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Laguna Seca, 8th - 16th of August

After another eventful classic car year 2015 it is time to finalize last year’s reports with the annual race meeting at the famous desert track in California during the Monterey Car Week that never made it on our website due to the many following events. Although the week in August is most famous for the Concours and the insane auction records of the last years the racing part is of no less importance. The Pebble Beach Concours this year featured the races through the forest at the 17-miles Drive which came to an end when the permanent track in the hills between Monterey and Salinas was opened in 1957, since then a lot of important race series mastered the famous corkscrew.

Over the last years the historic races became one of the most important events for the operating SCRAMP (Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula), this year the Motorsport Reunion attracted more than 65.000 visitors during the weekend. One week after the Pre-Reunion at the same place 15 different race groups were lined up in the paddock to feature more than 550 cars on the races on Saturday and Sunday following the practice session the days before. Due to the action packed week with a lot of activities we were only able to attend the Saturday races of the A-Groups but fortunately a lot of the cars could be already seen during the pre-historics.

Many race groups are regulars in Laguna Seca including the Sports- and GT-Car classes of the different decades, but also the FIA/IMSA and Trans-Am races. But apart of them there are always special themes and anniversaries to be celebrated, this year the 50th anniversary of the Shelby GT350. After ending his racing career including the sole Le Mans victory of Aston Martin in 1959 Carroll Shelby started to modify sports cars resulting in the legendary Shelby Cobra. After competing with the Ferrari 250 GT in the Sports Car Races of the early 1960s Shelby went on to modify the Ford Mustang, the most famous pony car. In 1965 Shelby introduced the Shelby GT350 that was extensively raced. This week in 2015 no less than 38 cars were entered in a Shelby-only race making it a remarkable sight seeing all of the coming down the corkscrew together, further important early examples were displayed in the paddocks by the Ford Heritage Display.

Also a special race was dedicated to the Formula 5000 whose last appearance in Laguna Seca was exactly 40 years ago when Mario Andretti won this race. Originally intended as a cheaper American version of the Formula 1 the Formula 5000 featured engines with a capacity of 5 Litre in Lola, Lotus or McLaren chassis to name a few. Rarely seen on many race meetings the owners of these rare races did not miss the chance to come back to their origin making this one of the biggest race groups, both on the pre-reunion and the actual Reunion.

Unfortunately the F1 group was not running during the first weekend, after very small race groups in the previous years they were just featured during the Saturday races at the end of the day. As raced in between 1967 and 1984 the 3 litre cars included a sole Ferrari 312 T2 as well as examples of today´s rivals from Williams and McLaren but also marques from the past like Hesketh, Surtees Tyrrell, Wolf or Shadow.

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Report & images … Peter Singhof www.ClassicCarPhotography.de

Other cars of particular interest were the fire spitting Mazda IMSA racers, several Porsche 956/962 and 935 to preview the action a few weeks later at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion.

We have compiled a massive gallery with more than 600 images sorted by races and race numbers to give an overview of the action on the track. Next year’s Historic Races will celebrate 100 years of BMW so one could expect a lot of 328, M1 and 3.0 CSL Batmobiles.

Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion 2015

006 1970 Ferrari 512 M s/n 1040 - Lawrence Stroll

004 1915 Ford Roadster s/n 3695820 - Ed Archer

Start Group 2A

001 1976 Ferrari 312 T2 s/n 26 - Chris Macallister

012 1984 Porsche 956C s/n 118 - Russell Kempnich

055 1973 BMW CSL 3.0  s/n 227-5204 - Jeffrey Gerken

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