|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.'
|Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Celebrates New Race Series with Laps on the Streets of San JoseMONTEREY, Calif., April 22, 2014 – The Streets of San Jose may never be the same after drivers from the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship get their race cars into full gear as they do a few laps around Plaza de Cesar Chavez in the Mini Grand Prix of San Jose on Wednesday, April 30, 2014.|
The TUDOR Championship competitors are in San Jose to share the high-revving powerful new race cars with fans in advance of the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda. Since it is the ....
| 2014 Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance Increases Classes to 22Chrysler designs by Virgil Exner added|
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA – April 17 , 2014 - The 22nd annual Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance at the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, California on Sunday September 14 has increased the number of its classes from 20 to 22. The changes result from adding a class for Chryslers designed by Virgil Exner and dividing Post War American into two classes - 1957-1958 and 1959 to 1966.
The event will celebrate automotive innovation ....
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McQueen, called 'The King of Cool,' became the highest paid movie star in the world in 1974 and starred in such movies at 'Bullitt,' 'The Great Escape' and 'Papillon.' McQueen, who was al....
| Sir Stirling Moss to be Featured Guest on Saturday of Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion• Legendary Driver to Participate in Q&A and Celebratory Parade Laps|
MONTEREY, Calif., April 15, 2014 — Arguably the greatest all-around racing driver of his time and a true icon of the motor racing world, Sir Stirling Moss will be the honored guest at the Picnic in the Park at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on Saturday, August 16. Historian Murray Smith will conduct the always engaging noontime session in the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca marketplace where fans may bring t....