From a one-day vintage racing event first held in 1983, the annual Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP) has grown into a 10-day celebration of motorsports and classic cars, offering something for nearly every enthusiast. The 2018 PVGP, taking place from July 6-15, now has two more reasons to attend: It will host the annual Kastner Cup Triumph race, and will also incorporate the BMW Car Club of America’s (BMW CCA) annual Oktoberfest bash.
Forbes Avenue of Speed Parade.
The Kastner Cup – a Triumph-only race held at a different venue each year – was started by R.W. “Kas” Kastner, a popular Triumph racer who took a 1959 SCCA Championship with his 1958 Triumph TR3A. First run at Mosport in 2003, the Kastner Cup race has since been contested at Buttonwillow Raceway, Atlanta Motor Speedway (twice), Hallet Raceway, Miller Motorsports Park, Watkins Glen, Portland International Raceway, Topeka Raceway Park, Laguna Seca, Road America, Eagle Canyon Raceway, Summit Point, Sonoma Raceway, and, most recently, Blackhawk Farms. By choosing a different location each year, the goal is to give a broader range of Triumph racers the chance to compete for the honor.
On-track performance is only part (50-percent, to be precise) of what it takes to earn the Kastner Cup, which also factors in the presentation and appearance of the car (weighted at 25-percent) and the competitor’s attitude and interest in vintage racing (also weighted at 25-percent). While Jerry Barker and Jeff Snook have each won the Kastner Cup twice (Barker in 2011 and 2016, Snook in 2005 and 2017), no competitor is eligible to win the award in back-to-back years.
More from the Forbes Avenue of Speed Parade.
BMW has been named the 2018 Marque of the Year by the PVGP, which makes it an ideal time to include the annual BMW CCA Oktoberfest as part of the celebration. The CCA’s largest annual gathering, Oktoberfest is expected to draw 500 cars and 1,000 participants to what’s been described as “the ultimate motorsport family reunion.” In addition to a pair of BMW Race Groups (expected to include ample BMW 2002s, a model celebrating its golden anniversary in the United States this year), Oktoberfest will include parties, banquets, vendors, track days, autocrosses, road rallies, a concours and car shows, car control clinics, and more.
On-track action at Pittsburgh International Race Complex from the 2017 PVGP.
Which might make it challenging to squeeze in all that the 36th-annual PVGP already has to offer. Beginning with the Black Tie & Tailpipes dinner on July 6, there are car shows, parades, road rallies, vintage races at road course and street circuit venues, displays and (ample) parties for spectators to enjoy. For a chance to get up-close-and-personal with the cars and drivers, there’s a downtown parade and display on Wednesday, July 11, backed up with the Forbes Avenue of Speed parade and driver reception on Friday, July 13.
The 2017 car show at Schenley Park. Photo by Jeff Ahearn.
Want to see vintage cars mix it up on a state-of-the-art 2.8 mile race track? The opening weekend’s events at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex have you covered. Prefer “old school” racing through city streets, a park, and a golf course? The final weekend’s Schenley Park activities offer a blend of racing action, vintage (and contemporary) ride-alongs, plus a selection of vendors.
An just in case 10 days of classic motorsports isn’t enough, the PVGP really begins with a Kick-Off Rallye on Sunday, July 1, that’s billed as “a countryside tour and scavenger hunt rolled into one.” For additional details on this, or any of the other events tied to the 2018 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, visit PVGP.org