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Brian Redman / HMSA Jefferson 500 2005
at Summit Point Raceway
Jefferson 500 2005

Celebrating its 15th year, the Brian Redman Jefferson 500 held at Summit Point Raceway, West Virginia, joined forces with HMSA (Historic Motor Sports Association) onboard as the new sanctioning body, producing another great vintage racing outing this past May 20–22. Noted for endorsing mostly West Coast events, HMSA’s philosophy “to encourage the restoration, preservation, and use of sports and racing cars” seems on paper and in practice an ideal mate for the J500, and a compliment to Brian and James Redman’s unique personal charm that has kept the J500 on many drivers’ “must-do” list. This year’s test seemed to be popping on all cylinders as the preliminary results indicate this marriage was off to a whopping good start.

Following past performance, the race schedule was once again a flood of opportunities to just go racing with the Eifel Trophy “all–Porsche” race, Marlboro Cup shootout, two Phil Hill Cup and Charlie Gibson Cup (formally the Bobby Rahal Cup) contests (one held on Saturday and the other on Sunday), and two, two–hour enduros, the Briggs Cunningham and John Wyer Cups (one hour contested on Saturday and the second hour on Sunday). Additionally, two inaugural J500 contests, the ARK Project Cup for the growing population of feisty and very competitive S2000 machinery, and round two of the 2005 Australian–American Healey Cup (see above image–Brian and James Redman join HMSA’s Chris Vandergriff and the Aussie–American warriors for this great photo op), were just a pair of thrilling editions adding even more icing on top of an already sweet cake loaded with a plethora of the planned asphalt wars.

Except for Friday AM’s showers putting the brakes on the early morning practice sessions, great weather loaded with sun and comfortable temperatures would blanket the large contingency of car club patrons and noticeably healthy spectator crowd in attendance. Back again, Jaguar enthusiasts were once again basking in the hospitality of the brand’s “Born To Perform Tour” via hands–on driving of their latest vehicles to witnessing the brands auto racing roots first hand on the Summit asphalt, especially when Jack Busch/Bob Hebert drove the Donovan Motorcar Service prepared ’62 XKE to victory in the Briggs Cunningham Cup.

Officially, the winners were the following: John Wyer Cup – Peter Gulick’s 1973 Chevron B23, Phil Hill Cup (Race A and Race B) - Joe Blacker’s Brabham BT29, Marlboro Cup – Lee Talbot’s Ginetta G4, Eifel Cup – Jim Scott’s 1973 Porsche 911, ARK (“Always Remember to Klick It” seat belt program) Project S2000 Saturday’s Race – David Sugg’s ’86 Swift DB2, ARK Project S2000 Sunday’s Race – Kevin Wiitman’s ’86 Swift DB2, and Aussie, Paul Freestone outrunning American’s Jeff Johnk’s fastest lap time of 1:29.592 for the win. Johnk’s second place finish prevented an Aussie podium sweep. Fittingly, the late Charlie Gibson’s partner, Dave Handy, drove Charles’ 1977 Ralt RT1 to victory in both inaugural Charlie Gibson Cup races.

With HMSA’s plans to increase future attendance and Brian and James Redman’s well established distinctive format presenting an eclectic mix of various vintage breeds battling for the top spots, undoubtedly the Redman/HMSA co–op will carry on the Redman’s tradition as being one of vintage racing’s most anticipated outings......Walter Pietrowicz