Every year at the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races, attendees look forward to indulging in Rolex’s award-winning Rolex Moments in Time display, which honors six different historic racing cars and their most significant achievements. This year, for the 36th edition of the famous Rolex Monterey Historics, which run from Friday, August 14 through Sunday, August 16 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the museum-quality exhibit will be more dramatic than ever, theatrically staging amazing cars from the 1960s and 1970s within the context of the history they made.
Perhaps most extraordinary will be the inclusion of the Gulf Ford GT 40 and the 908LH Porsche that famously exchanged leads in the 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans until the GT-40 prevailed, with only four seconds to spare, marking the closest margin of victory ever at Le Mans. Porsche had made an all out effort to win that year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans with its 917. However, both 917s retired with clutch problems, and it was the Championship leading Porsche 908 driven by Hans Herrman and Gerard Larrousse that battled with the Ford GT-40 driven by Jackie Ickx and Jackie Oliver for the win.
1970 looked to be “The Year of the Titans” as horsepower and extreme speed became the necessary ingredients to win races. Porsche and its incredible 917 were to be challenged by Ferrari and its new 512S, both cars putting out over 550 horsepower. While the two cars were very close in performance, the 917 dominated the Championship. The 512 was always a threat but never able to rise to the level of the Porsche in the hands of the John Wyer Gulf Team.
Harkening back to that time, the Gulf 917K that will be displayed in the Rolex Moments in Time display is the car driven by Pedro Rodriguez in the 1970 1000 km race at Spa, Belgium, where it led until it retired. The Gulf’s stablemate, driven by Brian Redman and Jo Siffert, won at the amazing average of 149 mph. The Ferrari 512S that also will be in the display is the car driven by Jacky Ickx at the opening round at Daytona and Nino Vaccarella at Monza and Targa Florio where it finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
“The cars were as purposeful as their designers and drivers were determined and courageous,” said Steve Earle of General Racing, Ltd., which owns and organizes the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races. “The Rolex Moments in Time exhibit brings to life past eras of racing in a way that lets you feel the presence of these cars and their achievements.”
Rounding out the display will be the 1972 McLaren M20 (on loan from the National Auto Museum, Reno, NV), Team McLaren’s last challenger in the Can-Am Series that the team dominated for seven years, and the 1976 Porsche 936/81, winner at Le Mans in 1977, second place in 1978 and 12th in 1981. This car was the first of the three Porsche 936 cars built and the only one to compete in five Le Mans races. It was driven variously by Jurgen Barth, Reinhold Joest, Hurley Haywood and Vern Schuppan, all of whom will be at the Rolex Monterey Historics.
Autograph sessions with some of history’s greatest names in automobile racing will be held at the Rolex Moments in Time display on Friday morning, Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday morning. Instructions for picking up first-come, first-serve tickets to participate will be announced daily.
Porsche is the Featured Marque for the 2009 Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races. Of the 450 vintage cars that will be racing at the event, 145 are Porsches.
At the upcoming 36th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races, held at Mazda Raceway Laguna
Seca on August 14-16, the sound of the initial stirrings of over 450 race cars will be
complimented by the exquisite growl of the newest, most daring and most advanced vehicle
Porsche has produced to date, the 2010 Porsche Panamera gran turismo.
“This year’s Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races presents the perfect opportunity to
demonstrate that Porsche’s DNA, its competitive spirit and drive for perfection, runs from
the very first 356, Porsche No. 1 up through today’s all-new Panamera,” said Detlev von
Platen, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America.
“We at Porsche are deeply honored to have been named the ‘featured marque’ on this, the
61st anniversary of the very first Porsche and the North American debut of the Panamera,
the very latest Porsche,” added von Platen.
In addition to the 145 Porsche racers already entered by their owners, or one-third of the
450-plus field, Porsche will showcase the Panamera on the world-famous race track and will
also provide display vehicles on site.
Along with the North American debut of the 2010 Panamera, four special cars with
significant American connections will also be on site — all on loan from the new Porsche
Museum in Germany:
The 1960 Porsche Type 718 Formula 2 racing car, which gave Porsche its first Formula 2 world
title and was driven in 1961 by Californian Dan Gurney, is making its North American debut.
The 1962 Porsche Type 804 Formula 1 racer, which was the car that brought Gurney to his
French Grand Prix win that year. This car has not been in North America since the 1960s.
The 1962 Porsche Type 718 W-RS 8-cylinder Spyder, in which Gurney and Joakim Bonnier
finished second at the Targa Florio in 1961, has also not been in North America for more
than 40 years. In the 1960s, it was raced in the U.S. by Gurney, Bonnier and Phil Hill.
The Porsche GT1 98LM, which helped Porsche finish 1-2 at the 1998 24-hours of Le Mans event.
Porsche-sponsored activities for the fans at Laguna will include a heritage display
including former and current race cars, Porsche’s current showroom product line, and
experts to answer Porsche questions. Porsche Motorsport North America, the racing arm of
Porsche in the U.S., will also showcase its engine and chassis services for both
professional and club/vintage racing, while the Porsche Club of America expects to have
more than 400 Porsches in its club corral and will parade all its cars on the Mazda Raceway
About Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., is the exclusive importer of
Porsche sports cars and sport utility vehicles for the United States. It is a wholly owned,
indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing.h.c. F. Porsche AG. Approximately 200 PCNA employees provide
Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 202 dealers. The dealers,
in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service. Throughout its 61-year history,
Porsche has developed numerous technologies that have advanced vehicle performance, improved
safety and spurred environmental innovations within the automotive industry. The company
continues to celebrate its heritage by adding to its long list of motorsports victories
dating back to its first 24 Hours of Le Mans class win in 1951. Today, with more than
28,000 victories, Porsche is recognized as the world’s most successful marque in sports car
racing. PCNA, which imports the iconic 911 series, the Boxster and Cayman mid-engine sports
cars, the high performance Cayenne sport utility vehicles and soon the Panamera gran turismo
for the U.S., strives to maintain a standard of excellence, commitment and distinction
synonymous with its brand.
For more information on the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races, visit
Paddocks filled with breathtaking cars wait for visitors at this years’ Montery Historic Races, which pays tribute to the auto racing industry. Automobiles from the past and present will take to the track in their respective categories, and bring racing history to life from the 14th to the 16th of August 2009.
Information in regard to the 36th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races can be found on their website: www.montereyhistoric.com
Date: August 14, 2009
Venue: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
City: Monterey, California
Country: United States of America
This year the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races will be celebrating their 35th anniversary at Laguna Seca. The event, which will be presented by Toyota, will celebrate a number of highlights from past races. It will also see legendary driver Mario Andretti take his seat as the official guest of honor.
The 2008 Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races will take place on August 15 to 17 at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The event will be paying tribute to the first marque to ever be featured at the Historic Races in 1975, the Alfa Romeo. The Alfa Romeo 8C-2900B Mille Miglia will no doubt be sharing the limelight with Mario Andretti – as both are racing legends. The race will also see a number of other marques that have featured in the past 34 Monterey Historic races, including the 1908 Grand Prix Mercedes, which will be enjoying its 100th year of racing. A variety of historic Trans-Am cars will also take to the track during the course of the event. In all the weekend will see a variety of highly competitive and exciting races that are sure to wow fans.
Regarding the presence of Andretti at the event, Steve Earle – the President of General Racing Ltd which founded and organized the event – said: “We are extremely pleased to have Mario Andretti join us at the Rolex Monterey Historic this year. He is a living legend for all of us, and we’ll join together to celebrate the anniversary of his winning the World Championship in 1978.” Many consider Andretti to be the most accomplished driver to ever emerge during the history of motorsports and the legendary driver will be getting behind the wheel of his F1 Championship Winning Lotus 79 for a few demonstration laps during the course of the event. He will also be available to sign autographs and will be participating in some of the scheduled races that have been organized as part of the Rolex Monterey Races. Fans will get the chance to meet other legends during autograph sessions and enjoy plenty of additional entertainment in the form of an enhanced Consumer Expo. If you want to meet Andretti, get in on all the historic racing action and make the most of your weekend, make sure that you get down to the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for this great event!
The Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races will be celebrating its 35th anniversary later this year when it is held at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The event will be presented by Toyota and will be highlighting some of the more memorable events to take place during the course of the race’s history.
Apart from a weekend of highly competitive races, this noteworthy event will be commemorated by saluting a variety of featured marques from the last 34 races. Included in the list will be the Alfa Romeo 8C-2900B Mille Miglia, which was the first marquee to be featured at the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Race in 1975. A genuinely impressive antique car, the automobile will be paired up with legendary driver Mario Andretti, who will be the official guest of honor for the weekend. Many see Andretti as a living legend. He won the World Championships in 1978 and went on to become one of the most accomplished drivers in the history of motor sports. He remains the only driver to ever win the Indianapolis, Daytona 500 and F1 World Championship even today. Andretti will not just serve as a historic presence at the races – he will be getting behind the wheel at a number of events during the course of the weekend. This is something that fans can surely look forward to seeing.
According to Steve Earle, the president of General Racing Ltd, who founded and organized the event, the anniversary celebrations will showcase cars such as the 1908 Grand Prix Mercedes and a variety of historic Trans-Am cars. Other features of the event to look forward to include the presentation of past Monterey Cup winners, the Ferrari Historic Challenge and the Toyota “Race of Legends”. Autograph sessions and an improved consumer expo round up the event and ensure that racing fans are able to make the most of their time spent here.
The 35th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Race will take place on 15 to17 August 2008. Why not get your ticket now to make sure that you don’t miss out? The event is sure to be legendary!