Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 2016
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is recognized as one of the very finest events of its kind worldwide. Together with the renowned Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the two events anchor the Monterey Classic Car Week. Around 550 race cars participated in fifteen different groups over a four day period, making it one of the largest racing events on the automotive calendar. A record four-day total of 70,525 spectators joined in the celebration of motorsports history at the raceway.

'The economic impact of Monterey Classic Car Week in our community is significant and seems to strengthen each year,' says Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 'Our area hotel, restaurant and service partners greatly look forward to laying out the welcome mat for everyone who arrives and to do their best so that everyone can enjoy their Monterey experience.

According to a report conducted by the California State University Monterey Bay College of Business, Monterey Classic Car Week and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, in particular, is an economic engine for the community.

This year's reunion honored BMW's centenary and the fiftieth anniversary of the Can-Am and TransAm championships.

BMW Centenary
BMW brought seven cars from the collection of the North American subsidiary and entered them in the races. The list included the 'Stars and Stripes' M3 GTR that won its class at the 2001 Petit Le Mans and the V12 LM that won the 1999 Sebring 12 Hours. The BMW collection was joined by many other private entries including the M1 Procar that won the 1980 Japanese Endurance Championship. All four of the original BMW 320 Turbo Group cars were reunited, with two being entered in the event. Some of the earliest BMWs competing at Mazda Raceway were the 328 models, which are arguably one of the most successful sports cars of the 1930s racing scene. A fan favorite were the BMW 2002s, which helped establish the company's racing presence in the United States. One of the most exotic were the Giugiaro-designed M1, which were raced by pro drivers in a series that pitted touring and sports car drivers against Formula 1 stars.

In total, there were more than 60 BMW race cars entered in the races and BMW North America presented its Living Legends Garage that told the magnificent story of this Bavarian company.

50 Years of Trans-Am Racing
The popular Trans-Am races, which began in 1966, was all about Raw horsepower for these near showroom-looking Camaros, Mustangs, Javelins, Firebirds, Cougars, Challengers, and Barracudas. The Trans-Am series captured fans' interest 50 years ago with exciting racing and an extensive list of renowned drivers, including Dan Gurney, Bob Bondurant, Mark Donohue, George Follmer, Sam Posey, Dick Guldstrand, Peter Revson, Bob Tullius, Tony Adamowicz, Parnelli Jones and so many more.

The horsepower was felt and heard as roughly 36 historically accurate ground-pounding Trans-Am cars competed around the 2.23 mile road circuit.

Golden Years of Can-Am Racing
The Can-Am Series, short for Canadian-American Challenge Cup, was known for its free-wheeling rule interpretations that inspired experiments such as ground effects, liberal use of exotic materials, big wings, two engines, and even perfecting turbocharging. The only basic requirement was that the cars were to be 'sports cars,' which meant they must have room for a passenger.

The series had minimal regulations, permitted unlimited engine sizes, virtually unrestricted aerodynamics, and basically had an 'anything goes' policy. This fostered creative machines that explored many realms of automotive technology and engineering.

The Mazda Raceway celebration included a field of Lolas, Shadows, McLarens, Porsches and others which were segregated into two separate grids of historic cars that competed in the series. The first group was comprised of USRRC and Can-Am cars that raced between 1963 and 1968, while the big bore Can-Am group featured racers from 1968 through 1974.

Nearly all of the nine championship winning CanAm cars were present, either on or off the track, at this year's Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The list included the Lola T70 of John Surtees that won the inaugural event and a Porsche 917/30 which had been driven by Mark Donohue to the 1973 championship. The McLaren M6A-1 has roots the can be traced back to then-called Laguna Seca Raceway. This is where it took the checkered flag to win the second annual Can-Am race, driven by its namesake - Bruce McLaren, in the 1967 Monterey Grand Prix. McLaren drove the car to an impressive victory over Jim Hall's Chapparal 2G and George Follmer's Lola T70. Following the 1967 season, the car was sold to Penske Racing and prepped for Mark Donohue, who then drove it to victory at the United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) race at Laguna Seca on his way to capturing the 1968 championship.

1974 would be the final year for the original Can-Am championship, as spiraling costs and a recession in North America following the oil crisis, and dwindling support and interest led to the series being cancelled.

Each year the highlight of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is its featured marque presentation. The BMW 100th anniversary celebration, both through its paddock display and the historic race cars, was a presentation in keeping with the marque's illustrious racing history.

The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion has been described as a rolling museum the revs life in 15 race groups throughout four full days of competition.

By Dan Vaughan

Galleries
1911 National Model 40  
1914 Mercer 450  
1915 Ford Model T  
1915 Ford Old Number 4 Racer  
1916 National Model AC  
1916 Sturtevant Romano Special  
1917 Hall-Scott The Four  
1922 Ford Model T  
1926 Bugatti Type 39A  
1927 Bugatti Type 37A  
1929 Ford Miller Schofield Special  
1930 Morgan Aero Super Sport  
1931 Bugatti Type 51  
1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300  
1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750  
1933 Maserati 4CM  
1933 Singer Nine  
1934 Era R2A  
1934 MG N-Type NA  
1935 Austin Seven Special  
1935 BMW 315  
1935 Era B Type  
1935 Frazer Nash TT Replica  
1935 Railton Eight  
1936 Bugatti Type 57  
1936 Era B Type  
1936 Riley Champ Car  
1937 BMW 328  
1937 Triumph Special 9  
1938 Aston Martin 15/98  
1938 BMW 328  
1938 Sparks-Thorne Little 6  
1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS  
1946 Delage D6-3L  
1950 Talbot-Lago T-26C Grand Prix  
1949 Jaguar Parkinson Special  
1950 Allard J2  
1950 Allard K2  
1950 Von Neumann MG Special  
1951 Jaguar XK120  
1951 Morgan Plus Four  
1952 Allard K2  
1952 Jaguar XK 120  
1952 Morgan Plus Four  
1952 Siata Daina  
1953 Allard J2X  
1953 Austin-Healey Special  
1953 Hansgen Jaguar Special  
1953 Jaguar C-Type  
1953 Kurtis Kraft 500S  
1953 Siata 208 S  
1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial  
1954 Jaguar XK-120  
1954 Warrior Bristol  
1955 Crosley Special  
1955 Hagemann Special  
1955 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL  
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing  
1955 Porsche 356  
1955 Triumph TR2  
1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta  
1959 Austin-Healey 3000 MK I  
1954 Jaguar Type D  
1955 Jaguar XK-D D-Type  
1957 Aston Martin DBR2  
1957 Devin SS  
1958 Cooper Monaco Type 49  
1958 Devin SS  
1958 Echidna Racing Special  
1958 Ferrari 412 Sport  
1958 Scarab Sports Roadster  
1959 Lister Special  
1960 Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage  
1961 Cooper Monaco Type 61  
1962 Dailu MKII  
1953 Cooper Porsche Racing Special  
1954 Porsche Pupulidy Racing Special  
1955 Cooper T39  
1955 Elva MKI  
1955 Porsche 356 Devin Special  
1956 Lotus Eleven  
1957 Maserati 200 SI  
1958 Lotus Eleven Series II  
1958 Porsche 550 A  
1959 Ambro Peerless Special  
1959 Byers MGA Special  
1959 Byers Volvo Special CR90  
1959 Lotus 17  
1959 Rejo MKIV  
1960 Devin D  
1960 Lola MK1  
1960 Seiler Quicksilver  
1962 Elva MK VI  
1962 Lola MKI  
1954 Porsche 356  
1955 Chevrolet Corvette C1  
1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce  
1956 Cleary Special  
1956 Denzel 1500 International  
1956 MG MGA 1500  
1956 Porsche 356A  
1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta  
1957 Aston Martin DB 2/4 MKIII  
1957 Chevrolet Corvette C1  
1957 MG MGA  
1957 Porsche 356  
1958 Allard GT  
1958 Austin-Healey Sprite  
1958 Denzel 1300WD  
1958 Porsche 356A  
1958 Turner 950  
1959 Ferrari 250 GT TdF  
1959 Morgan Plus Four  
1959 Triumph TR3A  
1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB  
1960 Porsche Abarth 356 Carrera GTL  
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competition  
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Sperimentale  
1961 Jabro MK3  
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO  
1962 Lotus Elite  
1962 Lotus Seven  
1962 MG MGA 1600  
1962 Porsche 356B  
1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso  
1963 Ferrari 250 GTO  
1963 Porsche 356  
1964 Alfa Romeo TZ1  
1965 Don Miller Special  
1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA  
1967 Porsche 910  
1967 Porsche 911  
1967 Porsche 911S  
1968 BMW 2002  
1968 Chevron B8  
1969 BMW 2002  
1969 Chevrolet Corvette C3  
1969 Chevron B16  
1969 Porsche 908  
1969 Porsche 911  
1969 Porsche 911S  
1970 BMW 2002  
1970 Chevron B16  
1970 Mazda R100  
1970 Porsche 911 ST  
1971 Alfa Romeo GTV Veloce 1750  
1971 Ferrari 312PB  
1972 BMW 3.0 CSL  
1972 Ferrari 312 PB  
1973 BMW 3.0  
1968 Chevrolet Corvette C3  
1969 Ford Shelby Mustang GT 350  
1970 Datsun 240Z  
1971 BMW 3.0 CSL  
1972 BMW 3.0 CSL  
1973 BMW 3.0 CSL  
1973 Porsche 911 RSR  
1973 Porsche 911S  
1974 BMW 3.5 CSL  
1974 Porsche 914  
1974 Porsche Carrera RSR 3.0