Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Concours d'Elegence-Very Gatsby Automobiles

By: JR

The 10th Anniversary of the Hilton Head Concours d'Elegange took place this past weekend in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina This car event had something for automobile  enthusiasts of all kinds.  It was a great opportunity to see amazing cars in both Hilton Head, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia.
The Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance, one of the nation’s signature automobile events, was proud to announce the addition of legendary racing stars, vintage Indy racecars, and the Porsche GT3 Cup series cars to the already packed Savannah Speed Classic agenda. The scenic river-view site of Hutchinson Island in Savannah was alive with not only the roar of vintage race cars, off-road drives through the woods, Hot Lap rides at speed, but some of history’s greatest automotive influences including Boris Said, Hurley Haywood, Joey Hand, and Bill Auberlen.
Boris Said, known as the ‘road course ringer’ amongst NASCAR enthusiasts, served as the Grand Marshal for the Savannah Speed Classic event on Hutchinson Island, October 28 – 30.  With his extensive experience, Said was the perfect fit for the Grand Prize of America Road Course, a wide, 1.965 mile circuit with 10 turns.  Fans got an up close and personal experience with Said who was on-site offering hot lap rides to spectators (hot laps were available at an additional cost), signing autographs and joining in a Q&A series with other noteworthy drivers including the Festival’s 2010 Honorary Chairman, Hurley Haywood.
Hurley Haywood, who has been called the ‘most prolific sports car endurance driver’ winning more endurance classics than any other driver in racing history, appeared at the 2011 Motoring Festival. One of the most accomplished and renowned race car drivers in the world, Haywood’s many wins include five at the 24 Hours of Daytona, three at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and two at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Making his move to sports cars after three seasons in Toyota Atlantic competition, Joey Hand has been winning races and competing for titles ever since. Hand joined the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team in 2008. “I think Joey Hand is the best young American sports car talent out there right now. What he has is a really good feel for a race car,” said this year’s Grand Marshal, Boris Said who had provided training to many of racing’s top names.
Also joining the list of attendees was Bill Auberlen. With six professional auto-racing championships, four with BMW power, under his belt, Bill Auberlen is a great addition to the Speed Classic. His results include 83 race victories, 170 podium finishes, 55 positions, 75 fastest race laps and 105 records.
 All racers, including Said, sat on a panel discussion on their racing careers Saturday, October 29th at the Savannah Speed Classic.  The panel will be held during the lunch hour (approximately 12:25pm) in the Vintage Indy Racing tent located in the Pit/Paddock area. 
Dennis Gage host of Speed Channel's My Classic Car was Honorary Chairman
In celebration of the centennial celebration of the Indy 500, along with the 100 year anniversary of Savannah’s own Vanderbilt Cup, Vintage Indy race cars will highlight the weekend with cars driven by famed Indy racers. Each of these cars has raced at the Indy 500 and will be at this year’s Savannah Speed Classic. Racing with over 800 horsepower, they are sure to get anyone’s adrenaline pumping. A few of the cars included in the exhibit will be a 1965 Brawner Hawk driven by Mario Andretti, a 1985 Danny Ongais, a Jim Hall Pennzoil car driven by John Andretti and a 1986 Patrick Racing driven by Emerson Fittipaldi.
With similar Porsche races in almost every country, GT3 Cup racing has developed into the most successful ‘one make’ motor racing championship in the world today. The Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy USA is exciting for a reason – the cars are as close to identical as you will find, the winning advantage comes down to driver and team skill, experience and sheer determination. With a top speed in excess of 185mph, the lightweight, high performance vehicles have a 420 horsepower, 3.6-litre six-cylinder boxer engine which revs to 8200rpm, producing a sound that is distinctly Porsche.

 This year’s Savannah Speed Classic’s signature pieces include the Inaugural Car Club Challenge pitting BMW vs. Porsche vs. Ferrari, Hot Lap rides at speed with professional drivers, Vintage Indy Car exhibit, Grand Marshal, Boris Said, sponsor test drives, an off-road test drive course, pit access with admission, appearances by legendary drivers, tack touring, infield parking, beer garden, live music, food concessions, VIP tickets, and much more.
The Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance has earned the distinction of being one of the nation’s signature automobile events and was recently named to the Southeast Tourism Society’s ‘Top 20 Events’ list. The tenth annual festival took place from October 28-November 6, 2011 with venues at both The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort on Hutchinson Island (Savannah, GA) and the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn on Hilton Head Island, SC. The multi-day Festival featured four signature events: the Savannah Speed Classic (October 28 – 30), the Car Club Jamboree (November 5), the Motoring Midway (November 5 & 6) and, the centerpiece, the Concours d’Elegance (November 6).  

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