A cradle of adventure nestled in the valley of Monterey, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is the epicenter of motorsports in California, USA.
Built in 1957 and operated by the nonprofit organization SCRAMP, the road track itself is 2.238miles, with total elevation change about 6 stories high. For drivers/riders, it teaches a lesson of not to take the drive for granted, for spectators it is the most action packed track that lives up to the hype. Oh, and for some video gamers, this is a once in a life time must visit “Holy Motorsport Jerusalem.”
Every track has a different personality, shaped by the turns on the track with nicknames. Turn 2 is known as “Andretti Hairpin” after the former Fomula One Champion Mario Andretti. Turn 9 is known as the “Rainey Curve” after the 500cc Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing Champion Wayne Rainey, and the infamous turn 8 & 8a is known as the “Corkscrew.”
Some of the popular events hosted by the track are: U.S. Red Bull Grand Prix, American Le Mans (“green racing”), and Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Many car clubs like Lexus and Porsche clubs also rent the track from time to time for some quality track days with their buddies. Mazda, the major sponsor of the track, also have their annual employee track days here
(Eeek, I am jealous!). During major events there are lots of food vendors, contests, exhibits, autograph sessions, and pre-event activities like music concert on site.
Back to Monterey, the area is filled with high-end golf courses, lots of sand (literally you will see pills on the side of the highway coming in), luxury beach side hotels, and restaurants. Monterey is a great place for weekend getaways and road trips as travelers can drive around visiting different scenic spots.
So how did we survive the trip to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Monterey as students? We shall began our journey in the next post! (Lots of value motels, good food, and fun places will be revealed one by one)
Ways to Visit Monterey:
1. Airplane: Monterey Regional Airport can be accessed by direct flights from other parts of USA. Here is an example of departing points/destinations that have airplanes coming to Monterey.
SFO – San Francisco, CA (United Airlines)
LAX – Los Angeles, CA (American Eagle/United Express)
PHX – Phoenix, AZ (US Airways)
DEN – Denver, CO (United Express)
LAS – Las Vegas, NV (Allegiant Air)
SAN – San Diego (Alaska Airlines) – beginning June 4th!
2. Train: Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train runs from Seattle to Los Angeles stops at Salinas, the county right by Monterey, along the way. Ticket prices may vary depending on which station you embark from. Free bus service from Salinas station to Monterey is available.
3. Bus: Greyhound Bus have services from San Francisco to Salinas. Once arrived at Salinas station, there are connecting service to Monterey.
4. Car: Personally I recommend driving to Monterey. Having a car allows freedom to visit more off path places in the city.
For more information, check out this website I like to visit for ideas: See Monterey