The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, operated by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula, is used for both auto racing and motorcycle racing. Close to both Salinas and Monterey it was originally constructed in 1957. It is an 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course, known for its famous “Corkscrew” turn, a one-of-a-kind turn in motor sports, with an elevation change equivalent to five-and-a- half stories. The name Laguna Seca means "dry lake" in Spanish. The course was originally built around a lake, which has since dried up and been replaced by an artificial pond.
A highlight, during the annual classic car week, is the Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance. It is a tradition that reaches back over half a century, where 200 of the best collector cars in the world are gathered on the legendary 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links to compete, based on their style, technical merit and historical accuracy. A 1928 Mercedes-Benz 608S Saoutchik Torpedo won the Best of Show honor for 2012. Entrants come from 33 states and 15 countries to participate in the week- long events held throughout Monterey County. The stunning classic and antique automobiles are also showcased on the streets and parks, and at the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca.
This year’s Laguna Seca race was dedicated to automotive celebrity, the late Carroll Shelby (January 11, 1923 – May 10, 2012), who was an esteemed American automotive designer, racing driver and entrepreneur. He was best known for his design of Mustang Cobras.
by Mel Fenson