Weather that couldn’t be better and a pair of weekend-opening races that can be described the same way moved the Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Fall Historics off to a fantastic start Friday at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Under sunny and clear skies with temperatures in the low 70s, the Sasco Sports International/American Challenge and Stoner Car Care Global GT sprint races combined to crown the weekend’s first four race winners ahead of two more days of on track competition Saturday and Sunday.
The Sasco Sports overall and Porsche class victory was secured by longtime HSR competitor Jack Lewis in his pristine Jack Lewis Enterprises 1974 No. 9 Porsche 911 RSR.
Friday’s other overall winner was local resident and Team Corvette racing legend Johnny O’Connell, driving his ex-GT World Challenge 2011 No. 3 Cadillac CTS/VR. O’Connell held off a field of competitive Porsches to win the Stoner Car Care Global GT race in the Bill Heifner-owned Cadillac “Johnny O” drove in its competition prime.
In the Sasco Sports race, Lewis was chased to the finish line by another HSR stalwart, Mike Banz, who took the checkered flag just three seconds back for second place in his Heritage Motorsports 1974 No. 13 Porsche 911 RSR.
Lewis and Banz were joined on the overall Sasco Sports podium by American division winner Jeff McKee in his popular 1964 No. 51 Ford Falcon prepared by Olthoff Racing.
Fourth overall went to International-class winner Joey Bojalad in his unique 1967 No. 12 Ginetta G12. Only 29 of the mid-engine Ginettas were produced, and Bojalad prepares and tunes his car – which is chassis No. 15 – with only his teammate Joe Serbin.
The overall top five and second in American went to Steve Cullman in his 1970 No. 74 Ford Mustang Boss 302, giving Olthoff Racing and Ford a sweep of the top-two American division finishing positions.
The Porsche podium was completed by Colin Dougherty in his 1988 No. 86 Porsche Turbo Cup series car prepared by DAS Sport that also finished an impressive sixth overall.
Other Sasco Sports podium players included Amber Stephenson, Steve Piantieri and Craig Joslin.
Stephenson secured second in International and eighth overall in the 2Girls Racing 1963 No. 52 Lotus Super 7.
Piantieri also cracked the overall top-10 in ninth which also locked down third place in the American class in his 1965 No. 95 Ford Mustang 2+2. Piantieri, the 2021 HSR Driver of the Year, is another always-fast HSR competitor that tunes and prepares his car with only the help of one or two hard-working teammates.
Joslin rounded out the International podium with a solid third-place finish in his 1983 No. 09 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI.
In Stoner Car Care Global GT, O’Connell held the lead from the pole for a flag-to-flag win ahead of the 2015 No. 96 Porsche 991 GT3 of Ben Johnston and third-place finisher Ryan Harrold in his Team Mean 2011 No. 110 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car.
Saturday’s HSR Fall Historics race schedule begins with the weekend’s first WeatherTech Sprint rounds, which includes the first of two feature races for the Can-Am Mini Challenge, which has been a popular addition to this year’s schedule.
The day’s other feature races include the B.R.M. Chronographes Endurance Challenge one-hour race for Historic, Prototype and GT Modern (GTM) competitors at 3:30 p.m. EDT.
Saturday’s schedule concludes with the HSR Classic RS Cup race at 4:40 p.m. EDT that showcases Porsches similar to those raced in the original 1970’s International Race of Champions (IROC) series.
The Fall Historics is the final race before the eighth running of the HSR Classic Daytona presented by IMSA, the classic 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway (DIS), November 2 – 6.
The HSR Classic Daytona is once again followed in 2021 by its “HSR Classics” sister event, the HSR Classic 12 Hour at Sebring, Pistons and Props, presented by the Alan Jay Automotive Network. The seventh-annual running of the HSR Classic Sebring 12 Hour closes out the 2022 HSR racing season on the legendary Sebring airport circuit, November 30 – December 4.
The HSR Classics events at Daytona and Sebring share the card each weekend, respectively, with the Daytona Historics and Sebring Historics races that will see all season-long HSR championships decided on two of the most legendary circuits in the country.
Spectator tickets for this weekend’s HSR Fall Historics are available for purchase at the driver and crew registration building at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta through the weekend. Learn more at HSRFallHistoricsTickets. Tickets for the HSR Classic Daytona 24 and the HSR Classic 12 Hour are available now at http://www.HSRTickets.com.