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Compliments and Comments on 2012 PVGP

BMW 2002 crosses the finish line at Schenley Park to close the 2012 event.

BMW 2002 crosses the finish line at Schenley Park to close the 2012 event.

The 30th annual installment of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, presented by SHOP ‘n SAVE surpassed even our own expectations. We’ve been doing this every July since 1983 and we try to improve it every single year. After a few decades it becomes very difficult to keep meeting our goals.

Since we were celebrating a major milestone in 2012 we added two new events and expended several others. We’re proud to report that every event was a success. The amount of our year end donation to charity was $250,000.

Our 2012 event was wonderful in so many ways. Here are some of the comments that have already come in from racers and fans:

I want to thank you for all the courtesies extended to me during the race weekend by Bob Speer, Mary Ann Speer. Meghan Speer and Mark Sheldon and to tell you how much I thoroughly enjoyed my volunteer work with the PVGP.

The first PVGP I attended was in 1985. I am not sure how I heard about it, perhaps through Road & Track. The only race I missed since then was in 1991 when we were in Australia. I took my son at least three times, my father once, my wife once, and one year took an exchange student from Germany who was staying with us. In 2002 I decided to make the trip worthwhile and signed up as a volunteer. Cathy Dernorsek contacted me, and from that year on I have worked with registration for the European Car Show.

I look forward to seeing everyone next July 20/21.

Joe Weaver
Columbus, Ohio

I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the PVGP Association, and awesome volunteers who helped coordinate another two spectacular weekends of vintage racing.

As some of you know, I proposed to my fiance’ Betsy on turn 11A, during the lunch break on Saturday at the Schenley Park event. It started the week before when I was able to steal Betsy’s parents during a qualifying session to ask their blessing (very important step). Fast forward a week: I , being the kind of guy who likes to plan WAY in advance, asked Bob Borgo about 1.5 hours before lunch if I could get 5 minutes on track during the break to take Bets out on a lap, get out of the car – on track – and ask her the big question.

A short while later, Bob says everything is A-OK with Rocky & race control, just don’t dawdle. Long story short, it went exactly as planned, we had a small cheering section as one of the lunch trucks drove by, and it made for the most memorable day of my life so far.

So on behalf of Betsy and our friends and family who came to take part – thanks to all involved. Thanks for making it all possible, it’s a weekend we won’t forget, and will keep attending as long as we are able.

Ian Wisbon

Many Vintage racer Group members are probably recovering from the weekend right now, so allow me to get this started … the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix at Schenley Park was simply fantastic! I don’t enter very often, in fact this was only my second time as a driver (been there numerous other times to hang out, or help) but I think this has to rank among the best ones ever. That’s really apropos for the 30th running of the event.

The entire production is staged independently by the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association, and of course it is open to vintage racers from any club so a lot of VRG members go — plus a lot of people & cars you just don’t see anywhere else.

Dick Barnes & company did a really good job with race groups, pretty evenly divided, well matched cars, I suppose there were a few moves & adjustments during the weekend but it looked like everyone had some good partners to race with. There were very, very few incidents and I know of no 2-car incidents — I believe the handful of problems were single-car, at least two of them caused by mechanical problems, not driver error. It was a remarkably safe weekend, a testament to the PVGP organizers.

MG was the Marque of the Year and there were over 50 MG’s entered, everything from a couple of Pre-War cars up to some pretty hot MGB’s. The Sunday all-MG race was great, everyone played well with others as far as I could tell. I saw plenty of point-by’s and good judgement by the faster drivers.

I haven’t counted the entry list, but it must have been a near-record entry, or maybe the all-time record. The paddock was full! And I’ll bet they set a new record for spectators, as the weather was picture-perfect on Sunday.

If you’ve never done this event, it truly is a must-do. I know you hear that all the time about lots of events, but it really is true about the PVGP. There is nothing like it anywhere else in North America. The volunteers are amazing, the crowds are simply incredible — it is the largest spectator event in Pittsburgh, bigger than any Steelers game, Pirates game, U of Pitt football, anything.  The fans are so enthusiastic, you really feel like a hero just for showing up with your little old sports car to race. Yes, the race circuit is treacherous and very, very difficult — but you simply adjust your outlook and drive well within your limits. The faster drivers understand the situation and are generally careful when passing the newer entrants. There were something like 35 first-timers there this year — and yet, a very safe weekend overall.

I did the back-to-back races this year — PittRace and Schenley Park — a lot of work, but worth it. I was on such a high last night, I told my wife “if they had another race next weekend, I’d go back!” Well OK, I may not do the double every year, but I’ll certainly go back to Schenley more often than I have in the past. It is an absolutely amazing event!

Mark Palmer
Vintage Racer Group

 I could not have said it better. And having you as a ‘next door neighbor’ in the paddock was an additional bonus. We had mechanical problems on Saturday that, thanks to the help of many volunteers, was fixed by Sunday morning.

But even if we had to spend the rest of the weekend on jack stands, the Saturday track time, and the GREAT driver reception and ‘parade’ would have resulted in the weekend being a success.

The PVGP is the reason I vintage race, simple as that.

 Jim Arnett
Vintage racer 

I wanted to take a few minutes to write you all a heartfelt THANK YOU for all of the time, effort and love you folks put into this year’s PVGP Marque of the Year celebration. We had no prayer of matching the financial bench-mark set by Porsche, last year, but we still ended up with a very impressive showing for our beloved MG marque.

Equally importantly, we showed a lot of our fellow MG owners a very good time and did a good job of getting the “word” out to the public about how very good MGs really are. I’ve even had a few of my Porsche friends tell me they are now interested in acquiring MGBs!

Also, due in large part to your efforts, we can expect to see a lot of those same MG people return to PVGP next year, to join us for British Car Day.

Thanks, also, to our good friends Jerry Longstreth, Bob Speer and Dan DelBianco for sticking their necks WAY out to name MG as this year’s Marque of the Year and for being such a delight to work with in putting this thing together. This past year has been an awesome, great experience for me and I’m sure it has been for you folks, too.

Now for some rest and to get Cindy’s MGB finished-up!

Bud Osbourne
Greater Pittsburgh MG Club 

I can’t thank you enough for your support of our club and allowing us to display at this year’s PVGP. The response and exposure for our club was overwhelming! It definitely met and exceeded our expectations for the event. Our location was phenomenal and our members and the public had nothing but good things to say. I think that we were able to really surprise some of the spectators with our vehicles and hopefully get them excited to come back next year.

We got a visit from Wayne Carini as well which blew me away! I have some pictures of our area posted on Facebook from this weekend if you are interested.

I hope that you’ll be able to stop out to one of our Saturday meets in Robinson this year as well. I look forward to planning another amazing event with the PVGP next year!

Cliff Laschon
Cars N Coffee Pittsburgh

I am a little late on this but I just want to say thank you to everyone at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. The past month and a half has flown by and I am extremely grateful for everything y’all have taught me. I would especially like to say thank you to my fratenity brother, and friend, Dan DelBianco. Thank you again to everyone and I already look forward to getting ready for next years Grand Prix. PVGP!

Paul Yi
Intern and new PVGP volunteer

I just wanted to say what a great time we had sponsoring the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix this year. It’s so wonderful to participate with an organization who’s volunteers truly appreciate and care about their organization.

Thanks and again and we are looking forward to next year.

 Christina Alvino
Marketing Manager | Guardian Storage Solutions

Congratulations on a perfect 10 days of racing! From start to finish I am not sure you could have done anything better. I just hope you were as successful from the financial side to benefit Allegheny Valley School and the Autism Society. I am sure you had challenges.

This event keeps getting better and better every year. The added events, having Wayne Carini and his car show up, and even having the weather cooperate.

Please count us in again for next year!

Jake Zoller
RR Donnelley/Hoechstetter Printing 

Now that all the smoke has cleared and the cars and rigs are all home safely in the shops and garages, I am compelled to send a message of thanks to you and all the volunteers who put together a fantastic pair of PVGP events at Pitt Race and Schenley Park this year. What a great time I had and I plan to participate again next year. Only at the PVGP can you have so much fun!

Dave Smith
Carlisle, PA
Bugeye Sprite #53
Brazos Formula Vee #3

A huge THANK YOU for all you do to make sure the PVGP events are the best part about summer in Pittsburgh. Every year I come to learn more and more about what you do, and I am so grateful not only for your dedication to the PVGP and AVS, but also your never ending energy and enthusiasm.

All the best,

Dorothy Hunter Gordon
Allegheny Valley School

This has been an exciting year for me and my trusty MG-TD! I spent another 2 weeks in eastern PA after the PVGP doing more ‘car stuff’ with my brother and his family. Got back to TN on 8/7 then flew to Charlotte, NC on 8/14 and drove another vintage MG to Michigan for more vintage racing at the Gratton Race Track.

Again, thanks so much for the pics and, the wonderful experience that the PVGP was!

Kindest regards,
Hank Rippert