8/27/2013 - The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Awards
Photo: John Harden, Recipient of The Spirit of Monterey Award
Monterey, CA - Monterey's Classic Car Week wound up in spectacular fashion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday August 18th as two cars tangled in the Formula 1 3B Race Group. Dan Marvin in a ’74 Brabham BT-44 owned by Phil Reilly was launched in the air after colliding with Charlie Nearburgs ’80 Williams FW07/B at the entry to Turn 8. The Brabham flipped upside down crunching hard on the roll hoop, which held beautifully. The Brabham slid upside down in the dirt as it headed down the Corkscrew inverted, coming to rest back on the pavement in Turn 8A. Nearburg stopped his Williams and hopped out, as did Danny Baker, who was in a Æ83 Williams FW-08C. Baker lifted the Brabham just enough for Marvin to wrestle himself out from underneath the car. Fortunately, other than some minor bruises, he was okay.
The overwhelming automotive extravaganza lived up to its reputation for horrible traffic, overpriced hotels and motels, crowded restaurants and parking hasslesyet the expected orgasmic automotive overload with concours, car shows, relentless auctions, parties, road tours and vendor displays at every event remained unabated. With Ferraris and Lamborghinis as common as Toyotas, it was difficult to go anywhere on the Monterey peninsula without seeing an exotic supercar. Perhaps even better than that, cars you might never see show up here, from the weird to wonderful, and everything in between.
At the conclusion of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion there is always an awards presentation, but not necessarily trophies for those drivers who won their respective group races. Instead, Rolex Awards of Excellence are awarded in each race category to individual drivers who were determined by an independent panel to be most deserving, and the events highest Spirit of Monterey honor, which is coupled with the awarding of a specially engraved 18k stainless steel and gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, went to the driver who, simply and elegantly stated, excelled in the spirit of the weekend.
"I don't get teary easily, but this kind of thing will choke you up a little bit," said this year's Spirit of Monterey honoree John Harden of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. "To win a Rolex timepiece and to have my name put on a placard at this track alongside some of my heroes is a big deal for me."
Harden drove his 1963 Genie MkVIII on Saturday in Group 4A for 1960-68 Sports Racing USRRC Cars. His first race was in 1953 when he competed in one of the Pebble Beach Road Races, which ran from 1950-56 through the Del Monte Forest before Laguna Seca was purpose-built in 1957 as a permanent race facility. It was appropriate, he said, that where he raced his very first race should be the same place he raced his very last. At age 81, Harden has taken his racing helmet off for good, officially retiring after finishing a very respectable 8th out of 33 cars running in his class, a race that unfortunately, finished under a yellow flag.
"This is very nice when you are 81 years old," added Harden. "You feel like you have accomplished some little thing in the sphere of what you do - it's really something."
The Brilliance Award
Presented to the owner of the car with Exceptional History and Unquestionable Provenance.
Winner: George Wingard for his 1913 Mercer - accepting on his behalf is his friend Ed Archer.
Best Paddock Display
Presented to the best paddock display representative of the era: Winner: For his three-car display Brian Blain
Road & Track Magazine Award
Presented to the car we would most like to race
Winner: In his 1990 Chevrolet Beretta GTO Mr. Pieter Baljet
Henry Ford Trophy
Presented to the most significant Ford-powered entry
Winner: Driving a 1915 Ford Roadster ... Ed Archer
Ken Miles Trophy
Presented for the representation of a vintage car under 1500cc Winner: For the 1955 Cooper Type 39 Bobtail, entered by Jim Brown and driven by David Brown
Monterey Reunion Pre-War Trophy Presented by the Gary Byrd Foundation and Rolex
Presented to the most outstanding Pre-War entry
Winner: Driving a 1917 Chevrolet 490 Speedster Noel Park.
Winner: Driving his 1972 Porsche 911 RSR Erich Joiner
The Phil Remington Award
Named after one of the all-time great mechanics and fabricators, Phil Remington and graciously sponsored by Ford Motor Company.
Presented to the mechanic who demonstrates exceptional skill. Winner: From J&L Fabrication - Evan Margeson
The Presidents Cup
Presented to the entrant whose car has historical significance to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Winner: Having won its first-ever race here, the award goes to the 1972 Jensen-Healey entered by Patrick Lind and driven by Joe Huffaker.
The Founders Trophy
This award is presented to the person who richly personifies historic racing. Winner: Vic Edelbrock
The John Fitch Corvette Excellence Award
Winner: For the 1963 Corvette Grand Sport the Revs Institute at the Collier Collection
Bonhams 1793 Cup
Presented to participants in the featured morning races that best exemplifies the spirit of the event.
Race 2B (Formula Juniors) - Driving a car of his own build, a 1959 Sadler is Bill Sadler
Race 7A (Sports Racing cars over 2000cc) - For his three entries (Lister, Maserati and Scarab) Rob Walton.
Race 8A (Trans Am cars) - Driving a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28is Chad Raynal.
Race 8B (Weissach Cup) - For entering the only Porsche 901, Dean Watts
The Rolex Award for Excellence Presenter Vice President and Director of Communications of Rolex Watch USA Peter Nicholson.
Presented for Overall Excellence in each race category, as determined by an independent panel of judges.
Rolex Race 1A Driving a 1932 Miller ScofieldJohn Kerr
Rolex Race 2A Driving his 1949 Talbot Lago David Duthu
Rolex Race 3A Driving a 1962 Porsche 356... Edward Hugo
Rolex Race 4A In the 1964 McLaren-ElvaEdith Arrowsmith
Rolex Race 5A Driving a 1965 Chevrolet CorvetteTommy Steuer
Rolex Race 6A Driving a 1976 Dekon MonzaKen Epsman
Rolex Race 7A Driving a 1958 Scarab Mark 1 David Swig
Rolex Race 8A Driving a 1968 Ford Mustang Gary Goeringer
Rolex Race 1B Driving a 1961 Huffaker Genie Michael Vogel
Rolex Race 2B Driving a 1963 Lotus 27 Danny Baker
Rolex Race 3B Driving a 1980 Williams Charles Nearburg
Rolex Race 4B Driving in a 1975 Osella PA that was entered by Martin Adams Eddie Lawson
Rolex Race 5B Driving the 1950 Allard J-2 Graham Smith
Rolex Race 6B Driving a 1985 Mercury Capri John McKenna
Rolex Race 7B Driving a 1965 Lotus 26R Dalmo De Vasconcelos
Rolex Race 8B Driving a 1969 Porsche 911 Olga Neulist Reindlova (RENDLOVA)
The Spirit of Monterey Presenters Rolex Watch USA Vice President and Director of Communications Peter Nicholson and Bill Patterson, Official Artist of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Winner: Presented to the driver who excels in the Spirit of the Weekend celebrating his 60th anniversary of racing on the Monterey Peninsula driving his 1963 Genie John Harden.