The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2015 will be held August 13-16 at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California, again serving as an anchor event of Monterey Classic Car Week. Organizers have again limited an enormous number of entry requests to 550 period-correct cars for the 42nd consecutive year of vintage car racing on the Monterey Peninsula in August.
“Sports car racing on the Monterey Peninsula began shortly after World War II when returning GIs were looking for a place to race their recently acquired MGs, Morgans or Jaguars,” said Doug Sallen of Monterey, California, who has competed at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion for 18 years. “They had seen these cars race when they were stationed abroad, and now they wanted a chance to experience the thrill of racing themselves, so in the early 1950s there was a large movement to organize automobile races on public roads, parks and on disused military airfields.”
Sallen went on to explain that when the Pebble Beach Road Races began in 1950, there were only two classes: under 1.5 liter, which was mostly MG TCs and MG TDs, and over 1.5 liter, which were primarily Jaguar XK120s with occasional Ferraris or OSCAs in the field. Another class was added later, and that class was what was known as Specials – primarily, American hot rods with special bodywork.
“When Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca held its first historic races in 1974, the groups were pretty much all these same cars,” continued Sallen, who has driven three different Morgans, a Lotus 11, and a Lotus 7 at past Rolex Reunions, “but now in 2015 there are more classes, and some are quite modern.”
In addition to celebrating the Shelby GT350 Mustang as its special marque, the 2015 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion also will feature Formula 1 cars from 1967 to 1984 and for the first time Formula 5000 cars, fully covering the evolution of historic racing from sports cars in the 1950s to the more exotic cars in the 1960s that led to the sports racers, prototypes and formula cars of today.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit MazdaRaceway.com or call 800-327-7322.
[Source: Rolex Motorsports; photo: Dennis Gray]