2022 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

By Daniel Vaughan. The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion honors the tradition of motor racing, the history of the automobile, and reflects on the inventiveness and creativity of the cars' designers and manufacturers. It promotes the preservation of these finely crafted vehicles that are no less exceptional today than when they were created. This year's event paid tribute via races and displays to the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with no fewer than four Le Mans-specific race groups and the largest gathering of Le Man's race cars likely assembled in America. The centenary celebration shed some light on the heroes of Le Mans as well as the manufacturers that have participated in the most famous 24 Hours endurance race in the world at the Circuit de la Sarthe. The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion's perennial classes, such as Historic Trans-Am, Formula Junion, and IMSA GTO were also celebrated, giving enthusiasts an opportunity to see and hear authentic motorsports history.

'We are very pleased by the initial feedback to the new Wednesday through Saturday format, activities and features put in place, the car selection and driver camaraderie, and ticket sales,' said John Narigi, president and general manager of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. 'I want to also thank our County of Monterey supervisors who participated to see just how important the Rolex Reunion is among the motoring world.'

Advance ticket sales surpassed 2021 by 92 percent and exceeded the pre-pandemic 2019 event by 11 percent.
1964 Alpine M64
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is a challenging and picturesque 2.238-mile-long cathedral of speed, passion, and racing heritage located in one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Monterey Peninsula. It provided motoring fans an opportunity to experience history in action, showcasing many of the most significant vehicles that have tackled the challenging and high-speed course, surrounded by many like-minded individuals while enjoying the famous California blue skies and pleasant weather. From humble beginnings, Monterey's WeatherTech Racing Laguna Seca quickly grew to become the epicenter of historic car racing, and during its nearly five decades of operation, has solidified its position as one of the most significant events on the international motorsport and lifestyle events calendar.
Ragtime Racers
Each of the 400-plus cars that competed in the 14 race groups were carefully vetted during a selection process by the seven-member Advisory Council, ensuring each car was proper and met the strict criteria of authenticity, provenance and mechanical- and period-correctness. The variety of eras and car classifications was all-encompassing, from the thunder of historic Trans-Am muscle and the no-rules Can-Am period to the high-pitched whine of historic Formula One and F5000 open-wheelers.
1959 Ferrari 250 TR59/60
Legends of Le Mans Centennial Celebration
The inaugural marathon race called the 24 Hours Grand Prix of Endurance was first held in 1923 and is currently the oldest active endurance racing event in the world. Unlike fixed-distance races, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a contest to determine which car covers the greatest distance in 24 hours. Those distances have continued to climb over the years, with speeds in excess of 250 mph achieved in 1988 on the famous Mulsanne Straight, instigating the addition of more chicanes to the track to reduce the speed reached. The demanding race combines speed, preparation, ingenuity, creativity, talent, skill and luck with the ability to survive 24 hours without mechanical failure. It is the ultimate high-speed technology testbed.

To honor the storied event, a very special Le Mans Legends Heritage Display was curated, featuring overall winners, class winners and several interesting or significant cars that have raced over the century. Museums and private collections generously lent their cars for this historical display, with many taking to the track on exhibition laps each day, sharing the sights and sounds with everyone in attendance.

The 51-car display included the very first Porsche entered in the 24 Hours (1951) and the last Ferrari to win overall honors (1965). Nearly twenty overall winners were on display, including the Bentley Speed Six that won in 1929 and 1930, the Ford GT40 in 1968 and 1969, Audi R8 LMP1 in 2005, and the Peugeot 908 Hdi in 2007. From household names such as Porsche, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, to lesser-known attempts by Delahaye, Lister Sunbeam, Alpine, and Chaparral.

The New Wednesday through Saturday Format
The four days of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion were followed by the new and so-called Community Day on Sunday. A new form of racing took over the 550-acre Laguna Seca Recreation Area with the first-ever Hillclimb where entrants race reverse course up the iconic Corkscrew.

Guests enjoyed Moet Champagne in the Café Le Mans while they watched cars line up along the new pre-grid for the Le Man's style start, where drivers ran across to jump into their cars for the start. Families enjoyed racing go-karts in the Hagerty Marketplace,the aerial view provided by the Ferris wheel, bustling car corrals, and the two movie nights.
1996 McLaren F1 GTR
From the moment the green flag waved, the track was alive with action-packed racing. The Picnic in the Paddock hosted an impressive lineup of Le Mans legends who shared stories before an appreciative standing-room-only audience. Attending were Grand Marshal and nine-time Le Mans overall winner Tom Kristensen, six-time overall winner Jacky Ickx, four-time overall winner Henri Pescarolo, one-time overall and two-time class winner Stefan Johansson, overall winner Jochen Mass, two-time class winners John Morton and Ron Fellows, Shelby Daytona Cobra designer Peter Brock, and the President of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest Pierre Fillon. The session was hosted by automotive historian Murray Smith.

The autograph session included additional Le Mans dignitaries Lyn St. James, Bob Garretson, Margie Smith-Haas, Scott Atherton, Rick Knoop, Dominic Dobson, and Allen Berg who signed autographs well past the designated time.
1969 Chevrolet Camaro
Sunday, the closing day of the Reunion, featuring the Corkscrew Hillclimb and Community Day. Sixty cars raced reverse course and up the hill to finish after cresting the iconic Corkscrew. Formula Drift champion Matt Field entertained fans lining the fence all the way up the hill to watch him drift his 1,000-horsepower Corvette to the top. Another fan favorite was the Fabulous Hudson Hornet 'Doc Hudson' that was the acclaimed character in the movie Cars and driven by Bruce Canepa.

Fastest time honors went to Gunnar Jeannette who recorded a 36.25 in a 1971 Porsche 908/3. Second place went to Chris Locke in his ex-Mario Andretti 1976 Lotus 77 Formula One car at 36.78. Third place was awarded to Patrick Long in his 1995 Porsche Gunther Werks Special at 37.33.

'The first-ever Corkscrew Hillclimb and Community Day was a resounding success and attracted many of our area residents for the first time,' Narigi said. 'It really was a fun, relaxed day that provided a new form of entertainment for drivers and fans who could enjoy their experience at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area. We learned a lot and will definitely expand upon the Corkscrew Hillclimb and Community Day for 2023.'
1976 Ferrari 312 T2
2022 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Prize Recipients

Prizes are presented to individuals based on exceptional performance in their race groups, not based on race results, and are selected by stewards. The 2022 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion prize recipients are:
Peter Giddings Memorial Award – Nathanael Greene: 1925 Bugatti Type 35
Ken Miles Award – David Woodhouse: ex-Ken Miles' 1961 Dolphin Mk2
Phil Remington Award, presented by Ford – Francois Sicard: 1962 Stanguellini
Henry Ford Trophy – George Krass: Ford-powered Panoz LMP900
Bonhams Passion and Spirit Award – Ernie Spada: 1981 Lola T600
John Fitch Corvette Award – John Goodman: 1971 Chevrolet Corvette
Stellar Performance in Braking Award – Horatio Fitz-Simon: 1964 Lotus 26R
Motul Best of Show – Bruce McCaw: 1952 Mercedes-Benz W194
1986 Chevrolet Camaro
Rolex Awards
1958-1963 Formula Junior – Phillip Ribbs: 1963 Lotus 27
1974-1979 Formula Atlantic – Laurent Parmentier: 1977 Chevron B39
1955-1966 SCCA Production Cars – Horatio Fitz-Simon: 1964 Lotus 26R
Ragtime Racers – Rob Dyson: 1913 Isotta Frachinni
1923-1955 Le Mans Celebration – Max Jamiesson: 1957 Porsche 356
1956-1971 Le Mans – Gray Gregory: 1969 Chevron B16
1972-1982 Le Mans – Jonathan Feiber: 1974 Porsche RSR
Le Mans Legends Exhibition – Flavien Marcais: 1975 Alpine-Renault A441
1981-2005 Le Mans Prototypes and GT1 – Malcolm Ross: 1985 Porsche 962
1955-1969 Saloon Cars – Don Racine: 1961 Austin Mini Cooper S
1966-1972 Historic Trans-Am – Dennis Singleton: 1970 Chevrolet Camaro
1966-1985 Historic Formula One – Chris Locke: 1976 Lotus 77
1981-1991 IMSA, GTO, Trans Am – Walt Brown: 1987 Chevrolet Camaro
The Spirit of Monterey – Presented to the driver or entrant who excels in the spirit of the weekend was awarded to Martin Lauber who entered his 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia TI and 1976 Porsche 911 RSR, as well as participating in the Monterey Race Car Show in downtown Monterey Aug. 12

1956 Lotus Eleven
1964 Shelby Cobra 289
1957 Maserati 200 SI
1938 Talbot-Lago T-26 SS