Click image above for huge high-res gallery of the AB team's pics from the track
The 35th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races presented by Toyota at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a long title for a spectacular event. Saturday was actually day two of the Historics, which will conclude on Sunday. While the races are exciting and the action very real, the results are slightly less important here than just witnessing the spectacle. The sounds alone are worth a trip to Laguna Seca in August. Saturday's action featured the Toyota Race of Legends, with several other classes having their day in the sun as well.
We had photographers all around the track capturing glimpses of the action, so make sure to click through the gallery to see what you are missing. After witnessing Mario Andretti throw the checkered flag for the Legends and then completing what seemed like dozens of "demo" laps in his old Lotus F1 car, we thought we knew what makes this event so special. And then we saw Patrick Dempsey getting some demo laps in an old Chrysler, and we had to rethink our theory. Okay, Dempsey is probably a bit more maligned here than he deserves, but he does seem to be featured here a lot lately. Personally we were happy to see the Keno twins of Antiques Roadshow fame just as much.
Look through the gallery and you will see some of these encounters and dozenz of pics of the great cars you practically trip over in the open paddock. It's just sick how many of the greatest cars from throughout automotive history are here and being driven as they should be. Saturday's classes included the finals for Pre-1940 Sports and Touring Cars, 1925-1950 Racing Cars and Indy Roadsters, 1950-1960 Sports Racing Cars, 1966-1972 Historic Trans-Am Cars, 1966-1974 Historic Can-Am Cars and 1964-1975 FIA Sports Racing Cars. We also got to see some of the cars that will be running Sunday as their owners tweaked them for the final day of competition. If you make it out to the track on Sunday you'll likely catch the featured Alfa Romeos as well as 1955-1966 Production Sports Cars, 1967-1978 Historic F-1 Cars, and 1972-1983 Historic IMSA Cars. If you can't find something you like in those groups, you're not trying.
Press release after the jump with results and quotes from Saturday.
Monterey 2008: Saturday's Monterey Historic Automobile Races
Photos Copyright ©2008 Drew Phillips / Frank Filipponio / Weblogs, Inc.
CURRENT F1 DRIVER TIMO GLOCK WINS TOYOTA RACE OF LEGENDS AT 35TH ROLEX MONTEREY HISTORIC AUTOMOBILE RACES
Mario Andretti performs demonstration laps and waves checkered flag for legends race
August 16, 2008 - Day two of the 35th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races presented by Toyota continued with exciting on-track action as official racing got under way. The event, scheduled to continue through Sunday, is being held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.
Highlighting Saturday's festivities was the Toyota Race of Legends that pitted current Panasonic Toyota F1 driver Timo Glock against a field of legendary F1 drivers including Danny Sullivan, Derek Bell, John Watson, Eddie Cheever, Johnny Herbert, Jean-Pierre Jarier, Alain de Cadenet, Alan Jones and Patrick Tambay. Amateur driver Bruce Canepa of Scotts Valley, Calif., who won the opportunity through a charity auction, was on the pole. Glock was in top form in his race-prepared Toyota Scion tC using all of the track to hold off the legends and to take home the checkered flag, waved by event guest of honor Mario Andretti. Glock also recorded the race's fastest lap of 1 minute, 53 seconds and a speed of 71 MPH. The race consisted of eight-laps in race-prepared Toyota Scion tC sport coupes featuring a 2.4-liter, 215-horsepower TRD-supercharged engine. Glock received $25,000 that will be donated to the Children's Hospital of Frankfurt, Germany, the charity of his choosing.
"The Race of Legends is a highly thrilling event, so adding a current F1 driver like Timo Glock to the mix allows fans to witness a variety of skills of some of the top drivers in the world, both past and present," said Steve Earle, the founder of the event and president of General Racing, the official race organizer. "It's a great pleasure for fans and enthusiasts to see their heroes still racing at the highest levels. As we saw out here today, they remain as competitive as ever."
Along with the Race of Legends, fans took in a variety of historic automobile races featuring Pre-1940 Sports and Touring Cars, 1925-1950 Racing Cars and Indy Roadsters, 1950-1960 Sports Racing Cars, 1966-1972 Historic Trans-Am Cars, 1966-1974 Historic Can-Am Cars and 1964-1975 FIA Sports Racing Cars.
Several celebrities were on hand to enjoy the action such as Patrick Dempsey, star of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," Adam Corolla, host of the syndicated Adam Corolla Radio Show, and long time Rolex Monterey Historics participant Jay Leno, host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Dempsey hit the track for a few laps in a 1931 Chrysler CD-8 LM driven by San Francisco native David Swig.
Off the track festivities included autograph signings by Andretti and the F1 legends, the Rolex "Moments in Time" display, and the enhanced consumer expo complete with interactive exhibits and a light-sport aircraft prototype.
"An event like the Monterey Historics is an enthusiast's dream. You can see people licking their chops when they walk around," Andretti said of the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races presented by Toyota. "To be here and to listen to the roar of the engines on all these race cars makes my heart skip a beat."
Andretti also performed demonstration laps in the afternoon in his Formula One Championship winning Lotus 79. The event was especially memorable for Andretti because it was where he participated in the final performance of his professional career.
Sunday will begin with a parade of Alfa Romeos followed by individual races between 1955-1966 Production Sports Cars, 1967-1978 Historic F-1 Cars, and 1972-1983 Historic IMSA Cars. Race winners will be honored at a sunset prize ceremony Sunday evening.
The Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races presented by Toyota are taking place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Friday – Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
For complete schedule details, visit www.montereyhistoric.com