A Deafening Thunder: Welcome to the Grid

Five minutes to go. Each stab of the throttle produces a barking roar as the racers grid up pre-race. Grid control points at you – it’s time to put your Javelin in gear. You’e down in the grid with Hooniverse.

The images below were taken minutes before the hammers went down and the Trans-Am cars disappeared into turn 1 and up the hill. Look closely at the body language of the racers about to unleash some of the lairiest racecars ever made onto a difficult, technical course in serious competition. Both Vic Edelbrock and Craig Jackson were entered in the race but gridded up away from where these shots were taken.

If you’ve never stood next to an idling historic Trans-Am car, let me give you some advice – wear really good earplugs. The unmuffled 5 liter V8s will vibrate every cell in your body. A friendly grid control worker (Thanks Wayne!) shepherded me through the pit lane to grab some shots of group 6B lining up for the second-to-last race of the festival, as the drivers eased their 500+ HP pony cars into position. Several AMC Javelin factory racers were on hand, as well as a gorgeous blue ’70 Plymouth ‘Cuda, but first and second generation Mustangs and Camaros made up most of the field.
Look for more 2010 Sonoma Historics coverage all this week!
All images copyright 2010 Alex Kierstein.

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  1. muthalovin Avatar

    Hawt! I am always pleased to see these cars out at the track, and not sitting in some dusty barn, rotting away. I would rather see a track abused 'Cuda way more than one covered in dirt under a tarp.

  2. lilwillie Avatar

    If idling can be topped it is a Vintage Trans Am car going by at a buck fifty.

  3. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    I got stuck at the old Ford tagline on the back of the Mustang…… just in case anyone wants some nostalgia… click here:

  4. Armand4 Avatar

    Awesome post! The Trans-Am racers were indeed impressive this weekend. I look forward to seeing more!
    Did Hooniverse cover both days of the Historics? I had thought that the same cars would be racing Saturday and Sunday, as they had in previous years, which meant that I missed the vintage Stock Cars (the only thing louder and meaner than a Trans Am car's small-block V8 is a Grand National car's big-block V8) and a Sunbeam Alpine that was a factory entry at Sebring in '62.

  5. Wayne Avatar

    The Can AM cars did a good job of making noise.
    Alex it was my pleasure to get you out by the wall for some great shots.
    We at SF Region SCCA love to get the fans close to the action and cars on the grid.
    I hope everyone enjoyed the racing as much as we on grid did.

  6. Plecostomus Avatar

    Oh ****, I just came.
    DAMNIT I wish I'd been there for this– I was literally at Infineon the weekend before this at Vintage Aircraft, just up the road… and I got a bird's eye view of the track from an open-cockpit biplane from around 3000 ft up.
    Can Am and Trans Am is one of my most favorite racing series EVER along with the craziness of 1980's Formula One and Group B World Rally Championship. These series were responsible for the original Camaro Z/28, which had a high revving 302 and optional 4-piston caliper disc brakes up front and disc rears… The subsequent Z/28s with a displacement larger than 5.0L are a LIE and should be taken out to a field somewhere and shot. Thank you for covering this. 😀

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