Story and Photographs by Mike Beckers
On July 19-23, the famous Road America circuit at Elkhart lake Wisconsin presented the 2017 WeatherTech International Challenge with Brian Redman presented by Hawk. Despite its lengthy title, the theme of the event was simple, beautiful vintage race cars competing on one of America’s most beautiful tracks.
As in the past the event attracted hundreds of vintage racers of all types and models. Each car seemed to be the best of its type, lovingly prepared and ready to defend the honor of its marque. The racing was close and intense, resulting in a few mishaps, but the large fields made for a great show. Overcast skies on Friday could not dampen the enthusiasm of the racers or the spectators, and Mother Nature cooperated for the bulk of the weekend (could she be a vintage race fan?).
Amid the GT40s, Camaros, Corvettes, sports racers, CanAm cars, sedans, formula cars and others there was one class that was perhaps the proverbial icing on the cake. This was the field of classic Formula One cars brought over from Europe by the group known as the Masters. There was a fabulous group of the Lotus cars and others from the “Cosworth” generation. I am sure that I was not the only one who was wondering what it would have been like if they had raced at Road America. Each of the F-1 cars was a treasure in itself, and the sound they created was wonderful. Not be left out were the CanAM cars with their ground shaking powerplants.
Hats off to the staff at Road America, the volunteer workers at the track, all of the teams and, of course the huge crowd of fans who created a memorable experience. The July vintage event at Road America is one of the best in the U.S. and deserves to be on every race fans “bucket list”. Make plans to attend next year, you will not be disappointed.
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