A weekend-long parade of legends, both noteworthy motorsports personalities and iconic vehicles, helped make the Sept. 29-Oct. 2 American Speed Festival presented by Comerica Bank at M1 Concourse a huge success.
Nearly 170 race cars representing 14 classes were gathered for the event, with several in their midst telling the story of Shelby American and designer Peter Brock, both the cars and the man event honorees.
Nearly two dozen Vintage Indy cars took to the track in multiple sessions, with motorsports legend Al Unser Jr. driving the Indy 500 pace car, while also on track and on display were Ferraris spanning many eras.
Among the more memorable weekend moments were Unser Jr. being reunited with the 1986 Domino’s Pizza Shierson Racing Lola Indy car that he once raced and Brock getting a chance to drive one of the Shelby cars he designed.
“We’re very pleased with the American Speed Festival weekend,” said Tim McGrane, CEO of M1 Concourse. “Fans enjoyed seeing race cars doing what they were designed to do with two days of time trials on the 1.5-mile Speed Ring of Champion Motor Speedway. On Sunday they enjoyed the new automotive art show as part of the Speed & Style Expo. Guests also lined up to get a high-speed ride with an M1 professional driver on track and enjoy even more cars on display.”
Saturday evening’s second annual Checkered Flag Ball supporting M1 Mobility was a sell-out, bringing together community, industry, and political leaders to raise funds to assist with the transportation needs of Pontiac, Mich. residents. Among the guests were Senator Gary Peters, Congresswoman Haley Stevens, Oakland County Executive David Coulter, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel and Pontiac City council members William Carrington, Melanie Rutherford, and President Mike McGuinness. Joining them were famed drivers Use Jr. and Johnny O’Connell.
Peter Brock was honored that evening as Master of Motorsports for his ground-breaking design innovations in the racing world. “We were so honored that [he] was here with us for all four days,” said McGrane.
In addition to receiving his award Saturday night, he met with fans throughout the weekend and took part in in two Insider’s Garage discussions with renowned author/driver David Hobbs.
The 2022 Winners:
- Class 1 Shelby / Cobra: 1965 Shelby GT350 – Ken Costella
- Class 2 Vintage Indy: 1970 Gurney Eagle – Chuck Jones
- Class 3 Ferrari: 2019 488 Challenge Evo – Melissa Kozyra
- Class 4 Endurance Sports Cars: 1988 Fabcar GTP – Dave Nikolas
- Class 5 Feature Race Cars: 1989 Pontiac Grand Prix Mello Yello – Mike Haislet
- Class 6 Super Cars: 2005 Ford GT-1 – Fred Calero
- Class 7 Race Karts: 2022 UofM SAE – Michaela Fisk
- Class 8 Pontiac Firebird: 1970 Pontiac Trans Am – Keith Knudsen
- Class 9 Hot Rod / Customs: 1932 Ford 3-Window – Gordie Olsen
- Class 10 Pony Cars: 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 – Howard Kay
- Class 11 Muscle Cars: 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427 – Ron Turner
- Class 12 Modern Performance: 2016 Dodge Viper ACR – Marty Heitkamp
- Class 13 Import Performance: 1978 Datsun 280z – Ari Katz
- Class 14 American Classics: 1923 Duesenberg Model A Roadster – Peter Heydon
- People’s Choice Award: 2021 Ferrari Monza SP1 – Lauren Mendelson
- Car Selection Committee Award: 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 CSX 2203 – Ernie Nagamatsu
- Chairman Award: 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe – Charles Stringfellow
- M1 Momentum Magazine Award: 1963 Shelby Cobra 289 CSX 2154 – Cobra Experience
- David Hobbs Award: 1966 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster – Conrad Foster
- Al Unser Jr. Award: 1957 Stingray – GM Heritage Center
- Peter Brock Award: 1997 Shelby Can Am Peter Brock Prototype X3 – William Deary
A new-for-2022 City of Pontiac Award went to Karen Breen for her 1978 GMC Royale.
For more information on M1 Concourse events, click HERE.