For weeks I had been eagerly awaiting my trip to Infineon Raceway for the Second Annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival. Vintage racing happens to be one of my favorite events to photograph, and the thought of the cars attacking the hills of Infineon had me counting down the days until the event.
In the days leading up to the race, I checked the weather forecast to see what the conditions would be like at the track. Although the forecast called for rain, I was picturing the light drizzle that happens regularly around coastal California. It turns out I was wrong. Over the weekend California was hit by a rare storm that made it feel more like January than June.
I'm not sure about spectators, but the weather didn't seem to keep many racers away. Here's a look at the Historic Trans Am garage. This is pony car heaven – no other way to describe it.
Nearly every era of historic race car was represented, from the early pre-war machines to the glorious race cars of the '70s.
Speaking of the '70s, here's a look in the garage for Can Am cars. McLaren was the featured marque of this year's event and there was a huge selection of McLaren Can Am cars running. McLaren itself also had a very nice display of race and production cars, which we'll see a little later.
Here we see an Alfa coming through turn three on Friday afternoon, a little before the weather turned ugly.
By Saturday, the rain had drenched everything. There wasn't much to shoot in the paddock with all the cars covered up…
Still, the drivers weren't afraid to take their cars onto the track in the rain. Much respect to these guys for driving their extremely valuable machines in these kind of conditons.
Before the rain started coming down, I caught this very retro looking 510 wagon in the paddock.
Also spotted this beautiful E-type Jag parked in one of the spectator areas. It's stuff like this that really adds to the vintage racing experience.
Outside of Formula Drift a couple years ago, this was my first time really shooting at Infineon Raceway. It turns out it's quite a photogenic circuit with lots of dramatic elevation changes. Looking forward to shooting here more in the future.
Also, some cool views of the San Pablo Bay are visible in the background from certain areas.
A Grabber Blue Boss 302 Mustang thunders down the front straight during Trans Am practice. With its large number of competitors, the Trans Am class is considered by many to be the highlight of the event.
A Mini cresting a hill. These little cars are actually some of the funnest to watch as they dance through the corners.
Porsche 935. This view alone is worth the price of admission to the Sonoma Historics.
Everytime I see a Lotus Europa, the first thing that comes to mind is the "Circuit Wolf" comic series out of Japan.
More greatness from the Trans Am class with this '69 Z/28. The sound of the screaming small block that comes out of those side pipes is magnificent.
The legendary BMW CSL climbs the hill coming through turn two. What an amazing looking race car.
Of course the Trans Am class isn't only about pony cars, this 911 was also out there mixing it up with the larger V8 machines.
I'm just getting started with my coverage of the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival. Stay tuned for much more from the rainy, yet beautiful Wine Country of California.