Why a documentary on the Pebble Beach Road Races...
K&K Productions was formed by Dean Kirkland and Rick Knoop in 2012. Kirkland has been involved as a director and an assistant director for feature-length films, short films and commercials for over 20 years. Dean has also established a reputation photographing A-List entertainment and sports personalities. His subjects have included none other than stars like the late Dennis Hopper, Clint Eastwood and Martin Sheen. Today he is regarded by many as a distinguished car photographer, shooting classic cars for high-profile collectors and automobile companies.
Rick Knoop is an accomplished and versatile racecar driver who has consistently won and placed in the world’s most challenging and prestigious sports car races. From his victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans to winning Daytona, Rick continues to amass a stunning racing record that has earned him a spot on factory teams including Porsche, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Toyota, Mazda and BF Goodrich. He inherited his passion for professional racing from his father, legendary road racer Fred Knoop, who was among the few drivers to compete in the Del Monte Trophy races at Pebble Beach.
ABOUT THE PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE
First conducted in 1950, Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance® has grown to be the world's premier celebration of the automobile. Only the most beautiful and rare cars are invited to appear on the famed 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links®, and connoisseurs of art and style gather to admire these masterpieces. Charitable donations raised by Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance® now total over $17 million. Related events include Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance™ presented by Rolex, Pebble Beach RetroAuto™, and Pebble Beach® Auctions presented by Gooding & Company. Pebble Beach®, Pebble Beach Golf Links®, Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance®, Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance™, Pebble Beach RetroAuto™ and Pebble Beach® Automotive Week are trademarks, service marks and trade dress of Pebble Beach Company. All rights reserved.
“What began as a tribute to my father, Fred Knoop, has evolved into a celebration of one of the world’s greatest road races,” said Knoop. “We’re thrilled to share this incredible story with audiences at the Pebble Beach Concours. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to explore this incredible history, especially just feet from the road where the men and machines did battle. I’m honored that some of those featured in the film have committed to attend.”
"We're pleased to host the premiere screening of ‘Racing Through the Forest’, which focuses on the Pebble Beach Road Races and enthusiasts who started and participated in these sporting yet fierce competitions,” said Sandra Button, Chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. "We all owe a great debt to these enthusiasts. I'm certain that much of the collector car world today would not exist without them. And there would be many fewer ways to see and celebrate great cars and the people affiliated with them."
Inspired by the memoirs of the Del Monte Forest Road Race history, the Pebble Beach Concours and Pebble Beach Company teamed up with K&K Productions to preview the documentary for a select audience. Blending interviews with racers and incredible footage of the events, the film recalls the glories of this oft forgotten race with a video archive of its history.
“We traveled the world to meet with racers, car owners and enthusiasts who were very excited to share their stories,” said Kirkland. “We regularly receive emails from people thanking us for preserving this history. We can’t wait to share what we’ve created.”
From 1950 -56 The "Del Monte Trophy" was held on the twisty, leafy, and very narrow town roads in Pebble Beach, California
Not all of the "track" was paved; the original 1950 route consisted of both paved two-lane roads and sections of dirt or loose gravel. Races started along Portola Road near the present-day equestrian center. Cars then turned right onto Sombria Lane, then right again onto Drake Road. In 1950, drivers would turn right once again onto Forest Lake Road; in 1951 and later years they turned left onto Alvarado Lane (now Stevenson Drive), then sharp right onto Forest Lake. The final corner was a sharp right-hander at Ondulado back onto Portola and past the start/finish line.
Although the course was always tight and twisty with tall Cypress trees hemming in the track on either side, accidents were scarce and relatively uneventful. The exception came in 1956 when Ernie McAfee (no relation to fellow racer Jack McAfee) fatally slammed his Ferrari into a tree. This spelled the end of the popular Pebble Beach Road Races, although it was the genesis of Laguna Seca, its modern-day successor.
Visitors can drive most (but not all) of the old race course today.