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The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a 2.238 mile (3.602 kilometer) paved road race track located near Monterey, CA, USA. Built in 1957, it is notable for its famous "Corkscrew" at turns 8 and 8A that includes a 300 foot (91 meter) change in elevation. The combination turn is considered one of the most challenging in the motorsport world due to the downhill elevation change and its uphill approach which hides the crest of the hill and apex of the turn.
Other sections of the track have also been given nicknames as well. Turn 2, notable for its difficult and technical double-apex, has been renamed the 'Andretti Hairpin', in honor of former Formula 1 World Champion Mario Andretti, while Turn 9 was renamed 'Rainey Curve' in honor of 500cc Grand Prix motorcycle racing World Champion, Wayne Rainey. The straight that runs between Turn 6 and Turn 7 has also been dubbed the 'Rahal Straight' after four-time consecutive Champ Car race winner Bobby Rahal.
The first race was held on November 9, 1957 and won by Pete Lovely. Since it's inception, the Laguna Seca has hosted USRRC, Can Am, Trans-Am, Formula 5000, IMSA GT, Champ Car, American Le Mans Series, Grand America, Monterey Historic Automobile Races, Speed World Challenge, American Motorcyclist Association, WSBK Superbike World Championship and MotoGP motorcycle races. Each year, major events include the U.S. Sports Car Invitational, Monterey Sports Car Championships featuring a four-hour endurance race for the ALMS, Monterey Historics for classic racecars, the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix for both the MotoGP World Championship and the U.S. AMA Superbike Series, and the AI Grand Prix.
The official track record for the course at its present configuration is 1 minute, 7.722 seconds, set in 2000 by Helio Castroneves while driving a Honda/Reynard. Unofficially, the lap record stands at 1 minute, 5.880 seconds, set on March 10, 2007 by Sébastien Bourdais in a Panoz DP01 Champ Car.