2023 Put-in-Bay vintage races will honor Japanese marques, offer expanded eligibilities

John Rees / Put-In-Bay Photos

2023 Put-in-Bay vintage races will honor Japanese marques, offer expanded eligibilities

Vintage Racing

2023 Put-in-Bay vintage races will honor Japanese marques, offer expanded eligibilities

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This fall’s Put-in-Bay Sports Car Races will honor Japanese marques with expanded vehicle eligibilities for the first time. Held on an historic Lake Erie island, this unique vintage racing event has always featured a heritage focus. For 2023, though, organizers plan a celebration of Japanese car brands and their collective role in motorsports in addition to the traditional lineup of entries.

Datsun/Nissan, Honda, Mazda and Toyota machies built prior to 1991 will be eligible for a “featured marque” discount and join the traditional Put-in-Bay race groups generally comprising 1973 and earlier cars. Hence first-generation Mazda Miatas, rotary powered RX7s, Toyota MR2 coupes and similar under-3 liter, pre-1991 cars driven by experienced vintage racers will now be able to take part in the September 19-21 “Holy Grail of Old-School Vintage Racing.”

“By opening entry eligibility to enthusiasts of the next generation of small-bore sports cars and sedans we feel we are staying true to the concept of the original Put-in-Bay Road Races while also expanding our reach to a broader group of vintage racers,” said event coordinator Manley Ford. Adding that the annual Put-in-Bay event has entry options for both racing- and non-racing participants, Ford noted, “We also expect to attract a broader slate of street-car entries and spectators as well.”

Small-bore sports cars raced through the narrow streets of the island from 1952-1959 and one ‘last time’ in 1963. Vintage Races have been held annually at the Put-in-Bay Airport since 2012 (except 2020).

“Today’s challenging and competitive 1.2-mile haybale-lined course rewards precise braking and nimble handling on a well-maintained surface that offers excellent grip, numerous passing opportunities and a variety of racing lines,” Ford said.

In addition to two days of racing, there is also an all-entrants car show, police-escorted tour-laps of the original 3.1-mile road course, several social gatherings, and the highly competitive (and entertaining) “rocker cover races.”

Registration is now open. For registration materials and additional eligibility details, click HERE.

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