When the second half of the 2023 season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca kicked off with the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (August 16-19), the place had a decidedly fresh new look. Altogether, the County of Monterey has invested approximately $18 million dollars to complete this phase of track renovations.
The most obvious change was to the track itself, freshly repaved over the whole 2.238-miles while at the corners new curbing has been installed and runoff sections have been extended to bring the circuit in line with modern FIA standards.
When the NTT INDYCAR Series returns September 8-10 for the season finale, expect the official lap record to be reset. It has been held by Helio Castroneves since 2000 when he set a time of 1m07.722s in qualifying for that year’s INDYCAR race. Incidentally, the unofficial fastest lap was set by Marc Gene in 2012 during a demonstration run driving a Ferrari F2003-GA F1 car and recording a time of 1m05.786s. Is it possible that even that record could fall during the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey?
“Despite the tremendous weather challenges of near-record rainfall, the project team of Granite Construction; County of Monterey Public Works, Facilities and Parks; and our own facilities department was able to complete the immense project to host MotoAmerica back in July,” said John Narigi, president and general manager of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. “The riders competing all gave it thumbs up after their practice sessions were over and were already nearing previous times.”
The other significant improvement may be less obvious but is no less important. The old wooden pedestrian bridge spanning the front straight that connects the hospitality pavilion and front straight grandstands as well all the parking areas on the west side of the track to the paddock area has been replaced with a modern steel structure. Pedestrian traffic will be greatly improved with the new bridge that is now fully compliant with standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Access on the paddock side will now be available via a staircase or ramp.
The improved access will benefit all the events, especially the forthcoming Porsche Rennsport Reunion 7 (Sept 28-October 1), which will have a bevy of hospitality options and displays located all around the Raceway facility.
“The new Mission Foods Start/Finish bridge is a visual testament from corporate partners and the County of Monterey’s leadership to ensuring the long-term health and well-being of the Laguna Seca Recreation Area,” Narigi added. “The future is brighter than ever.”
If you haven’t made plans yet to attend the final events of 2023 at WeatherTech Raceway, don’t delay as tickets are going fast. Whether you want to watch lap records potentially tumble during the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, or soak in all things Porsche during Rennsport Reunion, the track and venue have all been refreshed for you.
Enjoy it in Style
There’s absolutely nothing wrong planting a lawn chair or throwing down a blanket beneath the shade of a California Oak tree up at The Corkscrew. Some might even say it’s an essential part of the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca experience.
But if you crave something with a bit more elegance and service, consider one of three hospitality options available.
The Champions Club, located in Pit Row Suite 11 is a first-class experience in the heartbeat of the race paddock. Pit Row Suites overlook the front straight with indoor and outdoor seating plus a live broadcast of the on-track racing.
All options include VIP privileges and the very best in food and beverage options.
Learn more at WeatherTechRaceway.com