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WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca has a diverse annual motorsports calendar. It began this year in April with the Trans Am Superfest and continues through mid-October with the Velocity Invitational. Next month is the busiest time of the year with the iconic facility heavy into the mix of Monterey Auto Week.
Barry Toepke, Director of Heritage Events & Public Relations at WeatherTech Raceway, is our guest this week on The Weekly Driver Podcast. A guest three times previously, Toepke shares with co-host Bruce Aldrich in Episode #233 the upcoming schedule, notably the Monterey Pre-Reunion (Aug. 13-14) and Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (Aug. 17-20).
The annual Reunion, according to raceway officials, is a “museum revving to life with hundreds of historic and period-correct race and sports cars from nearly every era.”
Besides the usual collections of vintage racing, the venue this year is the official start of a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Cultivated from private collections or museums and no longer driven in competition, more the 50 vehicles with pedigrees as overall winners or first in class at LeMans will be highlighted in a heritage legends building. The cars’ histories will also be detailed in video, historic images and storyboards. The first Porsche (1970) and the last Ferrari (1965) to win the overall title will be included in the historic display.
“It will arguably be the largest collection of authentic Le Mans-winning cars ever in one place in America,” said Toepke. “We’ll be the kickoff launch event for a year-long celebration. It’s quite an honor and we don’t take it lightly.”
Representatives of the race held yearly in June on the Circuit de la Sarthe have been invited to the festivities. Motorsports Reunion officials recently announced Tom Kristensen of Denmark, the record-holding, nine-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will serve as Grand Marshal and will autograph sessions.
The previous week at WeatherTech Raceway more than 300 historic race cars, most competing days later in the Reunion, will get valuable track time in a more relaxed and less-crowded environment. The field is comprised of carefully selected entries by our selection committee.
Bruce and James also discuss with Toepke the upcoming Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey (Sept. 9-11) as well as the selection of Bill Warner as Chief Steward, a newly created position.
Listen to our previous discussions with Toepke:
#185 West Coast Bike Week Set For Monterey Peninsula Debut
#170 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Set For Racing Season
#128 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Adjust To Covid-19, Stays On Course
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The podcast is in its fourth year, and we’ve had a diverse collection of guests — famous athletes, vintage car collectors, manufacturer CEOs, automotive book authors, industry analysts, a movie stuntman and episodes from auto shows and car auctions.
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