Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2012, Mazda Raceway-Laguna Seca
Michael Green reports on his weekend...
It blows me away how long ago this all started. It seems like yesterday there was 14 historic race cars at Monterey for the CanAm races... where they did a "fast parade", I think it was 1971(?), the year when Peter Revson won (and gave the flagman the finger!). 1973 saw the First Annual Historic Automobile Races. For 2012 is was a tribute to the COBRA. Sadly long time family friend Carroll didn't make it... he would have had a great time at Laguna, having been many, many times over the 39 year history of the event.
some say... that Shelby is bigger in real life than the STIG!
Above: STIGs favorite... #21 FIA car, and the King Cobra below, too bad Bob wasn't driving it!
So begins our story... Enough Stig and Shelby pic's. Below is Len Auerbachs 1936 2-litre supercharged Aston Martin. It's 3pm Tuesday afternoon, days before the Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca; the phone is ringing, it's Len... Long story short, by 3:30pm I'm in Alameda at 'old George Newells house, where the 2-litre is being reassembled after a huge engine failure at Sears Point in 2011. The newly overhauled waterpump is peeing everywhere, Len had a replacement flown in from England. Never fails does it? Always before race day.
So Len and I set out to change the pump, no fast/easy task on this car. While doing such we find a buggered oil seal, and some case damage, my handy file soon corrected that and by 6pm we had the pump job complete. Many things still needed fitting and/or buttoning up, and by 11pm we called it quits. Transporter arrived 9am Wed to take the car to Laguna Seca, but by noon Thursday when I spoke to Len it still wasn't running, so off to the track I went in our DB2/4 MkIII Aston at noon.
In days prior I'd been a busy boy overhauling the brake system on the MkIII, fitting Simpson seatbelts, and a set of new 600x16 Dunlop's. See below photo...
Now it's a mad dash to Monterey, and less than 90-minutes later my first stop would be the Embassy Suites hotel in Seaside where I would pick-up my mechanics pass (Thanks to Jim Gallucci!). By 130 I'm at the track where I find Len with the huge SU and it's twin floats apart. He was fouling the plugs and was busy checking float levels... in the end we found the ignition timing out of whack and soon had it running... after which we found an oil leak from the main feed pipe (to supercharger), which we soon stopped. Friday morning Len was on track giving the fresh engine it's first outing... only minor adjustments would be needed to get it through Saturdays qualifier event and it's main race later in the day. Surprisingly it clocked 97 mph up the front straight!
My main reason this weekend for being at Laguna was to help Jim Gallucci in his Troutman & Barnes sports racer, which, short of Jim running it out of fuel, ran like clockwork all weekend. But as things always transpire on any race weekend, I found myself working on more than a few cars. In addition to getting Len in the Aston and Jimmy in the #5 car up to and off the grid, I got to help Peter Giddings with the P3 Alfa, then helped Bruce on his Lotus, then went and set the alignment on another Lotus 11 that was having handling issues... checked the tow-out on the two Huffacker cars. Then it was off to look at plugs and advise a jet change on an 1100cc Elva, repair the front Weber on yet another Lotus 11... it didn't seem to end. but all and all it was good fun. On Thursday evening my family & friends (and I) went to dinner in Pebble Beach with Cleo & Simone Shelby, and on Friday it was the AMOC dinner in Pacific Grove, again with the Shelby's riding along in the Aston with me. The only down side of the event? The miserable ride home... 4 hours to less than 100 miles! Seems the STIG likes Monterey Motorsports Reunion too, as we again stumbled across him, here are a few pic's Todd and I took on Saturday... didn't Sunday, maybe he went to Pebble(?). Our next event is Danville d'Elegance on Sept 16th... join us.
Above: Michael & Jimmy on Saturdays grid.... Like my genuine Aston Martin coveralls? John King gave them to me in 1984 in England, they are from 1958 season and were still in the packet! They looked quite the part when I went up on the grid with Len in the Aston Saturday morning.
Below: It's race time for fabulous sports cars!
Aston STIG. Some say that the STIGs real age is on the grill of this Aston... all we know is, that every girl he meets takes him for 50.
Photos Copyright WCB2012