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Preview: 2022 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Turn Eleven..RMMR-2018 DennisGray
Turn Eleven..RMMR-2018

100 years ago, the small French automobile company Chenard & Wacker, a manufacturer of Paris taxis defeated, Bentley, Bugatti, Delage, and other major manufacturers in the first 24 Hours Grand Prix of Endurance. On a wet rain-soaked, muddy course over public roads through and around Le Mans, France. Chenard & Wacker Type U3 15CV the Paris Taxi of the day finished first and second overall.

Over the last 100 years, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has evolved into a racing spectacle that pushes car, driver and teams to the limit. The 24 Hours of Lemans is the ultimate test bed of high-speed automotive technology.

This year the 2022 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is featuring a display of overall winners, class winners, and other significant cars from the past 100 years of Le Mans. These are the actu

Turn Eleven..RMMR-2018 DennisGray
Turn Eleven..RMMR-2018

al cars curated from museums and private collections from around the world. Many of the cars will run demonstration laps during the four days of the RMMR.

These cars will be on display and running demonstration laps.

  1. 1929 Bentley Speed Six – Driven by the original “Bentley Boys” to consecutive overall wins in 1929 and 1930
1929 Bentley 6.5L/8L Old Number One Chassis Number: LB2332
1929 Bentley 6.5L/8L Old Number One Chassis Number: LB2332
  1. 1951 Porsche 356/2 063 – The very first Porsche entered in the 24 Hours and class winner
  2. 1952 Mercedes 300SL W194 – The first German car ever to achieve an overall victory at Le Mans and is, to this day, the only Mercedes factory-built car to win Le Mans
  3. 1955 Jaguar D-Type XKD – The 1956 overall winner, second of three consecutive overall wins for the D-Type.

1955 Jaguar XKD501

  1. 1965 Ferrari 250 LM – The last Ferrari to capture overall honors in 1965
  2. The original Ford GT40s that dominated by winning overall in 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969
  3. 1984 Mazda Lola T616 – The first-class winner for Mazda
  4. 2005 Audi R8 LMP1 – Overall winner and part of the string of Audi performance mastery
  5. 2007 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP – The most recent overall winner displayed

Besides these cars on display, another 12 run groups will be on track each day.

Group 1:  1923-1957 Le Mans cars. Such as Max Jamiesson’s 1957 Porsche 356, Chris MacAllister’s 1955 D Type Jaguar, and Nathanael Greene’s 1925 Bugatti 37A.

Group 2: 1955 to 1966 SCCA Production Cars. These cars run the gambit from Charles Nearburg’s 1965 Shelby GT350 to Anthony Rimicci’s 1965 Alfa Romeo GTA.

Lynn Park - 1964 Cobra
Lynn Park – 1964 Cobra

Group 3: 1955-1966 SCCA Sports Racers. A fast loud group that includes Gunnar Jeanette in a 1963 Elva Porsche to Michael Silverman’s 1959 Echidna Chevrolet Devin Special.

Group 4: 1955-1969 Saloon. Smaller GT cars such as Kevin Adair’s 1968 Ford Escort to a couple Mini Cooper S cars from Dennis and Donald Racine.

Group 5: 1956 to 1957 Le Mans. This group is comprised of quick, fast GT cars such as Robert Kauffman’s 1965 Ford GT40 to Ranson Webster’s 1961 Porsche Abarth Carrera.

Dave Hagan - 1967 Porsche 910
Dave Hagan – 1967 Porsche 910

Group 6: 1958 to 1963 Formula Junior cars. Small open-wheel racers that are quick and great fun to watch. Look out for Danny Baker in his 1963 Lotus 27. Another quick driver car combination is Harinda de Silva in his 1962 Gemini.

Group 7: 1966 to 1985 Historic Formula One. These are the cars that bring a number of us out to the RMMR. Steve Romak’s 1985 Tyrrell F1 and Charles Nearburg’s 1981 Williams are two of the cars to keep an eye on. Another rare jewel is the 1976 Ferrari 312T2 driven by Chris Mac Allister.

Chris MacAllister - 1976 Ferrari 312 T2
Chris MacAllister – 1976 Ferrari 312 T2

Group 8. 1972-1982 Le Mans. Two places to watch these cars from is from turn 2. Cars like Zak Brown’s 1981 Porsche 935, Ken Epsman’s 1976 Dekon Monza or William Lyon’s 1973 Porsche RSR these guys pop over the turn 1 hill drop down into turn 2 sliding from inside to outside the turn accelerating down the short strait into turn three. Nose to tail, fender to fender, and loud. The ground vibrates under your feet as these guys power through 2. Fun, fun, fun.

Dennis Singleton - 1974 Porsche RSR
Dennis Singleton – 1974 Porsche RSR

Group 9. 1974 -1979 Formula Atlantic. These cars are between the Group 6 Formula Junior cars and the Group 7 Historic Formula One cars in both size and speed. These guys go through turns as though they were on the preverbal rails. A couple cars and drivers ti watch, Dalmo De Vasconcelos 1976 Ralt RT-1 and Wade Carter’s MARCH FA or Danny Baker’s Ralt RT1.

Danny Baker - 1979 Ralt RT-1
Danny Baker – 1979 Ralt RT-1

Group 10. 1981-1991 IMSA GTO, and Trans-Am. Braking into larger cubic inch engines in this group combined with a few smaller cubic inch but high technology engines. Big cubes John Goodman’s 1988 Chevrolet Corvette. Smaller cubes combined with high technology Tom Long’s 1991 Mazda RX7-GTO.

Group 11. Historic Trans-Am. Big loud cars with lots of movement on track. Keep your eyes on Bruce Canepa in his 1970 ex-Penske AMC Javelin and Jeffrey O’Neill in his 1969 Mustang Boss 302. Often the best racing of the day. Place yourself up in The Corkscrew to watch these guys pop up over the rim then drop down the hill. The noise and vibration shake the leaves off the oak trees.

Group 12. Le Mans Prototypes 1981 – 2005. These are the cars to watch. Fast and beautiful. Try turn 4 or turn 5. These guys come screaming into the turn drop the anchor, slide around the corner then use their blistering acceleration to jump to the next turn. Two cars and drivers that combine the speed and handling of these cars to produce a smooth fast lap are Tom Dooley in his 1988 Porsche 962 and Ernie Spada in his 1981 Lola T600.

Tim Park - 1964 Cobra
Tim Park – 1964 Cobra

As a final note: RMMR runs on track from Wednesday, August 17th through Saturday, August 20th. Sunday, August 21st for the first time in WeatherTech Raceway history invited cars will run counterclockwise up the hill from turn 11 through turn 8.

According to Monterey Motorsports Advisory Council member Bruce Canepa, the hill climb will be spectacular. “There are several cars I’m considering entering,” he says. “I’ve raced several times at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, yet doing it at Laguna Seca up the Corkscrew is an unprecedented experience that’s really going to be exciting. I don’t know who will enjoy it more, the drivers or the fans.”

“The Corkscrew Hillclimb concept emerged as a fun way to engage new fans visiting for the day, while allowing Rolex Reunion entrants and families a chance to unwind and enjoy the experience in a relaxed environment after four days of racing,” added Narigi. “Families and our community are encouraged to attend this event, as it’s a wonderful way to experience everything WeatherTech Raceway has to offer in an informal setting after an action-packed Monterey Car Week.”

There will be two hill-climb sessions culminating in a People’s Choice Shootout to crown the overall inaugural winner. The limited sessions will be open to 60 cars that competed in the historic races, along with selected special interest vehicles.

Along with the Hill Climb will be a paddock filled with Cars & Coffee, Lexus VIP Safety car rides, an open paddock of historic race cars, Le Mans Legends cars on open display, all with music.