Imagine browsing beautiful cars with race provenance at a museum and having each car roar to life and exercise its intended function on a race course. That is Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in a nutshell.
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the crown jewel of Monterey Classic Car Week for motorsports enthusiasts, returns to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on August 23-26. The prestigious event features nearly 550 vehicles selected for period-correctness and race provenance out of approximately 1,000 who apply for entry. The cars comprising 15 different run groups range from as early as sports cars produced in Europe in the 1930s to thundering 1966-1974 Can-Am machines to as recent as 1981-1991 IMSA GTO, GTP, and Trans-Am.
The featured marque being celebrated this year is Nissan, making it the first year that an Asian automobile manufacturer has received the honor. The storied history of Datsun and Nissan in racing will be displayed not only in the paddock but on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course with 55 such entries in competition, populated most densely in Group 3B – 1961-1966 GT Cars under 2500cc. Included among these cars are selection from comedian Adam Carolla’s collection of machines formerly owned or driven by Paul Newman.
John Morton, Peter Brock, and Steve Millen will swap stories in Saturday’s annual Picnic in the Paddock hosted by Murray Smith on a stage that is open to view by anyone who purchased admission to the event. Afterwards, a tribute to Dan Gurney will take place with Sir Jackie Stewart, Chris Cord, and others remembering the late American motorsports legend.
1998 and 1999 Formula 1 Drivers Champion Mika Häkkinen returns to the event to wheel the 1993 McLaren F1 GTR in 15-minute demonstrations on Friday and Saturday, after which “the Flying Finn” will proceed directly to the Showcase Stage for lively discussions. The Showcase Stage will also feature a segment hosted by Justin Bell on Saturday in which the year-round 50th anniversary celebration of IMSA kicks off with Hurley Haywood, Scott Pruett, Scott Atherton, and Mark Raffauf taking the stage. Off-track activity will also include worldwide automotive reveals and other OEM activations.
Those seeking the racing elements of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in a more intimate setting will enjoy the previous week’s Monterey Pre-Reunion August 18-19. 300 of the cars that will be competing at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will be putting some heat in the tires at the famed circuit nestled in the hillside of the Monterey Peninsula. Monterey Classic Car Week officially kicks off with more than two dozen of those classic race cars leaving the track via police escort to the Cars on Alvarado Street event in Downtown Monterey on Friday, August 17, at 5-7 p.m.
People come from around the world to cross this extraordinary event off of their bucket list and then decide to return. Tickets, camping, VIP hospitality, and preferred parking are available on www.weathertechraceway.com or by calling 831-242-8200. Children 15 years old or younger are admitted free with a paying adult.