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Laguna Seca getting resurfaced

 
Old 07-09-2019, 10:49 PM
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bkovac
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Default Laguna Seca getting resurfaced

Was speaking to LS today about next years available club racing dates, they mentioned the track is closed the month of October 2020 due to a complete track resurfacing.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:07 PM
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What effect does this have on the line, lap times, folks learning how to drive the new track? Or does this happen all the time and is no big deal?
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by murphyslaw1978 View Post
What effect does this have on the line, lap times, folks learning how to drive the new track? Or does this happen all the time and is no big deal?
No big deal.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by murphyslaw1978 View Post
What effect does this have on the line, lap times, folks learning how to drive the new track? Or does this happen all the time and is no big deal?
I'd say it will have some effect as it's going to go from a very low grip surface to something higher. Assuming they don't change the camber or other things, which I wouldn't expect, it will not be a major deal, but the track will be faster.
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:58 PM
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Seems like WeatherTech is really pushing their sponsorship, not only with more and better events but track infrastructure improvements as well. Good sign for the future, nothing like $ in the county coffers to help keep the neighbors at bay!
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ProCoach View Post
No big deal.
Is that really possible? Most of the pro drivers always complain about the grainy and low grip surface at Laguna. Indy cars were something like 5 seconds slower during the test in 2019 compared to their times pre 2010 I believe. During the interviews the teams directly correlated the lack of speed to the wear of the surface that exists today compared to the last time it was re-done. Don't mean to contradict, just trying to learn here.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:49 PM
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If I recall correctly, at least one time when this was done (perhaps the last time) there was much more grip and lap times fell. I can check if folks have interest. I know quite a few folks that would have pre- and post data. Thomas Merrill for example, may be able to answer this question on a pretty microscopic level.

It is also possible that curbing changes have historically had an effect on lap time.

In any case, it is nice to hear they are perhaps making improvements.

People in my network out here were involved with "Friends of Laguna Seca" and of course various Porsche owner/racer friends have worked as SCRAMP officials.

It will be interesting to see how the IMSA and Indycar weekends go later this year. They are scheduled very close together.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:02 PM
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How does this track rank in terms of driver favorites? I know my own preference on simulators, itĺs one of my top 10 tracks, maybe top 5.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:12 PM
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I like Sears Point and Thunderhill more than Laguna Seca. It’s a fine track with a great history and I enjoy driving it and racing on it. But both Sears Point and Thunderhill are more fun and offer better racing.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:26 PM
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As a destination for a track driving experience, I like the area. In the olden days, hotels weren't too crazy, and Salinas was an option. In more modern times, it can pay to shop carefully and consider vacation rentals. Lots to see and do in the area when you are not at the track.

Just a terrific area to visit for the entire family.

The track itself is fine for driving and racing, but like Winders I prefer Sears Point and Thunderhill in our general area. Sears Point is very, very special.

It seems prudent to mention:

1. LS has a history of very assertive sound restrictions. In current times, getting DE and/or racing dates with allowed levels above 90 dB is challenging. That is one reason why next weekend's PCA (GGR) Club Race and DE is so special. It is the first time that I can recall (certainly since 1995) that the GGR has had a full weekend like this at Laguna with sound restrictions that are quite favorable. Should be a terrific event.

2. I have participated and several paid spectator events at Laguna Seca. The most recent was RR IV in 2011. Nice crowd, but we felt like we had to have someone watching our trailer/paddock area all of the time because so many folks were there and it seemed prudent. I raced in a few other paid spectator events there between Y2k and ~2005, and the situation was similar, though the crowds were smaller. For me, all of those paid spectator events were super special-- its really cool to form up out back near the corkscrew, and see so many flashbulbs going off. Turn 4 is also great because you can see the crowd in the stands as you approach what is, in my car, a very modest braking zone. I had a big 360 spin there at an event years ago... came to a stop facing turn 5. I could hear them clapping in the stands. I was happy.

3. Turn 5 area can be a great place to watch cars in braking-- I remember watching the old Porsche GT1 cars there as well as their competitors, for example, Mercedes. Turn 3 is an excellent place to teach trail braking in many types of cars.

4. Here is a link to a video I recently discovered:


Thomas Merrill driving a client's Spec 911 in a PRC race. I was not in that race... not sure whether Winders was racing that day. Merrill grew up very near the track and I am pretty sure was chief Skip Barber instructor there for a while. His parents are long term PCA members... back in the day they'd EACH show up with a truck, trailer and track car.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:36 PM
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Here is a link to a video from the Sunday feature at RR IV... should give you some idea about driving/racing a pcar there:


If you look closely in the form up, you can see my car toward the front. I could not finish the race-- I was running on ~4 cylinders for most of the weekend (cracks in old pistons). Had a major compression loss after the first lap and retired.

You can also see the #52 silver Spec 911... that's Thomas' dad.

That is the day that Dan Weldon died in Vegas... sad day.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:38 PM
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Laguna is a great track to test the consistency of your skill and car setup, Thunderhill is a great track to test and develop your skills, but Sears Point/Sonoma is just wild and AWESOME. Just thinking about a lap there makes my heart rate go up
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:48 PM
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I think a lot can be gained from carefully walking LS that you just can't get from driving it. I'm faster there because of it and I expect new asphalt will change some and add some. You just have to go learn it.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by adi_d View Post
Is that really possible? Most of the pro drivers always complain about the grainy and low grip surface at Laguna. Indy cars were something like 5 seconds slower during the test in 2019 compared to their times pre 2010 I believe. During the interviews the teams directly correlated the lack of speed to the wear of the surface that exists today compared to the last time it was re-done. Don't mean to contradict, just trying to learn here.
The relationship and reaction between the pavement aggregate (stone) and binder (tar/epoxy/hold-together-the-stone agent) and the tires is the key to "grip."

As a track "wears," the projections of the aggregate and the level of the binder relative to the stone change.

The binder gets sucked away (lower) and the aggregate gets polished and worn away, with consequently less cF (coefficient of friction) between the track surface and the tire tread surface.

This wear, at this track, is substantially accelerated by the sand that frequently blows across the surface, making the tire a big sanding pad. Now, we're talking particulate matter here, not anything you can "see" from inside the car.

Also, powerful cars with soft tires do their best to degrade the track surface, so it's quite normal that as the track wears, the cF falls away.

As has been noted by many pro drivers, Ross and I in our detailed examination and explanation of the track in comparison to others throughout North America, WRLS ranks near the bottom for "mechanical grip," traceable to the track surface condition, aggregate and binder (or lack thereof). It's all relative and it happens over a long period of time, so people who run it frequently may not even be aware of the level of degradation. It's the same for all, anyway.

With the repave, the binder agent is likely to be better chemically, which makes it more durable and "stickier" with consequently more surface area for the tire to grip with.

So, the lines, geometry, landmarks at track level, eye level and above should not change unless there is a dimensional change in width and elevation to the track, which would be unusual, base on my experience in the paving and repaving of Road Atlanta, Mid-Ohio (both a long time ago), LCMT, VIR (twice), Summit Point, NJMP, CMP and many others.

That's why I say it is no big deal. You'll drive the track the same, it will just give you SO much MORE! Then, the challenge will be not to drive it like it was before (thinking the grip would give up) but to incrementally increase your speeds, braking capacity and acceleration capacity to MATCH what the track will now deliver!

It's exciting and will be great fun for a lot of folks. You'll love it.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:53 PM
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Here is a race at Laguna this year:


And a test lap at Sears Point:

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