Every year since the 1970s, Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) has been coming back to the foothills of Georgia to celebrate all things racing. Its inaugural event was held at Road Atlanta nearly 40 years ago and a lot has changed since then, but the Mitty still reflects the glory days of sportscar racing like no place else.
This year’s Mitty marked the 50-year anniversary of Can-Am, which is arguably the greatest series ever to have been developed. In its heyday, Can-Am was producing some of the most technically-advanced cars for the era. Hearing the engine notes echo between the hills is truly a humbling experience.
Some may assume that these priceless museum pieces are being pampered while on track, but this weekend—like any other—had its fair share of unfortunate bumps, rubs and heavy contact. One of the Shadow DN4 Can-Am cars was crashed heavily during qualifying, resulting in the driver being airlifted to the hospital. He suffered multiple fractured bones but luckily is expected to make a full recovery.
Incidents like these are good reminders that the drivers pushing these cars to the limit are doing so in machines built long before modern safety standards were developed. Fortunately, track safety has come a long way over the years and the weekend saw plenty of clean and safe racing.
You might notice from the photos that not all of these cars are what most would consider vintage. When rule changes in modern sports car racing render a current GT3 Cup or Formula car chassis ineligible for the most current season, those cars can find a home in historic racing, which is perfect if you ever wondered how a Daytona Prototype stacks up against an Audi R8 LMP1. The Mitty is truly a melting pot for every decade of racing with enough variety to satisfy anyone’s tastes.
Once the weekend is over, if you haven’t at least made a couple friends, memories (or at least stained your shoes with red Georgia clay) then you haven’t fully experience the Mitty. It might not be as popular as other big name vintage gatherings, but in my opinion, it’s one of the best historic racing events in North America.
Photography by Logan LeGrand