It was yet another magnificent weekend at the Laguna Seca raceway in Salinas where thanks to the generosity of our friend Brian King and the entire team at Global Wealth Partners (GWP), a dozen members of the SCI community were invited to their private maquee at arguably the best spot at the track to take in the races that took place this past Friday thru Sunday.
The track has its own microclimate as the weather report suggested temps in the low 60s but when you get there, the temps go up by another 10 degrees or more and so, it was a very comfortable setting for everyone. GWP pulled out all the stops by catering breakfast and lunch on all three days with beer & wine flowing freely as well. The location of the tent was extremely accessible with ADA bathrooms right around the corner, too. Overall, for a wheelchair user, you really had it all. Attending this year were wheelchair users Chris, Wojtek, Ernest, Anthony, Rich, Matt, Justin, Kevin and Franklin.
Brian and his staff made everyone feel like family by taking their time to chat with us and explain the nuances of the track and race cars along with the history and what to look for. For some of our friends, it was their first time ever at the track and it was equally wonderful that a couple of them brought their young boys with them (do boys like race cars or what?) which made it an even more special occasion.
The weekend event was part of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports reunion at Laguna Seca which showcased the rich racing history of two automotive industry leaders, Nissan and Datsun. Everyone was able to go down to the paddock where dozens of drivers were showcasing their cars for public viewing, allowing you an opportunity to chat with them and pull up right next to the cars in separate classes from pre-1940 sports racing cars through 1970s and early 1980s.
This year, in an unexpected twist, NorCal SCI and GWP were contacted by families who had sons with SCI, asking if there was any way to allow them join the event. Ordinarily, this is a by-invitation-only opportunity as passes like these are not available to the general public. Our gracious host, Brian, didn’t waste a single second to figure out how to accommodate the requests. It was yet another wonderful moment to see true race car enthusiasts spend some quality time at a great venue thanks to the generosity of GWP.
One of the highlights of the day was meeting another friend and amazing artist, Mio Dzakula, who had created a 6-foot by 3-foot metallic image of a Nissan race car. GWP had commissioned this work from Mio (www.artofmio.com) which employed a multi-layer sublimation process to melt the image onto the aluminum canvas. We all had a chance to sign the piece which was nice to be a part of and then, we each received a miniature replica autographed by Mio.
All of the guests in the marquee were enthralled by the giant jelly fish image pictured below. This is only one of many images of Mio's work that will be part of the exciting art project commissioned by GWP for The Valley Medical Center Foundation. We will be reporting more on the project over the coming weeks.
NorCal SCI is grateful to Brian and GWP for their hospitality and we hope to be doing this again in 2019.