The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix lost a motorsport icon – Mike Connolly was a part of the PVGP from 1983 until his passing last night. He was a leader in many capacities, including Race Director, the Executive Committee, and served on the Board of Directors. Mike was also vital to the Steel Cities Region of the Sports Car Club of America since the 1970s.
The PVGP was Mike’s passion and reflected his dedication to amateur racing in the region. His children and grandchildren joined the team as volunteers, with his son Mark starting as a young boy delivering race results on foot through Schenley Park. The PVGP raises funds for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities, and the annual check presentation to the charity partners was always a highlight of Mike’s year. He once said, “We do all this for the kids that will never be able to drive a car.”
Mike was recognized for his community service, receiving the Jefferson Award for Community Service in 2007. The Vintage Motorsport Council presented the Dewey Dillinger Award to Mike in 2012. This award recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the sport of vintage racing and have demonstrated many of Dewey’s philanthropic traits. Mike served as the Grand Marshal of the PVGP in 2007, leading the parade around Schenley Park. When the PVGP began a program of awarding checkered flags to volunteers for their service, Mike was in the inaugural class to receive a flag in 2009.
PVGP Executive Director Dan DelBianco has known Mike for 20 years, saying, “Mike was the heart and soul of the PVGP for decades and did so much to grow the event and brought many volunteers into the organization. He was known throughout the country for his work with our race. As the largest vintage race event to be held on city streets, Mike consulted with groups nationwide on the logistics of building and operating street circuits. He was my mentor, and the PVGP community will greatly miss him”.
Mike Connolly was 82 years old, born January 20, 1941, deceased October 3, 2023. Mike and the family encourage that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association to help their efforts to raise funds for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. Checks can be mailed to: Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association, 1000 Gamma Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. You can also donate online HERE through the PVGP Showclix website.
Friday October 13, 2023 from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Beinhauer-Fryer Funeral home
430 Washington Pike
Bridgeville PA 15017