Nearly one year ago, when Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA) members gathered to open the 2020 racing season, the COVID-19 pandemic had not yet changed the world so drastically.
Handshakes and hugs were exchanged for elbow bumps and nods as we all tried to avoid getting what seemed then, to be just a new strain of cold. HMSA was preparing for a full season of racing all over North America. And then, it all changed — everything changed.
But now, as another new year has begun, once again, racing will be held at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in picturesque Monterey — something HMSA President Cris Vandagriff has been anxiously awaiting.
“At one point I just started to think we were never going to be able to go back to racing or anything normal from our past,” Vandagriff said. “So much has happened in the year we have all been apart and I couldn’t be more grateful to see our racing family together again, even if we do need to stay 6-feet apart.
“There will be some modifications to the event to ensure safety is paramount on and off the track, but it will be worth any slight changes just so we can get cars back on the track.”
Vandagriff said he can’t imagine kicking off the season anywhere else.
“Monterey is just a beautiful part of the world and the race track is a great place for the racers to shake off the cobwebs of going a year without racing while enjoying the scenery and benefits such as being able to run 105 dBs around the epic twists and turns.”
HMSA returns to Laguna Seca March 13-14 for the season opener at the facility internationally known for its “Corkscrew” turn.
“You don’t get many opportunities to run Laguna Seca and because we have been away from racing for a year, I think we might see some incredible cars and I think we will all be a little more grateful to be able to get together,” Vandagriff said. “The track is super fast, technical and has this allure. Laguna Seca is Laguna Seca. It’s going to be a great way to come back to racing.”
As state and local regulations on races and public events evolve, HMSA will make event announcements. So far, the HMSA Spring Club event is the first of two events that Vandagriff and his team has already confirmed for the 2021 season. HMSA will host its annual event, the Sommet de Legendes at the Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant July 9-11 but HMSA members will also have a chance to participate in an exhibition racing class during the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, which was moved to September.
“The spring event is always special but I think this year it has even greater significance,” Vandagriff said. “It’s a beautiful time of year to go there because the hills are still green and it’s just incredible that we can safely gather again and see and hear and feel these amazing cars race around a track again.”