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Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline
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  Chicagoland MG Club:Driveline
by Bob Simon

Bob Simon From Sept 20-22, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin hosted the Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association races on their 4.2 mile grand prix style track. This is one of the best events to see at Elkhart Lake, because of the vintage and antique race cars participating, and because of the cooler and more comfortable weather than late September brings.

Bob Simon and Don Zbylut, decided to make their second annual trek to the races and their story follows:

It was a bright crisp morning Saturday that found us motoring towards Elkhart Lake for the annual VSCDA meet in Donís mint condition 1968 Tartan Red MGB. The roads were empty and the Wisconsin State Troopers were busy giving tickets to Japanese Toy Racers as we drove up RT 57 in our final leg of the trip. Even though it had rained the day before, the parking grass was firm and no muddy trenches were being dug by either narrow wheeled vintage cars, or overpowered Italian cars. We parked at the hairpin turn at the base of Firemanís Hill and were immediately blown away by the many pristine big Healyís owner by spectators of the event. Because Austin Healy was the mark of the year (as MG was last year) a number of Healy club members were there to watch their fellow members race at the feature race on Sunday. They even had a club snack table which was enjoyed by Healy club members as well as the local bee population!

We walked over to the paddock area and ran into our fearless Chicagoland MG Club leader Cowboy Dave Bralich! He was helping a gentleman work on that personís race car, so we said a few words of luck and encouragement and continued our walk through the paddock area, looking at Healeys, and MGs and Minis, and Volvos and Fords and Allards, and Lotii racers until we came to the F1ís. Yes, there were F1 race cars there! These were the "cast offs" of the great Jean Alesi, Al Unser, Lynn St. James and Michael Schumacher! Wow! We were just blown away with the beauty of those cars and with the sound of their exhausts (pun intended).

Looking at luscious race cars as well as some of the race car groupies can make you hungry, so we walked over to "the Patio" and had a Johnsonville Brat for lunch and watched the noon touring on the track, and then after that, some interesting but uneventful runs for grid placement for tomorrowís races. It was at that time that we made our second MG club member sighting! We met our MG club member Scott Fohrman behind the wheel of his sleek, black TC. We had last seen him at the Downers Grove Import Night this summer. The man gets around. That night we had a fabulous dinner at Bruceís in Elkhart Lake and a great nightís rest at the Spring Tulip B and B in Plymouth, which brought us to RACE DAY!

And a wonderful day it was! Fantastic cool weather and a partly cloudy atmosphere made it not only comfortable for the spectators, but great for the racerís vehicles as well. We saw some amazing cars flying around the track. All those marks mentioned above had their turn at trying to win the checkered flag. The day was relatively incident free until the 4pm mixed mark vintage race. There were 55 cars on the field and a broad range of displacement and power. Perhaps mixing this broad a range of so many cars was ill advised, because in the third lap of the race, a racer attempting to lap the slowest car on the field (yes after only two laps) in some way caused the slowest car to hit a concrete wall and go airborne. Both cars were severely damaged, a fire ensued, and ambulances took both drivers away. We could not get a report on their condition as we left the track, but we were extra careful as we drove down the interstate with half the state of Illinois coming back to the Chicago area. We hope that the two men involved in that incident are doing well. So thatís it for Bob and Donís excellent adventure. It was great.

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