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CSRG Charity Challenge 2010 Features Formula 5000

By Will Silk

1969 Gurney Eagle of Steve DavisThe Formula 5000 Revival Series has selected to run its final race outing for 2010, the CSRG Charity Challenge to be held on the weekend of October 1-3 at Infineon Raceway Sears Point in Sonoma, California. 

The tranquil and scenic Sonoma Valley will be audibly shaken by the roar of a full grid of historic F5000 racing machines this coming October as these thunderously fast open wheeled racing cars will descend on the historic facility located outside of San Francisco to complete their five race tour of the United States that started back in April at Road Atlanta. 

Seb Coppola, President of the F5000 Drivers Association offered this comment on the upcoming field at Infineon Raceway Sears Point, “For the first time since the mid-1970s, race fans and drivers will see the No. 5, Lola T332 VPJ race car formerly driven by Mario Andretti to the championship run in 1974 and 1975, and recently restored by owner Steven Murphy of southern California.  Also, at the event will be the ex-Brian Redman 1976 Championship Lola T332 now owned and raced by Rick Parsons.  Among the other cars present will be the 1969 Gurney Eagle Championship car driven by Formula 5000 Champion Tony Adamowicz.  Eric Haga also returns to racing, reunited with his 1970 Lola T190 which he raced in 1970 and 1971 in the original SCCA Continental Series.”

Coming out of the last race at Portland International Raceway on September 6th, Steve Davis in his 1969 Gurney Eagle has a handy lead in the Class A (pre-1972) category with a 40 point advantage over the legendary Tony “A2Z” Adamowicz, also piloting a 1969 Eagle, the same car that he drove to the 1969 F5000 title.  Seb Coppola stands 3rd in points in the Class A category with his 1970 Lola T192.  Davis has been unstoppable this season, however Doug Magnon, Bill Losee and the Riverside International Automotive Museum squad that oversees the white and black number 7 Eagle of Tony Adamowicz will most certainly pull out all the stops in an attempt to overhaul Davis for the Class A Championship.

In Class B (post-1971 cars), the action is just as ferocious, with Jay Esterer pulling off the win at PIR in his 1973 McRae GM1.  Esterer saw formidable competition from Miles Jackson piloting a 1973 Chevron B24, as well as the talented Jim Stengel who also pilots a GM1; Jackson and Stengel finished second and third respectively at PIR. 

The win for Esterer at PIR helped bring his overall points tally for the season to 60, which puts him 5th in the Class B category.  Stengel’s 3rd place helped him to continue to pile on the points in Class B, as Jim left PIR with 170 points, a 20 point lead over closest Class B rival Rick Parsons who pilots the 1976 Lola T332 that Brian Redman drove to the series championship thirty-four years ago.

McRae GM1 - Jim Stengel
McRae GM1 - Jim Stengel
1969 Gurney Eagle driven by Formula 5000 Champion Tony Adamowicz
1969 Gurney Eagle - Tony Adamowicz

The current overall points leader going into the fifth and final round of the series is Steve Davis with 200 points.  Steve is followed by Jim Stengel with 170 points, Tony Adamowicz and the RIAM squad with 160 points, Rick Parsons with 150 points, and Tom Malloy sits in fifth with 136 points.

With only 40 points separating the top 3 contenders, as well as class championships being up for grabs, F5000 fans attending the CSRG Charity Challenge at Infineon Raceway on October 1-3, 2010 will be in for some thunderously loud and lightning fast racing that is sure to give them their money’s worth and then some.

[Source: F5000 Drivers Association; photo credit: Tim Kemmis]