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Masters Historic Racing Visits Sonoma Raceway, California

Danny Baker in his Ralt RT1 Formula Atlantic. Dennis Gray
Danny Baker in his Ralt RT1 Formula Atlantic.

Masters Historic Racing is joining the Yokohama Drivers Cup for a weekend of racing at Sonoma Raceway (aka Sears Point). Masters has brought three classes of cars:

  1. Masters Historic Formula One USA with three sub classes within the F1 group. Patrick Head for post-1972 ground-effects F1 cars. Emerson Fittipaldi Post-1972 for non-ground effect cars. And Niki Lauda for post 1972 flat bottomed F1 cars.
  2. Masters Endurance Legends USA with three sub classes. ProtoHistoric Daytona Prototypes.  Proto-3 Sebring or Daytona runners. And GT-1,2 and 3 IMSA GT cars from 1996 to 2016.
  3. Masters Formula Atlantic Plus with two sub classes Pre 1979 and Pre 1986.

Masters Historic Formula One has an interesting bunch of cars. Here are four of the cars on track this weekend:

Chris Locke’s Lotus 77 ran the 1976 Formula One championship series driven by America’s last Formula World Champion Mario Andretti. This Lotus 77 took the pole and victory at the 1976 Japanese Formula One GP.

Chris Locke's 1976 Lotus 77.

Chris Locke’s 1976 Lotus 77

Colyvas’ Shadow DN5 was driven by Tom Pryce during the 1976 season. Often qualifying well up the field but not winning a race during the 1976 season. In the Sears Point field of cars its distinctive UOP livery with the American Flag displayed on the air intake makes for a crowd favorite.

Nicholas Colyvas in his Shadow DN5

Late Friday afternoon Nicholas Colyvas in his Shadow DN5.

Cal Meeker’s 1979 Tyrrell 009 is one of the quicker cars on the track. The second of the ground effect cars after the Lotus 79 this Tyrell car often qualified well.

Cal Meeker's 1979 Tyrrell 009.

Cal Meeker’s 1979 Tyrrell 009.

Bud Moller’s 1982 Williams FW08 is another quick car with an equally quick driver. Keke Rosberg drove this Williams FW08 to the Formula One Driver’s championship in 1982.

Williams FW08 driven by Bud Moeller.

Williams FW08 driven by Bud Moeller.

Masters Formula Atlantic Plus cars look like little Formula One cars. Almost as fast over one lap and probably as quick or quicker through some of Sears Point’s elevation changing twisty turns.

One of the best looking and quicker Formula Atlantic cars is Chris Bender’s 1976 MARCH 76B. Andrew Wait’s Lola T360 is another good-looking quick Formula Atlantic car. Then of course there is “Fast” Danny Baker in his 1979 Ralt RT1. Danny gives a new meaning to the word smooth. The rear of his Ralt is often 45 degrees to the front wheels in the tighter turns. Good fun to watch.

Danny Baker in his Ralt RT1 Formula Atlantic.

Danny Baker in his Ralt RT1 Formula Atlantic.

The last group but perhaps the fastest group is the Masters Endurance Legends USA cars. This class has a street-based Corvette C7R, Porsche 996 RSRs and an Audi R8 LMS even a Dodge Viper. These street-based cars have prototypes in among them like a Spice GTP and Ginetta prototype. One of the cars to keep your eye on is Bruce Leeson’s Audi R8 LMS, a quickly driven good looking car. Another car would be the very quick Corvette C7R driven by Tom Mueller. Of course, the Jaguar XJR5 driven by Bruce Marquand is another car to keep your eyes on.

Tom Mueller's 2014 Corvette C7R GT1-3

Tom Mueller’s 2014 Corvette C7R GT1-3.

Sports Car Digest has Dennis Gray and Rex McAfee covering this weekend’s events from Sears Point. Their story and images from the Masters will post Wednesday morning. Drop us a line with any questions or opinions on our coverage.

Masters Historic Racing Photo Gallery