|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.'
|DORAN RACING, BELL RACING SET TO TACKLE VIR ON SATURDAYLEBANON, Ohio – This weekend Doran Racing, Tim Bell Racing and other IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) teams return to VIRginia International Raceway (VIR), a 3.27-mile, 18-turn road course and resort in Alton, Virginia that Car and Driver magazine named one of the top six road courses in North America.|
The series hasn't raced at VIR since 2011, although for several years the facility was the site of its season finale. VIR was on the schedule in the series' inaugural se....
|MAZDA FOUNDATION ISSUES $25,000 GRANT TO THE SPCA FOR MONTEREY COUNTYThe Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc. believes strongly in helping furry friends (and some not so furry) who find themselves neglected, homeless or injured. On Saturday, August 16th, the Mazda Foundation presented the local, independent SPCA for Monterey County with a generous $25,000 grant.|
'The work that the SPCA of Monterey County does is so important to this community – their doors are open to all animals in need - from dogs and cats to horses, wildlife, exotics, and more,' said Robert Davis, ....
|LEGENDARY RACER STEVE MILLEN AND HIS NO. 75 NISSAN 300ZX TAKE TO THE TRACK IN MONTEREYMONTEREY, Calif. – For race car driver Steve Millen, anniversary gifts don't get any sweeter than this.|
To mark the 20th anniversary of his – and Nissan's – win at the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans, Millen brought his legendary No. 75 Nissan 300ZX twin turbo racer out of retirement at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in California.
'This Monterey historic reunion is the biggest and best of the classic car races in America,' said Millen. 'I've always come up here as a spectator thin....
|MAZDA RACER LIAM DWYER READY TO RACE AGAINU.S. Marine Staff Sargent Seeking To Repeat Lime Rock Win|
August 19, 2014 (IRVINE, Calif.) – When Hollywood scripts a racing movie, they tend to go overboard. Having an injured U.S. Marine Staff Sargent winning a professional race, in only his second start, just miles from where he grew up, on the third anniversary of his 'Alive Day', after 50 surgeries since that injury, on Memorial Day weekend. Who would believe that? Believe it, as that's exactly what happened to Liam Dwyer and h....
|Gooding & Company's Two-Day Pebble Beach Auctions Realizes More Than $106 Million• 30 cars sell above $1 million|
• 16 new auction records set for Ferrari, Aston Martin and Porsche marques
Pebble Beach, Calif. (August 18, 2014) – Gooding & Company, the auction house acclaimed for its world-class automotive auctions and record-breaking results, realized more than $106 million at its Pebble Beach Auctions over the weekend. During the two-day sale, the auction house sold 107 of 121 lots, which resulted in an 88% sale rate, with an average price of $990,....
|RM AUCTIONS RAISES THE BAR WITH MORE THAN $143 MILLION IN SALES IN MONTEREY• RM Auctions sets a new collector car auction benchmark with a record $143.4 million in sales at its flagship Monterey, California event; Saturday session achieves $88 million in just four hours |
• Auction proves quality counts with 91 percent of lots sold
• Thirty-five lots achieve individual million-dollar-plus results; three lots achieve eight-figures
• Ferraris dominate top sales led by 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale for $26.4 million; a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM for $11.5 million; and the e....