Classic sports car owners recreate the post WWII road races around the island from 1952-1959 and again in 1963. Put-in-Bay Ohio was one of only two places in the U.S. where public roads were closed and lined with bales of hay to provide a sports car racing circuit. Many well-known sports car racers of that era – Chuck Dietrich, Carl Haas and Chuck Stoddard, for example – got their start in racing on the challenging, fast, rough and narrow course at Put-in-Bay.
The cars that competed in those races were small sports cars with under 2,000cc of displacement and sports racers (purpose-built closed-wheel racing cars) under 1,500ccs. Marques included production cars from makers such as MG, Triumph, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Lotus and many others and race-bred cars such as Elva and Cooper as well as a host of home-bred varieties. The drivers were strictly amateurs, racing for the fun of it, but many went on to make significant names for themselves in racing. Despite the challenging roads and difficult spectator control, there is no record of any major injuries that resulted from conducting these races.
Organizers are pleased to report two significant enhancements in the race program: the airport course will be expanded from the current .8 mile configuration to approximately 1.2 miles, and also the racing activity will likely be expanded from the present “Tuesday only” event to a race schedule that would begin early Monday afternoon and run a full day on Tuesday.