This spectacular weekend racing event hosted over 500 historically significant race cars. The race vehicles were chosen on the basis of the car’s racing history, prominence, and authenticity. There were countless historic cars that legends are made from. Some of the Marques included Allard, MG, Jaguar, Ferrari and Lotus, just to mention a few. There was also a variety of pre 1915 racers as well. These vehicles drove exhibition laps at speed.
The races were held at the Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca from August 18th through August 22nd in front of thousands of spectators. Many spectators took advantage of the local camping facilities located on site. If camping, my advice is to book reservations ten months in advance.
This event is family-friendly and offers a host of amenities such as a sit-down out door food services, a gift shop, driver interaction and shuttles. The Hagerty Drivers Club is prominently featured in the paddock. The treat for 1st timers is that you are free to walk in the paddock, interact with drivers and pit crews and take endless photographs, seek out priceless autographs and chat with the ‘who’s who’ of the racing world. The newest sports cars offered by GM and several other manufactures were also on display. The latest Corvettes were available for public viewing. I highly recommend taking in the fabulous event in 2023.
See pictures provided by NAACC webmaster and photo journalist Cam Hutchins.
The 2022 Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion
Report by JJ Carlson and Cam Hutchins
At the 2022 Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion held August 17 to the 20 at WeatherTech Raceways Laguna Seca, wwe were blessed with good weather and most days very light fog in the morning. This was the first year we had been when the races were not broken into Group A and B races and on Sunday there also was a Hillclimb heading from the pit are backwards up to the Corkscrew! All races ran group 1 through the group 14 all days with the order never reversing so the cars always ran at the same time.
The pits are so full of great cars and the display featuring the 100 years of the LeMans had some amazing cars of all ages. Both of Briggs Cunningham’s Caddies were there and the other great display was the “Tall Tires”. The “tall tires” used to race all out previously, but safety concerns has led to the stopping these “old-timer” cars competing. Although they are not allowed to race anymore, they put on a great Demonstration on the track at some pretty good speeds.
AsCanadians, we are fascinated by the Canadian Content at the races and the Formula Atlantic has a number of cars that raced in Canada or were owned by Canadian teams. Some were actually built by Canadians and the most famous Canadian cars are possibly the Formula 1 Cars of Wolf Racing. Canadian Millionaire Walter Wolf, used his considerable wealth to help Frank Williams’ F1 team before Williams left to form Williams Grand Prix Engineering. The FW05 won three F1 races in his first season, including Argentina Montreal, and Monaco.
For 1978 and 1979 a new car for the ground effects era was built, the WR5, Jody Scheckter placed 4th in Spain and 2nd in Germany. The WR6 replaced the WR5 and Jody Scheckter placed 3rd in the US Grand Prix, 2nd in the Canadian Grand Prix and 7th in the World Championship. For 1979 James Hunt replaced Scheckter and the WR7 was unveiled with Olympus Camera Livery. By the end of the year, the new WR8 and the WR9 did nothing to turn around the team’s poor performance and the team was sold to Emerson Fittipaldi. At the 2022 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Nick Griot of the Pacific Northwest raced the number 20, 1978 Wolf WR6 3 litre car to 14th place.
Another Canadian car, the Sadler MK 4 that has been astonishing successful, was designed and built by Bill Sadler. Bill Sadler was born in 1931 in St Catherines Ontario and his father was the Canadian Agent for Lucas Auto Electric. Sadler started the Sadler Car Company and built Formula Junior, Formula Libre and go karts, after building many “specials”.
The Sadler Mk 4 continues to be raced at Vintage events and by the evidence of the front wheel lifting out of turns it has a very rigid chassis. The car continues to be raced by Greg Meyer of Carmel California. With it’s aluminum body it only weighs 1680 lbs or 762.035 kg and the Chevy V8 produces a thunderous sound that ensures the Sadler Mk4 is always a crowd pleaser.
Todd Willing of Franklin, Michigan, campaigns two cars with a Canadian connection. The number 63 Escort was originally campaigned by Canadian Bob Tanner. The car was sold new to Bob Tanner a High school vocation teacher who raced it in the Trans Am series. Powered by a twin Cam 1,850 cc engine with Lucas slide injection and ZF transmission, it was extensively restored and following a trip back to Mont Tremblanc was approved by Bob and Brenda Tanner.
He recently purchased a March 78B with STP livery. This Ecurie Canada Car raced by Bill Brack, won the Trois Rivieres race, and is the sister car to the March 78B that 1978 Formula Atlantic Championship winner, Howdy Holmes drove. Another of the Formula Atlantic cars has the red and white Labbat’s Blue Livery with Blue spelled in French. The 1977 March 77b Altlantic 1,600 cc Formula Atlantic car was raced by Robin Hunter of Simi Valley California.
One long time racer Nick Woodhouse, who bought an Anglia from a subsidised housing complex on main street in Vancouver in 1998 specifically to race in the 2000 Le Carrera Panamerica. His thought was to throw 10 grand and a rollbar at it and race the 1966 Ford Anglia 105e in the Le Carrera Panamerica, and if it broke down then he would just abandon it were it died. He has since raced it extensively at the Mission Raceway Park road course and other tracks around the Pacific Northwest.
Racing it a the RMMR at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca was a dream, but Covid made it difficult to get a licence to race at the RMMR. He was forced to hire a driver. He knew of a fellow Healey racer from England who was going to be in the area, so he was appointed the racer. So one more aspect of Nick’s participation in the auto racing sport is after being a builder and “Rabid Racer” he is now a “Gentleman owner” campaigning his car, and he loved every minute of it.
British Ex Pat George Holt from Gabriola Island BC started stock car racing in his 20’s in England. Eventually moving to Gabriola Island in BC, George entered his Jaguar in the 2010 Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion. He likes to drive his cars to the race track and race. His 1954 Jaguar XK 120 used to run in the top 12 when there was 40 cars on the circuit. But lately he has been taking it a bit easier lately since the cars up front have a lot more modifications than his.
As a long time admirer and collector of Alfa Romeo cars, Vancouver’s Felix Chiu first attended the historic races back in 1985 as a spectator, at what was known as Laguna Seca. He raced his number 30 Alfa at the last historic races at Westwood Racetrack outside of Vancouver, in 1990.
Pitt Meadows BC native Cal Meeker grew up watching Gilles Villeneuve racing Formula 1, and his Uncle sponsored a Triumph TR8 that raced at Westwood. Looking for an F1 car, Cal was lucky to find a Williams F1 car, but when he found the opportunity to buy out his business partner the Williams had to go. A couple of years later a 1979 Tyrrell 009 F1 with “Candy” livery(sponsored paint scheme) came up for sale by a friend of Cal’s. So he bought that F1 car and then bought a Little Spice car, a “Camel Light” 1987 Spice GTP Lights SE87L 4,500cc.
One guarantee at the track, is that no matter where someone is from, they all race with passion and lots of history is on display!
The dates for 2023 are:
Aug 17 – Aug 19, 2023 at 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca
1021 Monterey Salinas Hwy
Salinas, CA 93908