanks to Jeff Schneeberger, Turn 6 Photos and processing by Wayne Ellwood