Photos: VARA's High Desert Challenge at Willow Springs

Ben Kuhl

Photos: VARA's High Desert Challenge at Willow Springs


Photos: VARA's High Desert Challenge at Willow Springs


The Vintage Auto Racing Association (VARA) took to the high-speed Willow Springs International Raceway last week for its annual High Desert Challenge, sponsored by K&N. “The Fastest Road in the West” was the stage for battles ranging from open-wheel formula cars to Big Bore behemoths. Plenty of VARA veterans and “rookie” drivers alike looked to take on the legendary circuit famously tamed by the likes of Miles, Shelby, Bondurant, and more.

Jim Wilkey (Ford Taurus Stock Car) chases Dave Hartel (1971 Datsun 240Z). Photo: Ben Kuhl

Kicking off the packed VARA 2022 Calendar, the High Desert Challenge saw growing fields and racers more than excited to be back on track again. Bradley Newman (1984 Swift DB-1) and Todd Gerstenberger (1970 Titan Mk6) were inseparable during Sunday’s flag race with Bradley claiming victory by a mere 0.165s. Vintage racer and photographer Ben Kuhl was on hand to capture and share the sights.

The B Sedan class is always well represented… Photo: Ben Kuhl

Next up for VARA is round two of its all new hillclimb series at Willow Spring International Raceway’s Horse Thief Mile on April 24th. This event is open to all cars. Find out more HERE.

Ken Blasko getting in some practice with his 1969 BMW 2002. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Todd Strong (Titan) and the Formula Ford group, locked in and ready on pre-grid. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Efrain Olivares and his enthusiast family never fail to impress with their ’68 Ford Escort. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Jerry Kehoe’s fast partially home built BMW V12-powered March 87B. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Brian O’Shaughnessy (1972 MG Midget) leads the Small Bore pack through Turn 4A. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Jason Wolpert (1977 Lola T-440) speeds down the front stretch into Turn 1. Photo: Ben Kuhl

William Taylor paces the Big Bore field up over Turns 4A and 4B. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Brad Long’s 1965 Chevrolet Corvette in Willow Springs’ Turn 3. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Rare but fun to see H Modified 1959 Crossley Special, driven by David Lambert. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Todd Gerstenberger sits ready and focused. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Small Bore machinery, ready for practice on a cool and cloudy Saturday morning. Photo: Ben Kuhl

All in the family: The Rimicci brothers Fabrizio (1967 Alfa Romeo Gulia) and Anthony (1968 Alfa Romeo GT). Photo: Ben Kuhl

Jonothan Omstein turned up in a unique 1972 Toyota Corolla. Photo: Ben Kuhl

FFDC organizer Kim Madrid, as quick as they come with Ivey Engine power. Photo: Ben Kuhl

John Anderson’s recently acquired 1969 Greenwood Corvette kept its patriotic livery. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Shannon Penrith knows how to get around in her 1965 Austin Mini. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Parker Anderson wrestles his 1963 Chevrolet Corvette into Turn 3. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Karen Salvaggio’s expertly recreated 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe. Photo: Ben Kuhl

VARA is working to keep up with the times: Adam Khoda raced Big Bore with a 1995 BMW M3. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Marcelo Doffo had a blast in his first race with VARA piloting a 1995 Van Diemen FC. Photo: Ben Kuhl

Spencer Cannon leads the FF train up over the top. Photo: Ben Kuhl

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