CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – For its third annual event in the heart of the City of Chattanooga on October 14-16, the 2022 Chattanooga Motorcar Festival has made major upgrades to the Pace Grand Prix at the Bend circuit. The track debuted last year, featuring wheel-to-wheel racing in eight classes of vintage and historic race cars. Seven classes are expected to compete this year.
Named in honor of Jim Pace, an early event organizer who passed away in 2020, the circuit has been lengthened to a 2.75-mile, 18-turn purpose-built course located in the Chattanooga neighborhood known as “The Bend” – a 110-acre mixed-use “sustainable” community located at an iconic bend along the Tennessee River. More information on The Bend may be found at https://www.thebendchattanooga.com/.
Competition sanctioned by the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) at the Pace Grand Prix will be held on Friday and Saturday, as part of the weekend’s family-friendly, fun-filled events that feature the Canossa Fall Rally Chattanooga on Wednesday-Friday; the Concours d’Elegance in West Village on Sunday; along with Mecum Auctions; Coker Tires’ V8s in the Village; the Great Race Car Era Rides; evening street festivals; a ferris wheel; the Gathering of the Greats – Ferrari Edition; and much more. Additional details may be found at chattanoogamotorcar.com.
“The Festival benefits neuroscience research through the CHI Memorial and NeuroScience Innovation Foundation, and “the man of the hour, Dr. Thomas Devlin of CHI Memorial, will hold panel discussions throughout the city during the weekend, bringing the world up to date on our progress with Neuroscience advancements,” said Festival founder Byron DeFoor.
Lengthened by three-quarters of a mile from its original design, the track has gone through 2000 feet of contouring, repaving, widening and now has more than 2000 feet of run-off zones, an all-new pit row, and multiple seating areas creating a high level of visibility of the racing action.
Highlighting the course changes is a new “inner loop,” which boasts two hairpin turns, esses and a loop that passes through the remaining skeleton of a manufacturing building in an area formerly home to iron and steel mills. Within that loop will be the “Alley of the Greats,” commemorating racing legends of the past whose images will be emblazoned on massive banners hanging from the rafters. Those legends include the Festival’s Grand Marshal Lyn St. James, Derek Bell, Dan Gurney, Enzo Ferrari, Alberto Ascari, Brian Redman, Peter Gregg, David Hobbs, and others.
“When reading the reviews of the track last year,” said DeFoor, “I learned that the majority of the racers loved the city streets, but said that some parts were a little bumpy. Half of them loved the feel as it was more like historic road racing. The other half wanted it to be smooth like modern tracks of today. So, we elected to smooth it out this year.”
“As you blow through the inner loop and the skeleton of the building of the ‘Alley of the Greats,’ the wind creates a spell-binding atmosphere for the driver and just an overall feeling of well-being.”
The entrance to the Pace Grand Prix at the Bend will be located on Riverfront Parkway, and a new bus route with multiple stations will include a stop at the track entrance.
“The City of Chattanooga is extremely excited about the Pace Grand Prix track changes and upgrades for the 2022 event to be held in a few short weeks,” said Grand Marshal Emeritus and local car collector/businessman Corky Coker, “We secured a huge machine to grind the bumps, we widened the track, added new runoffs, and added a new pit row!
“The coolest thing is that the track is now two and three quarters of a mile in length using the same space with our new really cool ‘Alley of the Greats!’”
The seven classes competing in the 2022 Pace Grand Prix at the Bend are Brass & Tin up to 1920; Sports and Racing Cars; 1920 until 1954 (Pre- War); Sports/GT cars Pre-1972 under 3500cc; Sports/GT cars Pre-1972 over 3500cc; Open Wheel Formula cars Pre1972, with treaded tires; Sports/GT cars 1973-1999 over 3500cc; and Stock Cars.
REGISTRATION FOR EVENTS:
Registration is open for the featured events scheduled for the 2022 Chattanooga Motorcar Festival.
The Canossa Fall Rally Chattanooga will be conducted on Thursday, October 13, and Friday, October 14, and will start both days at 8:30 a.m. from the Westin Hotel Chattanooga. Registration is open at https://canossa.com/rally/canossa-fall-rally-chattanooga/.
The Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for Sunday, October 16. Concours cars will be available for viewing on the streets of the West Village from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Applications to enter cars are available at https://chattanoogamotorcar.com/concours-delegance/.
Applications to enter the racing events at the Pace Grand Prix at the Bend, which begin on Thursday, October 13, for practice sessions, and continue on Friday, October 14, and Saturday, October 15, for qualifying and racing events, are available at https://svra.com/events/chattanooga-motorcar-festival/.
Information on Mecum Chattanooga 2022 may be found at https://www.mecum.com/auctions/chattanooga-2022/.
Details on each event may be found at www.chattanoogamotorcar.com.
About Chattanooga Motorcar Festival:
Proceeds from the Chattanooga Motorcar Festival support neuroscience research through Fifty Plus Foundation, Inc. Approaching 12 years of supporting Alzheimer’s and neuroscience research, Fifty Plus Foundation created the Chattanooga Motorcar Festival to bring both local and global support to back research that is already making a difference in saving lives. Learn more at chattanoogamotorcar.com.
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