Photos by Dennis Gray and Bob Ross
The 21th running of the California Mille was held April 24-28, 2011 on the secondary roads of Northern California.
As always, the California Mille departs San Francisco bright and early from its traditional starting line at the famed Fairmont Hotel, located atop Nob Hill. Similar to the 2010 edition, we convinced Senior Photographer Dennis Gray to made the arduous one block walk from his home in San Francisco to document the early morning activity. Dennis was joined by photographer Bob Ross for the rest of the 2011 California Mille.
Sunday as the cars arrived at the Fairmont Hotel for California Mille 2011 they were greeted with a steady heavy drizzle. By the Monday morning start, the drizzle had matured into a rain storm with low winds and low clouds. To make things more fun, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge exposed the cars and the drivers to the Golden Gate Bridge’s horizontal rain and strong winds, not to mention rush-hour traffic.
Once out of San Francisco and into the sunlight, the rally head to Infineon Raceway Sears Point for a few laps around the road course. Bruce Massman in his 1926 Bentley Le Mans 6.5 Liter followed the Sports Car Digest camera car around Sears Point for two photo shoot laps, the second lap being joined by the 1954 Bentley 6.5 Liter Special of Terry O’Reilly. After lunch at a private museum in Petaluma, the first day ended at Solage in Calistoga, the home base for California Mille 2011.
Day two, three and four consisted of various drives from Calistoga on several of California’s epic country roads, followed by lunches at great venues, as well as a few touring laps at Thunderhill Raceway.
For more information, visit www.californiamille.com.
California Mille 2011 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger photo and description)
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[Source: Dennis Gray]
Re: English cars in English weather
As a teenager, I could never understand why the rainiest cold country on earth produced cars that weren’t sufficiently weatherproof for even our Texas climate.