If you like race cars, (not even sure why "If" is even possible) then you owe it to yourself to go to a vintage race. I would say in this country, Lime Rock, COTA, and now Indy are the tops, with Indy beating out the rest. Before you West Coasters start yelling "Monterrey!!!", I've been to it. It's nice.
This was the garage I was based out of, F1 22. Pretty impossible to get closer to the center of the action, and there was lots of it. There also was lots of history in my garage. That's a 1996 Jordan one bay over, the former Gerhard Berger car. It is more of the same everywhere you look at these events. I mean, it's not every day you walk through the rainy paddock and stumble upon a Scarab. In fact, my family may be the only one where 2 generations have seen a Scarab race. Dad saw them at Montgomery, and I saw one at Indy. Pay no mind to the 7up car in the foreground...
However, it wasn't all fun and car porn. (Actually, it was.) I was there to do a job, and thankfully, the cars I was affiliated with were pretty trouble free. I was crew chief for my good friend Robert MacKenzie's 1962 Triumph Spitfire, commission number FC921. That means it;s the 921st Spitfire built, and currently, the oldest active racing Spitfire IN THE WORLD. (You have to imagine the Jeremy Clarkson pause and deep voice there.) Overall, the car was flawless. Well, mostly.
In vintage racing, especially with British cars, you bring extra parts so you don't need them. We didn't bring an extra water pump. THAT was what we needed after practice. I noticed the pulley was loose, like wobble with your hand loose. Thankfully, another Spitfire owner had a spare, so with less than an hour before Q2, I replaced it. All was well after that. There was quite a bit of attrition, even amongst the IMS museum cars like the Corvette SS. In case you don't know what that is, here's a pic:
Annnnd here's a pic as the engine let go...
However, I do have video of the previous lap when it was going great. As to the rest of the time I was there, I had some free moments and wandered to see what eye candy was out there. This is what I found:
Robert's car and Wes Wigginton's Midget representing the Austin contingent in their run group.
Yes, THE Essex Wire Cobra.
When was the last time you saw a Cheetah?
The other side of our garage. Recognize him? His car is in front of him.
Ok, hopefully the pics got the point across. The SVRA Brickyard Invitiational was the best vintage event I've been to in my nearly 20 years of going to these things. I got to see some amazingly rare cars in action, make new friends, and have the time of my life. During down time I ate Beanito's chips (get them if you can) and took pictures. Vintage events are spectator friendly, cheaper, and really interesting. Hope to see you at COTA!
Can't forget to mention Dave Foreman's Porsche 914. Also, if you need any racing gear, check out Winding Road Racing.