More Than a Dozen Feature Race Winners Crowned as 46th HSR Mitty at Michelin Raceway Comes to a Competitive Conclusion

30 Apr. 2024 • 9:21

One of the biggest editions of the Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Mitty in the event’s nearly 50-year history came to a competitive conclusion Sunday with more than a dozen HSR Feature Race winners crowned in the final two day’s of competition in the 46th running of HSR’s oldest race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.


Competitors in cars from nearly every generation of sports car racing and other categories from the last 60 years plus made it to victory lane over the course of the three-day blockbuster event that showcased “The Cars of Japan” as this year’s Featured Marque.


One of two competitors doubling up on HSR Feature race wins at the Mitty was Todd Treffert in his 901 Shop 1972 No. 14 Porsche 911. Treffert add the overall and GT Classic (GTC) wins in Sunday’s B.R.M. Endurance Challenge race to his Friday Sasco Sports overall and Porsche-class victories.


The weekend’s other double Feature Race winners were Cory Friedman and his Autometrics team in their 2016 No. 515 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo. Friedman won Sunday’s Global GT sprint and co-drove with Shannon Heford to the GT Modern (GTM) win in Saturday’s B.R.M. Endurance Challenge one-hour race.


Friedman and Heford finished a close second overall in Saturday’s B.R.M. Endurance race to overall and Prototype winners Pierce Marshall and Eric Foss. Making their first start of the season in the Matador Motorsports 2017 No. 02 Cadillac DPi, Marshall and Foss secured their second B.R.M. victory in a row after winning the same race at 2023’s season-ending Sebring Historics. The win was also the fourth overall B.R.M. Endurance victory for the Matador duo at Road Atlanta since 2020.


Saturday’s third B.R.M. Endurance race winner was Benjamin Myers who scored Historic-class honors and an impressive seventh overall finish in a packed 47-car field in his Wolf Motorsports 2001 No. 29 Carbir CS2 sports 2000.


The weekend’s final B.R.M. Endurance victor was Craig Watkins who finished just behind Treffert in second overall while securing the Vintage division victory in his 1968 No. 46 Porsche 911 prepared by the 901 Shop.


Following up on Friday’s Sasco Sports International/American Challenge race for bigger classic GT cars, Saturday’s Sasco Sports “B” race was a showcase of small-bore sports cars delivering some big excitement.


The overall and Porshe class win went to Gary Stanberry who pulled off a last-lap pass in the downhill run to the checkered flag for one of the most thrilling finishes of the weekend. Stanberry led only the final few hundred feet of the race but it was enough for the win in the 1988 No. 77 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup series car prepared by DAS Sport.


Michael Leveque was the first non-Porsche finisher to the line in his No. 23 1966 Yenko Stinger Corvair. Leveque secured the Sasco Sports American division win in addition to a stout seventh-place overall finish in the 41-car field.


Sasco Sports “B” International-class honors went to John Bibbo who broke through for his first HSR race win in his 1976 No. 208 BMW 2002 prepared by Motorsport Services and run out of Heritage Motorsports in the paddock.


Reigning Gene Felton Memorial Challenge winner “Front Row” Joe Nemechek went a perfect three-for-three in the annual tribute race for Felton, the late Georgia-based driving star and 2019 HSR Mitty Grand Marshal. Winning both the Saturday and Sunday HSR Group 8 Historic Stock Car races in his NEMCO Motorsports 2007 No. 47 Toyota Camry, Nemechek amassed enough points to keep a personal lock on the perpetual Lanier Technical College Gene Felton Trophy as the only driver to win it in the Pro category each of the three years the race has been run.


Matt Tifft finished second on track to Nemechek in Sunday’s final Group 8 sprint in his No. 39 2006 Dodge Charger to clinch Amateur-class Gene Felton Memorial Challenge honors for the first time.


Saturday’s highlight Cars of Japan Feature Race was an exhibition run for the more than 40 entered cars of all types from Datsun/Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, Honda/Acura and more. Although no trophies or points were awarded, Mazda Heritage Collection drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Tom Long definitely stole the spotlight. Moving the mighty 1989 Mazda 767B into the “lead” from the “pole” at the start, Bomarito was soon joined by Long, who was at the wheel of the 1991 Mazda RX-7 GTO. After Long went to the front for a few laps, the Mazda duo formed up to take the checkered flag side-by-side in a nearly perfect photo finish. The Mazda Heritage Collection cars and drivers were on track and on display all weekend and were one of the most popular attractions in what was the program’s first and hopefully not last appearance at the HSR Mitty.


The Grand Marshal of the 46th HSR Mitty was recently retired and longtime HSR President David Hinton who gave the traditional “Drivers Start Your Engines” command for Saturday’s Cars of Japan Feature Race. Hinton, who is also the owner and principal of race and championship-winning historic and vintage racing team Heritage Motorsports, remains a popular fixture in the HSR paddock. He was also presented during Friday night’s Mitty competitor social mixer at the track with the HSR Mitty Award for the competitor that best typifies the adventurous spirit of the fictitious daredevil daydreamer, Walter Mitty, who is the namesake and inspiration for the 46-year-old HSR Mitty extravaganza.


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