Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance Presented by Rolex adds lap Around Mazda Raceway
For the first time in 10 years, the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance Presented by Rolex will include a lap around the track at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The Tour also traverses the nearby mountains and canyons of Carmel Valley, pauses for a time in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea, and encompasses two of the ten “Top Coastal Drives in North America” as cited by MSN–the famed 17-Mile Drive through Pebble Beach Resorts and the section of Highway 1 from Carmel to Big Sur.
The Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance is an annual driving event that is directly linked to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. If two vehicles tie in class competition at the Pebble Beach Concours, the vehicle that has successfully completed the Tour d’Elegance gets the nod. On Thursday, August 15, cars will line up near Collins Field in Pebble Beach and depart at 8:00 a.m. Spectators are invited to watch the event at various locations along the route, particularly at the start in Pebble Beach Resorts from 7 to 9 a.m., at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m., and in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“The Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex underscores the fact that cars are meant to be driven,” says Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “The Tour is the perfect way to experience the elegance of the automobile in motion.”
The Tour highlights the early history and significance of Pebble Beach, and its ties to the automobile. Even before there was a world-famous golf resort in the area, there was 17-Mile Drive, which people would trace at their leisure. After World War II, the Del Monte Lodge at Pebble Beach played host to the first true postwar road races held on the West Coast–the Pebble Beach Road Races–and paired them with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the event that has spurred much of the modern concours movement.
When Del Monte Forest proved to be too dangerous, a track was built in Laguna Seca to host the Pebble Beach races, which were renamed the Pebble Beach at Laguna Seca National Championship Sports Car Road Races. The schedule for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and events at the track eventually separated, but since 1973 the Pebble Beach Concours has been paired with historic races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Today, these races–now called the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion–serve as another strong draw for car enthusiasts, and some cars compete in both events.
“It will be great to have Concours cars circling the historic raceway once again,” says Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance Director Sean Jacobs. “I think many enthusiasts will enjoy the rare opportunity to see not only race cars but even touring cars–such as the Packards, Lincolns, and Duesenbergs, all with wheelbases over 140 inches long–navigating the tight turns of the track.”