Richard Griot - 1967 McLaren M6A
Richard Griot - 1967 McLaren M6A

Photographer’s Diary From Monterey Motorsports Reunion

This photo gallery features my 150 favorite images from the 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Unlike my previous report published August 23rd, these galleries are not race reports — they are images I find exciting.

One of the highlights of the 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion was shooting the Scarab Mk I and Ferrari 412 MI. Both race cars have spent time in my studio, therefore I have more examples of them than expected. Yet, if you remember Chuck Daigh and Phil Hill at Riverside in 1958, then how can there be too many images of these cars?

During practice on Thursday morning, I could hear the scream of the Scarab and Ferrari engines around turn five and coming up the hill towards turn six. They suddenly appeared out of the fog drifting turn six nose to tail accelerating up the hill into the fog towards turn seven. Chris Cox in the Ferrari 412 MI on the tail of David Swig’s Scarab Mk. I, both on the limit. I doubt Chuck or Phil could have gotten those two cars around the track any quicker.

The Group A cars ran through thick, wet foggy morning sessions Thursday, Friday and Saturday giving me some unusual images. With no exaggeration Thursday morning I was unable to see the other side of track or the bridge over the track. Once the Group 1A cars started to run the fog cleared a bit but you can see from the images that the fog was heavy.

Additional Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2016 highlights include:

  • Chris MacAllister’s ex-Ecurie Ecosse 1955 Jaguar D-Type;
  • Derek Hill’s 1927 Delage ERA ‘hot rod’;
  • Danny Baker dirt tracking his 1979 Ferrari 312 T4;
  • Six Jaguar XK120s in the Group 2B race;
  • Three 250 GTOs, three 250 GT SWBs, one Daytona 365 GTB/4, two 312 PBs and one 312 T4 (I don’t recall this many Ferraris running for years);
  • Steven Read’s 1972 Ferrari 312 PB leading the Gulf Porsche 917 through turn eleven; and;
  • The ever-changing light as the fog passed over the track.

Lastly, the Masters Historic Formula 1 race group was another set to remember. Late Friday afternoon these 3-liter F1 racers from 1971 to 1983 came out to practice. The three or four photographers situated at turn five watched the natural light go from just okay to spectacular as the setting sun lit these cars as they went through turn five. Turn five at Laguna Seca is a special place after 5:00 pm during the Monterey Motorsports Reunion. On Sunday these same guys put on a good show for the last event of the weekend, with close, hard running that saw many tire-to-tire, nose-to-nose moves through turn eleven.

Photographer’s Diary – Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2016 Gallery

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Show Comments (8)

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  1. Thank you, Dennis. A sweet reminder of just how beautiful these cars were. Brings a tear to this old man’s eyes.

  2. The ‘opening’ photo showing the car with the “high flying” wing looks awful. If the racers have this on their car….then they should not be racing as it reduces the “skill” factor.
    One of a more serious reason is that if there is a crash, this ‘wing’ could go flying through the air and cause a huge accident to cars following.
    If there is an accident and someone is killed….then “we” might see some changes.

    1. Those “high flying” wings only caused problems early on, when they were working directly on the hubs in F1. The crash you imagine never happened.

  3. Dennis admits to a little photographer bias when he says these are the pix he feels are most exciting. I love the shapes of these fabulous cars and found myself longing for more side profile shots. Perhaps less exciting, but to me more appealing.

    1. Bob.
      I was looking for multiple car images along with backgrounds that would add to the image. The interesting background that would enhance side views was the hill behind the cars as they exit six. Lots of run off damage leaving deeply gouged texture. unfortunately much of the time i was there the fog obscured the hill side. Recently i have spent a couple days walking the track. Watch the next coverage from Laguna for some interesting side/background images. Thanks for the comment.