|Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion : Cobras Take It To The Limit|
|Today was the day everyone was waiting for, or at least the 30 or so thousand people flocking to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion were waiting for it: the chance to see 45 competition Shelby Cobras charging around California's famously challenging 2.238-mile road course known as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The Cobras are part of the Reunion's celebration of the Shelby Cobra's 50thAnniversary, and besides those signed up for racing, there were hundreds more in the paddock, surrounding corrals, and even in a museum-quality Heritage Display, not to mention those driving the streets in Monterey these past few days as their owners went to and from Classic Car Week's concours events, tours, car shows and auctions that are now signature around the world as among the finest in the automotive world.
The featured Cobra race was one of nine official Rolex Races held after lunchtime today, and it had to be the most watched, running chills up spines with the rage of roaring engines made more intense at the wave of the green flag by celebrity starter Edsel Ford II. It was billed as a tribute race to honor the Cobra's originator Carroll Shelby, who had planned to be here, but, sadly, died in May of this year at the age of 89. For Jim Click, who drove his 1964 Cobra 289 to win, that poignant fact made his victory a significant moment in time. Back in the paddock, celebrating with his crew and race fans who had surrounded his car, he said, 'I knew Carroll Shelby; he did so much for racing and for Ford, so it is an honor for me to have won this race for Mr. Shelby. This is the biggest win of my life.'
Click explained that he started third on the grid today, but the second-place car broke down. 'I was chasing car #81 (also a 1964 Cobra 289) for the lead, and I knew I was faster going through the turns; he is a really good driver, but he finally made a bit of a mistake exiting a corner, so I was there to take advantage,' said Click. Race day drama was heightened when a rare Daytona Coupe suddenly wound up off-track as well with apparent damage to its front end. The Coupe, one of only six ever built, had held a seemingly comfortable third-place position for the first half of the 20-minute race. At the Rolex Driver's Club, which allows a birds-eye view of the 'Andretti Hairpin' turn 2 and the short straights leading into and exiting turn 3, the atmosphere could not have been more electric, and after the checkered flag, the reverence of fellow drivers from the 16 other classes here was made clear as the Cobra's slowed their pace to loud cheers and waving caps in recognition of their collective accomplishment.
For Charles Firmenich (Geneva, Switzerland), racing his 1965 Cobra in the race was less about winning and more about gaining experience. 'I've had this car for two years, but this is my first year of racing,' said Firmenich, adding that he has 20 years experience doing track days with car clubs. 'I have been itching for a long time to do some actual racing, so when I got this Cobra I felt the time had come. I raced this car at the Le Mans Classic this year and at first it was horrible, because in the rain in a car like this it is frightening, but after a while I got used to it. I have never been to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca before, and I find it very challenging because it has so many different shapes and turns. We have a few tracks in Europe that are also fast and technical, but this one is special. As a Swiss citizen it is great for me to see a Swiss company, Rolex, promoting motor racing around the world and especially vintage racing because it has become so popular in Europe as much as it has in America.'
|Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Named a Finalist for International AwardMONTEREY, Calif., Oct. 21, 2014 — An international panel of experts of the International Historic Motoring Awards released their shortlist today and selected the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion as a finalist for the Motorsport Event of the Year. The winner will be named at the awards gala in London on November 20.|
Launched in 2011, the International Historic Motoring Awards, in association with EFG private bank and Octane magazine, recognize and celebrate the skills and achievement....
|Pirelli World Challenge Chooses Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for its 2015 Season FinaleMONTEREY, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 - One of North America's finest and longest running auto racing series, the Pirelli World Challenge, will crown their 2015 champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Sept. 11-13 at the Series' season finale. |
The popular Series boasts a paddock of more than 70 race cars and consists of six classes of vehicles: grand touring (GT); touring car (TC); grand touring sport (GTS); touring car B-spec (TCB), touring car A (TCA) and Porsche GT-Cup (GT-Cup). Well know....
|Race Groups Announced for 2015 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion• Entry Requests Open November 17|
MONTEREY, Calif., October 14, 2014 – For the caretakers of period-correct historic race cars, November 17 will likely now be marked on their calendars, as it is the opening day entry requests can be submitted to compete in the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 13-16, 2015 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The entry request process continues through January 31, 2015 and is conducted exclusively online at MazdaRaceway.com. Each year....
|MAZDA MOTORSPORTS SCCA RUNOFFS RECAP• Mazda Racers Shine at Racing's Biggest Club Event|
October 13, 2014 (MONTEREY, Calif.) — Mazda club racers added five more championships to the cumulative Mazda tally at the 51st annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs this past weekend. Making this years' competition even sweeter for the Mazda racers was the venue, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
'Having the SCCA Runoffs at our home track was a very special time for everyone at Mazda,' said John Doonan, director of Mazda Mot....