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HSR Watkins Glen Historic Races 2006
at Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen Historic Races 2006

HSR (Historic Sportscar Racing, Ltd.) rolled into Watkins Glen International (WGI) for another round of its vintage auto races this past June 16–18. Officially titled the Watkins Glen Historic Races, well over 200 entrants made the journey to the historic circuit in upstate New York for another busy race weekend festooned with a healthy package of HSR adrenalin–pumping group contests, a trio of Rolex one–hour enduros, a pair of Historic Stock Car races, an Anglo–American Challenge, second round for the B.O.S.S. (Big Open Single Seaters) Super Cup Series and Championship of Makes including the Jo Bonnier 2–Litre match up. Additionally, this year’s edition was to include a Single–Seat Can–Am feature race as well.

Joining HSR once again, were over two dozen entries from VSCCA (Vintage Sports Car Club of America). The inclusion of the club’s period correct mechanicals have not only become a real favorite, but offer racing enthusiasts a great opportunity to see a host of machinery that generally doesn’t dance at HSR events. To name a few of VSCCA’s unique herd of mechanical combatants were a 1959 Ferrari GT, 1957 Maserati 300S and 1959 Tipo 61 “Birdcage.”

Formal contests began with Tim Lewis, Jr.’s march for several wins this weekend, leading the Porsche 914–sweep in the Klub Sport All–Porsche Race which closed out Friday night. Frank Beck and Bill Riddell’s 914s took second and third, respectively.

With summer conditions in full concert, Saturday’s action continued with a full menu of practice and explosive qualifying round–robin sessions, concluding with the stockers Race #1 and the Rolex Vintage Enduro. And while Dale Phelon’s Fingerhut–livered T–Bird outran his fellow tattooed bandits to the checkered, the subsequent prolong battle ended with Tim Lewis, Jr., this time with the aid of enduro–maestro and co–driver, Kevin Wheeler, grabbing his second top podium position. Only two non–Porsche interlopers joined the fray, John Harrold’s Chevron B8 (lasting only two laps) and Darrell Fancher’s Datsun 510. Fancher hung in there for a 16th place finish.

Followed was HSR’s social at Clute Town Park located just outside Watkins Glen proper. Food and drink in hand, the bark of horsepower was nicely substituted by the serene beauty and gentle slapping of the water’s wake along Seneca Lake’s shoreline.

HSR wasted no time getting its gang of diverse warriors up to speed with the combined GT Classic and Historic endurance contestants taking Sunday’s green flag. Tom Sedivy and Thomas Knapp’s Lola T292 held off the hunting pair of newer Trans–Am machines, Donald Soenen and Paul Fix, respectively. Other A.M. races followed with Group 2’s Miles Whitlock (Lola T544), Group 3’s Tim Lewis, Jr., and Group 7/Single Seater Can-Am’s Rick Bell (1979 Prophet Lola T333) awarded top honors. Noteworthy, with only a small contingent of Single–Seater Can–Am entries present, they joined Group 7 (Championship of Makes), hence explaining Bell’s Group 7 win wheeling a Can–Am machine. Joe Blacker, driving his rabid Lola T298, won the Jo Bonnier top prize for 2–liter machines mixed in Group 7, too.

To honor long–time HSR starter, Rodney Williams, whose untimely passing just a few short weeks ago saddened all who knew him, his wife, Susan was given the privilege to start and checker the Anglo–American Challenge. Peter Klutt took the win wheeling his #42 Corvette. During the previous evening, Susan also presented the Corner Workers’ Award (a signed checkered flag–––an idea initially created by Rodney) to VSCCA’s Scott Ebert (1939 Dreyer–Ford Sprint Car) during Saturday evening’s social at Clute Park.

Other winners of the day were as follows: Group 6 (WSC/Group C/GTP): Richard Polidori’s 1990 Spice SE90C Group 8 (Stock Cars Race #2): Dale Phelon’s T–Bird Group 5 (Historic Production): Peter Klutt’s Corvette Group 9 (Historic GT): Dale Phelon’s 1995 Mustang Group 4 (B.O.S.S.): Joe Blacker’s 1994 Reynard Group 1 (VSCCA): Cancelled

While summer–like weather provided the natural heating, HSR’s brand of vintage auto racing added its own heat along the blacktop once again, for a weekend of pretty “cool” racing action......Walter Pietrowicz

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