Salinas, CA – With fewer crowds to contend with, lower admission prices, and nearly all of the same cars and action as the Reunion, the Monterey Pre-Reunion is a bit of a nicely kept secret. It is also a great primer for the extravaganza that is Monterey Car Week.
Photos and words by Nick Lish. All photos © Vintage Motorsport 2018
Every year the Pre-Reunion is held the weekend before the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. It gives many the opportunity to work out any kinks or dial things in before the big show the following week. The run groups are a bit bigger, and not all of the cars for the Reunion are running, but the event definitely delivers all the action and excitement you could hope for. Here Alex Curtis points his Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” down the Corkscrew.
With Nissan/Datsun being the featured marque this year, they were certainly well represented and showcased a great variety of cars.
The 510s feature some unique liveries which make for some exciting and colorful photos.
The pit lane can get a bit crowded during the Reunion so it is one of my favorite places to hang out during the Pre-Reunion.
It is great to watch how different drivers prepare and how controlled all of the chaos is.
Not to mention you get to see all of the cars from the group in one place and up close. It also helps me to get an idea of what I might want to look for out on track.
The corkscrew is always a popular location for spectators and photographers alike. It’s not hard to understand why. There is no place like it anywhere else and it really says you’re at Laguna Seca. Mark Harmer’s Surtees leads the F5000 group through the corner.
The time of day really dictates the best photo shooting location, but each angle has something great to offer. Here’s a Dolphin sports racer.
The crowds really start to grow in the afternoons and there is not a bad place to watch (as long as you can find some shade of course). This Boss 302 is part of the Historic Trans-Am group.
Some groups are so colorful the photos finally do it justice just how exciting it is to be in the presence of what is on track. Here’s the IMSA group, led by Gordon Johnson in the Olivetti Olds.
During the Reunion and Pre-Reunion the Rolex and event signs make a great background to showcase the speed around the track. Like this photo of Chris Hines in his Newman Sharp Olds IMSA racer.
Even our own publisher, Mike Silverman gets in on the action during the Pre-Reunion in his 1959 Echidna. He said that this moment was a little bittersweet, as he was getting passed by his late father’s Lister Chevy Costin driven by current owner Erickson Shirley.
Another one in the books and overall a fantastic weekend. Now bring on the crowds, the traffic, and the racing!