2B – A look back at the Monterey Reunion


Words by PR, Photos by Jim Fonseca

Over the coming week we will take a look back at the action from the Monterey Reunion with thanks to Jim Fonseca. Here we take a look at some older machinery- the 2B class




Stewart, who secured his first contract with Ford in 1964, joined Scott Pruett, a five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner (most recently in 2013), on-stage at today’s “Picnic” in the Marketplace, endearing himself to a crowd of nearly a thousand by recounting colorful stories about his past while Pruett lent his own entertaining perspective on car racing as a passion.




“I started carting at eight years old,” said Pruett, ” and won a world championship in that, then went on to race in NASCAR, Trans-Am, Indy Car and IMSA in addition to Grand Am.” Pruett owns 13 Rolex timepieces that he has won in competition, but it was his first Rolex he bought that makes him most proud when he wears it. “It was after my first IROC series race (1987), the last race ever at Riverside, when I promised myself if I won that race I would go buy myself a Rolex. On the last turn of the last lap, I went right up the inside of Roberto Guererro; he went off the track and I went on to win.”




Some of Pruett’s early cars are here, now perfectly prepped for vintage racing, and he says they muster feelings similar to seeing an old friend. “Zac Brown bought my IMSA GTO Championship car, the 1986 ‘Motorcraft Mustang’ (which raced today in Rolex Race Group 7A for 1981-1991 FIA / IMSA – GTP, GTO); I had just signed on with Ford Motor Company and that was my first championship. In 1986, ‘87 and ‘88, we won four championships. I was reunited with that car last year here at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and I later saw the Nissan which was the car I won my first overall victory with at the Rolex 24 At Daytona; the XJR-12 Jaguar I drove with Tom Walkinshaw in 1991; and some of the 962 Porsches that I have driven over the years.”




Though last year was his first time coming to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Pruett says it’s now one of his favorite things to do. “There is eye candy everywhere. It’s overwhelming to all your senses – sight, sound and smell. For any racer like me it is wonderful to come here and see these great cars and the passion among the car owners and drivers. The event is a great fit for Rolex, and Monterey is a great fit for the event; there is no better place for these drivers to come to race their cars.”




Pruett, who also owns a vineyard, likened vintage cars to vintage wine: “Neither one is ever rushed, and they are not vintage until their time. It’s all about heritage and everybody wants a winner.”

If two famous drivers weren’t enough to impress, several others could be found walking the paddock, inspecting the cars and indulging in the atmosphere, including Hurley Haywood (who, until Pruett caught him, held the record for five Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona victories), Derek Bell, Brian Redman, Lyn St. James, Bob Bondurant, David Donohue, Bill Auberlen, Bobby Rahal, Parker Johnstone, Marino Franchitti, Patrick Long and Howden Ganley.




Seven races are set for Sunday, including the immensely popular historic Trans-Am group from the 1966 to 1972 era. The day ends with race 7B that features an enormous field of Formula 5000 cars that make their first appearance in Monterey since they last raced professionally in 1975.




Photos by Jim Fonseca August 2015

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