Shelby Cobra

This weekend, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is hosting the two-day Pre-Reunion historic car races, leading up the big four-day Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at the legendary road circuit. The Reunion will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Shelby Cobra, as well as the life of its builder, CARROLL SHELBY.

More than 275 old cars will take to the track Saturday and Sunday – with morning practices and afternoon races for the twelve race groups. The schedule is simple – run groups in numerical order – except for Group 12 for Pre 1940 Sports, Racing and Touring Cars. It has a morning warm-up rather than practice session each day, and is the first of the run groups to race each day. On-track activity begins at 8am each day, with a 45-minute lunch break, and the last run group scheduled to start at 6pm.

The oldest car is a 1911 National 40 driven by BRIAN BLAIN of Visalia CA, one of 17 entries in Group 12.

The newest cars are only 22 years old, in Group 10 for 1974-1990 Stock Cars with Disc Brakes, which has 15 entries. They are a 1990 Ford Thunderbird driven by JON JORDAN of Concord MA and a 1990 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by MARK HAMILTON PETERS of Lakeville CT. Back in those days stock cars were readily distinguishable from each other.

This year, for the first time, there is a separate run group all of its own for Formula Atlantic Cars, 1974-1980. There are 15 entered for the Pre-Runion, and 31 lined up for the Reunion. Back in those days Formula Atlantic was one of the largest subscribed and most competitive of any open wheel racing series in the United States.

The Pre-Reunion owners and drivers come from far and wide, including eight foreign countries and 23 states.

While the greater San Francisco Bay Area is basking in an unseasonable and lengthy heat wave with triple digits in some locations, Laguna Seca has more moderate weather. Friday morning’s fog burned off early, but temperatures remained in the low sixties. The weekend’s forecast is for sunny and somewhat cool.