CSRG: 2019 David Love Vintage Road Races
Finally, we kicked off our vintage racing season with at trip down to Sonoma Raceway for the 2019 installment of the Classic Sports Racing Group’s David Love Vintage Road Races. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of reading our past reports, the David Love races are named after one of CSRGs founders who raced multiple cars during his life, but was most well known for his exploits in his stunning 1958 Ferrari Testa Rossa. He and the car were a regular fixture on the west coast vintage racing circuit for decades.
This event isn’t one of the bigger vintage events of the year, but we’ve come to love it for its low key nature and the fact that just about everyone is up for a chat and it offers a level of access and intimacy (for lack of a better term) that most other events can’t and don’t offer. Despite the age, value and rarity of the hardware, there is no pretense. This event is, and always has been, as spectator friendly as you can get.
Aside from this being “just” a race or “track day,” the David Love races are the season opener for many and in many cases, the first opportunity for drivers and wrenchers to knock the 2018 cobwebs off and test 2019 changes and set-ups. As some of these cars have been racing since the 50s, it’s not difficult to imagine how many combinations of hardware and adjustments it might take to get these machines to work, and work well. There was no lack of creativity, improvisation, ingenuity and..well..the positive power of prayer on display.
Also on display for the weekend were four amazing cars belonging to Peter Giddings, who unfortunately passed away in the first week of January of this year after a long bout with prostate cancer. We’ve watched the exploits of both Mr. Giddings and his amazing (mostly) pre-war racers for decades now. We have always marveled at the very few individuals who have kept these amazing and ancient marvels of technology on the track, let alone those who have the fortitude to wring every bit of power and speed out of them on some pretty skinny tires. We extend our condolences to Peter’s wife Judy, his family, his friends and the fraternity of racers and crews competed with over the decades. The paddock won’t be the same without him.
The passing of Peter Giddings reminds us of the sad truth that the cars may live on after their drivers, but without future generations having a passion for vintage racing, this most fan friendly of environments could disappear. With our constantly evolving automotive technologies fazing out the the noise and fury of the traditional internal combustion engine, events like those put on by CSRG and the numerous other that occur throughout California keep this living history alive. While many of the cars that participate in vintage racing were created as the purebred race cars of their day, many are race-tuned production cars that were the super, hyper, tuner cars of their era. Much of our everyday interaction with humankind’s history is limited to what we find in books, or illustrations, but vintage racing is interactive history where you can see, smell and hear what it must have been like on a Sunday at the track more than a half century ago. What may otherwise seem a simple weekend meet up is an opportunity to inspire new generations to take up the cause. The David Love Vintage Road Races is a much needed tradition that we hope will continue for decades to come.
As we feel that our photographic skills far outweigh our literary ones, please take a wander through the gallery below to see what the David Love races are all about.