Monterey is a community with a rich history connected to automobiles. Off Highway 68 in Salinas, situated near both Monterey and Carmel Valley, sits the Laguna Seca Raceway. This 2.2 mile track, with 11 turns and a 180 foot elevation change, was built in 1957. Laguna Seca has changed and evolved significantly since its first race. Today, the track hosts races for motorcycles, Formula One, Indycars, superkarts and sports cars throughout the year. Events include the World Superbike Championships, Monterey Sports Car Championships and the Monterey Historics race for classic cars. Marc Gené of Spain used a Ferrari F2003 to complete the outright lap record, with a time of 1:05.786 on March 12th, 2012.
One unique event to Monterey, that you may not expect to take place at a racetrack originally built for cars, is the Sea Otter Classic. This event in April, that began in 1993, is hosted as a celebration of cycling. It is now the largest cycling festival in the United States. This event has over 10,000 participants and exceeds 100,000 spectators annually. Mountain bikes, short track bikes, downhill, cross country and dual slalom bicycles all have their own separate races. The four day festivities include bike trick shows, demos, international food tents and entertainment for the whole family. Outside of the Sea Otter Classic, throughout the year, there are times that bicycles are allowed onto the course for up to 2 hours for a $10 charge.
Not just a one trick pony, Laguna Seca also doubles as a concert venue. Famous acts such as the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, The Allman Brothers, Phish and Blues Travelers have performed at Laguna Seca. The Grateful Dead actually filmed their music video for Touch of Grey there. Residents in the surrounding neighborhoods in Salinas, Monterey and Carmel Valley can hear the roaring sounds of the track and drifting music echoing through the hills and valleys. Whether you’re a race enthusiast, cyclist or fan of music, Laguna Seca Raceway is a unique venue located in Monterey to keep on your radar!