The Mitty? Wait, is it a person or a thing or more? Peter Falkner explains
In 1977 the Atlanta Jaguar Society and its members wanted to “exercise” their cars at a track and did so for a couple of low key days at Road Atlanta. The next year the Ferrari club asked to join the fun. The organisers were Steve Simpson and Howard Turner. At some point Howard’s wife, clearly unimpressed, said, “You’re all just a bunch of Walter Mittys pretending to be something you’re not.” Readers may recall that Walter Mitty is a fictional character often defined as an ineffectual individual who indulges in fantastic daydreams, convincing himself they are real personal triumphs. The next year the event was called the Walter Mitty Challenge. The name stuck, the event caught on and by the mid-‘80s it was one of the main attractions of the US historic racing season. In 1991 the organisers decided to branch out and put on more races at other tracks. That was the birth of the Historic Motor Racing (HSR) organisation. 2021 sees the 43rd running of The Mitty, making it one of the longest continuously running vintage events in the United States. For all those years, Road Atlanta, now Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, has been the home of The Mitty. Road Atlanta is a 2.54 mile, 12-turn track recognised as one of the finest road courses in the world. The numerous elevation changes and park-like setting make it a dream for drivers and spectators alike. For 2021, the featured marque was Chevrolet Corvette. 2021 also marks the 65th anniversary of the Corvette’s first professional race, the 1956 12 Hours of Sebring. Just a few years later, in 1960, Briggs Cunningham took the Corvette to Le Mans. Since 1999, Corvette Racing has won 113 races including eight 24hrs of Le Mans and 82 in the American Le Mans Series.
The paddock glowed with six of the lemon yellow Corvette Racing beasts spanning the years 2004 to 2016. Marshall Pierce/Eric Foss delighted fans with the unforgettable booming exhaust note of the 2016 Corvette Racing C7R as it put in impressive lap times, even in the rain. Altogether, over 60 years of Corvette coupes, roadsters and Daytona prototypes took to the track for the various HSR races. Please see our June 2021 issue for a full report……..
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