To say Lexington, Ohio, USA is a long way from Cessnock, NSW, Australia is an understatement, but brothers Aaron and Philip Lewis made the trip to compete in the Mid-Ohio Vintage Grand Prix in late June. Originally conceived as a trip to take on circuits at Indy and Mid-Ohio, plans were derailed by a comedy of errors that would see their racecars hung up on a Los Angeles dock for weeks, eventually missing the Indy meeting but recovering in time to make the grid at the MidOhio Sportscar Course.
Once there, the brothers enjoyed a fruitful weekend in their Matich A50 F5000 (Philip) and Lola T163 Can-Am racer (Aaron). Philip was returning to the US after running Watkins Glen, Road America and Laguna Seca last year, while Aaron was making his US competition debut.
They found Mid-Ohio to their liking, gaining speed throughout the weekend. Aaron commented that Mid-Ohio (established 1962) reminded him of some of the great Australian circuits built in the 1960s in a surge of racing enthusiasm brought on by Jack Brabham’s 1959 world championship. He went so far as to say that Mid-Ohio’s Carousel leading onto the straight was very close to the same configuration found at Lakeside.
Having gained and reinforced a feel for US vintage racing, the two will return later this year to run events at Road America and Laguna Seca. They are part of a trend that sees an increasing number of Aussies attending US historics events, most notably Laguna Seca’s Monterrey Motorsports Reunion, August 18-21.