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Vintage-car team headed to UK races

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Some people collect art. Others race it.

With such a philosophy, it’s no small wonder attorney Jeffrey Anderson and the Alamo Sports Cars vintage-racing crew will be chasing the checkered flag in England July 20-22 during the 2018 Silverstone Classic.

Alamo Powersports, a BMW motorcycle dealership at 25600 Interstate 10 West near Ralph Fair Road, operates Alamo Karts and Alamo Sports Cars.

“Anytime you let a car sit, it starts to rot,” said general manager Suzanne O’Neal, wife of Alamo Powersports owner Kermit O’Neal. “These cars were designed to be driven around a racetrack. They are beautiful works of art.”

Anderson will be behind the wheel of a 1961 Lotus 20/22 in his first race overseas.

“This particular car has driven on every Formula 1 track that existed back in the ‘60s, including Silverstone,” Anderson said.

The same vehicle was used in the 1966 film “Grand Prix.”

“They put a Formula 1 body on the car, but this was the actual car James Garner drove in the movie,” he said.

The Silverstone Classic, located north of London, culminates a three-year Formula Junior Diamond Jubilee World Tour.

The Diamond Jubilee celebrates more than 60 years of the Formula Junior class. This latest series kicked off in South Africa in January 2016.

“Now, after more than 100 races across four continents, the incredible World Tour will reach its thrilling conclusion at the Silverstone Classic. More than a record 120-plus entries are expected to race,” according to the website silverstoneclassic.com.

Anderson is no rookie. He drove in the Corinthian Vintage Auto Racing Formula B Championship from 2005-2015.

“In the CVAR club, we would run at four or five races in Texas and Oklahoma each year, plus one at Laguna Seca in California,” O’Neal said.

The Alamo Sports Car vintage-racing crew has also participated in Sportscar Vintage Racing Association clubs.

Since joining SVRA, the team has raced at iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as Road America, Mid-Ohio, Circuit of the Americas and even Mosport Speedway in Canada.

The team’s creation stems from Kermit O’Neal’s longtime love of classic vehicles and racing.

The entrepreneur has fostered motorsports talent and serviced race cars for more than 60 years.

“He has always had a passion for cars,” said Suzanne O’Neal.

Her husband raced go-karts and sports cars in the 1950s. He and his father sold and serviced European import sports cars at their family business, O’Neal’s Imported Autos in Corpus Christi.

In the 1980s, Kermit O’Neal bought Alamo Sports Cars in San Antonio, originally located on Broadway. In 1996, the business became Alamo Powersports and started selling BMW motorcycles. Alamo Powersports relocated to its current location in 2008 and opened an outdoor go-kart track on-site, the only one in San Antonio, according to its website.

The racing team was prompted by customers’ interest in the sport.

“He had some clients that wanted to go racing,” said Suzanne O’Neal. “So, in the ’90s, he developed the race-support side of the business — crewing, storing, maintaining and servicing the cars on track.”

Anderson has known the O’Neals for years.

“I bought one of my first vintage cars from Kermit back in 2005,” Anderson said.

The personal injury lawyer has had a long association with fast cars, big and small. Anderson raced go-karts for 12 years during high school and law school. He holds 92 podium finishes in go-kart races and was the 1966 B-Stock Class National Champion.

He has bought and raced several vintage cars over the years.

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