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Rolex Monterey Pre-Reunion 2019 ... Audi R8 LMP and Ferrari 550 GTS are additions to the grid


Laguna Seca, 9th-11th of August, 2019

It is that time of the year when the entire classic car community is heading towards the Monterey Peninsula for the Monterey Car Week. Every August the already high hotel prices in the region double or triple on the weekend and hoards for supercars are parked in front of then not so cheap Motels in Freemont Street or Munras Avenue. Lots of different events throughout the week do not only attract those with a particular interest in classic cars but also those who want to be at the place to be and certainly this week this is Monterey. When the rest of the season it is whale watching or the visit of the aquarium that attracts tourists it is now the sound, smell and beauty of the classic sports and show cars, the valuable collectors cars on auction or just the social life of the wealthy on a fun week.

Traditionally the week starts with the Concours on the Avenue in Carmel on Tuesday but those arriving early have the chance to go to Laguna Seca to see vintage racing in the famous Corkscrew. In typical American understatement the races are labelled the World´s Greatest what might bring a smile to those who have attended the Goodwood Revival or the European Race series of Peter Auto with a lot more action than the “high speed demonstrations” in California could ever provide.

Nevertheless it is refreshing to jump over the ocean to see the American racers bringing their toys to a fun weekend with 10 different race groups practising and racing on two full days. Unfortunately just like in Europe the race car family is getting smaller and smaller as some old participants quit and the new generation of collectors seems to have other interests than risking their material in the heat of a battle with like-minded. So the entry list of this year’s Motorsport Reunion and the Pre-Reunion looks very familiar to those who attended the last years. But this year saw some additions with the master series having two races bringing back the Formula 1 and more modern endurance racers to the track. This might be a first for the historic races seeing cars like the Audi R8 LMP or a Ferrari 550 GTS at the track.

Since the racetrack of Laguna Seca changed hands recently the new owners from Weathertech are trying to bring back more action to the track and so beside the annual main event of the Superbikes finally the Indycars will be back in September and the required safety measures brought some new fencing around the track restricting the work of the photographers a little bit giving the challenge to find some new angles. For the spectators it did not change to much but the numbers of visitors remained limited this year as the pre-reunion now has an entrance fee of 40 Dollars, not long ago the pre-reunion was even free. What does not sound like a lot of money compared to the ticket prices of the events to come with several hundred dollars still discouraged some families from visiting. As this keeps the next generations away from the experience of races off screen this might not be the best way in a hobby that lacks offspring anyway. 

We have put together a gallery of the most interesting cars on the track for those missing and start our annual coverage of the week with the races. In the next days we will be at the various Concours starting tomorrow at Carmel, the Auctions of the different companies, the social event of the McCall party and the Quail Motorsport Gathering culminating in the Pebble Beach Concours on Sunday. With Bentley celebrating its Centenary as well as Zagato one can expect a lot of highlights from the Cricklewood cars as well as the design masterpieces from Milano.

Stay tuned for our daily reports from the peninsula...


Report & images ... Peter Singhof