Similarly, it’s the first complete repave since 2007 for the 2.238-mile, 11-turn WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which opened on California’s Monterey Peninsula in 1957.
Not only is the WeatherTech Raceway surface getting some care, but the overall facility is receiving updates, too. The famous 50-year-old walkover bridge crossing the start-finish line was removed last week to “kick off” the project and will be replaced by a modern structure better facilitating the varied traffic the iconic venue sees.
“All these projects will benefit the racer and the fan,’’ track president and general manager John Narigi said. “We are very excited as it is a commitment to the future of WeatherTech Raceway and Laguna Seca.’’
The WeatherTech Raceway repaving project will start after the new year, with the goal of unveiling the new look in time for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend, the Motul Course De Monterey from May 12-14.
The work at Road America is already done – amazingly completed in a month’s time from removal of the old surface (requiring 800 dump truck loads totaling more than 8.5 tons of the old surface) on Oct. 3 to the ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 3 commemorating the project’s conclusion.
The storied facility has already received a thumbs-up on the improvements from a veteran IMSA driver.
“Road America is one of the best tracks to race at, period,’’ Andy Lally said. “So, if there’s a little grip, a lot of grip, rain or dry, it’s set up and laid out as one of the best tracks on this planet to actually have a really good battle. I’ve driven there in prototypes, GT cars, NASCAR, touring cars, just about everything, and it’s never not an exciting race. So, looking forward to that.
“When you get four miles of new asphalt, it’s certainly going to be quick and there will absolutely be more track records there. And hearing from a couple people who have looked at the asphalt in Wisconsin, they’ve done a really nice job. … When the LMDh cars go there, I think we’re going to see some pretty amazing lap times.’’
Ewert said Road America listened to driver and fan feedback to keep the track’s same nuances.
“The most fascinating thing we had feedback-wise from competitors and fans was ‘don’t change it,’ so we made sure and put it back exactly the way they found it,’’ he said.