Event>>the Sonoma Historics Pt.1

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.

-Mike Garrett



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Juneary. I live 80 miles away from there. I can't believe I missed this.. Those Alfas.


It was a really good event it was a shame about the weather. They certainly had some nice vehicles and the racers on Sunday were great. Check out my site for a couple of photos.


oooh.. so many classics. love the front end of those Alfa's, i think i need to drive one of those Lotus Europa's one day, plus i can vouch that the old school Mini's are one the 'funnest' cars to throw around a track! [smile] -Honourable mention:- goes out to the cool looking 510 Wagon in the BRE type colour scheme using Green/Black & White.. Retro chic at its finest! - good quality coverage so far.. keep it coming


Awesome right up!! I love seeing these magnificant race cars from yesteryear go all out at the track


Phew... I love old school cars. I've featured some myself at my site http://custompinoyrides.com/tag/old-school/ but these are mostly show cars. Would love to have the chance to shoot one of these old school races.


Great assortment of classis. The similar event here in Melbourne, AUstralia is my favourite of the year without a doubt. Nothing like seeing these super valuable classic racecars being driven to within an inch of their life by brave owners. Love it.


That Datsun wagon belongs to a Mr. Larry Oka. He has a shop there at the track and a squad of spec Miatas for rent. He's a cool guy. I used to go to this event every year with my dad, but now I'm in college and on the quarter system and I'm never able to make it home for race weekend :(


Amazing photos, mike!


I like for all picture for race classic car. cool


I always look forward to pictures of historic races. The cars are great to look at, and it is nice to know that some people actually drive their cars rather than stare at them.


more mini pics please


I'd love to see more of the Lotus XI. (and more of all classics!)


love the girly headlights on the mini, sure gives character!!


i have lived 20 mins away for sears point - YES I CALLED IT SEARS POINT !-my whole life until i moved to LA for a year. U never know how good something is until its no longer within arms reach. In high school if you showed your school ID and you were in auto shop you could could join wednesday night drags for free. Ahh the old days.............


Wow these classics look great out on the track. I hope the Mach 1 has a good http://www.speedwaymotors.com/">mustang brake kit in place. It looks like it was zooming. Stopping that beast must be tough.


In the early 70's at Watkins Glen - a fast course already, the Can-Am cars were outpacing the F1 cars by a lot.

OH OH OH Speaking of Tony Stewart and Louis Hamilton are SWAPPING CARS AT THE GLEN IN 2 WEEKS!

Thats right first time in 30 years a modern F1 car has been to The Glen, the true home of American Road Racing.

I defy you west coast hipsters to check out a true race town and what others *COUGH-SONOMAA-COUGH COUGH LAGUNASECA* try so hard to replicate and can never duplicate.