For many, the Historic Racing at Laguna Seca is the reason they go up. See old race cars driven (mostly) at full bore as it was "back in the day" is exciting, and far less sterile than the modern race scene. Here's Chuck's account of the festivities: (photos by Chuck Forward)
Monterey Historics Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
Last year, we managed to miss the Historics, err the Motorsports Reunion because of the Concours d’Lemons, but this year, we broke down and bought tickets. In most ways, it was the same as the old Historics except the attendance seemed way down. We went Saturday but it had more of a Sunday feel. For once, we were not shoulder-to-shoulder at the fence. The organizers had raised the ticket prices again this year. Someone who obviously failed Econ 101 did not realize that increasing ticket prices would result in significantly fewer attendees in this bad economy.
This year the marque was Jaguar and one wouldn’t believe the number of D and C types that lined the tents leading to the factory display of famous Jaguar racecars. The display itself was well done, highlighting the numerous victories they had achieved over the decades. Maybe with the new owners, one might see a resurgence of Jaguar into the competition world.
We were pleased to see the program had the very early cars first but some class combinations made for large groups putting cars on the track together that may not be best suited for the speeds at which they run. They have encouraged more people to race and bring cars to display while restricting the pit slots. The big race teams seemed to have no problem with space while the little one-man operations had to scramble for any slot. One racer we know who has been going for 20+ years found his pit slot not doubled booked like last year but quadruple booked so they had to call on old friends to get a space for their car and gear. One senses the single car racers are being squeezed out for the big guys with huge support transporters. This is a shame as walking the pits is the best part of the experience, especially seeing the odd racecar or ancient home-builts that huge guys would ignore since they don’t have a prestigious name like Cobra, Ferrari or Devin. Where else would see an Aardvark, Peerless or Denzel? Our friend vowed not to return but this was before he raced (he gets extremely grumpy before the race) but he finished in the top third and was feeling good about his performance afterward. Racing is additive and he probably will return despite the abuse he received.
Unfortunately, our time was limited so we could only stay for one race before hightailing it into town for the Concours d’Lemons but I got to see my favorite group run, the pre 1940’s cars.