A Message from Steve Earle
SVRA Gold Medallion – Amelia Island & Sonoma, a special opportunity to run in special events for Gold Medallion cars.
Most of you are long time racing enthusiasts, supporters, contributors and participants of vintage racing. It is likely that you have taken part in many events organized by General Racing and that you know what the standards and expectations were behind them. Two years ago Tony Parella and I had agreed on the idea of merging General Racing into SVRA. After many discussions on the state of vintage racing, its future on the existing path and our personal ideas that might improve the outlook – we found that we shared many similar thoughts. Tony’s goal was to grow a truly national organization with common rules for all enthusiasts of older racing cars and create events that could be reliably attended, offer known expectations, standardized regulations and officiating. He also held strong feelings about the preservation of the history of motor sports, which of course made listening easier for me. Heritage is important to manufacturers and motor sport as a means of introduction and education. Tony and my question became – how could this become a reality?
In these past two years the SVRA organization has covered a lot of ground. Who would have thought it possible that vintage racers would be driving the Speedway at Indianapolis or the Formula One track in Austin, Texas. SVRA has grown to be able to offer its members the opportunity to drive more of the best tracks in the country than anyone. Tony introduced the Gold Medallion Program as the Heritage arm of SVRA. Certification of cars prepared and presented to Gold Medallion regulations began in earnest during 2016. In 2017, we will launch Gold Medallion race events at Amelia Island, Florida in March and Sonoma Raceway, California in June. At present the majority of Medallion cars registered are in the west, for the obvious reason that strong regulation governing specific events arrested development of the cars – a trend that is being pushed aside in these changing times. It has been said by more than a few people that there aren’t many “Medallion” cars east of the Rockies. Nonsense! There are probably more cars east than west. They simple are not being brought out to events. There can be lots of reasons for that…but certainly if it isn’t a fun experience, why would you?
Members of the VSCCA, the spiritual grandfather of this all, have been running their cars and having a great time for years. Their members have an amazing selection of cars, fun club events and have no need to run elsewhere, that doesn’t mean they don’t or wouldn’t. We all belong to local clubs, but the opportunity to share an experience with far away people has become a part of this hobby, not that we don’t understand and feel the costs or the extra effort. When it’s over we can each judge the worth. If it was worth it then… it was.
Part of the SVRA’s plan is to offer those who value their car’s originality and heritage the opportunity to run them at a scheduled race weekend or a special event for “Gold Medallion” cars. Two or three Medallion events will be organized with separate Medallion race groups, each made up of specified Medallion classes. The events will include exhibition laps for historically significant cars that choose not to be raced, Parade laps for selected groups and static displays. Historic motorcycles will also be included. The goal is to stimulate interest in those younger than us. Let’s be honest, we have had a great run through all of these years and taken a lot of pleasure from this “hobby”. If we can share that with a younger group, it would be worthwhile. Tony has put a tremendous effort into getting SVRA to this point and I am very happy to have been able to be a part of it – unfinished as that may be.
This Amelia Island Vintage Gran Prix is first and as the appointed Director of the Gold Medallion Program, I tell you in all honesty that I will need your help. We will need your help. My goal is to see worthy period grids of proper cars to show those who chose not to enter – what we are about. Who better to do that than those who know what this is about and have done it before – that could be you. Yes, it may be a long trip and means taking some amount of time away from home. We are looking into ways we could be of help to you and yes I am asking you to give this serious consideration.
The Fernandina Air Field is ideal. The town is ideal for a great time. As I mentioned earlier, we are, for the most part, at the far end of the time line, whatever that may mean. At present I like my car – it’s not for sale – I like sharing it with new people. I would like to use it but I don’t enter events very often anymore, for lots of reasons – but, I’m not ready to park it. I don’t believe that I am alone in that thinking. I am sure there are a lot of cars that people would like to see and I hear that people would like to join in. The goal for this event is to put more cars and people in motion! To do that – we need to DO IT and they need to see it. The Amelia Island Vintage Gran Prix, March 16-19, 2017 is the time and place.
Medallion Race Groups are formatted differently than most. The groups are not based solely on performance. Medallion groups on formatted on: time periods, age, originality, period technical development, engine displacement – in a sense “Time Capsules” for cars of a similar period.
The Groups for this event will be for pre-1970 cars. Whether you are a member of SVRA or not, I suggest you go to SVRA.com and pull up the Gold Medallion tab, there you should find all of the information you could want. If the Gold Medallion information looks familiar, that is because the rules and regulations are the General Racing rules, verbatim.
Amelia Island Vintage Gran Prix, March 16-19, 2017
Medallion Entry Deadline will be December 15, 2016
Medallion Group 1:
– Medallion Class A-1 1900-1926 Sports & Racing Cars
– A-2 1927-1939 Sports & Touring Cars
– A-3 1926-1939 Racing Cars
Medallion Group 2:
– Medallion Class B-1 1947-1955 Sports Cars
– B-2 1947-1955 Sports Racing Cars under 1500cc
– B-3 1947-1955 Sports Racing Cars over 1500cc
Medallion Group 3:
– Medallion Class G-1 1955-1961 GT Cars under 2000cc
– G-2 1955-1962 GT Cars over 2000cc
Medallion Group 4:
– Medallion Class C-1 1955-1960 Sports Racing Cars under 2000cc
– C-2 1955-1959 Sports Racing Cars over 2000cc
Medallion Group 5:
– Medallion Class E-1 1958-1959 Formula Jr. Fiat/Lancia front engine
– E-2 1959-1960 Formula Jr. drum braked
– E-3 1961-1963 Formula Jr.
Medallion Group 6: Medallion Class G-3 1962-1965 GT under 2000cc
Medallion Group 7: Medallion Class G-4 1963-1966 GT over 2000cc
Medallion Group 8: Medallion Class D 1959-1965 Sports Racing Cars
Medallion Group 9: Medallion Class H-1 1964-1969 FIA Makes Championship Cars
These individual race groups are open exclusively to Gold Medallion cars. The minimum grid size acceptable in each group is 14 cars. If an acceptable number of entries are not received by the entry deadline, the group may be dropped and entrants notified immediately. The Gold Medallion Entry Deadline is December 15, 2016
At this time I am looking for expressions of interest. (“Sounds good, I want to enter, I’d like to hear more, I can’t make it.” Whatever.) I value your input and this will also help me with the planning of the desired number of race groups. As an example, I would like to be able to split the A-1 class cars out of Group 1 and put into their own group.
Questions regarding the event please call Jessie: 805.737.1507
Questions regarding the Gold Medallion Program please call Steve: 805.686.9292
To create a Medallion race event alongside of the Amelia Island Concours gives us an opportunity to do something truly special. The Concours is a fabulous event and our efforts will add an element worthy of the celebration.
For an invitation go to svra.com.
I look forward to hearing from you,
SVRA, Gold Medallion Program