The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2018 was held August 23-26 at the 2.238-mile, 11-turn WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, California. Historic and vintage racing enthusiasts were treated to four exciting days of racing, exhibits, activities and great weather at the iconic Monterey Peninsula track.
A cornerstone of the Monterey Car Week, the Reunion brought over 550 vintage race cars to life in their natural racing environment, divided into 15 groups according to age and engine capacity and chosen for their period-correct presentation. The race classes consisted of cars ranging in age from a 1911 National Speedway Roadster in Group 1A to a 1995 Nissan 240SX in Group 7B.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2018 honored Nissan and Datsun as the featured marques. Their 50 years of motorsport success in the United States was celebrated, with them being the first Asian automobile manufacturer to receive such a spotlight since the event began in 1974. With more than 200 IMSA sports car victories and 100-plus SCCA National Championships, many of the stars and the cars of Nissan’s past racing success were racing or on display. More than 50 of the 551 total participants selected out of over 1,000 applicants based on authenticity and race provenance were attributed to the Nissan and Datsun brands. Luminaries at the event include John Morton, Peter Brock, Steve Millen and Adam Carolla.
Activities on the track included the Formula 5000 race group, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the series. The racing drew participants from around the world including 14 from New Zealand alone. The Masters Historic Racing USA fielded over 20 cars to the track for some fast and exciting open wheel action, ranging from the 1972 Williams FX3B to the 1985 Tyrrell 012.
Notable and interesting entrants at the 2018 Monterey Reunion included Lyn St James’ 1925 Bugatti 35C; Robert S. Davis’ 1961 Ferrari TR 61; Chris Locke’s 1976 Lotus 77; Adam Carolla’s 1984 Nissan 300ZX Turbo; Peter Giddings’ 1932 Alfa Romeo Monza; Gregory Galdi’s 1972 Ferrari 312 PB; Craig Bennett’s 1974 Shadow DN4; Alex Curtis’ 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupe; Chris MacAllister’s 1976 Ferrari 312 T2 and 1955 Jaguar D-Type; and Alex MacAllister’s 1966 Ford GT40; among a host of others.
The 2018 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion featured several fan activities and special attractions. Two-time Formula One World Champion Mika Häkkinen performed exhibition laps for the second straight year on Friday and Saturday, this time behind the wheel of the 1995 Le Mans-winning McLaren F1 GTR chassis #01R. Special Awards were presented by racer and commentator Mike Joy and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Sr. Vice President of Events Gill Campbell in a ceremony to conclude the event on Sunday afternoon. The Spirit of Monterey award was given to Herb Wetanson.
Similar to 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, Sports Car Digest also documented the 2018 Monterey Reunion, with Victor Varela producing the following outstanding images from this year’s event.
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2018 – Photo Gallery (photos: Victor Varela)
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[Source: Monterey Motorsports Reunion; photos: Victor Varela]