Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekend at the Racetrack!

My goodness, am I sunburned and windburned from this last weekend, but I had a ton of fun at our local racetrack celebrating Ferrari Days!  And have I mentioned that my "local track" is actually Laguna Seca, one of the most technical circuits in the world (and the best track ever, but I'm biased).

He just wanted a picture of the car.
This weekend was to celebrate all things Ferrari, and did they ever show up in style.  The paddock was full of Ferraris that would be racing or doing exhibition laps through out the weekend, and fans brought their cars as well to show off and join in the camaraderie.  I pointed out to my husband that you couldn't leave your junk in the back seat like you could in a normal car, a) because most of them don't have backseats, and b) because 1000 people were looking in your car's windows and oohing and aahing over every knob, lever, and suede interior.  And then declaring "whaaaaaat?!  It's an automatic???!"

This wasn't a weekend of too many races, but what we got was fun.  These guys are so competitive and go all out on the track, and it's not uncommon to see cars making contact, dragging pieces of other cars, and dropping tires over the edge of the track and kicking up dust.  Depending on where you sit you can see a good portion of the track - Laguna Seca is known for its elevation change (there's a 300 ft difference from its lowest point to its highest point).  There are great views everywhere, though of course there are better spots to watch the best passing and creative driving.  Laguna Seca is also home to the world famous Corkscrew - a quick left-right turn that drops 59 feet in elevation in only 450 feet of track.  I've been in a car around the track, and at the top of the Corkscrew you can not see ANY road beyond the hood of your car - it's like driving off a cliff.  It feels like that first drop on a roller coaster and it is SO COOL.  Racing down that hill competitively would be extremely intense.

My absolute favorite part of the weekend was not a race, but the exhibition of old Formula 1 cars that they sent around the track.  Nothing compares to these cars - they are FAST and LOUD.  There is so much power in these machine that you can feel the engine in your chest from 30 feet away, and you can hear exactly where they each are on the track.  The most recent was the 2004 Schumacher Ferrari, going all the way back to a 1972 Ferrari driven by Jacky Ickx.  The change in technology in that time was staggering, and while the late 90s/early 00s models sounded like angry hornets, the 70s model sounded like muscle.  It was so cool, and outshone everything else we saw that weekend.  It really got it set in our mind that we HAVE to see the F1 race when it comes to Texas next year.  A track full of these beasts would be incredible.

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