Monterey 2010′s Bugatti GP

John Kerridge wrote in with this clip he shot at Monterey. It’s the most astounding collection of Bugatti Grand Prix cars on track that I’ve ever seen. The clip’s rolling wave after wave of French racing blue is hypnotic, and you begin to forget how truly rare and precious each of these incredible machines truly is. Individually, each is a masterpiece; en masse, the collection transcends a mere field of racing cars and becomes a study of technical sophistication and sculptural grace.

But enough of my ramblings, John has the details on the session.

“The scene is Turn 3 at Laguna Seca on the opening lap of the Bugatti Grand Prix that was included in the program of vintage races at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, 12-15 August 2010. The first car to arrive is the Type 35B driven by Peter Giddings. He is closely followed by Charles McCabe in his Type 59 (that used to belong to Giddings!). In third place is Charles Dean, from London, England, in his Type 51. Although Dean is well known in the UK as a very quick driver with an extremely powerful car (reputedly delivering 260 HP from 2.3 liters — supercharged, of course), it’s my understanding that he was not familiar with the Laguna Seca track. So after getting past McCabe, he very sensibly followed Giddings for a few laps in order to learn the correct lines from the maestro. That task accomplished, the 260 horses were allowed to gallop, giving him a three-second per lap advantage over the Type 35B, and victory.
Further down the pack, seven cars lapped within a second or so of each other: Hubert Jaunin, from Switzerland, in a Type 51; Sandy Leith, from Dedham, MA, in a Type 37; Konig Jurg, also from Switzerland, in a Type 37A; George Davidson, from Louisville, KY, in a Type 35B; David Hands, from Great Britain, in a Type 39; Mike Cleary, from Carpinteria, CA, in a Type 57; and Richard Riddell, from Laguna Beach, CA, in a Type 35C. This group provided a splendid spectacle, with the honors going to Jaunin. Incidentally, Mike Cleary was responsible for arranging the Bugatti Grand Prix, so it’s pleasing that he got to enjoy it himself, as well.
In case the perspective from which the video was shot is not familiar to those used to Laguna Seca, it was taken from a second-story stand constructed as part of the temporary Drivers’ Lounge for the Motorsports Reunion. This afforded a much better view of Turn 3 than is usually available. I was fortunately able to take advantage of this as I was racing my 1926 Frazer Nash the next day in Group 1B.”

Thanks John. Now where’s the shots of your Frazer Nash?

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