Through a mutual friend, Luci Scott of Greet Duxbury learned that I started a new activity in my retirement: Sports Car Racing. Being an 80-year-old, this obviously creates interest or more accurately, bewilderment. She asked if I would be willing to share my experience.....or what she probably meant, would I like to explain myself.
Vintage sports car racing which features and glorifies older cars is something I've loved since high school when I watched them being raced in Thompson, CT. After recently selling my business I had time on my hands. I thought it might be possible to be a racing participant. To do so, one must get a competition license which involves passing a physical exam and going to racing school. And, of course, getting a race car. I purchased a 1962 Austin Healey Sprite over the internet and had it upgraded into racing condition.
Next was the physical. When I called my doctor to request an appointment, I told the nurse I needed a physical to get my sports car racing license. You can imagine the pause that ensued. She finally responded, “I’m sorry, can you say that again?” When I did, she said that the doctor would see me but had concerns about my racing. I said I understood, and that vintage cars were all made in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and the drivers were all made in the ‘40s and ‘50s. I qualified.
I passed the physical and with my medical record in hand, I was off to the Skip Barber Racing School. This was an exciting and unique experience. We were driving powerful cars with enough horsepower to drive a freight train. The instructors kept asking if we were having fun. I replied, “If being terrified is fun then I’m having a blast”.
I then joined a vintage sports car racing club (VRG) which gave me a provisional license and I entered an event. On my first try, I finished 23rd out of 27 entrants. However, four of the drivers failed to show up.
Throughout the season, I kept a firm hand on last place but as things progressed, I was “less last”. So, what’s wrong with that?
It’s an exciting, exhilarating sport, competing against great people demonstrating unprecedented sportsmanship. Everyone should do this.
Check out the website for the Vintage Race Group (VRG) or the Vintage Sports Car Club of America (VSCCA).