If you’re depressed about the current state of your Laguna Seca laptimes, don’t read any further: Marc Gene has set a new “unofficial” record for the iconic hillside track. How does his time compare to that of mere mortals and/or members of the TTAC crew?
Gene’s flying lap of 1:05.78 in a 2003 Ferrari F1 car narrowly beats Sebastian Bourdais’ 1:05.88 effort, set in a Panoz DP1 five years ago. Laguna Seca is far too tight and narrow to even consider the idea of holding a modern F1 race there, so those of us who follow the sport will have to settle the 2003 Ferrari v. 2012 Williams argument at our garage benches somewhere.
How’s that compare to real cars? Well, during the Skip Barber Media Challenge the best times for our lightly-modified Miatas were in the high 1:51 range. According to video data evaluated after the fact, your humble author soft-pedaled a Boss 302 Laguna Seca edition around the track in 1:43.1. Ford claims to have snuck that same car just under the 1:40 mark in private testing. Dodge’s Viper “1:33 Edition” ACR is supposedly the fastest dead-stock car money can buy around the course, running a — you guessed it! — 1:33. Take away the license plates, and you will find that the Audi R10 is the fastest closed-wheel car to run the course, recording a low 1:08.
If you want to experience Laguna Seca yourself, but you don’t have any of the above machinery and you aren’t keen on the idea of rolling your Prius down the Corkscrew, one great alternative is to try the Twlight Rides. Ten bucks a head, and from what I’ve heard, most people feel they’ve gotten their money’s worth on about the third lap!