Monterey Pre-Reunion Weekend Is The Best Kept Secret In Vintage Racing
Check out Keiron Berndt’s awesome photos from this awesome weekend
We have been attending Monterey Car Week for years, long enough that we'd care to not remember exactly how long. It's an exhausting and wholly fulfilling way to spend a week driving, gawking, learning, interacting, and meeting new friends all within the auspices of car culture. Car Week is the entirety of automotive enthusiasm - over a century of it - from pre-war fire breathers through modern day marvels. From individual owners up through the big car manufacturers, everyone gets in on the week. We've found the best part of car week, and it's not the crowd-filled show fields or shoulder-to-shoulder avenues or the big-dollar auctions, it's a reserved gathering of vintage car racers that happens the weekend before car week actually begins in earnest.
Sure, there are some things that the Pre-Reunion weekend is missing. You won't see the manufacturer displays, and probably at least 10% of the cars that race during the Motorsport Reunion weekend are absent. Most importantly, however, it doesn't have nearly the crowds. There are opportunities to get up close and personal with the cars in the paddock. As a general rule, the people running the cars are more likely to engage you in discussion as well, because they're less stressed, and there are fewer people around to poke and prod at them while they're swapping tires or firing up to tune a carburetor. With 90% of the cars, and 15% of the people, Pre-Reunion weekend is better than the Reunion weekend, hands down.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is one of our favorite tracks, and we've spent more time there than we should admit. One of our favorite parts of the Pre-Reunion weekend is how empty the campgrounds are. If you've ever camped at the track, you'll know how great it is to wake up to the sounds of firing engines and ripping exhaust notes. It's just the best.
A few weeks back, we were at the track with our new favorite photographer, Mr. Keiron Berndt, on hand to capture a few great snaps. Check out the gallery below for a bit more of what you missed.