Monterey Historic Automobile Races
Sunday August 19
On the second big day celebrating vintage Coopers at the Monterey Historic Automobile Races, about 150 MINIs were in the corral to watch the vintage races, with many of the other enthusiasts over at Pebble Beach for the concours.
Two very famous drivers were participating in the races honoring John Cooper. Here in the MINIMania pit, Nick Swift on the left compares track notes after driving Don Racine's Monte Carlo Rally Replica Mini Cooper S with Michael Cooper, John's son, who has just come in off the track after driving one of the Formula 1 Cooper race cars.
The racing classic Mini Coopers provided an exciting spectacle. Placed in the same grid with other racing production cars of their period, as they would have been at Sebring in 1964, the eight Minis on the grid were cutting in and among the Shelby Mustangs, Alfa GTZs, and Lotus 7s. Watching from the paddock, we had a perfect view of Turn 2, at the end of the longest and fastest straight on the course. Here during the afternoon race we watched not one but two of the big bore production racers get loose and spin out rounding the turn, just in front of the Mini Coopers. Jink this way, jerk it that way, and the Minis just danced around the potential carnage.
The corral was also a gathering place for a variety of MINI vendors, including Dinan, M7, MiniMania, Central Coast Coopers, MINI FINI, Sunlight Car Covers, and Unichip. Not surprisingly, a number of MINIs left the track at the end of the day with a few mods and upgrades that should give them better performance as we take to the road to drive east to Lime Rock, where many of the same race cars will be on show and on the track in two weeks.