Nestled off the central coast of California, just outside of the beautiful town of Monterey, stands a gem in the world of road racing,
Laguna Seca (er, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca).
Laguna Seca is one of the more famous, if not the most famous, race tracks in these United States. It’s most infamous feature? Turns 8 and 8a, otherwise know as the “corkscrew” – for it’s sudden blind left turn / right turn, and nearly 6-story vertical drop off. Very technical, very fast, very crazy.
Hosting many types of events since construction in 1957. From Can-Am, Trans-Am, Formula 5000, Champ Car, Grand-Am, MotoGP, Pirelli World Challenge, various historic races, and least I forget, American Le Mans Series. Which is what brought Daily Derbi to Laguna Seca, the last west coast appearance of this 2012 ALMS season.
If you don’t know, ALMS is multi-class racing. Five classes (P1, P2, PC, GT, GTC) of cars all racing at once. Racing for class leader, racing for an overall win, and racing for an automatic entry into next year’s 24 hours of Le Mans. Consequently, this makes for some very exciting racing, especially in GT Class.
This third stop of ALMS season was interesting for a few reasons. The last time we’ll see a factory works team of Aston Martin in their beautiful V8 Vantage on our shores. The introduction of Dempsey Racing in P2 – yes, THAT Patrick Dempsey (now my girlfriend REALLY likes racing). And the last major “shake down” before everyone runs off to France for the 2012 24 hours of Le Mans in June.
So, if you missed the six hour race, click through the BIG photo gallery (warning – spoilers) and you can still catch the replay through various ways on ALMS.com. And if you get a chance to go to Laguna Seca – either for ALMS in 2013 or Grand-Am later this year – GO! Words and can not fully describe what it’s like to be at one of Americas finest and famous race tracks. I’ll say it again, GO!
I would also like to thank the fine folks at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for all their help over the week. Much appreciated!
[Mike Gillilan | Photos: Mike Gillilan]