The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2019 was held August 15-18 at the 2.238-mile, 11-turn WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, California. A cornerstone of the Monterey Car Week, historic and vintage racing enthusiasts were treated to four exciting days of racing, exhibits and activities at the iconic Monterey Peninsula track.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2019 honored 50 years of International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) history, with a variety of race cars and personalities from throughout IMSA’s rich past celebrated throughout the weekend. Four IMSA-focused run groups were represented in the racing lineup, while IMSA driving legend Hurley Haywood, whose career successes include three 24 Hours of Le Mans titles, five Rolex 24 at Daytona wins, and five season championships served as Grand Marshal.
The Monterey Motorsports Reunion is akin to a rolling museum, with the track as its canvas and the vintage race cars, the beautiful objets d’art — celebrating motorsport history. The 2019 edition brought over 550 vintage race cars to life in their natural racing environment, divided into 14 groups according to age and engine capacity and chosen for their period-correct presentation. Cars ranged in age from a 1911 National Speedway Roadster and 1911 Fiat S74 to a more recent 2014 Lola Toyota Rebellion LMP1 prototype, and included a full field of 56 Formula Fords, representing the very first IMSA race in 1969.
Notable and interesting entrants at the 2019 Monterey Reunion included Luca Maciucescu’s 1928 Bugatti 37A; Ross Bremer’s ex-Paul Newman 1972 Ford Escort Mk 1 RS1600; Gregory Thorton’s 1982 F1 Lotus 91/5; Adam Carolla’s ex-Paul Newman 1979 Porsche 935; Bill Auberlen wheeling the 1999 BMW V12 LMR; Steven Zacchia’s 2002 Ferrari 550 GT1; Alex Curtis’ 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupe; Chris MacAllister’s 1955 Jaguar D-Type and Gunnar Jeannette’s driving the 1965 Ferrari 250 LM; among a host of others.
Aside from the on-track racing, spectators were treated to various activities. The active open paddock had the cars in various states of preparation and repair, Q&A sessions with IMSA legends, special exhibition laps and a full marketplace of vendors exhibiting a wide range of products. Two-time Formula 1 World Champion, Mika Häkkinen, performed exhibition laps for the third straight year, this time behind the wheel of the historic 1970 McLaren M8D Can-Am ‘Batmobile’.
The Spirit of Monterey award for the driver or entrant who excels in the spirit of the weekend was presented to Andrew Wait. Andrew drove his 1972 Lola T204 Formula Ford, was the Formula Ford Group steward but also worked tirelessly over the past three years to gather 56 Formula Ford entrants for this year’s races.
The 2020 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will take place on August 13-16.
Similar to 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, Sports Car Digest also documented the 2019 Monterey Reunion, with Victor Varela producing the following outstanding images from this year’s event.
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2019 – Photo Gallery (photos: Victor Varela)
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[Source: Monterey Motorsports Reunion; photos: Victor Varela]