A raucous Trans-Am group was among the highlights of the first day's racing at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion on Saturday. Bruce Canepa led home a 41-car field in his AMC Javelin after a race-long battle with the Ford Mustang of Jim Hague. In the early running at Laguna Seca, it was a three-way fight that also included Ken Epsman's fast-starting Javelin, but he was forced to retire after only three laps.
The spectacular Californian track produced a number of spirited dices, with a sizable crowd lining the surrounding hillsides to enjoy the action. John Watkins (below) dominated a superb IMSA GT line-up, but only after initially trailing the Corvette of Andre Vourles, which - in the words of the circuit commentator - leapt forward at the green flag "as though it had been shot from a cannon".
Watkins soon reasserted his authority, and pulled away from a train of cars that included Vourles and the fabulous BMW M1 Procars of Henry Schmitt and Larry Webster.
Earlier in the afternoon - and shortly after the American National Anthem had heralded the start of proceedings - the 1927-1951 Racing Cars group included a wide variety of machinery and settled into an absorbing battle between the Maserati 4CL of Paddins Dowling, the 250F of Jeffrey O'Neill and Peter Giddings' exquisite Delage (above). The order changed on almost every lap, but in the end Dowling took the win.
John Kerr was on course for an easy victory the Pre-1940 Sports Racing and Touring cars encounter, but retired his Miller-Schofield on the final lap. Steve Walker inherited the lead in his BMW 315 Special, which had been having a lonely run in second place.
Other winners included Art Redford (Chevrolet Corvette) and David Swig (above, Scarab Mk1), who both ran away with their races, plus Bob Lee (McLaren M6B) and Bruce Canepa - taking his second win of the day aboard a Corvette.
The event continues on Sunday 18 August with a programme that includes races for Formula Junior, Formula 1 and IMSA cars.
Scroll down for some more pictures from Saturday...
Lorne Liebel's Cobra
Bob Lee's winning McLaren
John Kerr (32) works his way through the traffic
Harindra de Silva's Elva Mk8 leads the battle for second place in the 1960-'68 Sports Racing class
Butch Gilbert tackles the famous Corkscrew in his Hagemanns Special