Audio Visual 2.0
Saturday afternoon the sights and sounds of the Rolex Races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca were everywhere and intensified by the crowds, racing and displays. The crowds were hug and water was the drink of choice in heat which rose to 91 degrees mid afternoon. Shade was treasured.
It was good people watching, with all the beautiful people and cars.
The afternoon schedule called for the Official Rolex Races – twenty minutes long. Saturday’s schedule was the longer of the two days as there were eight race groups and the day went until 6pm. Sunday’s race groups number seven, and the day ends earlier to accommodate the afternoon Awards Ceremony.
The feature Bonham’s Cup Rolex Race was first off – Group 3A for the featured marque – 1965-1970 Shelby 350GT’s.
Winner Tommy Steuer of Colombia started second but won in the No.1 1965 Shelby owned by Bert Skidmore, beating Pole Sitter Terry Lawlor of Australia by 20.327 seconds. Steuer turned the fastest lap of 1:44.124/77.377 mph on Lap 2 of the ten-lap race. Finishing third was Jeffrey Abramson in his No.165 1965 Shelby.
Conrad Stevensen of Berkeley CA drove his No.39 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Special to victory in Group 1A race for Pre 1940 Sports Racing and Touring Cars. His Margin of Victory was 01.093 seconds ahead of Joe Harding’s No.111 1939 Lagonda V12 Le Mans and he also turned the fastest race lap time of 2:12.461/60.824 mph on Lap 3. Finishing third was Richard Morrison’s No.12 1939 Lagonda V12. The average race speed was 59.49mph for the eight-lap race. Twenty-four drivers raced from the 29-car field. Early contender, Howard Swig’s 1931 Chrysler CD-8 Le Mans retired early.
Group 2A for 1955-1962 GT Cars was won by Pole Sitter Joe Colasacco of CT racing the 1963 Alfa Romeo TZ-1 owned by Lawrence Auriana. His Margin of Victory was 11.812 seconds ahead of Ron Goodman of Australia racing his No.21 1954 Porsche 356. Mark Colbert’s No.10 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Competizione was third. Colasacco turned the fastest race lap of 1:51.108/72.513 mph on Lap 4 of the nine-lap race. The average lap was 71.748 mph. Forty-one of the 46 entrants raced.
Bruce Canepa pulled one out of his helmet for Race Group 4A-1973-1981 FIA, IMSA GT-GTX, AAGT, GTU Cars. He only ran one lap before retiring in the morning race in his No.12 1979 Porsche 935, but he won the afternoon’s Rolex Race by 05.663 seconds ahead of Pole Sitter Didier Andr of France in his No.76 1977 Greenwood Corvette. Local driver and veteran vintage racer, Ken Epsman finished third in his No.20 1976 Dekon Monza and also turned the fastest lap of 1:32.847/86.775 mph on Lap Eight of the 11-lap race. The average lap was 83.611 mph. Thirty-three of 41-car field ran the race.
The top three finishers in Group 5A-1955-1961 Sports Racing Cars over 2000cc finished where they started and ended in the morning race. Pole Sitter Derek Hill continued his winning streak Saturday afternoon racing the No.3 1962 Maserati Tipo 151 owned by Laurence Auriana, making it the second win of the afternoon for the car owner. Hill’s Margin of Victory was 04.293 seconds ahead of Greg Meyer’s No.41 1962 Dailu MK2. Joseph Diloreto finished third in his No.33 1961 Dolphin SportsRacer. Hill turned the fastest race lap of 1:44.378 mph/77.189 mp on the first lap. The average race lap was 76.027 mph. Hill raced Saturday only. Sunday he headed off to Pebble Beach to host the annual Concours D’Elegance.
Wade Carter of WA drove his No. l74 1974 Lola T294 to victory in Rolex Race Group 6A-FIA Manufacturers Championship Cars. He beat Pole Sitter Keither Frieser’s No.27 1972 Lola T290 by 00.319 seconds, the closest Margin of Victory all afternoon, and turned the fastest lap of 1:25.851/93.846 mph on Lap 2. Finishing third was Chris MacAllister’s No.5 1973 Gulf Mirage. Twenty-six of the 40-car field took the Green Flag for the 12-lap race.
Two of the drivers in this group – John Delane No.50 1971 Lola T212 and Timothy De Silva No.22 1978 Osella PA8, are also racing in other groups. Delane races his 2 1971 Tyrrell in Group 8A for F1 Cars, and De Silva races perhaps the only Mini Cooper this weekend in Group 4B 1961 -1966 GT Cars under 2500cc.
Bruce Canepa won his second race of the afternoon driving his No.100 1990 Porsche 962C in Group 7A-1981-1991 FIA/IMSA GTP, GTO Cars. His Margin of Victory was 08.901 seconds ahead of Parker Johnstone in the No.49 factory/Museum 1991 Acura Spice GTP Light car. Dieter Baljet of Canada drove his No.3 1990 Chevrolet Beretta to third place. Canepa turned the fast lap of 1:26.049/93.63 mph on Lap 3. The average race lap was 92.629 mph.
Championship Rally and Drifting driver, Steve Millen started twenty-fifth after having mechanical problems in the morning race, but ran through the pack to finish seventh overall.
Actor and film producer of the new Paul Newman Documentary, “Winning,” Adam Carolla, brought his No.75T 1990 Peerless Oldsmobile, but didn’t run either of the Saturday races.
Charles Nearburg of Texas has been on a roll all weekend with his No.27A 1980 Williams FW07 – figuratively, not literally. He was the Pole Sitter for Group 8A-1967-1984d Formula One Cars. He again won, the afternoon Rolex Race by 00.944 seconds, the second closest MOV of the day. He again beat Erich Joiner’s No.101 1983 Williams FW08/C. Finishing third was Dr. Nicholas Colyvas of San Francisco driving his No.3 1974 Tyrrell 007. Colyvas was one of two local vintage F1 drivers who raced his F1 car in the movie “Rush.” The other was Chris Locke of San Anselmo, who finished ninth Saturday afternoon in his o.5 1976 Lotus 77, which he raced in the movie.
After the race, the group convened to the FIA F1 Masters Cup Hospitality Suite for their prize giving. They have four classes and award loving cups to the top three in class.