Friday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was beautiful for Day Two of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The fog lifted early, the sun was bright the wind was desultory, and the cars on and off track were beautiful. What’s not to like.
One of the famed Maserati cars entered this weekend is the only remaining Maserati Tipo 151, of three, is being raced in Group 3A for 1955-1962 GT Cars. The driver is Derek Hill, son of the late Phil Hill. The car is from the Lawrence Auriana Collection, and entered by Fratelli Auriana Racing. Since its full restoration, it has driven in three consecutive Goodwood Revivals, and will fly after this race to New York and then onto England for the 2014 Goodwood Revival. The car also raced in the 2013 LeMans Legends Race.
The Tipo mechanic this weekend is Francois Sicard, who worked for the original factory on the sister car back in the day driven by a French factory driver. He says the drivers were different back then – more interested in racing and tradition. Francois said this weekend is a good test for Goodwood, in addition to the English test planned prior to Goodwood.
Thursday Hill was top of the charts of 41 cars. Friday the car remained on display while Hill was busy on Italian Island doing a Meet and Greet session with the fans.
Another legendary Maserati cars this weekend is No.1 1958 Maserati 250F originally raced by American F1 driver, Masten Gregory, aka ‘The Kansas City Flash.’ In the early fifties Gregory competed in Europe, won the inaugural Nassau Trophy in the 1954 Bahamas Speedweek, and returned to America to race in SCCA. After winning the Argentine 1000 km race in 1957, he drew the attention of Mimo Dei’s Scuderia Centro, a privateer Formula One team running a Maserati 250F. Gregory’s first-ever F1 race was the 1957 Monaco Grand Prix, where he finished third in the car painted in the American blue and white colors. The finish was even more record-breaking – the first ever podium for an American in a F1 Grand Prix.
This weekend the car is being driven by Jos Koster of Koein, Germany. He was first in Friday’s practice of 24 cars, and fourth fastest in Thursday’s practice, of 23 cars.