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Old 04-27-2015, 10:03 PM   #1
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Default $500 to drive at Laguna Seca in June. Worth it?

Okay, someone edumacate me. Buttonwillow = $150/day. Laguna Seca = $489/day. Is one day at Laguna Seca better than 3 days at Buttonwillow?
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:04 PM   #2
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nope
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:17 PM   #3
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Jeeze that's worse than Lime Rock Park

$350 for half day

other CT track (Thompson) $300 for full day
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:23 PM   #4
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You can find track days/HPDE events for a lot less than that.

Check out NCRC or even Hooked on Driving for more reasonably priced events at Laguna.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:40 PM   #5
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Answer is that it totally depends on the db level. Days with a db limit above 92 are almost impossible to get (note that Miatas @ MRLS is an exception to this, thanks to Mazda and their title sponsorship). There was a 100 db day last fall that popped up at the last minute (someone cancelled, I think) and it went for over $600/car.

So yeah, Trackmasters has a 92 db day in June for $275, HoD has a couple in May for $300-ish each (not sure what db those are -- probably 90).

COTA is the really expensive track, something like $800+ per day.

The other thing to check when comparing track days is the amount of time you get and the number of cars on track. Some groups run 5 run groups, some with a larger number of cars on track (thus more traffic) to reduce the cost per-car. Conversely, I've been to events at Thunderhill that were $300 per day, but there were no run groups, so I could run whenever I wanted.

--Ian
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:55 PM   #6
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Miatas at MRLS is like 250 a day.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidandj View Post
Miatas at MRLS is like 250 a day.
And completely sold out...
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:13 AM   #8
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It's also subsidized by Mazda. Maybe not explicitly in terms of cash input, but Mazda is providing the 100+ db track time that would otherwise cost huge amounts of money.

--Ian
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:52 AM   #9
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Only if you take the corkscrew like Zanardi did.
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:13 AM   #10
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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?
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Is there any inherent value in driving the track at Laguna seca?
100% yes. And not just because of the corkscrew either.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelt View Post
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.

--Ian
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:27 AM   #13
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If we're talking about northern California tracks, Sonoma would be my preference.

Not quite the elevation changes that Laguna has, but way more technical that just about anything in California.

Higher DB limits as well.

For the OP, will you be out here in June? Was there something in particular that drew you to Laguna?

And, totally forgot to add it's next to impossible to get instruction at Sonoma now unless you run with NASA or Sim Raceway.

NASA will have an event at Sonoma in June 20/21. For $180/day you'll get four 20 minute sessions with a dedicated in-car instructor for every session. Again, not sure if that interests you since you only mentioned Thunderhill and Laguna, but in the event it does...
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchmoozerJoe View Post
If we're talking about northern California tracks, Sonoma would be my preference. Not quite the elevation changes that Laguna has, but way more technical that just about anything in California. Higher DB limits as well. For the OP, will you be out here in June? Was there something in particular that drew you to Laguna? And, totally forgot to add it's next to impossible to get instruction at Sonoma now unless you run with NASA or Sim Raceway. NASA will have an event at Sonoma in June 20/21. For $180/day you'll get four 20 minute sessions with a dedicated in-car instructor for every session. Again, not sure if that interests you since you only mentioned Thunderhill and Laguna, but in the event it does...
That sounds awesome. I'm looking for a tack day in June, which is why this came up. I'd rather do a track weekend with instruction for the same price though! Plus, Sonoma has many of the same advantages in terms of the attractiveness of the location for the family!
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