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2013 Sonoma Historics Celebrates Corvette

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Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival Celebrates  Corvette's 60 Years at Sonoma Raceway Fast cars, fine food and wine highlight May 18-19 weekend Paul Reinhart is honored guest, popular racing seminar scheduled for second year  SONOMA, Calif. (April 27, 2021) - The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival returns to Sonoma Raceway on May 18-19 for the fourth straight year unde...


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Weekend wrap-up

Fabulous weather, Fine Cars, Wine and Food Highlight 2012 Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival SONOMA, Calif. (June 3, 2021) - Under sunny and warm conditions at the third annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival at the Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., more than 340 historic cars took the checkered flag in 15 ...


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2013 Sonoma Historics Fact Sheet

Celebration of Historic Racing, Wine Country Lifestyle at Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival   WHAT:                         Sonoma Raceway will come alive with memorable racecars from Corvette, Ferrari, Lotus, Austin Healey and Bugatti, among others, at the 27th annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival. In all, more than 400 historic racecars will grace the twisting road course during ...


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Legendary California Drivers

LEGENDARY CALIFORNIA DRIVERS FEATURED IN SEMINAR AT 2012 SONOMA HISTORIC MOTORSPORTS FESTIVAL SONOMA, Calif. (May 27, 2021) - Five legendary California race-car drivers will be part of a seminar discussing the birth of the popularity of sports-car racing in California and the United States during the third annual Sonoma ...


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It never Rains in California
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"It never rains in California..."

And, yes, it pours. Saturday's official opening day of the Second Annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival dawned with rain showers dampening the 2.52-mile Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., but not the spirits of the 400 participants, as many took to the wet course for practice and qualifying for Sunday's 13 group races. Fine wine, fine food and vintage and historic race cars are highlighting the weekend activities for race fans and foodies in the heart of Northern California's wine country. Sunday's weather predictions show clear skies.

Two important McLaren cars featured in McLaren Automotive's display
Of the six historic McLaren race cars displayed, alongside the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C high-performance sports car, at the McLaren Automotive display during the Sonoma Motorsports Historic Festival, two are especially significant. McLaren is the featured marque at this event.

The 1972 McLaren M20 that Denny Hulme took to second place in the Can-Am championship that year, after which the team retired from the series for good, ending the era, is owned by the National Automobile Museum, the Harrah Collection, in Reno, Nev. "(Event organizer) Steve Earle will come to us and tell us that his event is featuring a certain marque, and if we have a car that fits, then we'll try to figure out a way to get it to the event so people can see it and enjoy it," said Ranson Webster, chairman of the board of trustees of the Museum, and a competitor at this event. "And it's good publicity for the museum.

"We have roughly 240 cars in the museum, everything from an 1892 Phiion (one of the first cars built) to Mr. Harrah's 1976 Wagoneer with a Ferrari engine.

"We also have a tremendous collection of pre-1916 brass cars, cars from the '30s, and a whole race car selection. The M20 is one of four featured cars because of its history."

Webster is competing in a 1960 Abarth Carrera and a 1976 Kremer K3 Porsche 935 this weekend.

"Senna" film previewed by more than 225 in Sonoma
The second significant McLaren on display is Ranson Webster's 1985 McLaren MP4/2B, the Marlboro-sponsored Formula 1 car raced by Alain Prost and Niki Lauda. It is featured in the new "Senna" film, a documentary of Ayrton Senna's years as an intense competitor on the F1 circuit and a fierce rival to Prost, his one-time McLaren teammate.

More than 225 invited guests had the chance to preview the film at the Sebastiani Theater in Sonoma on Thursday evening, June 2, and it was well received.

"Having seen the preview of the Senna film, which will be released in August, and to have the MP4/2B here that Alain Prost drove in 1985 that was featured in the film, is exciting," said event organizer Steve Earle. "It provides something special to the fans and participants who've seen the film to come out here and see a car that was prominent in the film in the McLaren Automotive display."

As for Earle's review of the film, "I thought the film was very good as a documentary and it certainly showed a side that people would never see of Formula 1," he said. "It shows the improvements and the changes that have been made to F1 racing since that time and, while it doesn't seem like a long time ago, it is actually 25 years ago. You can see how the FIA worked together with the teams and drivers to make it what it is today, and how good that is.

"It's an enthusiast's film, for sure, the in-car camera work is terrific, and you see a side of Senna, or any driver during that era, that you would never see. And seeing the change in Senna at his last race was really dramatic (he lost his life in a racing accident at the 1994 San Marino G.P.). His concern was very evident, and realizing what was going through his mind is something few of us, if any, have ever experienced."

Sunday Press Notes:
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SUNDAY PRESS NOTES-Second Annual Historic Motorsports Festival


Amanda McLaren is Honorary Starter for Historic F1 and Can-Am races at Second Annual Motorsports Festival
With McLaren the featured marque at the Second Annual Motorsports Festival at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., Bruce McLaren's only child, daughter Amanda, was on hand to be the Honorary Starter for the 1966-1974 Historic F1 and 1966-1974 Historic Can-Am race groups on Sunday, waving both the green and checkered flags. Each class showcased a number of McLarens, including the 1977 McLaren M23 that Danny Baker drove to victory in the F1 group, as well as Scott Drnek's fourth-place 1970 McLaren M14, along with three other McLarens.

In the Can-Am race group, which included 12 McLarens taking the flag, Chris MacAllister led a top-three McLaren sweep in his 1971 McLaren M8F, followed by Steve Cook in a 1968 McLaren M6B and Roger Williams in a 1970 McLaren M8E/F.

Ms. McLaren, who lives in Wellington, New Zealand, was just 5 years old when her famous father died in a testing accident in 1970. "I have a few, very small memories [of my father], but I'm not sure if that's film that I've subsequently seen or people telling me about him, or things I've read in books that kind of made up the image. But I'm very lucky in some respects in that there are a lot of people out there who do remember him who can tell me about him."

During her three-week U.S. tour, she visited the Indianapolis 500, and will see the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento next week. "I always say, as long as it's got four legs or four wheels, then I'm interested in it," she said.  As for her visit to this event featuring McLaren, "I think it's just lovely to see your family name on so many cars still and to have the marque remembered like this. It's a great event and it keeps the name going," she added.

Ms. McLaren also had an opportunity to take a ride in the Lamborghini pace car Sunday afternoon. “It was really very exciting. It’s the right color, for a start (orange and black, similar to the McLaren Can-Am cars), even if it’s the wrong marque,” she said, with a laugh. “Nice drive around. It’s a great circuit and it’s a real privilege to be here.”

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Bicolore Paces the Field in Sonoma
A brand-new, orange-and-black 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Bicolore paced several of the Sunday afternoon race groups at the Second Annual Historic Motorsports Festival at Infineon Raceway.

"It's a pretty new model. It just got imported a couple of days ago," said Hans Lapine, the chief modeler for the Volkswagen Group in Santa Monica, Calif., (which owns Lamborghini) and a competitor here this weekend in a Porsche 914/6 GT.

"Lamborghini had an opportunity last year to provide a pace car for the first Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival and when they found out there was a second event scheduled this year, they opted to bring out another car. It was a huge success for them last year, so they wanted to repeat it.”

The car is powered by a 10-cylinder V 90-degree, DOHC 4-valve, 317.6 engine with a common-pin crankshaft. It is rear-wheel drive with limited slip differential, and has a 6-speed plus reverse gearbox. Top speed is rated at 199 mph, and is said to reach 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds.

(digital image of Lamborghini pacing the field available upon request to


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