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HomeEventsLaguna Seca getting a makeover

Laguna Seca getting a makeover

Our weekly roundup of car show news and notes

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The Monterey County Board of Supervisors has approved a $750,000 expenditure as a down payment on the $9.5 million needed by the 2022-2023 fiscal year to refurbish WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the race track home to the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion vintage car races and other events, the Monterey Herald reports.

The first expenditure will be used to replace the 50-year-old spectator bridge over the start-finish straight. Next comes repaving the track, to be followed by other upgrades.

Eventually, as much as $66 million may be spent to enable the facility to update what track operator John Narigi called a “golden asset” for the county that “creates more tax revenue than any other event in the county.”

Narigi said the county-owned track and surrounding recreation area needs to attract events other than auto races.

While criticizing Narigi for not providing the business plan requested by the board, supervisor Mary Adams was quoted by the newspaper: “If we don’t invest in this now, and invest significantly, we are really missing the mark. I would like to see this become a similar year-round draw as the (Monterey Bay) Aquarium. I think it has that kind of potential.”

Howie Mandel highlights Boca Raton gala

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Howie Mandel | CNBC photo by Jeff Daly

The 15th annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance in Florida has announced several featured classes, and its featured entertainer, with comedian Howie Mandel of America’s Got Talent and Deal or No Deal fame performing at the Grand Gala dinner scheduled for February 26, 2022.

Featured classes include the marque of the year — pre-war Chrysler and Imperial Coachbuilt — as well as several special-display classes — 30 under 30, Tune Cars, and 1963-67 Corvette coupes. Guy Lewis will be honored at the concours February 27 as collector of the year.

The concours, founded by Rita and Rick Case of the Rick Case Automotive Group, benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County.

In addition to Mandel’s performance, the gala will feature special awards to be presented to auto racer Jeff Gordon and to Kia Motors North America chief executive SeungKyu “Sean” Yoon.

Hilton Head seminar schedule

The Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival has announced its seminar and walking tour schedules for November 6. Docent-led tours will feature Auto Italia at 10 a.m., American power & Ingenuity at 10:30 a.m., Designers Greatest Hits at 11:15 a.m., Grand Stutz at 1:30 p.m., and Volvo Italian Connection at 1:45 p.m.

Seminars include the proper way to do a decontamination vehicle wash at 10 a.m.; the proper way to polish, wax and seal a vehicle’s body work at 11:45 a.m.; and the final steps to ensure best results at 1:30 p.m., all led by specialist Elliot Remington.

Citroen gets featured role in new movie

car show, Laguna Seca getting a makeover, ClassicCars.com Journal
Citroen Type H van in a still image from ‘The French Dispatch’

Aston Martin and Land Rover aren’t the only automakers touting their vehicles’ roles in movies. While it’s not a 007 James Bond movie like No Time To Die, Stellantis has produced a news release in behalf of its Citroen brand noting the Traction and Type H “in leading roles throughout the film.”

In this case, the film is The French Dispatch, the critically acclaimed Wes Anderson movie which also features other vintage Citroen vehicles.

Aasbo wins Formula Drift championship

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In Round 8 at Irwindale, Fredric Aasbo (left) was competing against his own teammate, Ryan Tuerck, drivng the Gumout Toyota Corolla hatchback | Larry Chen photo for Papadakis Racing

By taking second place in the season finale at Irwindale Speedway in Southern California, Norwegian native Fredric Aasbo won the 2021 Formula Drift championship for the second time. He drove the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra for Papadakis Racing. It was Aasbo’s second Formula Drift title. He previously won in 2015.

“The competition has stepped up tremendously since 2015 when I won my first title and this one was much harder fought,” he was quoted at Irwindale. 

Aurimas Bakchis of Lithuania won the Irwindale event driving the Falken Tire Nissan S15. Vaughn Gittin Jr. was third in the Monster energy Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D.

While crowing Aasbo, Formula Drift also ended an era with its season finale. Not only is sanctioning body co-founder Jim Liaw leaving as series president, but two-time champion Gittin Jr. is leaving to focus on other driving projects and 2911 champion Dai Yoshihara is retiring.

2021 car show and concours calendar

The following are dates currently set (but subject to change) for a variety of concours d’elegance, car shows and driving tours scheduled during 2021:

October 

29 – Fort Lauderdale Concours, Florida

November 

2-5 – SEMA Show, Las Vegas; 5-7 — Hilton Head Island Concours, South Carolina; 7 – Exotics on Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Simply Smart, Beaulieu, UK; 11-15, AACA Southeastern Fall Tour, North Carolina; 11-13 – AACA Special Western Nationals, Phoenix; 12-13 — Carlisle Events at Lakeland, Florida; 13-14, RADwood Sonoma; 14-17 – AACA Western Divisional Tour, Arizona; 15-17,  RADwood, Honda campus, American Torrance, California; 19-21 – Goodguys Southwest Nationals, Scottsdale; 28 – VW Santa Run, Beaulieu, UK

Have an event to add? Email details to journal@classiccars.com.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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