The SVRA Spring Vintage Classic 2013 was staged February 28 to March 3rd at the Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. A strong field of more than 200 entries participated in 14 sprint races and three enduros on the historic 3.74-mile, 17-turn circuit.
The Florida weather was cold, windy and mostly cloudy all weekend long which made for surprisingly uncomfortable conditions for those working outdoors. This cold may have contributed to a larger number of accidents than normally seen at a vintage car race.
There were several entertaining races throughout the weekend. In Group 6, Alan Sevadjian in his Corvette had a good race with the Shelby Mustang GT350 of Leo Voyazides before pulling away for a win. In Group 1, 3 and 4, there were many evenly-matched Porsche 356s racing each other throughout both events. Paul Swanson in his black Speedster eventually pulled out impressive wins in both heats. Toby Bean in a Dekon Monza and Jeff Bernatovich in a Corvette GT1 were well matched, with each winning one race in Group 10.
Race one for Group 8 had the largest field with 28 starters, and the smallest margin of victory, with Todd Treffert in a Porsche 911 beating John Deford in a Porsche 914/6 by 0.292 seconds.
A field of nearly 40 entries participated in the SCCA Trans-Am series event. The race proved to be very entertaining, but numerous yellow flags kept the winner’s average speed down to 78 MPH. There was a frightful moment during this race when John Baucom’s Mustang caught on fire off of turn 15. Baucom was unhurt, but his car was–pardon me for this–toast.
There was also a Corvette celebration, with 2013 being the 60th anniversary of the famed Chevrolet, and there were some lovely ‘Vettes on display.
Sebring is located in central Florida, about halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Most know that Sebring has a great history in the world of endurance sports car racing that dates back to the early ’50s. Many know that the raceway was built on an old WWII airfield that was used to train B-17 bomber pilots. Though the raceway has been much improved over the years, it still has the patina of an old airfield. The track is surrounded by, airplanes, hangars, telephone poles and palm trees. It really is a delightfully unique place.