DEREK HILL, A TIPO151, AND OTHER DELIGHTS
American race driver Derek Hill, son of World Champion Phil Hill, will strap himself behind the wheel of the lone surviving Maserati Tipo 151, of which only three were ever constructed, to race in the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 14-17 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Maserati is this year’s featured marque and will officially celebrate its 100th anniversary at the motorsports gathering.
Entered by Fratelli Auriana Racing from the collection of Lawrence Auriana, the Tipo 151 has been fully restored. Since its restoration, chassis 151.006 has competed in three successive Goodwood Revivals and last year in the 2013 Le Mans Legend. This will be the car’s first visit to Monterey and the challenging 2.238-mile road course.
The Tipo 151 will complement Maserati’s centennial display and provide a dynamic addition by having its pit crew working on the car throughout the weekend to keep it in race-ready condition.
Visitors also will see many other significant Maseratis that were responsible for propelling the Italian marque onto the racing scene. Iconic Tipo 60s and 61s, nicknamed the Birdcage, will be running as will the sleek 300S and 450S models that once competed in the famed Mille Miglia, Nurburgring and other punishing races. Additionally, the first-ever 4CL that Maserati produced in 1939, which was originally raced by factory drivers Luigi Villoresi, Carlo Felice Trossi and Franco Cortese, will be racing in Monterey.
““We are working closely with the Centennial team from Maserati North America and in Italy,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “True Italian car enthusiasts won’t want to miss this event because of what they will only be able to see here on track and strolling through the paddock and marketplace. This is what makes the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion so special, seeing cars in motion that are normally housed in museums.”
Indeed, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion has often been likened to a museum that springs to life each August on the Monterey Peninsula, and this year is no exception as 550 historic and period-correct race cars have been accepted to compete in 15 race groups over the four-day gathering. U.S. entries will be joined by cars from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
The oldest car accepted is Brian Blain’s 1910 National 40. Sporting 100 horsepower, the National was driven by Charlie Merz in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 held in 1911, finishing seventh at an average speed of 70.36 miles per hour and in so doing, collecting $700 in prize money.
On the opposite end of the race group spectrum is Mazda’s 1992 RX-792P GTP (chassis 001), which is one of two prototypes that competed in the 1992 IMSA GTP championship. Price Cobb and Pete Halsmer were the original factory drivers to pilot the entirely new 720-horsepower car against the established Eagle Toyotas and factory Nissans.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is one of the cornerstones of the renowned Monterey Classic Car Week and the largest event held annually in the scenic coastal community. Visitors worldwide descend on the area to enjoy historic cars in action at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion competitions such as Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and a plethora of additional supporting activities that comprise the internationally acclaimed motoring week.