By Race Group 2A, the sun started pushing through the ever-present morning low fog at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the breeze woke up and the humidity was 87 percent.
Saturday’s schedule calls for Groups 1-7A qualifying races, followed by Races 1-7A after the long lunch break. The grid for the morning races was set by merging the practice and qualifying results from Thursday and Friday. The mix of fast times was about even between P1 and P2, although as the classes rose in size and horsepower and ran later in the day seemed to have faster times on Thursdays.
To answer – again – why there are no lap times shown on the results sheets, the reason is that this is not a competition.
And just because there are no cars on track during the lunch breaks of the race days doesn’t mean there wasn’t activity. Ceremonial Laps, VIP Hot Laps in the track Safety Car as well in Maserati cars – street and the Maserati MC12 Stradale race car, of which only three were built. The Maserati factory drivers are Nick Hommerson and Leon Ebeling in the race car, and Michael Bartels in the street car. Mazda drivers pilot the track Official Mazda Pace Cars.
Four months before he died, the late Phil Hill got a ride in the Maserati Mc12, with son Derek Hill driving. “Being able to drive hi around like I did was absolutely fantastic. At first I was concerned I might have been scaring him, but I saw he had a smile on his face, so I knew he enjoyed it.”
One of the things young Derek does in his spare time is drive Cadillacs on winding roads for TV commercials. He drove on some very treacherous roads in foreign countries, and the highlight for him was seeing the commercials run during the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. At the time, he admitted, “I had no idea production was such hard work. It was four long days and very short nights working from dawn to dark, with a commute to a small hotel nearly two hours away. But, in retrospect, it was a lot of fun.”
The Maserati Corral Parade Laps is also part of the lunch break for both days. There are a variety of car corrals out on Italian Island, and Friday evening after the last checkered flag, a long parade of Sunbeam Tigers took to the track for their day in the sun.
Maserati scheduled a Press Briefing for mid-morning Saturday to unveil its new street cars.
The Scrutineering process for 538 cars is long and tedious. The sanctioning body, HMSA – Historic Motor Sports Association, provides Scrutineers, nine in all. The process for each car takes 10-15 minutes. Two hundred or so of the cars went through the process last week at the Pre-Reunion. For those not yet processed started Wednesday of this week and continued through Friday.
After each car receives its event-appropriate Tech sticker, the Scrutineers turn their eyes toward impound and mechanical checks. Some of the drivers get aggressive in their motorized works of art, and there were five impounds on Friday. Cars may have been hurt, but no drivers were.
Bob Varsha is the host for the FoxSports TV hour-long show for Monterey Car week, with 45 minutes devoted to the Reunion. The airing will be later this summer, with multiple showings. Stay tuned.
One of Kenny Epsman’s stable is the No.53 1984 Pontiac Firebird originally raced by Bill Doyle in Trans Am. The wheel covers were handmade by Joe Huffaker.