Originally Posted by nigelt
If I have a car that runs at stockish db levels, then there is no value to me though right? It's just like finding a hotel in NYC durning a conference?
Is there any inherent value in driving the track at Laguna seca?
"inherent"? No. What you get out of it depends on what you personally value.
As far as track layout goes, IMHO Laguna is the least interesting of the three (or four or possibly five, depending on how you count the new track at Thunderhill) local tracks. The corners are all separated by long-enough straights that they don't really link together. The corkscrew is neat the first dozen or two times you go through it, then it becomes just another corner. I'm told those straights make it a very interesting track to *race* on, because of the passing opportunities that they create, but I've never raced there.
So why go to Laguna? Well, here are a few reasons, only you can decide if they're valuable enough to you. I'll compare it to Thunderhill -- I've never been to Buttonwillow, so I have no personal experience with it.
- If you live in the south bay, Laguna is close enough to drive down in the morning, vs requiring a hotel like Thunderhill does. This means you don't pay for a hotel room, and you burn less gas getting there/back, and that partially offsets the increased cost of running there.
- Laguna is a pro track, so you can drive the same track that you watch pro cars drive on TV. It's also historic and famous, which may either be really valuable to you, or completely worthless.
- Laguna is in Monterey, which means there are much nicer non-track facilities around. Tarpy's Roadhouse beats the pants off Casa Ramos as a place to have dinner before/after a track day, I'll say that. Hotels are nicer if you're staying in them, and Monterey has a lot of interesting things for other people in your party to go and do while you're at the track. Willows not so much.
- The Miatas @ MRLS event specifically is a great Miata day. Mazda is there, lots of big Miata aftermarket vendors are there and you'll see a lot of really tricked out cars. Rides in FM's Exocet and Keith's Targa Miata, etc. Obviously this only applies to the Miatas @ MRLS event and not to other random Laguna days.
- The weather in Monterey is usually nicer than that in Willows, especially in the summer half of the year.
- Finally, Laguna is another track with its own line and other tricks. It's always fun to drive a new-to-you track, so if you've already driven the other local ones then an event at Laguna is useful in that regard.