All kinds of race cars are fascinating to watch making their way through Laguna Seca, but nothing is quite like those of the formula car variety. Namely a modern IndyCar.
Laguna Seca is legendary. It’s been a world-renowned racetrack since 1957, with all forms of motorsport having a chance to duke it out between its eclectic mix of corners and elevation changes. Especially the Corkscrew; it’s a tight, down-hill left-to-right hander that drops five stories.
The Corkscrew has been the site of many nail-biting moments in motorsport. One wild move took place during IndyCar’s CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) days, way back in the mid-’90s. At the near-end of 1996’s event, Alex Zanardi out-braked Bryan Herta here to grab P1 on the final lap, and took the win not many seconds later. This moment in history is known to IndyCar fans, and a lot of motorsport enthusiasts, as The Pass.
For the longest time, Laguna Seca was one of the most hotly-anticipated stops on the IndyCar calendar. Its first visit was in 1983, and brought out spectators from all over the world in droves. Those who were behind the wheel at this race were Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Unser, Rick Mears, and more. Legendary names, to say the least.
Man, it was another era for sure, too. Back when the best liveries belonged to tobacco companies, and the thought of any frontal impact created the biggest of winces.
IndyCar took a long hiatus from the Laguna Seca after the 2004 season, returning in 2019. Evil COVID messed everything up for 2020, but luckily it’s back on the schedule. A nice preview of what this year’s installment will be like, is some onboard footage of Romain Grosjean during a test session a few weeks ago. That’s right, that Grosjean; it’s good to see him recovered and back in the cockpit.
2021 is the first time the new Indy Aeroscreen Era cars will be seen between the curbs at Monterey, I can’t wait to watch it. I think Car Autance needs figure out a way to pay a visit and create some fun tech content, too.
Check out the footage of Grosjean on track! The edit is great, and his point-of-view is a testament to how tough these cars are to drive. Even in our modern era of advanced race car traction control and aero, it still takes a ton of work to hustle through any track at speed.