The track was built in 1957 at a cost of $1.5 million raised from local businesses and individuals on part of the US Army's Fort Ord after the nearby Pebble Beach Road Races were abandoned for being too dangerous. In 1974 the property was deeded over to the Monterey County Parks Department and continues to be part of the park system.
The first race, held on November 9, 1957, was won by Pete Lovely driving a Ferrari. In the intervening years, the track has hosted USRRC, Can-Am, Trans-Am, Formula 5000, IMSA GT, CART, American Le Mans Series, Grand American, Monterey Historic Automobile Races, Speed World Challenge, AMA (American Motorcyclist Association), WSBK Superbike World Championship and MotoGP motorcycle races (but 125/Moto3 and 250/Moto2 are not admitted).
The day-to-day operations of the track, along with the management and promotion of major racing events, are handled by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP), which is a non-profit organization.
The track itself has undergone significant changes over the past two decades to meet evolving safety homologation requirements of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and other sanctioning bodies. Changes include the addition of the entire infield area in 1988 (present day turns 3, 4, and 5, eliminating the straight that started at present day turn 2 and ended at present day turn 5) extending the track from its original 1.9-mile (3.1 km) length to meet the minimum-track-length criteria of the FIM for MotoGP events, plus the more recent relocation of pedestrian bridges and embankments, and the expansion of gravel pits outside turns 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 for additional runoff. The original media center was demolished in 2006 to make way for additional run-off room in Turn 1. Also in 2006, the 'hump' at the top of the Rahal Straight was flattened to accommodate the MotoGP riders, though some claim that this increases the wind effects that can perturb a race motorcycle. Remnants of the old configuration can still be seen from the parking lot between turns two and five. They are found underneath a road leading to the parking area for entrant trailers and RVs.
The "Corkscrew" at Turn 8, with gradient up to 16%
A view of the "Corkscrew" from the bottom The famous Turn 8 and 8A combination, popularly referred to as 'the Corkscrew', is considered one of the motorsport world's most challenging turns, due to the 18-metre drop in elevation as well as its blind crest and apex on the uphill approach.
Turn 2, with its difficult and technical double-apex, has been renamed the 'Andretti Hairpin', in honor of former Formula 1 World Champion Mario Andretti, while Turn 9 has been renamed 'Rainey Curve' in honor of 500cc Grand Prix motorcycle racing World Champion Wayne Rainey, a resident of nearby Salinas, California. Also the straight that runs between Turn 6 and Turn 7 has been renamed the 'Rahal Straight' after four-time consecutive Champ Car race winner Bobby Rahal.
The track is also the site of the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, formerly known as the Monterey Historic Automobile Races. The event features an extraordinarily eclectic mixture of race cars on the course. Each year features a different marque. Considered one of the two greatest historic racing events (along with the Goodwood Festival in England), attendance often rivals, or surpasses the professional racing events listed above.
There are many permanent dry and hook-up camping facilities located at the raceway, which are available year-round as part of the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, the county park in which the racetrack is set.
The track's primary corporate sponsor is WeatherTech which began April 2018. As part of the sponsorship, the track is now officially referred to as WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Previously, the sponsorship belonged to Mazda for 17 years with the track being known as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.Courtesy: Wikipedia.
Track Length: 1957-1963 - Road Course - 1.900 miles / 3.058 km 1964-1967 - Road Course - 1.900 miles / 3.058 km 1968-1985 - Road Course - 1.900 miles / 3.058 km 1986-1987 - Road Course - 1.900 miles / 3.058 km 1988-1989 - Road Course - 2.214 miles / 3.563 km 1990-1995 - Road Course - 2.214 miles / 3.563 km 1996 to date - Road Course - 2.238 miles / 3.602 km
Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca is situated about 10 miles inland from the town of Monterey. It is located alongside Highway 68 and can be reached via Highway 1 on the west or Highway 101 from the east. With Santa Cruz about 50 minutes away and San Jose is just over an hour and away to the north. Monterey Regional Airport is close by offering regular flights to San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver and Las Vegas. The nearest international airports are at San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento.
Being located on the Monterey Peninsula puts us next to more than a handful of convenient airports.