It’s August at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and time for the annual gathering of vintage and historic cars in Monterey. And has been the tradition for the past many years, there are so many entries, that the event has grown to two weekends – The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. This year the Reunion is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Maserati.
For the Pre-Reunion, there are 312 cars divided among 12 classes, and 531 entries in fifteen classes were accepted for the Reunion – a list painfully whittled down from 800 entries. The classes run the gamut, spanning 81 years from early pre-war cars to more modern-day race cars.
Already on site are ten Maserati race cars in three race groups, and several Classic Cars on display in the paddock.
Also ready for setup in the Maserati Heritage Display is a vintage 1952 Fiat 642 Maserati race car transporter. It made the seven-day trip across country from Connecticut on a flat bed truck, brought by noted Italian car collector, Lawerence Auriana. He also will be entering key race and passenger cars.
Maserati used the transporter to carry its sports cars and Formula 1 cars to racetracks throughout Europe. Included the famous cars were the 1953 and 1957 Maserati 250F F1 World Championship cars of Juan Manuel Fangio.
Lance Reventlow bought the transporter in 1958 for his SCARAB race team – SCARAB being the first post-war American-built F1 car. Reventlow used the transporter until 1962.
Auriana found the neglected car at auction in 2002, and did a full restoration in Modena, Italy. Adolfo Orsi owned Maserati from 1937 to 1968, and his grandson/historian with the same name, supervised the restoration.
Saturday there was Practice for each of the 12 Groups, which set the grids for the afternoon races – for all but Group 12.
Sunday’s schedule calls for somewhat more of the same – Practice for 11 Groups and the race for Group 12. After lunch, all 11 remaining groups will race, with grids set by Saturday’s finish … or so I’m told.
Saturday’s weather was clear, bright and sunny, with a chilly wind blowing off the Monterey Bay. Around 4pm the fog rolled in and things chilled up, but the racing was hot.