2008 Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Sunday Race Highlights Include Historic IMSA GT and Historic F1
The third and final day of the 35th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races presented by Toyota rounded out a special weekend of vintage car races, celebrity guests, expansive consumer expo, historical auto displays and more. The day was kicked off with a parade of Alfa Romeos followed by individual races between sport racing and production cars, Historic IMSA cars and Historic F1 cars.
Highlighting Sunday’s racing action was the Group 7B race for Historic IMSA GT race cars from 1972 – 1981, which had many Porsches on the grid, plus a couple Ferrari 512 BBs and the Dekon Monza.
The race quickly developed into a duel between Rusty French in his black and gold 1979 Porsche 935 and Ken Epsman in his red Budweiser 1976 Dekon Monza.
The two swapped the lead several times, racing bumper to bumper around Laguna Seca. There was also a lingering question whether or not Bruce Canepa could catch the leaders in his Porsche 935. Ultimately, Canepa could not catch the French and Epsman train, leaving them to battle right to the end. We cannot stress enough how they battled to the end, as the margin of victory for French was an amazing 0.001 seconds over Epsman!
Another Sunday racing high point was the Group 6B race for Historic F-1 cars from 1968 – 1978, if only for the sounds of their engines ripping around Laguna Seca.
The race was won by Rodolfo Junco in his 1976 Tyrrell P34 six-wheeler, followed by John Anderson in his 1977 Wolf WR4 and Duncan Dayton in his 1978 Lotus 79. It was great to see the Tyrell six-wheeler on the track – a first for the Sports Car Digest team. But, that is the name of the game at the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races – amazingly distinctive cars on the track where they belong.
“It was an action-packed weekend both on and off the track. With Mario Andretti as the guest of honor, Timo Glock and the stellar lineup of F1 legends, plus all the amazing cars and people, I couldn’t have imagined a better way to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Rolex Monterey Historics,” said Steve Earle, the founder of the event and president of General Racing, the official race organizer. “Rolex and Toyota had an amazing setup and added a new dynamic to the event that took it to the next level.”
The Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races took place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, August 15-17.
Monterey Historic Automobile Race Results
Group 1B – 1947-1955 Sport Racing and Production Cars
Winner – John Buddenbaum, Bend, OR – 1949 Parkinson-Jaguar Special
Second – Terry Larson, Mesa, AZ – 1952 Jaguar C-Type
Third – Jim Herlinger, Woodside, CA – 1949 Baldwin Mercury Special
Group 2B – 1956-1961 Sport Racing Cars under 2500cc
Winner – Tom Nuxoll, Bellevue, WA – 1960 Lola Mkl
Second – Bob Gett, Boston, MA – 1962 Lola MK1
Third – Dan Spaethe, Lake Forest, CA – 1962 Dolphin America
Group 3B – 1955-1962 Production Sports Cars
Winner – Ron Cressey, Sherman Oaks, CA – 1959 Chevrolet Corvette
Second – Greg Solow, Santa Cruz, CA – 1963 Morgan +4 SS
Third – Brian Howlett, Hacienda Heights, CA – 1961 Morgan +4
Group 4B – 1963-1966 Production Sports Cars
Winner – John Morton, El Segundo, CA – 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
Second – Terry Gough, Reno, NV – 1965 Chevrolet Corvette
Third – Tommy Thompson, Phoenix, AZ – 1964 Chevrolet Corvette
Group 5B – 1961-1963 Formula-Jr. Celebration Race
Winner – Danny Baker, San Francisco, CA – 1963 Lotus 27 F-Jr.
Second – Arthur Hebert, Larkspur, CA – 1963 Lola Mk 5A F-Jr.
Third – Joe Colasacco, Greenwich, CT – 1962 Stanguellini F-Jr