The Spring Classic vintage car race and historic motorcycle exhibition to be held on May 19-21 features 10 run groups with racers from around the country excited to take part in the inaugural event during Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s 60th anniversary celebration.
Participants in the 1966-1972 Trans-Am and 1966-1972 Trans-Am 2.5 Liter groups, in particular, are sure to be a large attraction. The groups had been a fan favorite at the iconic race track at past events, and for good reason.
The Trans-Am Series was formed in 1966 by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) as a manufacturers championship for modern racing sedans during the dawn of the pony car era. Classes were divided into “Under 2 Liter” and “Over 2 Liter” distinctions. The “Over 2 Liter” class was allowed up to a 5.0 liter displacement, and fields in the late 1960s and early 1970s were filled with American V8 coupes of the time that include such brands as Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Plymouth Barracuda, Mercury Cougar, AMC Javelin, Pontiac Firebird, and Dodge Challenger.
The “Under 2 Liter” category featured entries from Porsche, Alfa Romeo, BMW, Datsun, Mini Cooper, Saab, and Volkswagen. The “Under 2 Liter” class was renamed the Two-Five Challenge in 1971 with engine displacement increased to 2.5 liters.
“The Spring Classic features vintage race cars from the golden eras of many series coming back to life on the track,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “We’ve had a great response from the entrants in the Trans-Am groups, which have been popular categories among the fans.”
Pulling double-duty during the event is Bill Ockerlund. The Holland, Mich., resident will campaign his 1972 Datsun 510 in Group C (“Under 2 Liter”) and wheeling his 1969 Chevrolet Camaro in Group F. His Camaro has the distinction of being built by Roger Penske Racing, campaigned by Penske for the entire 1969 season, and earned Chevrolet the manufacturers Trans-Am championship. For the 1969 season, it was driven by three-time Trans-Am champion Mark Donohue, Ronnie Bucknum, and Ed Leslie.
The popular run groups from the beginning and golden eras of the Trans-Am Series are just a part of the on-track action that will captivate fans of vintage racing at the Spring Classic. Other run groups included are 1967-1972 Formula B, 1973-1984 SCCA Production GT Cars, 1966-1974 Can-Am, 1973-1979 Formula Atlantic, 1983-2007 World Sports Car/Le Mans Prototype, 1979-2006 Historic Stock Cars, and 1967-1984 Formula 1 as well as Historic Motorcycle Exhibitions.