The Monterey Historics festival paid tribute to Porsche this year with racing at Laguna Seca. Fittingly, Brian Redman was among the winners
By Gordon Kirby
No fewer than 400 cars competed in this year’s 36th annual Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca. Ticket sales at the track were up 40 per cent over last year and there was a large crowd on Saturday in particular. The nearby concours and auctions at Pebble Beach on the coast and Quail Hollow in Carmel Valley were equally popular.
Porsche was the featured marque this year and Laguna Seca was brimming with Porsches of all types, including the only works Formula 1 cars raced in 1961-62 when Dan Gurney was the number one driver. On track a fantastic collection of 906s, 908s, 911s, 917s, 935s, 956s and 962s took part in 15 10-lap races spread over the Saturday and Sunday.
Driving the Collier Museum’s Gulf-liveried 1971 Porsche 908/3, Brian Redman won Saturday’s race for late-1964 to ’71 FIA World Championship sports cars. Redman started third but on the opening lap he whistled past Derek Bell’s ailing Gulf 917K – losing oil pressure fast and about to blow up – and then passed polesitter Gijs van Lennep after the Dutchman ran wide in the fast right-hander going into the uphill section that leads to the Corkscrew. “He bobbled a bit in turn four,” said Brian. “I don’t know if he braked too late or missed a gear. I was able to slot inside and pull away.”
Despite making a couple of mistakes Redman was able to hold off Bruce Canepa’s Gulf 917K. “I missed a shift coming out of the last turn,” shrugged Brian. “I think I may have hurt the engine a little because it lost a few revs and [Bruce] got very close.
“A few laps later, coming down the hill from the Corkscrew, there were two 911s I was anxious to get by. The 911 on the right went to the right, which is the normal line, and there was room between them. I shot in there and as I did there was a tremendous bang on my left rear as the guy on my left turned to go right. He probably never saw me. I got sideways and caught it but the collision had broken the left-rear wheel. So I was extremely lucky to finish.”
Other notable winners included: Jan Voboril’s 1924 Ford T Barber-Warnock in the pre-1940 race; Paddine Dowling’s 1934 ERA B-Type in 1925-49 racing and sports cars; Bill Perrone’s 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder in 1948-55 under 1500cc sports and GT cars; Frank Zucchi’s 1960 Pirhana in 1955-61 under 2-litre sports/racers; Rob Walton’s 1958 Scarab Mk1 in 1955-61 over 2-litre sports racers; Mark Hotchkis’s 1986 Porsche 962 in 1981-90 FIA manufacturers’ championship and IMSA GTP cars; Jamey Mazzotta’s 1973 Lola T294 in 1971-76 FIA manufacturers’ championship cars; John Harden’s 1963 Huffaker Genie in 1959-66 sports racers; Terry Gough’s 1965 Corvette in 1963-67 over 2.5-litre GT cars; Craig Bennett’s 1970 McLaren M8B in the 1966-74 Can-Am race; and Australia’s Rusty French in his 1979 Porsche 935 in 1973-80 IMSA GT, GTX and All-American GT cars.