Under crisp blue skies on the Monterey Peninsula, the 2022 First Orion Monterey Motorsports Celebration unfolded beautifully, hosted by racing organization GT Celebration. The weekend’s racing schedule included run groups from Masters Historic Racing (Formula Atlantic and Endurance Legends), the Porsche Sprint Challenge, and the BMW M2 Cup. Held at the historic Weathertech Raceway, Laguna Seca, the 11-turn course offered plenty of challenges, including the iconic Corkscrew corner that starts a 59’ elevation drop in just 450’ of track. Having never attended a GT Celebration race, it was time for Sports Car Digest to gain a first-hand account of what this group is all about. 

Mclaren racecar at Laguna Seca

Mclaren racecar at Laguna Seca

The GT Celebration series was created for GT cars that are no longer competitive or eligible to participate in IMSA or SRO sanctioned events. GT Celebration supports the following four classes:

1) The GT-3 RED class comprises recent model FIA-homologated GT3 cars ranging from production years 2014 to 2026.

2) The GT-3 YELLOW class comprises older model FIA-homologated GT3 cars ranging from production years 2006 to 2020.

3) The GT-4 class comprises recent RACB (Royal Automobile Club of Belgium) homologated GT4 cars featuring a variety of manufacturers.

4) Prototype Celebration comprises LMP3 based homologated cars, as well as the KTM X-Bow.

Ligier prototype

Ligier prototype
Dave House crests the hill in his very quick Ligier prototype. PHOTO © 2022 Rex McAfee

At the helm of the organization is CEO Rob Morgan. Indoctrinated into cars at a young age, Rob took after his father, Charles Morgan, who raced in SCCA and IMSA, driving everything from a Datsun 260Z in SCCA Trans-Am to a Buick GTP Light in with IMSA. Rob started with the IMSA’s Firestone Firehawk series and quickly progressed to IMSA’s GTO and GTS categories. He eventually drove two years in the NASCAR Craftsman truck series before becoming a team owner. A life-long Porsche enthusiast, he opened TruSpeed in 2001 to provide track-side support to Porsche racers. 

Porsche 991.1 GT3 R

Porsche 991.1 GT3 R
Jim Slavik, Porsche 991.1 GT3 R, TruSpeed Autosport PHOTO © 2022 Rex McAfee

Catching up with Rob at the track, we took a few minutes to discuss what prompted his relatively new series, now in its third season. As Rob explained, he used to support numerous Porsche racers who wanted to drive modern Porsche cup cars but didn’t want to run professionally. Typically, they were going to PCA (Porsche Club of America) or POC (Porsche Owners Club) events which often draw enormous fields of 50 or 60 cars, with a wide disparity in both speed and driver ability. Unfortunately for the fast drivers who qualified upfront, they only had a few laps of clear track before they were forced to slow down for traffic. Once that happens, the fun of racing diminishes. 

Audi R8 LMS Ultra

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By: Rex McAfee
Title: 2022 GT Celebration at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/2022-gt-celebration-at-weathertech-raceway-laguna-seca/
Published Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2022 17:23:59 +0000