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Mark at Pelican Parts Mark at Pelican Parts is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
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2014 Rolex Monterey Motosports Reunion - A Pelican's Perspective

Pelican's own Kyle Hyatt, shares his first-time experience at this year's Motorsport Reunion.

The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, aka the Monterey Historics is arguably the best gathering of vintage racing cars in North America. People bring unbelievably rare and valuable race cars from all over the world and then thrash them around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the most picturesque race tracks in the world. It’s not everywhere that you can see two of the twenty-one Carrera Abarths ever made, and a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO barreling through a corner and pinning their throttles on exit.

In other words, the best place on Earth for a car nut such as me.
As soon as I entered Monterey, I was immediately surrounded by beautiful vintage cars. My jaw hit the floor when I saw a Ferrari 275 GTB/4 and a Bizzarini 5300 just sitting in a turn lane waiting to get onto Highway 1. I must have crossed some invisible border from the real world and into a strange plane of existence where seeing cars of this caliber would be normal. Still in shock, I made my way to the will-call area at the Embassy Suites, in Seaside, CA, to pick up our tickets and right away I was treated to the sound of a first-generation Lamborghini Countach idling around the lot looking for a safe place to park. As I approached the covered drive of the hotel, I was also thrilled to see Porsche factory driver Patrick Long’s absolutely pristine gray Carrera parked and waiting for him.

Winding my way up through the hills surrounding the race track, I unexpectedly became part of a procession of late model Ferraris and Maseratis. Believe me when I say that following a 550 Maranello with an open exhaust up a steep hill is no bad thing. I soon parked and walked across the footbridge over the main straight then headed down into the paddock area.

The smell of leaded race gas was thick in the air and the sound of screaming V12s bouncing off of the hills that make up Laguna Seca was intoxicating. Just inside the paddock, I was immediately greeted by a very angry sounding 934.5 that was getting ready to go out for its first practice session of the day.

The quality of the vehicles in the paddock could not be overstated. It was full of 962s, 934s, 935s, RSRs, CanAm McLarens and Lolas, Trans Am Mustangs and Camaros, Mercedes Gullwings, and some of the rarest Ferraris on Earth.

I wandered throughout the paddock until the lunchtime break, at which point I made my way to the legendary Corkscrew to catch a few of the afternoon qualifying sessions. The first group I saw was filled with FIA World Challenge cars. This included a 908/3, a 911ST, a Ferrari Daytona Competizione, and Patrick Long in a 67 911S.

Patrick was doing a fairly heroic job of keeping the short wheel based car in line despite its best efforts to spin and pitch him into a wall of tires. After this group came the parade of McLarens and Lola T70s from the CanAm class.

There are some things that every car enthusiast should experience in their life and hearing 8-liter V8s thunder out of the exit of the Corkscrew is definitely one of them. As the driver lays into the throttle, with open exhausts blaring and uneven velocity stacks gleaming in the sun, I was instantly reminded why CanAm was such a special time in motorsport.
Old 09-22-2014, 05:34 PM
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