Charity Challenge is season finale at Sonoma Raceway

After opening its 2013 Big O Tires major event season honoring a significant segment of motorsports history, including the 60th anniversary of the Corvette, with the 27th annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, Sonoma Raceway will wrap up the year with vintage racecars again taking center stage.

The Classic Sports Racing Group’s 10th consecutive Charity Challenge takes place this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6, with proceeds from the event benefitting the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, which is the charitable arm of the raceway. Since 2002, Speedway Children’s Charities has contributed more than $500,000 to Sonoma County youth organizations.

While Sonoma Raceway’s season-opening Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival featured 400 memorable historic racecars from Jaguar, Ferrari, Maserati and Bugatti, the raceway’s season finale will feature approximately 200 vintage racecars cruising the Valley’s twisting 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course.

Highlighting the Valley’s event-season finale will be the 1950s sports cars and marques such as Maserati, Ferrari, Porsche, Lotus and will include several well-known American “Specials” from the golden era of U.S. sports car racing, as well as a full array of formula cars, Trans-Am and production sports cars.

Heading the list of featured drivers racing in the Charity Challenge are veteran open-wheel racer Lyn St. James – one of just seven women to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 and the first woman to be named the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year (1992) – hitting the track in an ex-factory Trans-Am Boss 302 Mustang, which won the 1970 Trans-Am Series championship; four-time Grand Prix motorcycle World Champion Eddie Lawson piloting an Osella PA 3/5; Francois Castaing, a 27-year veteran automotive executive with Renault, American Motors and Chrysler; Sausalito’s John Hildebrand, father of INDYCAR driver and Formula Drift competitor JR Hildebrand, in his 1968 Chevy Camaro; and Drew Alcazar, chief executive officer of Russo and Steele Collectible Auto Auctioneers, driving a Ford Shelby Mustang GT350.

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