Over the weekend the focus of the historic motor racing world was on the Rolex Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca. Last year GRR was there and can report that the sight of field after field of historic racers zooming up the Rahal straight before frantically scrubbing off speed and plunging into the Corkscrew – and all under clear blue Californian skies – really ought to be on everyone’s bucket list.
Sadly we couldn’t make it this year, but we have been able to tap a rich vein of footage which we’ll share with you, starting with this clip of one of the stars of this year’s Festival of Speed. Having been safely shipped back across the Atlantic to the States, this IMSA-spec’ RX-7 GTO is the same car as pedalled up the hill this year by Mazda North America PR Director Jeremy Barnes.
The car was participating in the combined IMSA GTO/GTP class and this would appear to be a practice/qualifying session. But despite this not being race action, we think you’ll agree that it’s well worth a watch as Mr Barnes attempts to keep up with some faster traffic whilst also negotiating the slower stuff. As a bonus, keep an eye on the bottom-left corner of the screen where you’ll see the throttle cable disappearing through the bulkhead – establishing without any doubt whether our pilot’s mettle held to keep her at full chat. Splendid!
Add to the sunshine, the legendary circuit and the ‘live’ throttle position information, the buzz of a 640bhp four-rotor engine in a tube-frame, championship-winning RX-7 and you’ll understand why the GRR team was huddled around a monitor for far longer than we really ought to have been before deciding to share it. Oh go on, just one more watch …