For those who love Jaguars and know their ABCs, this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is promising a thrilling if not profoundly educational experience. Jaguar C-, D- and E Types as well as XK120s were among 550 cars practicing today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, which has Jaguar as its special marque and starts tomorrow with qualifying sessions that will set the grid for weekend racing among 17 groups of historic automobiles.
When fans at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion aren’t watching racing, they have plenty to explore, including the race paddocks, shops in the Yamaha Marketplace and special display, such as this year’s museum-quality Jaguar Heritage Display, which expertly chronicles the history of Jaguar and the development of its most important cars.
The roar of vintage cars racing today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was like the sound of music to thousands of motor racing and historic automobile enthusiasts attending this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Racing took place in nine of 17 groups, representing just over half of the 550 cars entered, which can fairly be said to represent the full, rich lineage of motor racing in this country and abroad. (The remaining eight race groups compete Sunday.)
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion has earned its stripes as the premier historic automobile racing event in the U.S., and motorsports enthusiasts from around the world have taken notice. They come not only by the tens of thousands to watch the sentimental past of car racing come roaring back to life, but also by the hundreds to personally strap into the driver’s seat and test the legendary turns and challenging elevation changes of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where the annual event is synchronized every third week in August with Monterey Peninsula’s Classic Car Week.
One of Rock and Roll’s most enthusiastic lead singers on stage is the rock band AC/DC’s Brian Johnson. His enthusiasm intensifies, however, when he puts on his driver’s suit and climbs into his 1965 Lola T-70 like he will do tomorrow at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, where 550 historic automobiles are competing in 17 groups that run the gamut from Pre-1940 Sports Racing and Touring Cars to 1981-1989 FIA Mfg. Championship & IMSA GTPs.
Audi has announced its commitment to build a version of its successful R8 LMS race car for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, adding another major manufacturer to its highly competitive production-based GT class.
GRAND-AM has worked with Audi on the project since August 2009, making several visits to Germany to meet with the manufacturer. The car is expected to begin testing in the fall, with its competition debut expected at the 50th anniversary running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, 2012.
Yamaha Motor Racing Headquarters hosted a very special guest yesterday as three-time World Champion Wayne Rainey arrived at the team’s base in Gerno di Lesmo, near Milan. The legendary Grand Prix rider spent the day with employees of Yamaha Motor Racing, Yamaha Motor Italy and Yamaha Motor R&D Europe. Rainey officially opened the Wayne Rainey Boardroom at the facility before taking a tour of the site. He was joined by current riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies, the three taking time to sign autographs and pose for pictures with the many gathered employees.