10/3/2012 - HSR Changes Ownership Via Longtime Racer Hinton
Clearwater, FL – The second ownership change of a major North American vintage racing group in the past month has just occurred, with the announcement by Historic Sportscar Racing Ltd. that longtime vintage racer and HSR member David Hinton has bought majority ownership in the company. Hinton's Vintage Racing Events LLC purchased control of HSR from its longtime co-founder Howard Turner, who founded HSR with Steve Simpson in 1977 as the Walter Mitty Challenge Group.
Hinton, who's also a principal of Largo, Florida-based vintage race shop Predator Performance, told Vintage Motorsport that his plans for HSR include adjusting the tracks and number of events for the 2013 schedule. Currently the HSR website lists eight vintage races slated in the current year at Palm Beach, Roebling Road, Road Atlanta, Monticello, Savannah, Daytona and New Orleans. Hinton indicated there would be "six or possibly seven" HSR events next year.
Significantly, he noted another primary task is "I want to work on a rules package that's more in line with other East Coast vintage race groups," which he (wisely) declined to name at this premature point in his deliberations. HSR has been characterized as a looser-rules "run what you brung" vintage race group versus those clubs with stricter to-period preparation standards for race cars.
The remainder of HSR staff and owners will continue as is, albeit Hinton said he is currently interviewing candidates for a new general manager position. Hinton has been elected President of HSR, and his wife Denise Norton-Beatty joins HSR as Secretary-Treasurer. HSR co-founder and minority owners Steve and Debbie Simpson have been elected Senior V.P and V.P, respectively.
Ken Fengler is the competition director and Judy Marchione continues as chief registrar. Former Sportscar Vintage Racing Assn. owner Peter McLaughlin, who recently sold SVRA to new owner Tony Parella, continues his current status as a minority owner of HSR.
"It's such a great honor to carry on and move forward with what Howard Turner and Steve Simpson started over 35 years ago at Road Atlanta. I go back a long way with HSR as well. I was present at HSR's first event at Sebring...and have been a huge supporter of HSR ever since. I look forward to working with Steve and Diane Simpson, Ken Fengler and Judy Marchione and all the valued HSR team going forward," said Hinton.
Outgoing HSR owner Howard Turner, who's been a fixture for decades racing his Lister-Jaguar and Jag E-Type at vintage events, admitted to VM his race weekends may now be a bit more serene and relaxing. Turner added, "I am very pleased to see the future of HSR secured and in the hands of David, Steve and Diane and our excellent and long serving staff at HSR. I expect great new developments from this team. David's passion and love for historic racing will no doubt be beneficial to the whole sport of historic racing."
Simpson noted he's "delighted to welcome David and Denise aboard HSR and look forward to working closely with them over the coming seasons. It's great to have such an accomplished vintage racer, visionary and longtime colleague in David join us as the new president of HSR."
HSR, one of the oldest vintage racing organizations in the country, changed its name to Historic Sportscar Racing when the late Joe Pendergast joined the organization in the 1990s.
– by Mike Silverman