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Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca

Kai Klauder
Monterey Motorsports Reunion in Laguna Seca
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D he Ford Performance booth in the paddock on the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is by far the largest - and celebrates half a century of the successful Mustang-based sports model. In 1965, Carroll Shelby launched the GT350, an affordable car that was just as suitable for racing as it was for everyday family life. With relatively minor and inexpensive interventions, Shelby got more than 10% power from the V8 - it rose from 271 to 306 hp.

In the first year, the GT350 was only in white with optional blue rally stripes and the GT350 lettering available on the sills - and it is precisely in this color combination that there are more than 3 dozen in the Laguna Seca paddock.

Cast iron V8 roar and screeching rotary pistons

But you won't get bored here, on every corner there are rare to ultra-rare sports cars, IMSA racing cars and even pre-war cars. While you stroll through the paddocks, the scenery is accompanied by a hell of a noise. Class 7A has just started for qualifying and practice. For example, David Donohue in a 1991 BMW M5 IMSA against Bruce Canepa in a Porsche 962C from 1990, Kenneth Davis in a Roush Mercury Capri from 1985, Jeremy Barnes in a Mazda RX7-92P from 1992 or Dan Walters in a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am.

Each engine sounds different, the V8 pounding and roaring their displacement advantage into the world, as if the larger resonance chamber is about to burst. The turbo engine of the Audi 200 Quattro whistles its wastegate chirping with every change of gear and the rotary engines screech as if there was no tomorrow. 'That's racing' says the American.

There is a video here . More can also be found on our Facebook page.

Formula 1 armada as one has never seen it before

The honor of the most infernal sound, however, goes to the Formula 1 racing cars. No less than 39 of them are registered for the Monterey Motorsports Reunion. And there are world championship cars to see. Tyrrell 002, Watkins Glen 1971 winning car with Francois Cevert at the wheel, March 751, with which Vittorio Brambilla won the 1975 Australian GP and the Tyrrell008, with which Patrick Depailler won in Monaco in 1978.

There is also the Hill GH1, the McLaren M26, with which James Hunt triumphed in Japan in 1977, Keke Rosberg's winning car Williams FW08C from Monaco in 1983 and the last Formula 1 racing car from BRM, the P207 from 1976. A special highlight will be the appearance of the four-time 500 cc motorcycle world champion Eddie Lawson in his Wolf WR4 from 1977.

Corkscrew is pure adrenaline

The Laguna Seca racing circuit is best known for its corkscrew, a steeply sloping left-right combination in which racing drivers turn blind after a long straight. First it goes sharply to the left, then the road immediately turns steeply downwards in a right-hand bend. This is also where most of the spectators can be found on the first day of qualifying. Some of the racing cars take off spectacularly and then duck into full compression on the way down. Add to that the hot temperatures of around 30 ° C and the mercilessly burning sun - an extreme burden for people and equipment.

A total of around 550 vehicles are registered at this year's Monterey Motorsports Reunion, competing in 15 classes. So there is plenty of motorsport at the Monterey Motorweek with the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.


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