THE WORLD’S BEST CIRCUIT? HERE’S HOW IT DRIVES
> RAINEY & TURN 10
You lose another 109ft of elevation in the next fourth-gear left, Rainey, where the circuit sheds camber as it tightens and your car feels like 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 startinish straight, with a wall right up against the apex curbing. Even prototypes crawl here, rarely doing more than 50mph – so slow it feels like you’re walking. Patience helps here, as it does with Laguna generally.
> START & TURN 1
Turn 1 doesn’t get a name but no one who’s been through it in anger will ever forget it. Porsche 935s hit 140mph through Laguna’s irst and fastest corner, an uphill/downhill left. In our man Smith’s hands the CSL nudges 120mph.
> TURN 2, ANDRETTI
A monstrous braking zone follows Turn 1, 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 toward the exit.
> TURN 8, THE CORKSCREW
Third gear in the CSL if you get a good run, second if you’re stuck in traic. The Corkscrew’s bordered by tall oaks so going in is like linging the car into a whirlwind of trees: 59ft of elevation dumped in a heartbeat.
> RAHAL STRAIGHT
The tarmac blisters up this long climb, disappearing into sky, a panorama of hills stretching out to your right. The peak gives a brief view of the ocean, usually at the crest of fourth gear, and then you roll o the brakes and into the Corkscrew.
> TURNS 3, 4, 5 & 6
Two fast, lat and featureless rights, their dusty run-os hemmed by close fence, then two climbing lefts. The last of these has a deep apex dip and an o-camber exit; one slams your lungs into your stomach, the other nudges them back toward your inner ear.