Story By: BARRY TOEPKE / WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA – MONTEREY, CA – Visitors to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Aug. 17-20 will see a decidedly European staple rev to life.
The historic Saloon (or Touring) car race group is an exciting class that always produces an interesting variety of cars when they race at equally legendary tracks like Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans.
Now they’re setting their sights on America and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
“The Advisory Council has been discussing new classes of racing for a while to keep each Rolex Reunion fresh for both drivers and visitors,” explained Bruce Canepa, co-chair of the Advisory Council, which also oversees car selection. “The Saloon group perfectly complements the four Le Mans-focused groups, as well as our signature groups like Historic Trans-Am and Formula One. It is going to be a spectacular experience.”
Eligible cars range from the Alfa Romeo 1750 GT Veloce and Lotus Cortina to the MG Magnette and Wolseley Hornet. “The variety of cars that are being submitted for entry consideration is impressive and entertaining,” Canepa added.
Saloon cars are road-going close-bodied models that have been heavily modified for racing. The purpose of adding this group is to begin establishing it as a regular attraction that can be rotated with others from year to year.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion celebrates the start of a yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of the world’s most famous sports car race – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Of the 12 race groups, four are dedicated to cars that raced at Le Mans or were eligible to race in period. The groups span from 1923 all the way through the blindingly fast Le Mans Prototypes seen between 1981 and 2005.
Visitors to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion can expect to see the world’s best authentic and historic cars with period-correct livery in the paddock and on track. The four-day celebration, which begins on Wednesday, Aug. 17, and concludes on Saturday, Aug. 20, is preceded by two days of the Monterey Pre-Reunion, Aug. 13 and 14, where many of the same cars compete.
An entirely new-look Sunday, Aug. 21, format is being finalized and will be announced shortly that embraces motorsports, car enthusiasts and the community.