The organizers of the 2018 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (RMMR) recognize Nissan as the first-ever Japanese featured marque. Held annually during Monterey Car Week, which features the world-renowned Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, the RMMR is one of the most prestigious vintage racing events in North America. Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s global design chief said :
“Since the first Nissan race win in 1936 in Tokyo with the supercharged Datsun NL-75. Motorsports has been a core element of the company’s success – redefining the limits of man & machine, fostering ambition, stoking passion & cultivating a tireless drive for victory – all of which continues today. For others, the cool marine layer & dew-covered fescue of Pebble Beach creates a perfect stage for beautifully-restored cars of significance, but Nissan is a brand that is quite at home spending the week powering down the corkscrew at Laguna Seca.”
Over the past 50 years, Nissan (& Datsun) has won more than 100 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Championships & more than 200 races in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) competition in the U.S.
More than 50 Nissan/Datsun race cars have registered to compete on track at RMMR this year. These include IMSA champion Steve Millen in his Daytona and Le Mans-winning Nissan 300ZX Turbo & Hall of Fame racer John Morton driving the BRE Datsun 240Z. Comedian & vintage car collector Adam Carolla will drive his SCCA National GT-1 Championship 300ZX Turbo, originally raced by Paul Newman. Barry Toepke, vice president of communication and historic racing at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca said :
“The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion has honored a variety of legendary marques steeped in racing history since the event began in 1974. Never before has a Japanese automaker been so honored. We wanted to change that course & feature Nissan & Datsun because the brands resonate internationally & have fully established their racing pedigree. We felt it was time to recognize & honor the Nissan brand for its past, present and future.”
A variety of historic Nissans also will be on display in the paddock, including the original BRE Datsun 510 John Morton drove to the 1971 & 1972 SCCA titles. The GTP ZX-Turbo Geoff Brabham piloted to eight consecutive wins & an International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) driver’s championship in 1988 & Bob Sharp’s four-time SCCA C-Production Champion 240Z.
Nissan North America has curated a special collection of 14 cars in its paddock area display, three of which are making U.S. debuts: the 1969 Japan Grand Prix winning Nissan R382, the one-of-a kind Nissan R390 GT1 road car and the just-introduced Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign. Albaisa said :
“After making a grand global entrance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, I can’t think of a better setting than Laguna Seca for the North American debut of the GT-R50 by Italdesign. Monterey Car Week is a special place and time for automotive aficionados, collectors and dreamers.”
Nissan Intelligent Mobility – the brand’s vision for bringing leading technologies to the market is on-display through the 2019 Altima & the 2018 Nissan LEAF, featuring ProPILOT Assist as well as the all new Nissan Formula E race car, which previews the next generation of Nissan motorsports.