With the 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion less than a week away, I thought I’d do a short post to get everyone excited for some epic vintage road racing on one of the world’s most challenging and exciting race tracks.

Laguna Seca is nestled in the bottom of a small valley just east of Monterey. Years ago, it was all alone on what used to be part of Fort Ord, an Army base that opened in 1917 and closed in 1994. Laguna Seca was built in 1957 to replace the Pebble Beach  road course that closed the same year due to safety issues. Now, there is serious pressure to close the race track by home owners who built their homes near the track in recent years and are now complaining that its too noisy. The race track is perhaps the most beautiful race track in California with Live Oaks providing shade over areas of the track, especially near the fabled “Corkscrew”.

The Motorsports reunion is a special event, where pre war through the late 80s and early 90s all come to race. Sometimes these same cars are driven by the very people who raced them when they were new. Sports racers, Production cars, Trans Am, IMSA, Formula cars, and the early pre war cars all have a place here. Its almost a step back in time.

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The variety of cars is second to none. Walking through the pits is like walking through a living museum, Ferrari 250 GTO? Got it. Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing? How about 2 of them, 20140815-_DSC109420130817-_DSC612320130817-_DSC6656The racing is often close, and quite competitive, 20130817-_DSC629520130817-_DSC649620140816-_DSC1607Some people will claim this isn’t real racing, because there isn’t any contact. I’d like to hear what the driver of this car has to say about that. Every lap he pushed the car harder through the top of the Corkscrew until…20130817-_DSC655520130817-_DSC655620130817-_DSC655720130817-_DSC655820130817-_DSC655920130817-_DSC656020130817-_DSC656120130817-_DSC656220130817-_DSC656320130817-_DSC656520130817-_DSC6568

Walking through the corals can be a highlight alone,

20130817-_DSC6138P1030746P1030754DSC_8031DSC_8032DSC_8033DSC_805320130817-_DSC6404Slowly, Japanese cars have been allowed to take part, and there have been some really cool entries. 20130817-_DSC630320130817-_DSC636920130817-_DSC636020140815-_DSC105020140815-_DSC105820140815-_DSC109320140815-_DSC121120140816-_DSC145220140816-_DSC149020140816-_DSC165520140816-_DSC1606untitled-6007374untitled-6007372-2A stroll through the pits reveals more artwork from a bygone era.untitled-6007565untitled-600723720140815-_DSC105720130817-_DSC6108 For 2016 BMW celebrates its 100th Anniversary and is the featured Marquee. That means that there will be 2002s 3.5 CLS, M1s, and others taking to the track. 20140815-_DSC113820140815-_DSC1132

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The Monterey Motorsports Reunion is a step back in time where you can see, hear, feel and imagine what it was like to see these cars race when they were new.  A chance to see legendary drivers behind the wheel of cars they drove once more. To hear the roar of unmuffled exhausts, and the ground shake as the cars fly past. To smell the hot rubber from the tires, and the sweet tang of race fuel. Its a chance to expose kids to living history, setting there imaginations into overdrive.

For schedules and info, http://www.mazdaraceway.com/rolex-monterey-motorsports-reunion

 

-Will Campbell

Photos: Will Campbell