Few racing circuits in the world are as legendary as Laguna Seca. Now officially known as the WeatherTech Raceway, Laguna Seca was home to some of the most epic racing battles in history—for both two and four-wheelers alike. Most notable would probably be the legendary battle between Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi in the 2008 MotoGP, which saw the Italian overtake the Australian in the middle of the Corkscrew.
Behind all the epic racing battles this circuit has been home to over the decades, as is the case with all things in life, Laguna Seca, too, has begun to fall apart. The hands of time have not been too kind to the famed raceway's tarmac, and spectator amenities have begun to fall into disrepair. After all, the track has not received a refresh since 2007. Thankfully, this could all be about to change very soon, as the Laguna Seca management has secured initial funding for the revitalization of the circuit's facilities.
First on the list of repairs would be the replacement of the crumbling bridge spanning the start/finish line. This bridge provides entrance and exit for attendees and spectators alike, and has fallen into disrepair, posing a potential hazard for both participants and spectators alike. In fact, it has reached the point that Porsche stated that it wouldn't return to the California circuit in 2023 unless the bridge is replaced, or at the very least, restored to its original condition. As such, the new bridge, estimated to cost around $4.8 million, would be the first order of business.
Once the new bridge is in place, the next big job would be the resurfacing of the race track itself. Similar to COTA, Laguna Seca's ageing surface has resulted in cracks, bumps, and numerous imperfections that could severely impede the dynamics, and not to mention the safety, of a race. As mentioned, the last time the circuit received a new layer of tarmac was way back in 2007. Suffice it to say that it's in dire need of a refresh. The resurfacing won't come cheap, though, as it's expected to fetch a tidy $5 million, bumping the total cost of initial repairs close to $10 million.
In the coming years, Laguna Seca management also plans to restore and modernize all the amenities of the racing circuit. This includes the spectator grandstands, paddocks and pit lane, and all other common areas of the facility. The total cost is expected to be close to the $66 million mark.
Now, before actual work on the modernization of Laguna Seca takes place, the managemet has a number of hurdles to overcome first. A variety of studies pertaining to environmental impact, as well as approvals for the demolition and construction of various structures must first be obtained. Given all this, we certainly hope that the improvements to Laguna Seca come sooner than later. Fingers crossed.