MONTEREY, Calif. (September 5, 2001) -- A stout field of cars representing the entire spectrum of the GTP era of sports car racing has assembled at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to give racing fans a trip down memory lane this weekend. ...
MONTEREY, Calif. (September 5, 2001) -- A stout field of cars representing the entire spectrum of the GTP era of sports car racing has assembled at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to give racing fans a trip down memory lane this weekend.
The field of more than 30 Historic IMSA GTP cars will run a one-hour race on Sunday prior to the 12 noon start of the American Le Mans Series Monterey Sports Car Championships event. The Historic feature starts at 9 a.m.
The Historic IMSA GTP Series was started this season to help present the history of sports car racing along with selected American Le Mans Series events. The ALMS partnered with the established Historic Sportscar Racing body to organize the events.
Three races are scheduled this year. The first event was run at Sears Point Raceway in July, but some conflicting historic events prevented a large entry for that race. The field of cars for the Laguna Seca event is more representative of the true strength of the series.
The cars that will race on Sunday are many of the same cars that thrilled racing fans in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, especially during the glory days of the old International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Camel GT Series. The cars, many of which were fielded by factory teams, are now privately owned and maintained in mint condition. However, their value doesn't prevent the owners and drivers from racing them as hard and fast as possible.
The field will include at least eight Porsche 962 and 962C machines, one of the most successful and popular sports cars of the GTP era. Also in the mix will be Porsche 956C, 934 and 935 K-3 racers.
From earlier years of the era will be such cars as a 1972 Lola T-282 and several different Chevrons. From later years will be some Spice racers from the 1990s, as well as two Nissan R90C cars.
The Historic IMSA GTP cars will be in an open paddock area at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca all weekend, and race fans may walk through the area and see the beautiful machines up-close when they are not on the track for practice or qualifying.
The racing weekend will also include a Saturday afternoon event for the popular Trans-Am Series, the oldest road racing series in America. In addition, events will be held over the weekend for the SPEEDVISION World Challenge GT and Touring Car divisions, as well as the open-wheel Star Mazda Series. Ticket information is available online at www.laguna-seca.com, or by calling 1-800-327-7322. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is located on Highway 68 between Monterey and Salinas, Calif.