Keeping Up With a Prestigious History

Since 1974, I have missed exactly two vintage Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunions at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. 

Just two…TWO… in 45 years. (Both were for family events….the kind that are just too big to miss!)

My love of the event has less to do with the beauty of Monterey and more to do with how important this event is in the world of vintage motorsports. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it as long as it’s true: The Reunion in Monterey is the most prestigious historic event in North America. 

Each year we are fortunate to receive the most unique cars in the world (OK, fine, out of the most unique cars in the world that travel to the United States…. There are certainly some cars in Europe I would love to see at this event in the future.)

The reason the event has kept its prestige over the years is because we have high standards and racers and participants that meet and exceed those standards every year. This event wouldn’t be anything without the most thoughtful caretakers in motorsports history stepping up each year. For that reason alone, I am proud HMSA sanctions this event and helps bring it to life each year. 

This year in particular is going to be extra fun as we have the Formula Ford group with us — a group of more than 50 racers. Andrew Wait and others have been absolutely amazing in their preparation for this weekend. It took them three years and they put in the time and effort and have railed a group of excited participants to help celebrate a unique part of IMSA history.

I’m grateful to Andrew and all the Formula Fords that are here this weekend and I’m always open to hearing about great feature ideas for the future. 

While this event focuses on the best cars and stories in motorsports history, every now and then we get a glimpse of the future. Courtney Crone will be driving the Elden Mk-8 owned by RACER magazine’s Paul Pfanner (they just purchased Vintage Motorsports Magazine). Paul has owned the car since 1987 and has raced it a total of just five times in 32 years. Alan Holly raced it seven times and earned two victories from the pole position — including the 1989 20th anniversary celebration of Formula Ford at Willow Springs International Raceway.

Now, 18-year-old Courtney will be behind the wheel of this magnificent car, racing at this spectacular venue, for the first time. Courtney has the attitude, talent and drive that I have rarely seen in any racer before — especially at this age. She’s certainly a racer to watch and I firmly believe she can accomplish all of her goals and dreams in the racing world.

We are proud that she and other young racers are part of this event because it not only keeps the sport alive, but allows the (let’s call us “experienced”) racer and participant to share the history of this sport. We are all friends in the paddock because we are all more than happy to listen and share the stories about the cars and the events throughout our lives. A new generation of participant means we can keep telling stories and keep racing! 

Because this event continues to create excitement and reignite passion about our sport, I suggest we all bask in the glow of the event and the people that make the Reunion the can’t miss event of each year.