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Monterey Historic Festival, A Roaring Success!

Readers will no doubt have been enjoying Martin Spetz’s photos from the Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca. Although his pictures tell a thousand words, a few other words are probably also in order!

The Festival is actually held over two weekends – the first being the so-called Pre-Reunion, which was on the 8th-9th August, and the Reunion itself, from the 13th-16th August. Races are held for a multitude of different categories, including single-seaters, sportscars, GTs and Touring Cars, with cars dating back as far as 1925.

Martin’s pictures bring the atmosphere of the event to life, but US-based readers will no doubt be waiting for the one-hour TV special, to be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, October 11 at 10 a.m. ET.

Richard Dean and Zak Brown, of United Autosports, have a special memento of the event: the ex-Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing Lola T332 that they campaigned in the races for 1968-1978 Formula 5000 Cars was awarded the President’s Cup by the event organisers. This special award is presented to the entrant whose car has the most historical significance to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The very same car was driven to victory at Laguna Seca by Mario Andretti in 1975, and the pressure was on Zak Brown to emulate his Mario’s efforts at the Pre-Reunion.

Parnelli-Jones-Racing-Lola-T332

“Bringing back Mario Andretti’s Formula 5000 Lola to the track it last won at was very special for me, ” he said. “To debut the car after its restoration and record two wins from pole in the Pre-Reunion was just spectacular. Winning those F5000 races was without doubt one of the top highlights in my racing career. Mario is a hero of mine and I’d told him I was racing his old Lola so I felt the pressure to deliver and thankfully I did! To put it on pole twice and lead every lap was beyond my wildest dreams as there was a quality grid competing. Then to have Richard [Dean] repeat the feat last weekend in the Reunion races was just awesome.”

All in all, it was a successful trip to California for the Anglo-American team, as Richard Dean also took third place in the Pre-Reunion Group C race, driving United Autosport’s ex-Dyson Racing Porsche 962.

Dyson-Racing-Porsche-962