Hobart Street & Prospect Drive in Schenley ParkClick here for Google Directions
The paddock is where both car and driver prepare for their race sessions and repair from them too. This is also where the all of the race cars are stabled overnight. Located on the hill above the Start/Finish line, the paddock runs the entire length of Prospect Drive. The paddock is accessed from Hobart Street which is closed to public vehicle traffic on the weekend.
Paddock Hours & Move-In
The PVGP does not take control of the park and Prospect Drive until 8:00 AM Friday morning, July 15. If you arrive in town with your trailer and wish to park in the paddock on Thursday you must do so at your own risk, no PVGP security is provided until Friday night. Longtime PVGP volunteers Bob Borgo and Ken Murin run the Schenley Park paddock and will begin assigning your paddock spots promptly at 8:00 AM Friday. If you are already in the paddock before 8:00 AM Friday we ask that you not begin unloading because you may be asked to move to another location or to change your set-up to make more room for others. There is a small group of sponsor drivers that have reserved spots and some that move-in early. If you wish to become a sponsor please email the PVGP for details.
Drivers should email Ken Murin if you have any questions about paddock arrangements. We can fit nearly 200 cars, but it takes careful planning and it helps if we know any special needs beforehand. The PVGP thanks Bob, Ken and the one thousand volunteers that make our event possible.
Race Headquarters Tent & Registration
The PVGP Race Headquarters Tent is located in the grass across the street from the paddock . This is a large tent where drivers meetings take place. It is also where racers can register beginning at 1:00 Friday. For the past three years we have held the Saturday night driver/volunteer dinner in this tent. Due to increased entries and the growing size of trailers we will host the dinner down at the starting line where is had been held in prior years. In an effort to bolster our Pre-War entries we are establishing a special Pre-War paddock under the trees where the large tent has been located.
A PVGP authorized food vendor will be set-up in the paddock selling breakfast & lunch all weekend. Hours are as follows:
Friday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday from 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Sunday from 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Additional food vendors are located down the hill at the Start/Finish spectator area.
The Driver’s Reception returns to the Schenley Park Visitors Center on Friday night from 6:30 – 8:00
Dinner is also provided free for driver and crew on Saturday night at the starting line after the races (approximately 6:00).
A unique aspect of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is that hundreds of spectators share in the excitement, pre-race tension, and post-race celebrations, by visiting the paddock and talking to the drivers and crew. A small portion of the 200,000 spectators find their way up the hill, but the long walk is worth it.
Stately Elm and birch trees coddle the racers, protecting them from a driving sun or rain alike. The trees are at least as old as the cars, and remind us of the gift that Mary Schenley left Pittsburgh – this beautiful wooded park.
The PVGP’s Chris Sandvig describes the paddock best in our Race Program:
You hear the paddock before you see it. You first notice the steady rumble of dozens of unmuffled idling engines playing in the background. The, rapid-fire crescendos of a driver repeatedly revving his engine as it rips to the redline then instantaneously falls back to idle pierces the charged air, as does the occasional metal-on-metal clang of ratchets and tools.
Voices and laughter are mixed within the din. It’s the drivers and crew, exchanging stories from the race, troubleshooting their cars, or just mixing it up with each other. It could be likened to an orchestra pit. This is warm-up and tuning, if you will, for the big performance held in the theater at the bottom of the hill.
Drivers and mechanics, some with fire suits pulled down to waist height, readily talk with spectators and fellow competitors about their cars and their love of the sport, even allowing a child to sit in the car for a picture. You catch a whiff of the Formula Jr. that just passed by – the bouquet of racing fuel, rubber, gear oil, leather, and brakes.
Drivers working in unison with their machines on a course many have waited all year to get back to. The passion and enthusiasm are as spirited as their racing, and you smile again. You met these drivers, these maestros. You listened to their stories and shared their enthusiasm, and felt the passion.
The paddock is like a museum tucked underneath the trees. Nearly 200 drivers with their cars, equipment and crews call it home for the weekend. It’s one of the special parts of the Grand Prix.