Monterey Festival of Speed schedule announcement Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca announced today the complete schedule for the Monterey Festival of Speed weekend, taking place May 16-18. Four different race series will participate in the weekend’s events including the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Series Powered by Mazda, Formula BMW Americas, and the latest addition to the schedule, Historic IMSA cars from the 1970s and 1980s. There will be plenty for any age group to see and do during the three days of on-track activity.
All four series will be on track Friday, May 16 for practice sessions from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., with the Rolex Sports Car Series qualifying from 4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Cars will be on track Saturday, May 17, starting at 8:00 a.m. with Formula BMW and Atlantic Championship qualifying at 11:10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., respectively. The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series will run their fifth race of the year at 1:45 p.m., followed at 4:45 p.m. by the first Formula BMW race.
Cars will be on track starting at 8:00 a.m., Sunday, May 18 for practice sessions. Qualifying for race #2 of the BMW Formula Americas will take place at 9:45 a.m., immediately followed at 10:30 a.m. by Historic IMSA qualifying. The open-wheel Atlantic Championship race begins at 1:00 p.m., followed by the open-wheel Formula BMW series at 2:30 p.m. for their second race of the weekend. Historic IMSA cars will then race at 3:30 p.m. to conclude the weekend’s events.
Saturday features the ultra-competitive, wheel-to-wheel action of the Grand-Am Daytona Prototype and GT cars in a 250-mile race. Grand-Am is one of the most cutthroat racing series in the U.S. and features cars from manufacturers like Porsche, Lexus, Mazda, and Pontiac. Their season begins every year with the famous 24 Hours at Daytona race in Daytona, Fla.
On Sunday, the open-wheel race cars take over as the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda and Formula BMW Americas series battle it out on the track in separate races. The IMSA series campaigned at race tracks around the country in the 1970s and 1980s, and will bring Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca back to its roots on Monterey Festival of Speed weekend. Manufacturers like Porsche, Mazda, and Nissan participated in seven different classes of sports car racing throughout the legendary days of IMSA competition.
Kruse International will host a classic car auction and car show on Saturday, May 17. An anticipated 150 classic collectable and special interest cars will be on display and auctioned off during the course of the day. Admission to the Monterey Festival of Speed is good for admission to the auction.
The 2008 Monterey Festival of Speed weekend will also have many new activities for race fans and families to participate in during the event. Activities such as rides to the Corkscrew with the Land Rover Experience, an ice cream social, a beer garden, car corrals, and parade laps are just some of the attractions that will be held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca through out the weekend.
Tickets for the general public are available online at www.laguna-seca.com, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-800-327-SECA.
The 2008 race season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca includes the Monterey Festival of Speed (May 16-18), the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix (July 18-20), the 35th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races presented by Toyota (August 15-17), the Corona AMA Superbike Finale (September 27-28), and the Monterey Sports Car Championships (October 17-19).
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was established in 1957. The world-renowned raceway has been operated since its inception by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP), a not-for-profit 501C(4) corporation. Each race season, SCRAMP donates its net proceeds to the volunteer groups that help put on the races.