The Corkscrew. If you’re a racing fan, you know that I’m talking about turn 8 and 8A at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (or in race fan shorthand, simply “Laguna Seca.”) This is one of the most famous turns at one of the most famous tracks in the world. In 1999 Polyphony released Gran Turismo 2 on the heels of the wildly popular Grand Turismo for the Sony Playstation and ushered in a whole new generation of Laguna Seca devotees including yours truly. I’ve logged countless hours of my life from undergrad to just before my daughter was born digitally racing around Laguna Seca within the Gran Turismo universe. Thanks to Allen Berg’s gracious invitation to attend his racing school I was able to experience the Corkscrew in our universe.
One of my favorite past-times is attending racing schools. Eventually I’d like my to work my way up to some form of grassroots racing but a) I know my current career and family commitments preclude me from investing the time or financial resources it takes to run a season of anything except my favorite Netflix show, and b) I actually am perfectly happy with the intellectual and physical challenge of learning race craft and applying it in an educational setting. Thanks to semi-annual treks to drive formula cars at Bondurant and a chance to pilot a Radical at Spring Mountain I knew enough to put down “return your race car exactly as you gave it to me” as my number one goal on Berg’s pre-class questionnaire. This was not false humility. 2.2 miles, 11 turns, and more ups and downs than an emo teenager…it’s Laguna-freeking-Seca people!