The F1 legend will drive the vintage racer at Laguna Seca for the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion.

There are many glorious events that take place during Monterey Week. Everybody knows about the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, but racing aficionados will be watching the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion taking place August 17 - 20. This year’s event honors the 60th anniversary of nearby Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and its infamous corkscrew, while also recognizing the 70th anniversary of Ferrari and the Diamond Jubilee of Formula Junior – the first formula to be revived as an historic racing series back in 1975.

 

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It should be no surprise, then, that the reunion takes place at Laguna Seca. And to help make the event even sweeter, Formula 1 legend Mika Häkkinen will drive Formula 1 and Indy Car legend Emmerson Fittipaldi’s McLaren M23 F1 car. Yes, that would be the same McLaren he drove to claim his second F1 championship in 1974. Häkkinen will pilot the vintage racer in a pair of 15-minute exhibition runs on both Friday and Saturday during the event.

Häkkinen and the vintage McLaren will join hundreds of other classic racers at the track for the reunion, though strictly in an exhibition capacity. Jenson Button had originally been on the docket to drive Fittipaldi’s ride but was forced to cancel. Still, that’s rather like having Pink Floyd on hand as a backup band to Led Zepplin.

 

 

 

“Though we were looking forward to having Jenson Button at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, we are delighted that a driver of Mika’s caliber is able to take his place,” said Gill Campbell, Senior Vice President of Event Operations at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Formula 1 is the pinnacle of racing advancement, and Mika will be able to showcase a car with great racing history during his spirited exhibition laps. Fans will surely enjoy the link between past and present during the exhibitions and throughout the event. Thank you to McLaren for making this happen.”

Source: Mazda, McLaren via YouTube

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MIKA HÄKKINEN TO DRIVE ICONIC MCLAREN M23 AT ROLEX MONTEREY MOTORSPORTS REUNION

 

MONTEREY, Calif., August 9, 2017 — McLaren ambassador Mika Häkkinen will delight fans when he gets behind the wheel of Emerson Fittipaldi’s 1974 world championship-winning McLaren M23 at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on August 17-20. Häkkinen is filling in for Jenson Button, who was originally slated to drive the McLaren M23.

"The Flying Finn," 48, drove 130 Grands Prix for the McLaren team between 1993 and 2001, winning 20 of them, and taking two Drivers’ World Championship titles (1998 and 1999). Häkkinen’s on-track battles against Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher have become part of Formula 1 folklore, and Häkkinen therefore endures as one of the sport’s most iconic, ironic, laconic and popular superstars.

The event, held at the similarly iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, represents all that is good and glorious about classic motorsport, with more than 550 historic entries on the race card for the weekend. Häkkinen is scheduled to make a pair of 15-minute exhibitions each day that will begin on Friday, August 18, at 12:50 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. and Saturday, August 19 at 12:30 p.m. and 3:50 p.m.

“Though we were looking forward to having Jenson Button at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, we are delighted that a driver of Mika’s caliber is able to take his place,” said Gill Campbell, Senior Vice President of Event Operations at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Formula 1 is the pinnacle of racing advancement, and Mika will be able to showcase a car with great racing history during his spirited exhibition laps. Fans will surely enjoy the link between past and present during the exhibitions and throughout the event. Thank you to McLaren for making this happen.”

The McLaren-Ford M23 contested 80 grands prix between 1973 and 1978, winning 16 grands prix and three world championships (1974 drivers’ and constructors’; 1976 drivers’).

This year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion honors the 60th anniversary of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as well as recognizing the Diamond Jubilee of Formula Junior and the 70th anniversary of Ferrari. The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion has matured over the decades to become much more than a showcase of exemplary historic and period-correct cars racing at an iconic venue. It is a lifestyle experience where like-minded premium brands assemble to celebrate motoring’s finest cars with enthusiastic collectors, racers, fans, and journalists.

Hospitality packages, VIP, preferred parking and general admission tickets to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion are still available HERE. For additional information, please call the Ticket Office at 831-242-8200.