First track day of 2012 and there is no better place to go than the Monterey Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. It’s 2.238 miles in length with a 180 feet elevation change. It has eleven turns, including the famous “Corkscrew” at Turns 8 and 8A. The name Laguna Seca is Spanish for “dry lake”. The area where the track is was originally a lake. The course was originally built around the lake, which has since dried up entirely. An artificial pond has since been added.
Unfortunately, on this April morning the weather wasn’t fully cooperating and it was raining in the morning while we were setting up. However, it stopped raining around 9:30am and the track began to dry. Christian D. came up from Los Angeles and my buddy Scott W. went with me and helped out.
Biggest lesson never to be forgotten. Damp track or not, cold tires and taking it easy have to go together. I stayed out the first session because the track was too wet. However, on the second session I went out. The track was a bit damp but it wasn’t too bad. On the third lap I got too comfortable and the tires were still very cold and I lost the rear in turn 8a, exiting the corkscrew.
From reviewing the video it sounds like it was a lot of little things that all added up. Turn 8 is the left hand drop off into the corkscrew. Turn 8a is the right hand out of the corkscrew and has less of a decline which loaded the suspension. Add to that a pretty hard lean angle and a little throttle and that spells disaster.