Photo Essay: 2016 SVRA Vintage Nationals

The SVRA U.S. Vintage National Championship brought beautiful cars and entertaining racing to Austin last weekend.

The SVRA's U.S. Vintage National Championship covered 4 days in Austin, November 3-6, 2016. Thursday and Friday were practice sessions and qualifying for the 14 different classes. Saturday brought the feature races for the Texas stop of the series' season. Sunday featured the Gold Helmet races to determine the National Champions for 2016. The Drive was there to capture the beautiful cars and spirited racing for the entire weekend.

Joseph Colasacco had one of the weekend's more striking head turners with his yellow 1963 Alfa Romeo GTZ. He went on to win the Helmet Race for Group 3 on Sunday.

The mostly grey weekend brought fog and rain to the track over the first two days. Bob Borden's 1971 Porsche 911 cuts through the gloom with a 1970 Porsche 914 on his tail.

John Ridings qualifies on Thursday in his 1968 Zink C4.

One of the weekend's broad-shouldered Ford GT40 entries exits turn 20 and COTA and heads down the main straight.

SVRA ran the event in conjunction with the Trans Am road racing series' season finale. Simon Gregg's Chevrolet Corvette spews fire as it navigates Turn 1 in Saturday's Feature Race.

Group 2 consists of pre-1973 formula cars. This is Scott Robinson in his 1969 Palliser-Winkelmann Formula Ford.

Turn 12 at COTA is always an adventure, and Saturday's Feature Races were no exception. Maor Primo in the grey 1967 Alfa Romeo GT Jr. and Sharon Adelman in the blue 1965 Ginetta G4R make contact as they turn in. Tom Benjamin, in the 1969 Alfa Romeo GTV take a risky and unconventional line into the turn. Moments later, Primo would be sandwiched between the two at the turn's apex, mangling the '69 GTV's front right fender.

Formula Jr. and Formula Vee cars comprise Class 1b. Here John Breidenbach takes a practice session with the group on Thursday, in his 1960 Lotus 18 FJ.

Ken Sutherland qualifies Friday in his 1968 Ford Mustang. Unfortunately his weekend would end early, only completing one lap of Saturday's feature race.

Robert Hoemke waits patiently for the recovery crew in a run-off area after mechanical issues in his 1962 Cooper T59 Formula Jr. car.

Piers Gormley lifts a tire in turn 15 in his 1971 Ford Escort Mk1.

More of the dangers of Turn 12. Linwood Staub gets both of his front wheels off the track as he hits the bump in the apex with his 1972 Datsun 240z. The resulting spin in Lap 1 cost him 30 seconds. He would go on to finish just 4 seconds behind the eventual winner.

One of the oldest cars of the weekend, James Yule's 1959 Elva 100 Formula Jr., made for a striking contrast with COTA's colorful track.

Sutherland's Mustang squeezes every possible inch out of Turn 19 in Friday's qualifying.

Johnnie Crean's 1960 Eagle Mk5 Formula car came dressed in COTA camouflage.

Robert Rogers flames out of qualifying on Friday in his 1979 Fiat Abarth 033, as Texas looks on in the background.

The body roll from vintage suspension designs makes for big excitement on contemporary high-speed tracks. Robert Mocas demonstrates how to make a tripod in his 1969 Alfa Romeo Spyder.

With a design straight out of the margins of your 5th grade math notebook, Tom Simpson's 1972 McKee Mk18 cuts a striking profile.

Reminding us that there was a time before downforce mattered is Alan Schutts' 1963 Formcar Mark 1 Formula Vee racer.

Russ Rosenberg charges toward Turn 13 in his 1966 Chevy Corvair.

Cal Meeker prepares for a test session in his 1973 Lola T292. He would win the qualifying session, but failed to complete the Feature Race.

There were some pockets of sun over the weekend and Phil Mulacek soaks them in in his 1966 AC Cobra.

Another Formula Ford, this time Tom Linton in the 1969 Winkelman's WD F1, heads down the short straight approaching the S-turns at COTA.

Some prep for Robert Davis' 1990 Mazda 787. He had stiff competition from the rest of the Group 11 IMSA GTP cars.

The beetle-like Lola T90 carries Henry Payne IV through Turn 17, as seen from COTA's tower.

Another Cobra, this time a 1964 Shelby 289, leans hard into a turn during Friday's Group 6 Feature Race

There are plenty of "What IS that?" moments at the SVRA races. This one is a 1958 Lister Knobbly driven by Adam Lindemann.