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Put-in-Bay Sports Car Races

The Put-in-Bay Road Race Historical Society is celebrating our 10th year of honoring the sports car races and intrepid racers of the 1950s by celebrating the 60th birthday of the iconic Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite and 70 years of Porsche building some of the most desirable sports cars ever conceived. “Bugeye Sprites were highly represented in the 58, 59, and 1963 races, and a variety of Porsches were significant competitors at the original races,” said event founder and sports car races director Jack Woehrle.

Strong turnouts for racing and road-going examples of both marques are anticipated, as well as the usual array of vintage sports cars such as Alfa Romeo, Datsun, Fiat, Austin Mini, MG, Lotus, Morgan, Triumph, and others, plus a growing cadre of vintage open wheel racers. Following a record turnout for the 2017 event, where owner-drivers of more than 100 race cars and some 60 streetcars came to play, we are expecting a comparable turnout in 2018 despite a change to a later date.

Organizers pushed the date back three weeks to September 24th thru the 27th in order to attract even better cars. Many racers, not wanting to risk the health of their vehicle prior to the long-running Watkins Glen, New York, and Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin events, expressed their desire to race director Jack Woehrle, for a later date in September so they could attend. This change should not only bring in a wider variety of cars but cooler weather for the cars, drivers, and spectators. The Tarmac can get mighty hot in a fireproof suit!!

Not only have the dates changed, but the order of events have to a degree as well which should afford participants and spectators alike more opportunity to see and be seen around the island. A significant percentage of the participants will be arriving throughout the day on Sunday, the 23rd. Events open to the public begin on Monday, September 24th, with the Car Show being held that afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m., followed almost immediately thereafter by the Parade Laps of the Original Track, one of the event’s most anticipated activities.

Racing will occur on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Put-in-Bay Airport from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with excellent viewing areas surrounding Erickson Field. Another event open to the public is the prevalent “Rocker Cover Races,” to be held
at 6:30 p.m. at The Goat Soup and Whiskey. You can construct a rocker cover racer and enter even if you are not an official participant. Instructions are available on our website. For more information on the 2018 event, past events, and historical data, along with hundreds of photos, please visit our website: www.pibroadrace.com. For hotels and lodging, visit the Put-in-Bay Hotels website.

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