The static camera looking back at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca’s start/finish line revealed the first of many changes in store for the venerable road course that opened on November 9, 1957, two days prior to its first road race on Nov. 11 (pictured below).
On its anniversary week for the Monterey circuit that sprang to life 65 years ago, Laguna Seca’s aging bridge was razed ahead of the construction for a new and wider bridge that will accommodate more fans heading in and out of the paddock. Along with the new bridge, the 2.2-mile, 11-turn road course will receive a new layer of track surface ahead of the 2023 season.
Fashioned within the hills of property once used by the U.S. Army, the track has become a staple for amateur racers and professional open-wheel, sports car, and motorcycle organizations alike.
“Laguna Seca’s place in history is in line with Monza, Nurburgring, Silverstone and other iconic racetracks in the world,” said Wayne Rainey, three-time 500cc world champion and president of MotoAmerica. “I’ve traveled all over the world racing and motorsport enthusiasts everywhere know Laguna Seca and the Corkscrew. Laguna Seca is a place where all the greats have raced and for me it sits at the top of the list. I won national championship events at Laguna and my three Grand Prix victories there played an important role in winning my world championships. Now, with MotoAmerica, we’re continuing to work closely with the racetrack so our riders, teams, and fans can continue to enjoy the facility and the racetrack as part of our championship.”
Owned by the County of Monterey and run by its chosen track management firm, A&D Narigi, LLC, the park, which doubles as a popular camping destination, will continue to undergo a long-needed modernization process where more than $10 million will be invested in upgrades.
“WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca truly is a jewel in the crown of the many amazing amenities offered on our beautiful Monterey Peninsula,” said Monterey Board of Supervisors Chair Mary L. Adams. “Like many local residents, I have enjoyed the thrill of championship racing as well as other entertainment provided at Laguna Seca throughout the years. The span of seeing both the Pope and the Grateful Dead sort of explains it all… We are proud of the improvements we are making at the track and know visitors will be delighted. We always welcome people to our area and love sharing the rich heritage of Laguna Seca with them. Come enjoy some time in Monterey County.”