Mazda Raceway Laguna Raceway. First established in 1957, it is now host to many famous races such as the American Le Mans Monterey, MotoGP, Ferrari Racing Days, and various “Reunion” events, the most recent being the Rennsport Reunion. I’m sure many of you are familiar with this track and have either raced on it in various video games such as Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo, or have been fortunate enough to race on the track in real life. Needless to say, the video game version cannot compare with the rush of being on the real track. I was merely a passenger while going around the track three times, but it was a pleasure each and every time.
The days leading up to this event were one of the most exciting and tiring days of work ever. Shaikh, Paul, and I worked on “Senna,” the ’95 Merlot Miata belonging to Shaikh. We literally spent Thursday and Friday of last week pumping out hours of work to prepare the car for the event. To put it in perspective, I worked from Thursday afternoon to Friday morning (4am) and from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning (5am). On the same Saturday morning, I woke up at 745am in order to get to Laguna Seca by 10am. I picked up my friend Joseph at 830am and we were on our way. The best part of the trip was that on the way up there, it was literally pouring and it was getting hard to see the road. In addition, we got lost because the GPS lead us to the physical address of the place, but where we ended up was not an entrance, but a wall. -__-
I decided it was too difficult to navigate the roads blind and lost (duh), so we pulled over into some random parking lot and waited out the rain…for 30 minutes. Fun. Afterwards, the rain finally died down and after adjusting the destination, we were on our way again. We soon ended up at the Laguna entrance (finally), and made our way towards the track. Upon laying our eyes on the track for the first time in our lives, we were blown back. Aside from the general assembly and the speeding Miatas making their way around the course, the general size of the track itself was amazing. Yes it was my first time being on the track, but I didn’t think it would have impacted me the way it did. The only experience I had with Laguna Seca was by playing Forza. The real track is grossly misrepresented in-game.
We cautiously made our way to a parking spot and parked. We got out of the car and as soon as we got to the paddock area, we surprisingly found Shaikh making his way towards the Fat Cat Motorsports garage. We chatted a bit and talked about how his day was going. I asked him right off the bat if I could get a ride and he told me I could after other people did. Apparently, his 12-point Blackbird Fabworx roll cage caused quite a stir and many people were begging to get rides with him. Soon after our talk was over, Joseph and I decided it was time to head to the track to grab a few pictures before lunch.