September 1, 1999

1999 Monterey Historic Races

Audi celebrates 100 years and is the featured marque at the Historics

I was able to celebrate Audi's 100 year anniversary with 1000's of other Audi fans at the Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca Raceway in California on August 27-30. The event was held under typical Monterey Bay summer weather with cold damp foggy mornings, followed by blistering hot afternoons, full of sunburn. Highlights of the event included Audi's unveiling of the MY2000 cars, the hundreds of Audis in attendance and of course the races and parade laps. I met many Audi aficionados and most of the people responsible for internet sites that cover the Audi's for enthusiasts.

The Audi Tent
Audi erected a large white tent that housed the MY2000 cars. Of course the Imola Yellow S4 was the biggest hit. It's black with silver alcantara interior is very striking. Before I saw this car, I was worried that alcantara might make the interior look a little cheap and/or boy racer. Not so, this interior combo ROCKS! The sports seats look and feel great. The double din Symphony radio fills out the dash just right and the six speed shifter is in just the right place.

A number of A4.Org-ers compared the new aluminum suspension pieces to the standard A4 and we found a few surprises as well. The new S4 and all models in the A6 range now come with a standard strut brace up front. It is just in front of the battery, so much for the double fire wall not needing any more stiffness. The standard A4 models did not have this brace in place. On to brakes. The S4 calipers are huge! The A6 2.7T and the A6 4.2 also have the same setup on the front. The 4.2 also shares the vented disks in the rear with the S4. The clearance between the wheel and the caliper on the S4 looks like about 1/4". It's tight. It will be interesting to see what aftermarket wheels will fit.

The two new engines are a great addition to the A6 line. The bigger A6 2.7T has the power of the S4 and it can haul 4 passengers in style. The huge wheel well arches on the A6 4.2 make it look mean. Audi didn't show any of the optional sport wheels on the A6's in the tent, but a reconnaissance mission to an underground parking garage on Cannery Row gave us a look at just how mean an A6 can get with 6 spoke 17" wheels, wrapped in 255 40 SP9000's.

The MY2000 A8 has minor interior changes on the center console and the new five valve motor under the hood with 310 bhp.

This event was LOUD! The race cars where so loud at times you really had to yell to talk to someone. It was great to see the vintage cars go at it. In one race I saw cars nearly reach 40 mph! Laguna Seca is one the best tracks I have ever driven. The elevation changes make it great fun and the famous corkscrew is just a blast to hit at speed. I rode shotgun with Corey S. for the parade laps and we were able to hit a few of the turns hard before catching up with the pack. If you get a chance to take a driving school at this track, don't pass it up. Watching the Audi touring, IMSA GTO, and DTM cars snake through the track at speed is something I thought I never see. The R8R can really move, and I hope to see it again in the future.

I had a great weekend hanging out with everyone and talking Audi. I will see you next year at Monterey Historics.

Pictures:

  • Inside the Audi Tent
  • Historic Auto Union Cars
  • Additional Photos from the Event





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