On November 10th, 1957, the world of US sports car racing forever changed as the chequered flag waved on the first race at the all-new Laguna Seca Raceway. Now, 60-years later, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca continues to thrive. To commemorate the special anniversary, the track’s heritage will be celebrated at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion the 17th-20th of August and exemplified by this year’s exquisite poster.
The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP), the management company that built and continues to operate the County of Monterey-owned facility, unveiled the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion poster art by Bill Patterson that features the inaugural win by Pete Lovely in his Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa.
Lining up on the starting grid in third position behind Carroll Shelby in a Maserati 300S and John von Neumann in a Ferrari 625 TRC, Lovely’s rather underpowered 500 TR wasn’t expected to give a the more powerful cars a run. But Lovely drove a masterful race and passed von Neumann in Turn 9 on the last lap to edge out victory and take the chequered flag from the polka dotted shirt flagger.
“The first race and all the military pomp and circumstance that first day was inspiring as I thumbed through photos of the day,” explained Bill Patterson, the official artist of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “With the event celebrating the track’s own heritage, we needed to celebrate that first win. Plus, it’s fitting that this year is also the 70th anniversary of Ferrari. It all came together nicely.”
The art will be available in limited-edition 24x36-inch posters that will be sold exclusively in the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Souvenir Store beginning Aug. 11th. Bill Patterson will also be present throughout the weekend of Aug. 17th-20th to meet with guests and conduct poster autograph sessions.
“Bill’s art always captures the essence of motion and drama of his subjects, and this year’s art with the very first car to win here is one of his finest,” commented Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Hopefully it will be a walk down memory lane for those who attended that first race in 1957 and become a treasured part of their collection.”
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is one of the cornerstones of the world-renowned Monterey Classic Car Week. The largest series of events held annually in the coastal community, visitors worldwide descend on the area to enjoy the historic cars in action and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, along with the supporting activities that comprise the vibrant motoring week.