During the Rolex series practice sessions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the author had the opportunity to check out the entire track from the ground view.
After taking the long stroll around the 2.238 mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course, I was amazed at the difference between the Daytona Prototypes and the earlier prototypes that ran here in May. The difference, I did notice a difference on how the DPs "hugged" the track.
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing’s Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney know the track very well and were available to add their comments from the "racers" viewpoint.
Entering and exiting turn 2 looked like the Daytona Prototypes were smooth under breaking, entering and exiting like on rails, setting up well for the turn 3 apex. The prototypes looked stable thru turn 4, with very little drift and carried their speed into turn 5.
It seemed to take a few laps to get the line through to carry speed on to Rahal Straight and into the famous Corkscrew.
Gurney said, "I think Turns 4, 5, 6 and 9 all have their own personality and are very tricky. I feel like I’ve studied those corners endlessly but still feel that there's always more you can get from them!”
The Corkscrew is where the prototypes really looked like they were very stable entering and exiting looking glued to the ground while proceeding downhill carrying good speed to Rainey Curve looking very balanced on different pitches.
Corners 10 and 11 posed very little problem allowing the prototypes to run out on the straight away at speed looking very competitive already.
“The entire course can be very difficult if the car is misbehaving. Even with a great car, Turn 6 is challenging. Just a bit too much and you either run off the course or lose all your momentum and time headed up the hill to the Corkscrew,” said Fogarty.