Brian Redman, Byron DeFoor And Corky Coker Speak Out About New Chattanooga Race Course

Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Grand Marshal Corky Coker drove his 1911 Mercer Raceabout around the course, with Grand Ambassador Brian Redman running shotgun
Grand Marshal Corky Coker drove his 1911 Mercer Raceabout around the course, with Grand Ambassador Brian Redman running shotgun
- photo by Chattanooga Motorcar Festival

Famed race car driver Brian Redman, the Grand Ambassador of the 2021 Chattanooga Motorcar Festival, Festival founder Byron DeFoor, and Grand Marshal Corky Coker took laps on the new Pace Grand Prix at the Bend approximate two-mile course for this year’s Festival and offered their comments.

The Inaugural Chattanooga Motorcar Festival was held in 2019. The 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Recently, the city of Chattanooga completed repaving on sections of the new Pace Grand Prix at the Bend circuit, which will host wheel-to-wheel competition during the second Festival on Oct. 15-17. Full safety barriers surrounding the course will be installed in the coming weeks.

Representatives of sanctioning group Historic Motor Sports Association were on site finalizing the operational structure for the event, which will include class races among a limited number of 12 competitors at a time. The new track replaces the Time Trials course used in 2019.

Class designations for the races to be held on Friday and Saturday, may be found when registering for the Pace Grand Prix at the Bend on chattanoogamotorcar.com/pacegrandprix.

Mr. Redman, a nine-time sports-car racing champion, rode with Mr. Coker in Coker’s 1911 Mercer Raceabout on several reconnaissance laps, while Mr. DeFoor, several days later, took his 1972 BMW CSL on the eight-turn circuit for a few laps as well.

“I drove round the race track with Corky in his magnificent 1911 Mercer Raceabout, capable of 100 mph – but we certainly didn’t go that fast,” said Mr. Redman. “The course winds through an industrial park, tree-lined on one side and down a city street protected by safety barriers. There are fast areas and tighter turns to provide ample overtaking opportunities. 

“There will be both hard braking and sweeping turns. Top speed will be around 150 mph in the right car. Second, third and fourth gears (top) will be used but it depends on the cars.”

During Mr. DeFoor’s laps in the BMW CSL, it was reported that his hands were glued to the steering wheel and the experience was so phenomenal that those standing by could not get him to stop. He said he felt like Lee Iacocca in the first Dodge minivan on the company test track.

“The track is nothing like a modern-day track, but suits historic road racing like it originally was – between buildings, industrial plants and parks," said Mr. DeFoor. "I loved the scenery of the river and mountains on the back straightaway. Some streets are freshly paved while some have been around since the turn of the century."

He said this experience gave him a feeling of overall well-being.

"Some of the old buildings are almost entirely cleared away and that will be the hub of the manufacturers and sponsors display area at the track during the Festival,” Mr. DeFoor added.

“The site of Jim Pace’s memorial is in the process of being constructed and will resemble a national park.”

“What an honor for the Chattanooga Motor Car Festival to continue to have worldwide racing champion and hero Brian Redman with us and supporting us here in Chattanooga,” said Mr. Coker. “Brian and I discussed how this year’s wheel-to-wheel racing on the Pace Grand Prix at the Bend is the perfect addition to the events of the Oct. 15-17 Festival.”

Other events during the Festival include fun for both children and adults: games, simulators, Automobilia, Car Club gatherings, specialty displays, celebrities and special guests, panel discussions, and much more. “There will be entertainment available for all from the time the gates open each day,” said event advisor Alexis Bogo. 

With additional family-friendly events to be announced later, the 2021 Festival features the Concours d’Elegance, West Village Road Rallye, Mecum Chattanooga 2021 Auctions and The Pace Grand Prix at the Bend.

Additional information may be found at chattanoogamotorcar.com

Tickets are available at chattanaoogamotorcar.com/tickets

VIP tickets are available at chattanoogamotorcar.com/VIPtickets

Byron DeFoor checked out the course in a 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL Turbo, alongside a 1973 Porsche 911, a 1972 BMW 2002, and a 1966 Jaguar XKSS
Byron DeFoor checked out the course in a 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL Turbo, alongside a 1973 Porsche 911, a 1972 BMW 2002, and a 1966 Jaguar XKSS
- photo by Chattanooga Motorcar Festival

Tennessee American Water And Tennessee Aquarium Host Chattanooga Reach One, Teach One Students

Chickamauga Chapter Members Celebrate Opening Of National DAR Continental Congress

THP Announces 4th Of July Traffic Enforcement Strategy


Tennessee American Water and the Tennessee Aquarium hosted around 50 students for a day of activities to teach students about the importance of clean water from its natural source to the tap. ... (click for more)

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution’s Chickamauga Chapter members gathered Wednesday evening, June 29 at the Heritage Landing Clubhouse for a watch party and dinner celebrating ... (click for more)

“The Tennessee Highway Patrol is committed to ensuring safety on our roadways this Fourth of July weekend,” said Colonel Matt Perry. “Troopers will be working diligently to curb distracted driving, ... (click for more)



Happenings

Tennessee American Water And Tennessee Aquarium Host Chattanooga Reach One, Teach One Students

Tennessee American Water and the Tennessee Aquarium hosted around 50 students for a day of activities to teach students about the importance of clean water from its natural source to the tap. Elementary and middle school aged children in the Reach One, Teach One Summer Enrichment Program made turtle maracas, viewed Australia’s Great Wild North 3D Film at the Aquarium’s IMAX Theater, ... (click for more)

Chickamauga Chapter Members Celebrate Opening Of National DAR Continental Congress

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution’s Chickamauga Chapter members gathered Wednesday evening, June 29 at the Heritage Landing Clubhouse for a watch party and dinner celebrating the opening of DAR’s 131st National Continental Congress meeting in Washington, D.C. Four Chapter members are in Washington for the week-long Congress. "Over the past three years, ... (click for more)

Breaking News

EPA Awarding Brownfield Grant At Site Of Planned Lookouts Stadium

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe on Wednesday is set to present the city of Chattanooga with Brownfield program cleanup and assessment grants at the site of a planned new $79.5 million stadium to be used by the Lookouts. The press conference will be at the U.S. Pipe/Wheland site. The grant is "to help spur economic revitalization ... (click for more)

$79.5 Million Stadium Touted As Catalyst For Major Project At Long-Blighted Wheland/U.S. Pipe Site; Lookouts To Pay $1 Million Annually To Lease "Community" Stadium

More than 100 acres of the long-neglected U.S. Pipe and Wheland Foundry sites "will begin transforming into a world-class live-work-play district that will generate more than $40 million for schools," Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly announced at a press conference at the site on Thursday. Flanked by nationally renowned master developer Jim ... (click for more)

Opinion

New Stadium Does Not Pass The Smell Test - And Response

I can't find any logical reasons that the new Lookout stadium is being placed where it is other than to think it's a combination of favoritism and eliminating an eyesore. All statistics point to an illogical decision coupled with questionable tax breaks/support. Lookouts average attendance in 2018 (all that I could quickly find) was 3,206 per game and ranked 74th among ... (click for more)

School Achievement Tied To Funding?

My career was in the public schools of several states. I never drew the connection to funding for schools and achievement until later. This is what I have found. The states of the deep south are run by Republicans. In all of them, educational achievement is poor. Is there a connection between funding for schools and achievement? The answer to that should be a resounding "yes." ... (click for more)