Among the familiar race cars at the inaugural Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival at Infineon Raceway this weekend was the lime green/navy blue 1971 Alfa Romeo GTV, with door-filling numbers. The iconic graphics began with STEVE GRISWOLD of Berkeley who originally started racing Alfa’s in the sixties, with #58 as his number. When Norman took over in 1970, he kept it all and has done ever since. Norman raced the Alfa for five years, before switching to Formula Atlantics in which he excelled. He was part of the group which formed the West Coast FA group, which later was merged with the East Coast group which then become the very famous and long-running Atlantic Series. After five years in Atlantics, Norman came back to his Alfa, which he raced in SCCA Club Racing, Trans-Am Under Two Liter class and some IMSA races. Norman is pleased that there are enough 2.5 Trans-Am cars this year to have their own class at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

Jon Norman's 1971 Alfa Romeo GTV. Photo by Lynne Huntting

Norman’s Alfa was one of 30 selected historic race cars to parade from the race track Saturday afternoon to downtown Sonoma to be displayed at a local winery as part of a Speedway Charities event. He started sixth in Sunday’s Group 6B Race for Historic Trans-Ams, in his 2000cc car, the smallest car in a field of thumpers mostly 4500-5000cc cars. He finished a credible eighth among the 31 car field. BRUCE CANEPA of Scotts Valley CA started second and chased Pole Sitter JIM HAGUE of Santa Clara CA. Canepa’s 1970 AMC Javelin blew an engine and he parked it in Turn Two. Hague led wire to wire in his 1972 Javelin. KEN EPSMAN of Saratoga CA, wearing a brand new driver’s suit after his really old one ran away from home, started twentieth in his slime green 1970 Dodge Challenger, and finished second.

Alfa Romeo is celebrating its hundredth year and there will be a big deal in Milan. In the United States, several vintage events including Portland and Seattle will feature the Alfa marque.

STEVE EARLE, Chairman of General Racing which put on this weekend’s event with the race track, raced his 1953 Jaguar C Type in Saturday’s Group 2A race for Sports Racing & GT Cars 1948-1955. Considering he didn’t have time to qualify and started next to last in a 34-car field, he finished well, in twelfth place. ROB MANSON of Barcelona Spain won the race in his 1952 Schaghiticoke Manning.

Earle sold his McLaren race car, but still has a 459 Corvette and a 1951 Chevy pickup.