It pretty much rained all year in Atlanta, and this race weekend was more of the same. Locals have watched the lake levels at Lake Lanier drop by dozens of feet over the last several years, but by the time we left Road Atlanta, the lake was actually over its ‘normal’ level.
SVRA combined Groups 5 and 6 into one feature race. We brought three cars, the Group 5 Grand Sport roadster and two customer Group 6 big block Corvettes.
This was our third race in the Grand Sport, and this time we got it right. We were on the pole for each of the first two timed sessions. The third session was rained out. The Saturday qualifying race was also rained out, but Sunday’s weather was clear and perfect.
Two of the Group 6 fast guys were second and third on the grid, so I naturally figured that was the competition. I actually never saw them during the race as I was running 1.5 seconds a lap quicker than they were, but I eventually got to see plenty of Dave Handy and his Lotus 23. Dave is a hell of a driver, but his car is from another planet. It’s listed as a 1600cc 1962 Lotus 23, and I remember racing against those cars back in the day when they ran laps 10% slower than the Grand Sport, when the Grand Sport made half the horsepower it does now.
We led every lap right up until a full course yellow and safety car made necessary by a car that ran off at Turn 7. Dave got the jump on the restart (my fault) and with only one lap to go, that was that. It was very disappointing! We worked hard for the win, but we weren’t quite fast enough and finished second.
This video is the first several laps from the Grand Sport during the race.
This video is from our customer car driven by Clair Schwendeman. It is the last green flag lap before the full course yellow, and the Grand Sport and Dave Handy in his Lotus 23 comes by putting him a lap down. This was Clair’s first race ever, and Road Atlanta is a pretty daunting place to break into big bore vintage road racing. He did a hell of a job, and survived the weekend.
Duntov Motor Company is the exclusive licensee for the continued production of the authentic original Corvette Grand Sport. Duntov Motor Company is the exclusive licensee for the manufacturing and distribution of the updated street version of this famous car. We service what we sell. We also restore and service 1963-1982 Corvette race, street and performance cars using original and replacement parts including front and rear suspension, brake calipers, brake rotors, brake pads, both J-56 and stock brake caliper pistons, and Corvette stainless steel parking brake parts. We offer the finest original U.S. built Corvette spindles and GM stub axles, along with remanufactured Corvette differentials for both street and race cars. We build both new and rebuilt Corvette trailing arm assemblies for 1965-1982 Corvettes, and offer Corvette street and racing springs and both steel and composite leaf springs in a wide selection of spring rates. Check out our Corvette parts section for shocks, sway bars, upper and lower A-arms, Corvette ball joints, tie rod ends, pitman arms, idler arms, shocks and U-joints.