Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca announced that the Monterey Historic Automobile Races® – held each August for more than three decades – will now be known as the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
As reported earlier, Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) will be producing the historic races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca going forward, and that General Racing, Ltd., the creator and producer of the Monterey Historic Automobile Races® for the last 36 years, will no longer be producing the event. However, General Racing still owns the copyright to the now-famous name, prompting SCRAMP and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to come up with an alternative.
“It’s a new dawn for the event and we are embracing it by honoring the authenticity of the race cars and integrating social and lifestyle elements that present guests with new discoveries to keep it exciting and innovative,” said Barry Toepke, vice president of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Our new name and branding captures the spirit that has made this event one of the most respected gatherings of its kind worldwide.”
“The Rolex connection to motorsports is significant and we are pleased to formalize a new relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and to become the inaugural sponsor of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. As always, we are proud to maintain a strong presence on the Monterey Peninsula,” commented Peter Nicholson, vice president of Rolex Watch USA, Inc.
“Each one of our 27 SCRAMP board members will spend hundreds of hours on this event, just as the board has done for all the historic racing held in Monterey,” explained Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Our directors and volunteers are amazing and are completely immersed in every aspect of the event to ensure its success.” In return, SCRAMP donates its net proceeds to the volunteer groups that help put on the races.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will continue the annual tradition of honoring one marque each year that is chosen for its historical significance and achievements. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will announce the featured marque and new logo in the coming weeks.
Approximately 400 cars will be accepted based on their racing pedigree for the 14 race groups. This year’s featured races are Formula 1, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year; Trans-Am; and for the first time ever, stock cars (with drum brakes) that competed between 1966 and 1975. Additionally, the Bugatti Club of America will celebrate its 50th anniversary with an exclusive Bugatti Grand Prix, with cars entered from as far away as Australia, France, Germany and Switzerland.
For ticket and additional information, visit www.mazdaraceway.com or call 800-327-7322.
[Source: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca]
It seems they are in a sense creating the Grand-Am equivalent of vintage racing, bringing in a “team” that will surely produce a least common denominator effort geared to the masses that loses the exclusivity and prestige crafted by Steve Earle for so many years. Earle, by the way, has adapted the name to the Sears Point Wine Country Classic in June, now known as the Sonoma Historic Automobile Races. One might envision this as the ALMS version of vintage racing, as opposed to GA. In ten years time, which will be the prestige event recognized as such the world over and which will be an also ran? I’m going w/ Earle and General Racing.