Race Schedule 2014
Thompson Speedway Grand Opening Event
This is a grand re-opening for a renovated historic Thompson Speedway after many years of hibernation. Many drivers in the Northeast United States are looking forward to this with great anticipation. Thompson is the quintessential FJ track. This race will be East-Coast Championship. Exclusive FJ Grid June 27 – 29 Thompson Speedway, CT Organizers: Vintage Sports Car Club of America and Vintage Racer Group FJHNA Contacts: Nick Grewal / Joseph DeLucia Event FAQs Register
Lime Rock Vintage Festival – FJHNA National Championship Race
The Festival is one of the largest and most famous vintage events in the United States, with spectators running in the tens of thousands. Last year, we had a field of 28 Formula Juniors from front engine to mid-engine drum and mid-engine disc. This year we are expecting in access of 40 cars, please get in touch with Lime Rock Park Historics as there is distinct possibility of not getting to the grid due to the number of entries. Again, this race will be the National Championship. Exclusive FJ Grid August 29 – September 1 Lime Rock, CT Organizers: Vintage Sports Car Club of America and Lime Rock FJHNA Contact: William Gelles Register
Lime Rock Vintage Festival – FJHNA National Championship Race
The weather at Lime Rock Park on this past Labor Day weekend, the site of the 2014 FJHNA national race, wasn’t the only thing that was spectacular. The camaraderie of a field of 31 participants from the Northeast, California, Texas, the South, Midwest and Canada was also something to be thankful for. Murray Smith made good his promise to assist in growing Formula Junior Historics North America by delivering an exclusive FJ grid for the Historics. Judging by the thousands of spectators on their feet, the sight of so many FJ cars together with numerous exciting dices out on track, the drivers delivered as well. By the end of the first race, Murray was already inviting FJHNA back next year. This was a race that set the stage for a return next year of an FJHNA regional race.
Not only was the field diverse insofar as the origins of the drivers, but the breadth of cars was something to behold. There were front engine cars such as Stadler, Stanguellini, Elva, Huffaker and OSCA. There were rear engine cars of Coopers, Elvas, and a gaggle of Lotus’s from 18’s to 22’s. From Virginia, Sharon Adleman with her BT6 proved that this is not just a boy’s game. The front-runners were represented by Danny Baker (Cooper T59), Tom Grudovich (Elva 200) and Bob Goeldner (Brabham BT2) who raced FJ back in the day. Age has only improved Mr. Goeldner’s ability on the track. When his BT2 was finally sorted out, he took the Monday morning race from Danny by a bare half second.
The next group was Bill Gelles (Stanguellini), Nick Grewal (Lotus 18), Billy Goldkind (Lotus 22), Sharon Adelman ( Brabham BT6) and Roger Sieling (Lotus 22). Middle of the pack was represented by Hervey Parke (Elva), Dave Allison (Lotus 18), and Joseph DeLucia (Lotus 18). The dicing between Allison and DeLucia was a dog fight all of the way, with a merry-go-round of changing places at least a half dozen times during every race.Further back by a slim 2 seconds was Ralph Solomon (Elva 200) and the Lotus 18 duel between Phil Lamont and J.R. Mitchell. After the Monday afternoon race, a big smile on JR’s face betrayed his ensuing comment that the only thing he wanted to do was to beat Phil Lamont. Seventy something year old Phil has been driving his lime green Lotus 18 since the late 70’s and he knows how to handle it with deft aplomb. Take it from me, to be close to Phil in a race, let alone take it, is a feat in itself.
Bringing up the next group was Tom O’Grady (Copper T56) and Larry McKenna (Stanguellini), Steve Morici (Cooper T59), Jack Boxstrom (Lotus 18) and Tom Atlas (Front Engined Huffaker).
Drivers who had great showings in the practice and qualifying sessions on Friday but lost their cars as the weekend slogged on were Mitch Eitel (OSAC), Dug Elcomb (Dreossi Special), Jim Yule (Elva 100) and Bob Goeldner’ first 2 and last race (BT2). Doug’s car was the only incident casualty of the weekend as he did a skillful job of driving by avoiding catastrophe when JR Mitchell spun his 18 going into the left hander after Big Bend. Unfortunately he hit the guard rail that was well off the road, giving an idea of the speed he was carrying and subsequently damaged the front suspension of the very unique, but very fast, Dreossi.
On Sunday, racing is not permitted at LRP so we all had to take solace in the car show that featured gorgeous vintage cars lined up along the entire length of the track as well the exceptional race cars from the Ralph Lauren collection and cars from the Collier Museum up from Florida such as an original MG K3, the famous Leonides (MG P Type) and the OSCA driven by Sir Stirling Moss back in the 60’s. Sir Stirling’s presence throughout the weekend lent a pleasing “Goodwood-like” air to the event. Underscoring the number of spectators taking pictures of our numerous FJ cars lined up against the rail of the straight with the timing tower in the background, it was certainly a sight to behold.
AT 1 PM, thanks to JR Mitchell’s generosity, our entire group proceeded to the huge GMT tent and, sponsored by FJHNA, we all dug in to a real New England Clam Bake replete with mussels, succulent lobster and fresh corn on the cob. The great meal, accompanied with choice wine, rolled on with laughter, story telling and enjoying each others’ company. With hunger satisfied, Nick Grewal (current president and overseeing vibrant growth of FJHNA) brought each participant up to “center stage”. We spoke about where we were from and what we thought about the FJHNA and our cars. When each of us finished, two commemorative glasses were distributed to each FJ racer.
Although a few had the misfortune of broken cars ( as they say, “that’s racing”) the entire weekend was filled with smiles, super competitive but safe driving (only grid that did not experience car to car contact) and newly formed friendships destined to last. About the only thing bad the entire weekend was saying goodbye.
Listening to Bob Goeldner speak at the Friday evening FJHNA celebration at the newly renovated Thompson raceway, I couldn’t help but think how much these wonderful Formula Junior cars have gone…Read More