If you’re reading this article, then chances are motorsports means quite a lot to you. As enthusiasts—be it cars, motorcycles, and all other powersports—motorsports sits at the core of our passions. As such, we love our race tracks, and it breaks our hearts as more and more tracks are forced to close their doors due to increasing noise complaints and other issues by nearby residents.

This is an issue that’s been plaguing one of the most iconic racing circuits in the world, the Laguna Seca Raceway. In a previous article, we talked about how Laguna Seca was being sued for, well, being a race track. Highway 68 Coalition, the party suing the race track, cites nuisances for local residents during race weekends and track days, which supposedly disrupt the peace and quiet of their community.

Unsurprisingly, this caused quite a frenzy, and quite a few folks decided to dig deeper.

Laguna Seca Being Sued For Increased Activity, Excessive Noise

Laguna Seca Being Sued For Increased Activity, Excessive Noise

Donut’s Investigation

Donut Media, for example, recently uploaded a video to YouTube bringing forth some very interesting insight. In the video, Jeremiah Burton, Donut’s resident motorcycle junkie, headed over to Laguna Seca during a track day to see just what nearby residents were going through.

The findings? Well, let’s just say that noise readings in these neighborhoods coming from the race track were hardly any louder than a normal conversation.

Jerry even went as far as interviewing residents in a nearby neighborhood. All the accounts shown in the video either said they weren’t at all bothered by the sounds coming from the track, or even better still, hardly even noticed the noise at all.

For the record, it’s important to note that Laguna Seca opened its doors way back in 1957—long before any residents built their homes in the area. This is where Donut makes a very important point. Big developments indeed affect the peace and order of cities and residential areas, especially when they’re constructed in crowded, densely populated areas. However, the area surrounding Laguna Seca is NOT densely populated, and even more importantly, the race track was around long before any of these neighborhoods.

I mean seriously, if you’re gonna build a house near a race track, it’s common sense that you’ll be hearing some noise—or should I say, music—from the engines of cars and bikes using the facility.

This leads us to the question: Who even is the Highway 68 Coalition?

As you can probably tell from Donut’s video, the coalition’s identity is very much shrouded in mystery. The video even opens up the possibility that the Highway 68 Coalition could actually just be one person—a spiteful individual with an ax to grind against all things motorsports. Whatever the case may be, the fact is that we may never really know who is—or are—behind the coalition.

Laguna Seca Raceway
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A Glimmer Of Hope

As convoluted as this entire case is, there seems to be a silver lining. A recent development states that a settlement between the Highway 68 Coalition and the Friends of Laguna Seca (FLS), the organization representing the iconic raceway, has been achieved. In the settlement, it was stipulated that the race track’s 2024 schedule would continue uninterrupted, but management would conduct sound impact assessments to make any improvements to the facility if necessary.

While this, indeed, is a victory for Laguna Seca, there’s no denying that our beloved motorsports have been under fire for quite some time now. Recent years have seen the closure of numerous race tracks, off-road parks, and motorsports facilities not just in the US, but all over the world.

Many factors are to blame for this, such as noise issues, but economic factors, such as rapid urbanization and land acquisition, play a major role here as well. It’s just the way things work: if you don’t defend what’s important to you, something or someone will swoop in and take it away from you.

Our racing circuits could use some help, and you and I can do our part in supporting them. Simply participating in occasional track days and making use of the racing facilities provides them with vital revenue to keep the lights open. So think about that the next time you go to the track.

You’re there not only to have an exciting time with your car, motorbike, or whatever it is you race; you’re there to keep the wheels of motorsport turning.

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