2022 Masters Historic Racing at Weathertech Raceway

Masters Historic Racing USA made a West Coast stop at WeatherTech Raceway, Laguna Seca, April 1-3. Masters brought two groups of cars to Laguna; the Masters Endurance Legends and Formula Atlantics. The Endurance Legends competed from January 1, 1982 to December 31, 2017. These cars were eligible to run in races such as Le Mans and 24 hours of Daytona, 12 hours of Sebring, and other resistance events. Prototypes from the 2001-2003 FIA Sports Car Championship are also included. Lastly, IMSA 2014-2016 DP and GT Prototypes, Grand-Am, ALMS and other 1982-2017 Feeder Endurance Series.

Audi R8 LMP1
Travis Engen – Audi R8 LMP1 © 2022 Dennis Gray

For a car to be eligible, it must be prepared as it was when it originally ran and be presented in its period livery. hybrid vehicles they do not qualify for the Series. Lastly, cars of significant historical value may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Each year the Masters Endurance class has grown and is now a beautifully presented collection of racers. Fast and loud on the track, they are clean and beautiful to inspect in the paddock.

Jim Devenport and his Oreca 03 LMP2, Stephen Romak’s Pescarolo Morgan and Spencer Trenery’s Riley Mk Xl Gen 1 DP are excellent examples of fast cars in this class.

Stephen Romak – Pescarolo Morgan ©2022 Dennis Gray

Also in this field are Porsches and Audis. Bruce Leeson’s and David Alvarado’s Audi R8 LMS porsche 997 GT3 are examples. Again beautifully prepared cars.

Audi R8 LMS
Bruce Leeson – Audi R8 LMS ©2022 Dennis Gray

By Saturday’s race, these guys were tearing up Laguna Seca. I have two favorite places to look. From turn two, you can see the cars appear over the hill towards turn one before dropping anchor to slow down before they power off, accelerating towards turn three. My second favorite spot is turn six, where you can see the cars going under the bridge to the far right of the driver in preparation for turn six to the left, followed by hard acceleration up the hill to blind turn seven. Turns two and six allow these Masters Endurance cars to really show off their braking, acceleration and ability to grip the pavement. Good fun.

1978 MARCH 78B by Todd Willing on turn five
1978 MARCH 78B by Todd Willing on turn five. © 2022 Dennis Gray

The other group of Masters here this weekend is the Formula Atlantic Plus Masters. This group comprises cars built for the proper Formula Atlantic under the 2-litre regulations between 1969 and 1986, running in their original specification. Eligible vehicles will have competed in Formula Atlantic, Formula Super Vee or Formula Two. In other words, open-wheel racing cars with exposed drivers.

1980 MARCH 80A
1980 MARCH 80A Stephen Romak entering the Corkscrew. © 2022 Dennis Gray

If you haven’t seen these guys run, you’ve missed one of the best series to watch. You can see the drivers from the fence and watch them turn their heads at the turn. Their gloved hands are visible, allowing viewers to see the drivers turn the steering wheel as they steer their cars around corners. Sub-2 liter engines combined with low weight and wide slicks give these atlantic formula cars with amazingly fast acceleration and phenomenal braking and grip power. The sounds aren’t bad either.

Mikel Miller's 1978 Ralt RT1
Mikel Miller’s 1978 Ralt RT1 at turn two. © 2022 Dennis Gray

Danny Baker’s Ralt RT1 put on a show. Baker hangs his tail in turns with lightning-fast manual control that often puts him in front or near the front. In his MARCH 768, Wade Carter is another combination of driver and car that is fast. The MARCH 80A driven by Steve Romak is also usually found near the front.

Tom Minnich's 1982 Ralt RT4.
Tom Minnich’s 1982 Ralt RT4. ©2022Dennis Gray

Both groups of Masters could walk off the track and line up on the grass for a contest. Clean, loud and fast. In 2022, Masters Historic Racing will hold these events:

  • June 3-5 Belle Isle Park, Detroit, Michigan, USA
  • July 1-3 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Mosport, Canada
  • July 7-10 Watkins Glen International, USA
  • September 30 – October 2 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, USA
  • October 21-23 Circuit of the AMERICAS, USA (USA F1 GRAND PRIX)
  • November 2-6 Daytona International Speedway, USA
  • November 30 – December 4 Sebring International Raceway, USA

This schedule provides plenty of opportunities to get out there and watch these cars and drivers compete. It’s a lot of fun and worth the effort. Until next time.

2022 Masters Historic Race Photo Gallery