MOTOR RACING : If Ferraris Are Your Speed, Try Monterey
The Monterey Peninsula and Modena, Italy, might be oceans apart, but they will have something very much in common this weekend--Ferraris.
Ferrari, celebrating its 45th anniversary in Modena, will be the featured car in the Monterey historic auto races Friday through Sunday at Laguna Seca Raceway. More than 1,000 Ferrari owners will have their cars at the event, and more than 80 vehicles carrying the prancing horse logo will race.
In all, 335 vintage race cars will compete in 14 races over the 2.2-mile, 11-turn course. Represented besides Ferrari will be Porsche, Maserati, Bugatti, Lotus, Shelby, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Ford, Chevrolet and others.
It is customary at Monterey for the owners to drive their cars, and among them will be Phil Hill, the first American Formula One champion. Hill, who won the title in 1952, will drive his 212 Ferrari. Austrian Niki Lauda, another former grand prix champion, will demonstrate the 312 Ferrari F1 car in which he won the 1977 championship.
Luigi Chinetti, former Ferrari driver and team owner, will be a guest at the races. Chinetti, now 93, gave Ferrari its first victory in the LeMans 24-hour race, driving a 166 MM for 23 hours in 1949. He later became the North American importer of Ferraris, established the North American Racing Team, and aided the driving careers of Hill, Richie Ginther, Dan Gurney and the Rodriguez brothers, Pedro and Ricardo. As a team owner, he gave Ferrari the last of its nine Le Mans victories in ’65.
Ferrari representatives will include Piero Ferrari, son of founder Enzo Ferrari and a company vice president; Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, president and CEO and former head of the F1 program; Gian Luigi Buitoni, president of Ferrari North America, and Sergio Pininfarina, whose company has been responsible for many Ferrari designs.
Among other historically significant cars that will race or be displayed over the weekend:
--1961 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, driven to victory by Hill in the ’61 LeMans race.
--1965 Ferrari 250 LM, the last Ferrari to have won at LeMans.
--1971 Ferrari 512 M, driven by the late Mark Donohue for Roger Penske.
--1976 Ferrari 312 T2, driven by Lauda during the ’76 Formula One season.
In conjunction with the vintage racing, an auction of vintage sports and classic cars will be held Friday and Saturday at the Monterey Conference Center. Among the 170 cars to be auctioned is the 1953 Stroppe Kurtis 500 S midget built by Bill Stroppe and Frank Kurtis.
Ron Hornaday of Palmdale won the Winston 200 at Cajon Speedway last Saturday, leading 189 of the 200 laps. Hornaday’s second victory of the season put him 45 points behind Mike Chase of Bakersfield in the NASCAR Winston West driver standings. The next event is Sept. 3 at Tri-City Raceway in West Richland, Wash.
POWERBOATS--Hot boats and water skiers will race Sunday in the 63rd annual Long Beach Sea Festival at Long Beach Marine Stadium. Fastest of the boats are the Formula One craft, which hit speeds of 140 m.p.h. and can accelerate to 100 m.p.h. in five seconds. Former world champion John Castelli of Yorba Linda and former national champion Jimmy Johnson of Cypress both are entered.
STOCK CARS--NASCAR sportsmen will compete in a 30-lap feature race Saturday at El Cajon Speedway at 7:15 p.m. The race will be preceded by a 25-lap street-car event. . . . Competition at Sunrise Valley Raceway on Saturday begins at 7:45 p.m.
SPRINT CARS--Sprint Car Racing Assn. drivers will compete at Ventura Raceway on Sept. 3. . . . The SCRA has switched its Oct. 18 race, scheduled at Imperial Valley Raceway, to Mohave Valley Raceway near Bullhead City, Ariz.