Laguna races honour E-type and GTO

| 20 Aug 2011

The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at California’s magnificent Laguna Seca Raceway kicked off in impressive style on 20 August with two races dedicated to models marking their 50th anniversaries in 2011.

Most dramatic, purely for the near-unbelievable value of the metal on-track, was the Ferrari GTO Cars grid, featuring eight GTOs, a trio of 250GT SWBs, a Lusso, a 275GTB/C and the fabulous, Superamerica-style 250GT Sperimentale of Bruce McCaw.

Swiss polesitter Carlo Vogele in his 1963 330GTO got the jump on second-placed man Tom Price’s ’63 250GTO and eased to a flag-to-flag victory in race one.

Highlight for many was seeing the Rodríguez brothers’ 1961 250GT SWB Competizione in action, with Swiss Lucas Hüni driving to a smooth third.

Behind him, Sandra McNeil’s ’62 GTO had a race-long dice with Peter Giddings’ ’62 Lusso for fifth, with the quicker GTO edging out the pretty GTL.

Three races earlier, the event’s featured marque Jaguar got a race to itself, as Laguna followed the lead of the UK’s E-type Challenge with a Jaguar Invitational Class purely for the 50-year-old sports car – its 13-strong grid including the incongruous sight of Texan Carlos Aguilera’s standard-looking 1970 2+2.

The Hebert family’s matching set of super-fast cars took all three steps of the podium in both races, with Art Hebert (below, ’65 Roadster) leading home Bob Hebert (’65 Roadster) and Jack Bush (’62 Roadster).

There was plenty more for Jaguar fans off-track, too, with lines of C-types, E-types and XK-SSs, a special parade, plus a superb celebration of the marque featuring the great teams and eras of Coventry motor sport: Early Years, Le Mans Years, TWR XJR-9s and (below, from top) Cunningham, Group 44 and the Group 44 vs Huffaker team V12 E-type battle.

To see Graeme Hurst's footage of the GTO race, click here.