SAAC 36 -VIR
The Shelby American Automobile Club along with SVT Owners of America & SVT Cobra Mustang Club recently gathered for their annual SAAC convention, this year held at Virginia International Raceway . By combining these clubs together in one event there was a splendid mix of old and new attracting owners from across the spectrum. The huge crowds that attended were in part due to the long Memorial Day weekend and partly due to the fact that VIR is one of the best laid-out racing facilities in the country. The Grand Course was used for the event, which combines the North Course (which we used at SAAC-31), the South Course and the Patriot Course. Tied together, they provide a circuit that is 4.2 miles long! That’s longer than Road America and it translates into quality track time. That also meant that cars were able to run in each group without encountering heavy traffic.
Friday saw the traditional Shelby/Cobra vintage race practice with the 10-lap race taking place on Sunday afternoon. For the parade laps, Shelby brought a new 545 hp GT350, which attracted a lot of attention. The vintage race was by invitation only and open to SAAC members with original GT40s, CSX2000, CSX3000, CSX4000, CSX7000 Cobras, GT350s, Mustang fastbacks prepared to GT350 specifications, Trans-Am Mustangs 1965-1971 and Tigers. All of these race cars had to have been previously raced and be recognized by sanctioning organizations. This long track made racing more like an enduro than a sprint.
The Friday practice was followed by a social at the Gallery, with a BBQ cook-out and dinner. There were approximately 15 original Cobras and a ton of blue on white GT350s, along with the rest of the vintage racers. Well done to Curt Vogt who came in third with his 1966 Shelby.
Saturday was the SAAC’s Concours Judging, which is the tightest judging on the planet! The SAAC Popular Vote show on Sunday. The Concours Show at the National Convention is the pinnacle of originality, where the best of the best are judged. Classes, following the National Guidelines, are included for performance cars from Shelby American (and Ford), namely Cobras, Shelby, Competition Cars (GT40s and original race version Cobras), Tigers (engineered by Carroll Shelby), and Bosses (the Ford derivative of the Trans-Am Mustang race cars developed by Shelby American). Teams of Concours Judges from across the country, with decades of experience, evaluate every detail of each car for originality, accuracy and workmanship.
It was another great event, filled with historic cars, exciting racing action, good food and some of the nicest people in the world. Thanks for another great event!