Ask a racing expert

Dave Despain — he of “Wind Tunnel” fame on the Speed Channel — will moderate a public forum at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca a week from today at 3:30 p.m. featuring six experts from the high-performance and motorsports industries as they engage in a discussion about the developments that emerged over the last 25 years, including those that have contributed to today’s automobile.

The “Evolution to Revolution” forum is being presented by Toyota, which has jumped into presenting sponsorship of the annual Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races in a big way and will be held in the Red Bull hospitality center at the track. Admission is free and seating is on a first-come basis. Registration is appreciated by calling (310) 755-7410.

The panelists are: Richard Cregan (team manager of Toyota F1), PierreDupasquier (former head of Michelin Motorsports Worldwide), Herb Fishel (former head of GM Motorsports), Mario Illien (co-founder of Ilmor Engineering), Richard Karlstetter (Shell Global Motorsport manager) and Phil Remington (Carroll Shelby and Dan Gurney’s “right-hand man”).

Meanwhile, Despain will discuss what is going on at the forum and Steve Earle will share expected highlights from the Historics at Laguna Seca during the “Dave Coffin Motorsports Show” Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon on KNRY (1240 AM). The show is available live on the Web at www.knry.com and call-ins are encouraged at (831) 373-1234.

Vintage week: The 34th edition of the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races will anchor what has become a nine-day celebration of everything automotive and motorsports, beginning with this weekend’s Monterey Pre-Historics at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The main vintage racing event runs at the dry lake Aug. 17-19. Earle is among those who will pay tribute this year to the Indy Roadsters. Tickets and information are available by calling (800) 327-7322.

Drifting along: One of the latest rages in motorsports is Formula Drift and the best of the best in the U.S. version of the international hit will be at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma on Friday and Saturday.A special course has been laid out in the Turn 7 area of the famed raceway. Tickets and further information are available at www.formuladrift.com.

MAYFIELD LOSES HIS RIDE

Continuing the trend of the NASCAR carousel, Jeremy Mayfield will not return to Bill Davis Racing next season. Mayfield joined BDR this year as the team expanded to two cars, but he’s struggled to make races and has only qualified for eight of the 21 events this season. This season has been difficult for all new teams,particularly the Toyotas.

THIS WEEK’S PIT STOPS

NEXTEL CUP

WHAT: Centurion Boats at The Glen

WHERE: Watkins Glen, N.Y.

WHEN: Sun., 10 a.m.

BUSCH

WHAT: Zippo 200

WHERE: Watkins Glen, N.Y.

WHEN: Sat., noon

NHRA

WHAT: Lucas Oil Nat’ls

WHERE: Brainerd, Minn.

WHEN: Sun., 9 a.m.

IRL

WHAT: Kentucky 300

WHERE: Sparta, Ky.

WHEN: Sat., 3:30 p.m.

CHAMP CAR

WHAT: Generac GP

WHERE: Elkhart Lake, Wis.

WHEN: Sun., noon

FORMULA ONE

WHAT: Turkish GP

WHERE: Istanbul, Turkey

WHEN: Aug. 26


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