Thompson Vintage Festival

Thompson Speedway, now known as Thompson Motorsport Park, celebrated its first official sports car race on the new, and vastly improved, 1.7-mile road course. Approximately 220 vintage cars took to the track, which last saw action in the very early seventies!

At first glance, I felt I was in a time warp, as these vintage cars racing around the track were essentially the same cars that raced here just as the track closed! Of course, at that time, they were not considered vintage!

Kudos to Jonathan Hoenig, the great-grandson of the fellow who actually built the first road course here back in the '50s. Actually, this was the very first purpose-built road course in the US!

A few of us met with Jonathan about a year and a half ago when we heard his plans for the track, hoping to use it for the 2015 AROC Convention. He told us that the track would be ready a year in advance and showed us a very impressive layout. Although we only saw a few markers sticking out of the mud, we all left with a feeling that this guy really meant every word he said.

Not only did he make it happen, he knocked it out of the (motorsport) park! In addition to the oval track grandstands, there are many natural vantage points around the track. The hill off the oval is still there and allows great bird's-eye viewing. The paddock has garages that can be rented for race day and is complete with a souvenir shop and air-conditioned bathrooms! And, if you're not in the mood for walking, just wait a minute and a golf cart will pick you up and drop you where you need to be (possibly piloted by a fellow Alfista)!

This track is actually the third road course; the second course incorporated the oval. The oval is still used on this new design with a much-improved entry from the road course. In the old days, getting airborne at this junction was typical, with much wear on one's suspension as well as one's body!

There are a several events planned this summer, including a formula car weekend at the end of August. Various clubs will be using the track as well as the skid pad for autocrossing. Check out www.thompsonspeedway.com for more info.

Although most AONE members are sports car racing fans, check out the stock car racing on a nice warm Thursday night. Nonstop action from shade-tree backyard specials to missile-like modifieds! Great fun, good track food, and awesome ice cream at Bogey's!Tiny Quadrifoglio

[Wow — there were a lot of Alfas being raced at the Festival, including those of AONE members Roger Cassin and Tom Larsen. (Roger took second place behind veteran MGA racer Mark Palmer in Saturday's race, but protected the Alfa name by soundly beating that MGA in the feature race on Sunday.) We must make taking in this event a regular club happening! — Ed.]

 

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Thompson Vintage Festival