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Monterey Car Week - Racing and Ferraris!

It was a delightfully sunny day at Bayonet Black Horse Golf Course in Seaside, when on August 20, 2022, thousands of enthusiasts gathered to celebrate and beauty and history of Italian automobiles. This year’s competition closed with a balance sheet of more than 4,000 participants between collectors and enthusiasts and over 1,000 models exposed on the fairway.

The Concorso Italiano Foundation charity has a unique format which features vehicles of Italian origin and global exotic vehicles, all in an atmosphere that is festive, relaxed and enjoyable. The emphasis is on the display vehicles and elements of Italian style such as fashion, food, music and travel — all on the beautiful grounds in Monterey Bay, California. It is a day filled with excitement, focusing on Italian culture and achievements of personalities who possess that special essence known as ‘Italian Style.’ Indeed, it doesn’t get any better – sipping champagne, nibbling on Italian delicacies all while viewing the best of Italian motoring. It is undoubtedly one of the premier events during Monterey Week.

"This year we have celebrated Maurizio Corbi, senior designer of Pininfarina, Mariella Mengozzi and Benedetto Camerana of the Mauto of Turin” said Tom McDowell president of Concorso Italiano - The American public always appreciates the presence of the protagonists Italians, especially when they have experiences engaging to tell.”

Many beautiful cars crossed the stage in a presentation of some of Italy’s best. The Best of the Best, and in this case, the Best in Show was a 1967 Bizzarrini 5300 Strada owned by Billy and Tisa Hibbs of Tyler, Texas. The car was spectacular. The joy was spontaneous, and the crowd roared with approval. Interesting fact about the Best of Show winner – it arrived in Monterey after three days of a trip adventurous puncturing trailer tires twice through the Mojave Desert.

Raphael Porro co - organizer of the Italian Competition added that this year the event was " a celebration of Italian cars under the Californian sun , an event that grows staying true to his DNA and that already let's think about organizing for the next one edition , Saturday 19 August 2023 ".

Earlier that day, enthusiasm ran at full throttle as the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion celebrated motorsport history with 400-plus incredible historic race cars, large enthusiastic crowds and a tribute to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 24 Hours of Le Mans theme of Monterey week meant that guests could see these wonderful vehicles either at Laguna Seca or on the field at Pebble Beach.

“We are very pleased by the initial feedback to the new Wednesday through Saturday format, activities and features put in place, the car selection and driver camaraderie, and ticket sales,” said John Narigi, president and general manager of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. “I want to also thank our County of Monterey supervisors who participated to see just how important the Rolex Reunion is among the motoring world.”

After a foggy start (and a slight delay because of it), Saturday was action-packed from the moment the green flag waved. The Le Mans Legends Heritage Display, presented by Motul, was a daily hub of activity from dawn to dusk. Inside were 51 Le Mans-winning cars and selected specials. From the 1929 and 1930 overall winning Bentley Speed Six, 1956 Jaguar D-Type XKD, two Ferrari 250 GTOs, to the 1967 winning Ford Mk IV and 2005 Audi R8, the collection provided a remarkable evolution of motorsport history.

Attending were Grand Marshal and nine time Le Mans overall winner Tom Kristensen, six-time overall winner Jacky Ickx, four-time overall winner Henri Pescarolo, one-time overall and two-time class winner Stefan Johansson, overall winner Jochen Mass, two-time class winners John Morton and Ron Fellows, Shelby Daytona Cobra designer Peter Brock, and the President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest Pierre Fillon. The session was hosted by automotive historian Murray Smith.

Among the popular new activities were the Café Le Mans where guests enjoyed Moet Champagne, lining up along the new pre-grid for the Le Mans style start, where drivers ran across to jump into their cars for the start, to the Hagerty Marketplace where families enjoyed racing go-karts, visiting vendors and taking a ride on the Ferris wheel. There were also two movie nights, bustling car corrals, and viewing from nearly every area on the track. Prizes were presented to individuals based on exceptional performance in their race groups, not based on race results, and were selected by stewards. The Spirit of Monterey — Presented to the driver or entrant who exceled in the spirit of the weekend was awarded to Martin Lauber who entered his 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia TI and 1976 Porsche 911 RSR, as well as participating in the Monterey Race Car Show in downtown Monterey Aug. 12

This was just one day in Monterey Week! For car-lovers of any kind, August in California is the place to be!

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