Well known as one of the largest vintage racing gatherings in the United States, entries for the July 18-21 WeatherTech International Challenge with Brian Redman presented by HAWK have already surpassed 400 cars for races in 11 different groups subdivided into several sub-classes.
This year’s Road America-hosted feature is an MG Focus Event — entirely fitting since MGs have been a part of Road America since its inaugural weekend on Sept. 10-11, 1955.
The SCCA Chicago Region oversaw that weekend’s races — sanctioned as a National Championship event. There were two categories, Production and Modified, with several classes in each category. Three races were held on Saturday and four were held on Sunday. The first event at Road America on Sept. 10, 1955 was an eight-lap, 32-mile race for G Production cars (MGs). A field of TCs, TDs, and TFs ran in that first race, with Roy Heath winning the event in his TC. The average speed was 59.6 mph and the fastest laps were about four minutes.
Click here for this year’s full weekend schedule that includes Friday’s Race Car Parade and Concours, as well as Saturday’s Sports Car Parade, both in downtown Elkhart Lake.
During 1950s American sports car racing, one of the most competitive specials was the Echidna, which ruled SCCA C and B-Modified competition. Just three Echidnas were built and all three — including one owned by outgoing Vintage Motorsport Publisher Mike Silverman — will be at the WeatherTech International Challenge to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Echidnas 1959 B-Modified National Championship.
Along with honoring the MG and Echidna, Road America will celebrate the 53rd Anniversary of the Canadian-American Challenge or Can-Am Series. Unlimited engines, fat tires and unimaginable speed sums up what Can-Am was, with the McLaren team ruling the early years. They won five years in a row at Road America, twice with Bruce McLaren and once each with Denny Hulme, Peter Gethin and Peter Revson.
Their dominance was broken in 1972 when Porsche practiced extreme excess in their designs, building a twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V-12 engine that put out well over 1000 horsepower. They hired Roger Penske’s team to run the car, and as expected, they won with George Follmer at Road America in 1972 and Mark Donohue in 1973. Each won the season championship.
If you’re coming to the event, plan to drop in at our booth in the vendor midway, near the Paddock Shop. Outgoing VMPublisher Mike Silverman, along with Gary Hunter and Circulation Manager Nick Lish, will look forward to swapping bench racing stories with you.