la­guna seca

The world’s best cir­cuit? Here’s how it is to drive at

Car India - - FIRTS DRIVE -

Rainey and Turn 10

You lose an­other 109 feet of el­e­va­tion in the next fourthgear left, Rainey, where the cir­cuit sheds cam­ber as it tight­ens and your car feels as if it’s be­ing pulled to the out­side wall. A fast, banked right is next, in fourth, the track seem­ing to catch the car as you bend in the wheel.

Turn 11

Tight left pre­cedes start-fin­ish straight, with a wall right up against the apex curb­ing. Even pro­to­types crawl here, rarely do­ing more than 50 mph (80 km/h) ― so slow it feels like you’re walk­ing. Pa­tience helps here, as it does with La­guna gen­er­ally.

Start and Turn One

Turn One doesn’t get a name but no one who’s been through it in anger will ever for­get it. Porsche 935s hit 140 mph (225 km/h) through La­guna’s first and fastest cor­ner, an up­hill/down­hill left. In Smith’s hands the CSL nudges 120 mph (193 km/h).

Turn Two, An­dretti

A mon­strous brak­ing zone fol­lows Turn One, one that’s worth get­ting right, then it’s into the sec­ond-gear left hair­pin, An­dretti. Best ne­go­ti­ated with a late apex since it tight­ens a lit­tle to­wards the exit.

Turns Three, Four, Five, and Six

Two fast, flat and fea­ture­less rights, their dusty run-offs hemmed by close fence, then two climb­ing lefts. The last of these has a deep apex dip and an off-cam­ber exit; one slams your lungs into your stom­ach, the other nudges them back to­wards your in­ner ear.

Ra­hal Straight

The tar­mac blis­ters up this long climb, dis­ap­pear­ing into sky, a panorama of hills stretch­ing out to your right. The peak of­fers a brief view of the ocean, usu­ally at the crest of fourth gear, and then you roll off the brakes and into the Corkscrew.

Turn Eight, The Corkscrew

Third gear in the CSL if you get a good run, sec­ond if you’re stuck in traf­fic. The Corkscrew is bor­dered by tall oaks, so go­ing in is like fling­ing the car into a whirl­wind of trees: 59 feet of el­e­va­tion dumped in a heart­beat.

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