Imagine a race track, about 10 miles off the west coast. Nestled just outside of Monterey, California. Up in the foothills, surrounded by trees and other “outdoorsy” things. Now imagine a 2.238 mile course. A course that has held events dating back to the late 50′s and home to one of the toughest turns in racing. Racing legends such as Stirling Moss, Steve McQueen, Jackie Stewart, Bruce McLaren, Parnelli Jones, Bobby Rahal, have visited it’s twists and turns and spent time navigating the track’s unique features. Sounds like a road racing paradise doesn’t it? Well, I have good news. The place does exist. And it was home to the last American Le Mans Series race on the west coast. I’m talking about Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
For those that don’t know, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has been a bit of a mainstay for west coast racing fans since it’s inception in 1957. Can-Am, Trans-Am, Champ Car, Grand-Am, MotoGP, World Challenge, ALMS, and other series have rumbled across it’s pavement. All have attempted to tame the infamous “corkscrew” – the blind left / right turn with a nearly 6-story drop off.
Now up to the present with a 4 hour endurance race with names like Franchitti, Long, Cosmo, Dempsey, Luhr, Tucker, Milner, and Smith – to name just a few. Cars from Porsche, BMW, SRT, Toyota, Lola, Mazda, Honda, Oreca, Ferrari, Corvette, and DeltaWing. This is what was on tap for this year’s American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca. The last ALMS event at Laguna Seca and the last event on the west coast for ALMS. Yup, the last one ever.
This was the backdrop for this year’s race. A race we captured in pictures and also present the full 4 hour ESPN broadcast from YouTube videos or you can fire up your Xbox 360 and ESPN app. Also included is the top 5 moments.
And for those still wanting to experience Laguna Seca – no matter the event – GO. Very much worth going for upcoming vintage, MotoGP, and Grand-Am racing events. Word and pictures can not adequately describe the beauty that is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
And once again, we would like to thank the staff at Laguna Seca with all their help and support during race weekend. It is appreciated!
Part 1 of the ESPN broadcast:
Part 2 of the ESPN broadcast:
Top 5 2013 ALMS Laguna Seca moments:
[Photos | Mike Gillilan]