The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, the third annual event under that title, returns to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., June 2-3, 2012, featuring “Moments in Time: a Celebration of the History of Motorsports.” The program for the 26th annual historic-car event organized by General Racing Ltd. in Sonoma will focus on highlights of the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s - the eras in which auto racing began to cement its international status as a world-class spectator sport. In addition, 400 historic race cars will compete and parade around the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course, including a number of significant cars, ranging from a 1911 National Indy 500 racer to a 1991 Roush IMSA GTO Mustang.

The “Moments in Time” timeline will then continue in 2013, as the fourth annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival will feature “America’s Sports Car,” the Chevrolet Corvette, as the premier marque.

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“Our plan for the third annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival is to celebrate the important ‘Moments in Time’ from the sport and the cars that defined each era,” said Steve Earle, president of General Racing, Ltd., who has organized premier historic car events for four decades. “Our focus as always will be to bring the history of the sport to the attention of automotive enthusiasts, new and old, with the display of a number of important cars and the presence of personalities from specific events during those periods. This year these will include the winning driver of the 1952 Golden Gate Park Races, and the winning car from the 24 Hours of LeMans that same year.

“The theme will also focus on the emergence of ‘GT’ cars rather than ‘Prototypes’ as contenders for the 1962 FIA World Manufacturers Championship, the introduction of ‘Group C’ sports cars and the dominating Porsche 956 in 1982.

“It’s a little known fact that the City of San Francisco and its world famous park was a gracious host in the early Fifties to a number of SCCA racing events, and we’d like to take people back to those ‘amazing days’ when a major U.S. city and a fledgling sports-car club joined together to entertain the public with exciting racing action.”

The cars that are considered significant of each are would include:

1952 – Allard J2-Cadillac (Golden Gate winner). Mercedes-Benz W194 (24 Hours of  LeMans winner)

1962 – Ferrari GTO (introduced that year), the birth of the Cobra, and the introduction of the Corvette Stingray

1972 – Racing prototypes (Ferrari 312, Matra, e.g.) in the World Sports Car Championships

1982 – Group C: the Porsche 956 introduced

Fifteen unique race groups will compete on Saturday and Sunday, while the weekend will also feature the popular Wine Country Pavilion with samplings of fine foods and wines from the Sonoma and Napa Valleys. The paddock will be open to spectators, allowing everyone an opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal look at the race cars and enjoy the various car corrals dotted throughout the raceway.

The weekend’s festivities will also include the Historic Race Car Festival in the Sonoma Plaza Saturday evening benefiting Speedway Children’s Charities.

Additional information may be found at www.sonomahistoric.com. Companies interested in supporting special events during the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival should contact General Racing Ltd. at 805-686-9292.

Ticket information may be found HERE or by phone at 800-870-RACE (7223).