My Car Quest

December 8, 2023

Sonoma Historic Races – A Father And Son Day

by Mike –

This past weekend I had planned to go to the Sonoma Historic Races on Saturday and then the Sonoma Marin Concours d’Elegance on Sunday. For some good reasons I did not make it to the races on Saturday but I did go to the Concours on Sunday and will Post about that later this week.

Bizzarrini GT 5300

Fortunately Mike Clarke sent in some photos and a note about his day at the races on Sunday.

Text and race photos by Mike Clarke

The Sonoma Historic races were a lot of fun – this year I took my son Matt for the first time. I met some old friends and new ones too.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Race Car

Chip Fudge brought his Bizzarrini GT America and a very rare Maserati powered Lister. He drove the Lister first and placed in the top five either second or third, I didn’t see the final result. I had an email exchange with him on Thursday and he was disappointed with the Bizzarrini’s performance. Last year he sucked a valve at Laguna Seca and had the engine rebuilt, so this was the test.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Race Car

Friday he put a new set of tires on the car and everything changed, when I spoke to him in the pits today (Sunday) he was very impressed and knew he had finished high in the practice run and the organizers do not tell the drivers how well they did until they pull out to the starting grid on race day. He must have done well because he was number five on the grid and up against twenty-four very fast cars including big block Cobras and Corvettes.

The Bizzarrini ran strong for the first seven laps holding seventh place gaining to sixth and then experienced a shunt with a Corvette. The Bizzarrini lost traction in a corner and went sideways and Chip was not able to get it straight again. He tapped a Corvette and took off a section of the Bizzarrini nose.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Race Car

Chip came back into the pits in very high spirits and was impressed with how well the Bizzarrini performed. Oh, well that’s racing. Chip hopes to be back in a few months for another run at the Laguna Seca Historics in Monterey in August.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Race Car

Chip Fudge and his Bizzarrini GT America Race Car

My son Matt had a great time, he was invited to sit in a few different cars. Matt wants to be a engineer or chemist, so this was all very exciting, I could see his mind racing.

Matt Clarke

Future Race Engineer or Driver?

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato race car

Alfa Romeo race car

Chevrolet Corvette Race Car

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Race Car


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Bizzarrini GT America

This Bizzarrini GT America Race Car Was Also At The Quail, A Motor Sport Gathering in August 2012


  1. ~ great events and photos. excepting the Bizzarrini’s nose damage. i have to admire Chip’s philosophical attitude. happily it wasn’t worse and no injury.

  2. georgeg20 says

    IMO, Chip is a champ. He shows AND races his precious Bizz, something that very few people would do (myself included if I did have one indeed). Great write up. One of those really cool events that I wish I had attended. Keep it up guys!

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