Monterey 2017 – Part 2

Keith Bluemel Words by Keith Bluemel
Cute Austrian-made and VW-powered 1958 racer called Denzel 1300WD - "King Kong ain't got..."

On the Thursday of Monterey Car Week, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion gets under way at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with practice and qualifying runs for the weekend race programme, and this is where the week starts to get really intense in terms of where to be. Apart from the race track activity, which runs from Thursday through to Sunday, there is the gathering at Quail Lodge on the Friday, Concorso Italiano on the Saturday and the finale to the weeks activities, the Pebble beach Concours d’Elegance on the Sunday, together with auctions happening left, right and centre!

1973 Gulf Mirage M6 Cosworth DFV V8
Ex-Brun Motorsport Porsche 962 Group C

The race programme at Laguna Seca had a packed programme, comprising of 16 races on the Saturday and 14 races on the Sunday, spanning everything from Pre-1940 Sports Racing and Touring Cars to 1981-1991 IMSA GTP cars, featuring the likes of the legendary Porsche 962s, with an eclectic mix in between. One of the highlights of the meeting were demonstration laps by the 1998 & 1999 F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen, driving a 1974 McLaren M23 F1 car, as used by Emerson Fittipaldi to win that year’s World Championship.

Flying Finn - Even twice F1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen turned up at Monterey, driving the 1975 championship-winning McLaren M23
All-conquering ex-Mark Donohue Penske Racing Porsche 917/30 Can Am Spyder

Amongst the wide array of exciting race machinery competing was an original Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, a Ferrari 312 P(B) with its screaming 3 litre Flat 12 power plant, a pair of Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 models, and it seemed like almost every classic Porsche one could imagine. A further bonus for Ferrari fans was the Michelin display in the paddock, which featured a trio of modern Ferrari GT race cars from Risi Competizione, a 360 GT, a 430 GT and a 458 GT, whilst the Racing Through the Decades Display in the paddock featured the Ferrari 500 TRC, in which Pete Lovely won the first race held at Laguna Seca 60 years ago, when the track opened in 1957.

All Photos by Keith Bluemel

Maserati 200SI coming down the infamous "Corkscrew"
The Ferrari 500 TRC that won the very first race at Laguna Seca in 1957