Charles McCabe - 1934 Bugatti 59
Charles McCabe - 1934 Bugatti 59

Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2017 – Report and Photos

The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2017 was held June 1-4 at Sonoma Raceway Sears Point in Sonoma, California. Beautiful weather greeted the 350 vintage and historic cars that competed in 13 groups on the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course in Northern California’s wine country.

The 2017 Sonoma Historics was the third year of Sonoma Raceway’s partnership with the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) after the organization merged with Steve Earle’s General Racing. The ‘Gold Medallion’ invitational event salutes and rewards race cars prepared to the rules of the era in which they were originally raced. This year’s vintage race honored the Sensational ’60s, saluting the design, technology, and social developments that accumulated in many of the racing series and icons that are celebrated today.

Notable entrants at the 2017 SVRA Sonoma event included Erickson Shirley’s 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3; Peter Greenfield’s 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza; Peter Giddings’ 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2600 Monza; Paddins Dowling’s 1934 ERA R2A; Charles McCabe’s 1934 Bugatti Type 59; Chris MacAllister’s 1938 ERA 14B, 1964 Shelby Cobra FIA 289, 1966 Ford GT40 and 1971 Chevron B19; Mark Sange’s 1952 HWM Tasman Grand Prix; Jeff Abramson’s 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider; Reg Howell’s 1967 Porsche 910; Linda Mountanos’ 1935 Pirrung Special; Ranson Webster’s 1976 Porsche 935 K3; Steve Schmidt’s 1976 Porsche 935 K3; Cameron Healy’s 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR; Steve Walker’s 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL; Gary Cox’s 1953 Austin Healey Special; David Swig’s 1957 Monsterati Special and John Goodman’s 1972 Ferrari 312 Sparling NART Special.

Similar to 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Sports Car Digest also documented the 2017 Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, with Senior Photographer Dennis Gray offering the following photos highlighting this year’s event.

Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2017 – Photo Gallery (photo: Dennis Gray)

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Show Comments (13)

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  1. How about the there were six Genie race cars in one race – actually all in one group! Genie’s were built in San Rafael in the 60s, and at one time Huffucker Genie was the largest Race Car manufacturer in the United States.

    Another issue, I don’t know if it’s my phone or what, but access to look at the photos is not laid out in a very user-friendly way. I tried a bunch of times to look for the group cards in group 7, with absolutely no luck. Maybe it works better on a laptop I don’t know. The photos that I did see were of course excellent!

  2. Excellent photos indeed. Not only does Dennis know where to position himself on the track and how to shoot fabulous photos, but his long experience enables him to curate a set of photos of an event that captures its spirit. These photos evoke the entire weekend condensed to its essence. Beautiful presentation.

  3. Please post the type of car, year of car and driver under the great photos, otherwise they are just photos

  4. I cannot seem to open any photos on my IPad from any more. They used to work beautifully. Did you guys change something, or did Apple?

  5. each image is posted with driver, year of manufacture and model number for each leading car. i know i spent a couple hours adding them,

  6. I have the same issues on iPad……header image and text ok, but usually images below will not open.
    However, if I click on the blank spaces or gray lines, the images for one page will load in a new window.
    I have to click the box for next page then repeat the process, and again > thru the images for that page.
    Am liking the coverage SO MUCH that I persevere.
    Have met Dennis @ Road Rockets one time he was photographing H. Schmit cars one time ?

    Jim Grant

    1. i will always defer to the event furnished entry list when captioning images. I may know or think i know who the driver is, model number or even history. But rather then argue the point i leave it to the entrants and sanctioning body to insure accuracy in the entry list. i have just a few hours to caption the images. You should contact the sanctioning body to make corrections.
      That said thank you for having enough interest to comment. Thanks again.

  7. My apologies, I wasn’t trying to wind you up. In fact I was wrong. Lotus sold the ‘Eleven Le Mans’ with fairing /fin, wrap around screen and covered passenger seat as a competition version with 1100cc or 1500 cc Coventry Climax engine and De Dion rear axle. The open two seat version with full width screen and no fin was the ‘Eleven Club’ with the 1100cc Climax engine and a live rear axle. The ‘Eleven Sports’ had the ‘Club ‘ spec and a Ford 100E 1172 cc engine.
    Using registration numbers to identify a car can also lead to confusion. There is a picture of Colin Chapman driving 9 EHX in ‘Le Mans’ trim at Goodwood in 1956. It is shown in a picture on Wikipedia as one of a team of three in ‘Club’ trim for Le Mans 1956 (which could account for the Sonoma organisers description) and it was on Gregor Grant’s ‘Eleven Club’ for the 1000Miglia in 1957. I rather wish I hadn’t started this!

  8. The photo’s cannot be copied anymore as I used to do sometimes and always refer to the sportsdigest website which would bring thousands to view the site and now the photo goes hazy when I try to do it so will not bother to visit anymore.

    Don’t know why the website did this as all it does is restricts visitors and you will lose long term when visitors switch off.
    You should consider changing the photographer for one that has a wider knowledge of web traffic and business if they are the instigator of this policy as its about the website and not the photographer as there are many who can step in.