The National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada
L’Association nationale des clubs automobiles du Canada
Photos and report by Cam Hutchins
The 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion featured the Cars of BMW and as a Canadian I have to admit I was not familiar with many of the cars from the 70's and almost none of the earlier BMW cars. The races are part of the "Car Week" and must be hell for anyone not interested in cars as the roadways are jammed almost all day every day for a week.
I arrived the Friday before to attend the pre-reunion weekend of races as well and even took in a Flattrack motorcycle race as well as a "Low-rider" show during that weekend. The Pre-Reunion is a more relaxed affair and a good place to meet the racers and owners of these amazing machines. All the "Pre-Historic" cars are grouped in 10 classes that run morning and afternoon races both Saturday and Sunday.
The main weekend of the event the cars are divided into 15 classes with 8 races running in the morning and again in the afternoon on Saturday and 7 classes running the same way on Sunday. I attended the Thursday and Friday races where the "A" classes run in the morning and the "B" classes run in the afternoon. On Saturday in the morning I attended the Conorso Italiano in the morning and the races in the pm while on Sunday it was Pebble Beach in the very early morning and the races in the afternoon.
Jenson Button to Drive Iconic McLaren M23 at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
2016 Formula 1 champ to drive at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Aug. 17-20
Emerson Fittipaldi in the McLaren M23 at the 1974 British Grand Prix
MONTEREY, Calif., March 30, 2017 — McLaren ambassador Jenson Button will delight fans when he gets behind the wheel of Emerson Fittipaldi’s 1974 world championship-winning McLaren M23 at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on August 17-20.The event, held at the similarly iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, represents all that is good and glorious about classic motorsport, with more than 550 historic entries on the race card for the weekend.
For Jenson, who notably drove the M23 at Silverstone and in London’s Leicester Square at the premiere of the Rush movie in 2013, the Monterey event will mark his first outing in Formula 1 machinery since hanging up his F1 helmet in Abu Dhabi at the end of 2016. “It’s always special to drive a grand prix car with an illustrious history, and the M23 wrote one of the most significant chapters in motorsport history throughout much of the 1970s,” said Button. “It’s a somewhat strange sensation to drive a car from this era – you sit much more upright in the cockpit, and you feel like you could almost reach out of the cockpit and touch the front wheels. But, once you drive it, you quickly start to understand what made it so successful – it’s incredibly easy to drive, has a really consistent balance, and plenty of feel. Everything you put into it, you get out of it, which is very rewarding for a driver.”
The McLaren-Ford M23 contested 80 grands prix between 1973 and 1978, winning 16 grands prix and three world championships (1974 drivers’ and constructors’; 1976 drivers’). “We are honored to host Jenson Button at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and showcase a car with such great history,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Formula 1 is the pinnacle of racing advancement and Jenson’s spirited exhibition laps will provide a superb link to motorsport’s past that fans will assuredly enjoy.”
This year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion honors the Diamond Jubilee of Formula Junior and the 70th anniversary of Ferrari, as well as celebrating the 60th anniversary of the raceway itself. The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion has matured over the decades to become much more than a showcase of exemplary historic and period-correct cars racing at an iconic venue. It is a lifestyle experience where like-minded premium brands assemble to celebrate motoring’s finest cars with enthusiastic collectors, racers, fans, and journalists.
Advance hospitality, VIP, preferred parking and general admission tickets to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion are on sale at www.MazdaRaceway.com. For additional information, please call the Ticket Office at 831-242-8200.
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MONTEREY, Calif., May 4, 2017 — On November 10, 1957, the world of sports car racing forever changed as the checkered flag waved on the first race at the all-new Laguna Seca Raceway. Now, 60 years later, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca continues to thrive. To commemorate the special anniversary, the track’s heritage will be celebrated at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Aug. 17-20 and exemplified by this year’s exquisite poster.
Today, the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP), the management company that built and continues to operate the County of Monterey-owned facility, unveiled the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion poster art by Bill Patterson that features the inaugural win by Pete Lovely in his Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa.
Lining up on the starting grid in third position behind Carroll Shelby in a Maserati 300S and John von Neumann in a Ferrari 625 TRC, Lovely’s rather underpowered 500 TR wasn’t expected to give a the more powerful cars a run. But Lovely drove a masterful race and passed von Neumann in Turn 9 on the last lap to edge out victory and take the checkered flag from the polka dotted shirt flagger.
“The first race and all the military pomp and circumstance that first day was inspiring as I thumbed through photos of the day,” explained Bill Patterson, the official artist of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “With the event celebrating the track’s own heritage, we needed to celebrate that first win. Plus, it’s fitting that this year is also the 70th anniversary of Ferrari. It all came together nicely.”
The art will be available in limited-edition 24x36-inch posters that will be sold exclusively in the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Souvenir Store beginning Aug. 11. Bill Patterson will also be present throughout the weekend of Aug. 17-20 to meet with guests and conduct poster autograph sessions.
“Bill’s art always captures the essence of motion and drama of his subjects, and this year’s art with the very first car to win here is one of his finest,” commented Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Hopefully it will be a walk down memory lane for those who attended that first race in 1957 and become a treasured part of their collection.”
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is one of the cornerstones of the world-renowned Monterey Classic Car Week. The largest series of events held annually in the coastal community, visitors worldwide descend on the area to enjoy the historic cars in action and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, along with the supporting activities that comprise the vibrant motoring week.
Advance general admission tickets to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion are on sale beginning at $60 (Friday) and a four-day ticket at $170, which includes a complimentary souvenir magazine. Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult. VIP hospitality packages begin at $200 per person.
For more information on the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion or to purchase tickets, visit MazdaRaceway.com or call 831-242-8200. For information on Bill Patterson, please visit www.billpatterson.com.
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About Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a world-renowned 2.238-mile traditional road course that was built in 1957, then known as Laguna Seca Raceway, by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP). SCRAMP is a non-profit 501(c)(4) corporation with the purpose of managing the County of Monterey-owned Laguna Seca Recreation Area.
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Tickets: Tickets are available and may be previewed HERE.
Parking: Free parking is available. MST buses are not in service.
Directions: Please click HERE for entry directions.
Gates: Open at 7 a.m.
Ticket Info: 831-242-8200
Featured Marque History: Click HERE for historic car racing history.
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