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The Skip Barber Racing School has a heritage that began with Formula 1. RELATED: Oval Vs. Road Course: Key Differences. From Turn 8 to Turn 9, the elevation falls 109 feet, or just over 10 stories. Will Factory-Backed Navigation Systems Disappear? That means their times are unofficial, since official records can only be set during race conditions by either qualifying or during a race. Sidecar road racing hit a high point with the inclusion of the World Championship for sidecars at the USGP. (Slight modification in a race: You’ll make a more gradual move to the apex from the right side, blocking any would-be passer. 1988 – The track was lengthened from 1.9 to 2.214 miles and then to 2.238. With ample parking available and competitive rates, the Laguna Seca Rifle And Pistol Range makes a great recreational option in between races. 1966 – First Can-Am race has Jim Hall, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren, Chris  Amon, Mark Donahue, Denis Hulme, John Surtees, George Follmer, Parnelli Jones and Sam Posey on the starting grid in various Chaparrals, Lola T70s and McLarens. Seen in person, the three-wheeled marvels were big fan favorites as they negotiated the circuit. Aim for the third one over, and magically, you pick up the right-hand apex. Entry to the left-hand part of the corner is easy enough: Turn in late and place two wheels over the dirt on the inside. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is an 11-turn, 2.238-mile jewel of a road course on California’s beautiful central coast. The first turn is taken at full speed, and it's blind. Well, you’ll be braking before the crest in a fast car, so ease off the brakes before the brow, then bury the pedal once the road has flattened. It is Rossi’s first win in the U.S. and he celebrates by kissing The Corkscrew in front of 150,000 screaming fans. A good clean exit is important here because Turns 9 and 10 are fast. Here are some hidden details, facts and more that fans need to know. 1994 – Mario Andretti makes this CART race his last race and retires. Perhaps one of the most famous moments of racing took place at the Corkscrew when Alex Zanardi passed Bryan Herta on the inside of the Corkscrew on the last lap of the 1996 CART race to take the victory. This Week: A V-8-Powered Bronco, and Much More. We may earn money from the links on this page. RELATED: 10 Actors Who Are Also Race Car Drivers. Be careful around turn 4 because it's a fast radius turn with no banking. Mastering this section of the track always results in the manifestation of a massive grin. Our car experts choose every product we feature. When someone uses your full "government" name in public to get your attention, you know it's serious. 1981 – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosts its first NASCAR race with the Winston West and has Bobby Allison on the grid. In 1974, the property was deeded over to the Monterey County Parks Department and continues to be part of the park system to this day. When you consider the legendary racing heritage, amazing vistas, classic corners and various events and activities that serve many interests, it's no wonder Laguna Seca will forever be one of America's greatest racetracks. 1997 – The FIA GT Championship comes to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with Mercedes, Porsches and Gulf McLarens. Mention that name at any automotive gathering and nearly everyone knows what you're talking about. 1996 – On the last lap of the CART race, Alex Zanardi overtook Bryan Herta in The Corkscrew with an unprecedented and unforgettable move now known as “The Pass.”. If golfing on Pebble Beach isn't quite your preferred way to unwind at the end of the day, listen up. Then you approach turn 11, the last corner on the track. However, with the varying levels of classes offered at The WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca track, any driver could gain the proper confidence to take on the Corkscrew. The genesis of Laguna Seca Raceway can be traced back to the Pebble Beach Races that began in the early 1950s. It was a difficult decision to reach. NEXT: 10 Actors Who Are Also Race Car Drivers. 2008 – At the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi overtakes Casey Stoner in The Corkscrew to win the race. The turn in for 8 is late, remember to look for the oak tree to line up for turn 8A, using that momentum to bring you to the fast downhill sweeper. Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca auto racing and motorcycle racing track, home of the corkscrew with overnight camping, hiking trails, biking trails, BBQ and picnic areas and event venues for meetings, quinceanera, and weddings is located in Monterey, California and close to Salinas, Carmel, Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach and Fort Ord Just the thought of the 59-foot drop in just 450 linear feet of pavement with two apexes in immediate succession is enough to give anyone butterflies. Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Here’s what makes the hard-left, hard-right combination so spectacular: At the apex to Turn 8 (the lefthander and entry to The Corkscrew), the elevation change is a 12 percent drop. The penalty isn’t as bad since MotoGP came to the track and insisted on expanding the runoff. Step 2 (below): Once past the crest, get the car over to the right, stay hard on the brakes, and downshift to the proper gear. Step 1 (below): The Corkscrew is approached via the uphill Rahal straight, which is actually about as straight as Perez Hilton. The difference between a good circuit and one that would make you want to write back home about usually comes down to one factor, elevation. As you move on to turn 5, it's important to make sure to carry momentum as this begins the uphill portion of the course. The turn in at 9 is also blind, so be mindful not to turn the wheel too quickly. It's as if the earth disappears after the first apex in turn 8, catapulting the motorist into a hair raising 18-percent drop. Located a stones throw away from the track, the range provides a safe shooting environment with well trained professional staff ready to guide and instruct. The corner exit is relatively easy, although many a racer has carried a bit too much speed through the right-hander, gone off into the dirt on the outside, and invariably looped back across the track into the inside wall. Since 1975 they have provided a world class education in the art of motorsports, with graduates including names like Juan Pablo Montoya, Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti. Address:WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, 1021 Monterey-Salinas Highway, Salinas, CA 93908 USA PH:+1 831 242 8201 Circuit type:Permanent road course Website: Then, continue straight along the right side of 7 as you prepare for the Corkscrew. The official record remains 1'07.722, set by Helio Castroneves when he qualified for the 2000 Honda CART Honda Grand Prix of Monterey. Some master this iconic turn by feeling their way, while others look for the clump of trees and aim for the third one over to effectively get through. 1965 – A young, almost unknown Jackie Stewart makes his U.S. debut at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca driving in the USRRC in a factory Lotus Cortina and finished 13th overall. The title of fastest lap at Laguna Seca currently goes to Sébastien Bourdais, who set … A dry lake bed tucked away in the hills of Monterey County was suddenly populated by 35,000 eager spectators and 100 adrenaline-filled entries. Just past the first apex, the earth disappears, with an 18-percent drop in elevation, roller coaster–style. The earliest development of the local area occurred in 1867 with the founding of the nearby Laguna Seca Ranch, which has operated continuously for 140 years with grazing and equestrian uses. Steve McQueen was entered in a Formula Junior race until his Cooper had serious engine problems and he could not start the race. The success of the inaugural race weekend forever sealed the track's legendary status as one of the world's premier tracks. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at, Going Nowhere, But Keeping My Options Open, What It's Like to Drive the Planters Nutmobile. Phew, you made it! Unfortunately, in April 1956 Ernie McAfee barreled off the road in his Ferrari 121 LM, fatally hitting a tree. Changes include the addition of the entire infield area in 1988 (present day turns 3, 4 and 5, eliminating the straight that started at present day Turn 2 and ended at present day Turn 5) extending the track from its original 1.9-mile length to its current 2.238-mile length, plus the relocation of pedestrian bridges and embankments, and the expansion of gravel pits for additional runoff. Let's take a look at 10 hidden details behind the Laguna Seca Raceway. This year also marks the first time that the Rolex Grand–Am Sports Car Championships is at the track. SCRAMP volunteers raised a whopping $125,000 to build the track and construction began shortly after the first week of September in 1957. It is very similar to Zanardi’s pass. RELATED: 10 Awesome Race Tracks You'll Only Find In New York. 1989 – Wayne Rainey won from pole in his first of three USGP wins in a row for him at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Even the humblest club racer learned from the Zanardi pass and knows that this part of the corner is a “throwaway” in racing lingo. 2005 – MotoGP returns to Mazda Raceway with American Nicky Hayden winning the race and then taking is father around the track on the back of his bike.

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