Corvette Parking Lot

Thursday, the first of four days of the 2013 Rolex Motorsports Monterey Reunion, dawned sunny and bright and only got better during the day at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. While the environs outside the track started out with a thick fog layer, Laguna’s microclimate was a perfect day for the sixteen Race Groups, as well as the Pebble Beach Tour D’Elegance Groups Parade Laps.

In the morning all of the eight A Race Groups had their twenty-minute Practice/Qualifying sessions. Interspersed in the A groups were two Parade Laps for the Pebble Beach Concours Tour groups. The Parade was open only to cars entered in the Concours, and was part of the annual run which includes part of the 17-Mile drive, Carmel Valley and other Monterey Peninsula scenic areas. The Concours rules dictate that if there is a judging tie at the Sunday Concours, the tie-breaker would be participation in the Parade Lap.

In the afternoon the eight B Race Groups ran, along with some special Porsche exhibition laps.

The day went fairly smoothly. There were some spins and offs, but no real drama. Several cars had mechanical problems. R.GRAY GREGORY, who had the big car fire last weekend in his 1974 Chevron B26 at the Pre-Reunion, was back with another Chevron, a 1969 B-16 and he was second fastest of 34 cars in Group 4A for 1960-1968 Sports Racing USRRC Cars. His burned car was still entered in Group 4B for 1970-1979 Sports Racing Cars under 200cc, but it didn’t run. DAN COWDREY’s 1966 Lola T70 MkII was fastest in 4A.

There were several well-known Guest drivers including BRIAN REDMAN in a IMSA Mustang and MEMO GIDLEY driving a 1973 Lola T-282; and probably some others not identified. JAY LENO was spotted as a passenger in one of the Concours Touring Cars. Actor ADAM CARROLA entered his 1988 Nissan 300 ZX in Group 6B for 1981-1989 FIA Mfg, Champ Cars and IMSA 1982-1991 GTO, GTP Cars (what a mouthful), but didn’t run Thursday.

Although JOHN MORTON was listed as the driver in the tricked-out wired 1963 Chevrolet Grand Sport, it was BRUCE CANEPA at the wheel in Group 5A for 1963-1966 GT Cars over 2500cc. Morton drove the car last weekend. This is the third year of the car – part of the Collier Collection – being used for an ongoing research project electronically tracking driver’s vitals/health in racing situations. Morton and Canepa, as well as Redman, have been the wired drivers – literally, with all manner and fashion of data acquisition attached to them. And they still manage to go fast or fastest in the large group. Canepa was second fastest, behind TOMMY STEUER/1965 Corvette. Last weekend Morton won his race. This weekend Morton is driving a Sunbeam Tiger.

The traditional Welcome Party capped off the fine day, out on Stingray Island. The theme was The Fifties – and the Sixty years of Corvettes. SCRAMP President/CEO, GILL CAMPBELL was resplendent in her Pink Ladies jacket and peddle pushers, straight out of ‘Grease’ and the SCRAMP female directors were dressed in Fifties outfits, including poodle skirts, pony tails and roller skates serving Root Bear Floats.

Several distinguished Corvettes were on view, and the parking lot was filled with all kinds of Corvettes as well as many other expensive and exotic cars. Just touring the parking lots – at the track and in the local lodges – was a treat.

Laguna Seca’s official artist, BILL PATTERSON, painted one of his famous on-the-spot works of art, this time the Corvette of famed Corvette driver, DICK GUILSTRAND – who was on hand to autograph the finished painting.

Gill Campbell

Root Beer Floats Anyone?

2003 Corvette Prototype 1962 Conversion

1963 Delmo Johnson Corvette Z06

Zora Duntov's autograph on Corvette SR-2


Bill Patterson painting Dick Guilstrand's Corvette

Dick Guilstrand
Dick Guilstrand

Finished painting of Dick Guilstrand's Corvette