Weekend Preview: Continental Monterey Grand Prix
If you like cars, No, take that back, if you love cars, then you may want to head down to Monterey this weekend. We predict that by the time its all done you will have to skip work on Monday to recuperate.
This weekend the Monterey Peninsula will rumble to life as the WeatherTech United Sports Car Championship (USCC) comes to Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca for the Continental Monterey Grand Prix, powered by Mazda. The USCC is in its third year, arriving via a merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Rolex Sports Car Series. Prior to the merger these series provided some of the closest and most competitive racing in North America and after the merger it has only improved with time.
In previous years we witnessed, first hand, some of the best racing on the planet around our favorite 2.2 mile circuit. The circuit also provides fans with up close views of almost every corner of the track and no trip is complete without a hike up to the Cork Screw, the site of some of racing's greatest passes and worst miscalculations.
The USCC features many of the most iconic brands in motorsports from Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette and Ford. This year will have more drama that usual as Laguna Seca will be a further testing ground for Ford's return to LeMans. Ford's effort, led by Chip Ganassi Racing, includes top level drivers Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Dirk Müller and Sacramento's own, Joey Hand. With three races already in the books the Ford GT program has suffered from some gremlins, but in spite of that, we expect to see a large contingent of supporters and Ford GT owners.
With multiple classes on track at the same time, you can expect non-stop track action from start to finish. We also want to point out that unlike some racing series, admission to the paddock is included with your ticket (except Thursday access is $20) so you can drool all over your favorite race car and watch the teams prep and stage for the race and qualifying.
The Monterey Grand Prix weekend will also include the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and IMSA's Continental Tire Series