Forest Grove resident promotes races

by: COURTESY PHOTO - Historic race cars arent just for show; they can still go fast. Marcus di Sabella traded in his hectic Orange County, Calif., lifestyle for the friendlier, more relaxed pace of Forest Grove a few years ago. But every now and then he still enjoys speed, the roar of engines and action-packed races.

Di Sabella is a vehicle inspector for the Portland Historic Races, which will take place this weekend, July 11 to 13, at the Portland International Raceway.

The largest and longest-running historic automobile race in the Pacific Northwest, the PHR brings more than 250 historic race cars and hundreds of collector cars together. Events include parades, practice rounds, qualifying races and Sunday flag races as well as a 700-car show in the center of the arena.

Owners dust off their antique racing vehicles and pry them from the safety of the garage for the opportunity to test their racing skills.

“There are a bunch of cars doing what they’re meant to do,” di Sabella said. “People are paying money to take their car out and risk damaging it and hurting themselves, but people enjoy the camaraderie and that racing environment.”

According to di Sabella, the history behind the cars is an important aspect to the races. “You might have cars racing together again that once raced against each other 35 years ago,” he said. by: COURTESY PHOTO - Forest Grove resident Marcus di Sabella helps promote Portlands Historic Races when hes not running his online car parts business.

Di Sabella has attended historic races in several states but finds those taking place in Portland to be the most enjoyable. So he’s trying to bring attention to Portland’s event, which used to be even larger, he said.

The authentic, vintage race cars don’t belong locked up in a museum, said di Sabella, who’s been a “car guy” from the time he discovered Hot Wheels as a child. “When you get around race cars, everyone gets to have fun and be a little bit of a kid.”

Visit for more information and a complete schedule.

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