Approaching its 10th year, the annual Put-in-Bay Sports Car Races and Reunion event has a revised date pattern for 2018. Previously held in late August, the 2018 event has moved to late September (Sept. 24 – 27) with racing to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 25 and 26, 2018.
Put-in-Bay Ohio 12-28-17 — The 2018 Put-in-Bay Sports Car Races will honor 60 years of the intrepid Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite (introduced in 1958) and Porsche which in 2018 will be celebrating 70 years of building some of the most desirable cars ever conceived. Strong turnouts for racing and road-going examples of both marques are anticipated as well the usual array of vintage sports cars such as Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Austin Mini, MG, Lotus, Morgan, Triumph and others plus a growing gaggle of vintage open wheel cars.
Following a record entry for the 2017 event — where owner-drivers of more than 100 race cars and some 60 street cars came to play — organizers are expecting a comparable turnout in 2018 despite the date change. “Bugeye Sprites were highly represented in the original ’58 and later races at Put-in-Bay and a variety of Porsches were significant competitors at the original races,” said event founder and race director Jack Woehrle. “Both marques represent their own brand of durability and
competitiveness, so we think it’s quite fitting to honor them for our 10th annual event.”
The modern-day Put-in-Bay sports car races began with a small reunion in 2009. That event marked the beginning of an effort to celebrate the history of small-bore sports car races that were held from 1952 to 1959 and once in 1963 at historic Put-in-Bay. The event has steadily grown and evolved into a substantial annual sports car happening focused around vintage races at the Put-in-Bay Airport featuring the same types of cars that raced on the island “back in the day.”
Uniquely offering entry options for both racing and non-racing participants, today’s Put-in-Bay Sports Car Races generally welcome vintage race prepared pre-1973 production cars up to 3 liters engine displacement, sports racers up to 1.5 liters and vintage Formula Vees, Formula Juniors and Formula Fords. Entry exceptions are not uncommon, so interested racers of cars outside the normal entry guidelines should reach out to Jack Woehrle (contact information below). There is also a limited quantity of non-racing entry options for pre-’64 “Heritage” sports cars and for post-’63 “Guest” street cars.
Tentative 2018 General Schedule of Events for Registered Participants*
Monday, September 24: Arrival day for most participants (although some will likely arrive Sunday or earlier). Registration, race-car tech inspection, afternoon car show and tour of the original course, early-evening wine and cheese reception and “recollections roundtable” presentation.
Tuesday, September 25: Track orientation for racers followed by practice sessions and group-race qualifying. Lunch-break track touring. Early evening rocker cover races at The Goat restaurant.
Wednesday, September 26: Two rounds of group races, official opening ceremonies, track touring, and Put-in-Bay Cup race. Food, drink and awards follow at Joe’s Bar.
Thursday, September 27: Farewell morning brunch and departure.
*Spectating at many Put-in-Bay Road Races events is free to the public including the races themselves, the car show, viewing the original course tour, and the rocker cover races (which anyone including non-participants can enter).
Put-in-Bay is a nostalgic enclave on South Bass Island, a short ferry ride off the shore of Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio. A resort community little changed from the ‘50s, it is one of the few places in North America where post-war sports cars raced through towns and countryside on public roads and where those roads exist today virtually unchanged.
For more information see www.pibroadrace.com (2018 event registration, should be available by mid-January) and feel free to join us on our facebook page.
The Put-in-Bay Sports Car Races are supported by presenting sponsor American Modern Insurance Group, the Lake Erie Shores & Islands tourism bureau, The Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce and many other supporting sponsors and program advertisers. Contemporary photos by Daniel Mainzer!
Event Coordinator, Media Contact: Manley Ford manley776 “at” yahoo.com / 734 502 2435
Race Director: Jack Woehrle: jackwoehrle “at” aol.com / 803 463 5388
Car Show Coordinator: Rich Hahn: putinbaytr3 “at” yahoo.com / 216 226 2323
Advertising and Sponsorship: Kurt Niemeyer ktrg65 “at” gmail.com / 513 304 1177