The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) continues its growth under the helm of President and CEO Tony Parella by adding the British luxury sportscar brand Jaguar as a sponsor for seven of its historic/vintage race events around the country. According to a May 26 press release from SVRA, Jaguar’s sponsorship will begin with the May 28-31 weekend at Sonoma Historic Motorsport Festival at Sonoma Raceway in California. SVRA has also recently announced that it will hold a new race event in conjunction with the annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida.
Sonoma marks the beginning of SVRA’s Gold Medallion Invitational, an event that “salutes and rewards cars that are prepared as they were raced in their original era,” according to SVRA. Following Sonoma in May, Jaguar will sponsor the Brickyard Invitational at Indianapolis Motor Speedway June 10-14; the Portland Vintage Racing Festival at Portland International Raceway July 9-12; the Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International July 23-26; the Coronado Speed Festival with San Diego Fleet Week Foundation September 18-20; the Mardi Gras in October with CVAR event at NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana October 8-11; and the U.S. Vintage National Championship at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, November 4-8.
As part of the partnership, Jaguar will be present at these events. According to the press release, “Jaguar will offer consumers the opportunity to test the dynamic performance of the newest additions to the Jaguar line-up including the 550-hp Jaguar F-TYPE R AWD. Activities will include an autocross track specially designed by the Jaguar Performance driving team.”
About the new partnership, Parella commented, “We are honored to partner with Jaguar, one if the most iconic automotive manufacturers in the world. This partnership focuses on the significant sports car racing heritage and impressive new road cars from Jaguar. The joint effort of SVRA and Jaguar reinforce a commitment to history, while building synergy towards a future together. The vintage race drivers, their guests, crews and fans will all enjoy what Jaguar Land Rover North America brings to our events, and we are proud to play a part in it.”
Kim McCullough, Vice President, Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America, commented, “Exciting Performance is at the foundation of the Jaguar DNA beginning with our rich history in racing right up to our newest models. With this partnership we have the opportunity to introduce the modern Jaguar line-up to today’s most passionate automotive enthusiasts. We can’t wait for them to drive our new cars, especially the 2016 F-TYPE.”
SVRA also recently announced a partnership with the annual fine car show in Florida, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. In 2016, after the concours that runs March 11-13, SVRA will host a race meeting March 17-20 using the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport to create a 2.4-mile road course. According to SVRA, “As part of the event, one of the runways will remain open to accommodate vintage aircraft as part of the show. The addition of motorcycle racing to the program will be the SVRA’s foray into the realm of vintage bike competition.” Adding the race portion to the concours will expand Amelia Island’s activities to from three days to seven days over two weekends.
Bill Warner, founder and chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and Foundation said about the new addition, “I have raced with SVRA since its inception in the late seventies. Tony Parella runs a superb organization and brings to Amelia Island a world class racing event. It will be a perfect addition to March on Amelia Island.”
For his part, Parella noted, “I am in awe of the accomplishments of the Concours Foundation and the tremendous charitable work it has done. I know the SVRA can produce a worthy complement to The Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance. More importantly this is going to be a big treat for people who love cars, planes, bikes and their history.”
In the 1960s, sports cars raced briefly at Fernandina Beach Airport, and March, 2016 will mark a return of racing to the site. To honor that heritage, Parella plans “to focus the invitation-only SVRA race events on groups of race cars from pre-war and the decades ranging from the 1950’s to about 1980. These eras pre-date the heavy influence of aero technology and ground effects.”
SVRA continues along its steep growth path since Parella took over the organization in 2012. In addition to these partnerships, the organization also recently announced an agreement with OPTIMA Batteries that they would be the “official battery of SVRA for the 2015 season.”
For more information about historic/vintage racing with SVRA or membership in the organization, see the group’s website. Most SVRA race weekends are open to the public who are often invited to talk with car owners and racers and get up close to the cars in the paddock. Typically, tickets for SVRA race events are sold through the individual racetracks involved.