photos by Connor Harrison Photography
published in the Fall 2013 quattro quarterly
THE ROAD AMERICA HAWK VINTAGE RACE is held every July and is a must-see for every Audiphile in the Midwest. Four days packed with exciting things to see and do both on and offtrack. Our group of vintage car buffs and Audi owners from all over Upper and Lower Michigan usually arrive each year on Friday. In the past we drove to this event, but decided to carpool and trailer 300 miles instead. The very first ritual is to head over to the track to watch the vintage race car qualifying and grab lunch (which includes some of the best brats in America), then a stroll to the vendor area where you can purchase clothing, die cast models, decals and vintage books.
A walk in the paddock is always next on the list. Keep in mind that this event is one of the most open you can attend. Most teams allow access to the cars and are happy to talk with guests. Photos can be taken of the intricate inner workings of a once factory race car. Friday night at 6 pm sharp all vintage cars are police escorted to the old Victorian village of Elkhart Lake, WI where they line up for the Concours show. Thousands attend with wine and food vendors spilling into the streets.
Saturday brings racing and a special treat—track touring, where you can drive the historic Road America at noon on each of the race days for a fee. We were happy to take the 1984 Group B Rally Tribute ur quattro for a much needed run on the course. Recent engine upgrades should have the car developing close to 450 hp. Along with new period correct style tarmac 9x16 Compomotive wheels from England and Bridgestone RE 11 Potenza tires, we were able to help keep that power down on the ground, allowing us to use the brakes less and power more compared to last year. We did have to remind ourselves that this was only a touring session and not a race! There might be some vintage racing in this Audi’s future. Saturday night’s Concours show was fun with thousands of people attending and cars judged. A very clean 1987.5 200,000 Mile Special Edition Audi Coupe GT won a top award in its class.
This year’s Audi notable was the ex 2006 Audi A4 DTM R12 car once driven by Mattias Ekström and prepared by ANSA Motorsports. It’s great to see these cars being driven on track instead of just sitting in a private collector’s museum. If you plan on attending the 2014 Road America Vintage races, make sure to book rooms early as they fill up a year in advance. While at Road America, make sure to try the brat on a stick, you will not be disappointed.