Savannah Speed Classic 2019
Savannah is the birth place of Grand Prix racing in the United States when it hosted the “American Grand Prize” race in 1908. In the following years, other prestigious Grand Prix level races were held in the city, including the Vanderbilt Cup. In the late ‘90s, a new two-mile road course was built on Hutchinson Island, across the river from Savannah. Then, in 2010, the track began a new chapter by hosting vintage racing events, including the Savannah Speed Classic which is part of the annual Hilton Head Motoring Festival. In 2019, the four-day Savannah Speed Classic was managed by the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, an organization that really knows how to put a racing event together. Considering the multiple groups of cars in competition and the different series of races held throughout the day, it requires quite a bit of coordination. Most races last less than 30 minutes, so spectators get opportunities to see many types of vintage race cars and share in the excitement of seeing drivers push these classic race cars to the edge.
Unlike some major racing events, the Savannah Speed Classic is very laid back. Spectators can walk through the pit area, talk to drivers, bring folding chairs and watch the race at many locations around the track.
The vehicles used in vintage racing are either original race cars, or they are vehicles that have been “recreated,” based on race cars from the past. So that competition remains competitive, each of the historical cars are assigned to a group of similar-type vehicles, ranging from small displacement cars to big bore V8s, as well as exotic super cars. Whether your preferences are nimble European sport cars, American muscle cars, or stock cars, the Savannah Speed Classic had something to satisfy every motor sports fan. Although just being able to see these racing legends in a museum is quite a treat, having the opportunity to watch them run hot laps and hear their exhaust notes was the ultimate experience. It is definitely something to put on your bucket list. Here are some of the sights and sounds from this year’s show.