“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”– Aristotle
A single soul inhabiting two bodies. A beautiful thought… It reminds of marriage vows… and of racing a motor car.
You probably have a different thought when you think of racing a motor car than I do. But doing it well is especially reflective of a beautiful love affair.
When you’re racing a car, when you’re in the zone, you feel the cars tires as an extension of your own body. The two of you become one and glide fluidly through space, without drama. Everything else disappears and the lap times fall, relentlessly.
At first, it’s just you, and your car. Then, the car becomes you, and it’s just you. It all just happens.
So it is with Laguna Seca Raceway. I think they call it WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca these days. But when we designed and built an incredibly high-tech, forward thinking website for them fifteen years ago, it was Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The track, at the time, was run by SCRAMP: love for motorsport and the cherished circuit inhabiting many bodies. Now, there will always be protagonists and antagonists, but the fact remains: everyone does it because they love racing.
Love: An Interfanatic Quality
We designed and built an incredible website for them. It was incredibly high-tech and advanced for its time. Some thought too advanced. Perhaps a little before its time. But we created Laguna Seca’s site with love.
“Interfanatic created Laguna Seca’s site with love.”
If you don’t know Laguna Seca, let me try to explain it to you.
In the middle of an Army ordinance range, some crazy folks decided to create a racetrack. They ran a ribbon of gray asphalt around a small brown mountain. Then they hurled their bright red, blue, orange, yellow, and silver sporty cars around that ribbon of asphalt. And it became racing. And it was good.
Laguna Seca has a character all its own. If you know what I’m talking about, skip ahead. There are only so many descriptions of the corkscrew a real racer can take. But if you don’t…
After coaxing your beast up the back of the hill, it reaches the top, breathless. It’s time to dig your heel hard into the binders and dance your hands and feet into second gear. A hard left and the world disappears beneath you as you lift off the brakes and accelerate. Your steed searches for footing, you gently coax her right and catch third in the air. When she settles in, you’re heading to a fast left with all hell screaming behind you.
When Phil Hill first hit that fast left in the Chapparel 2J, everyone held their collective breaths. There was NO WAY he could make it through Turn 9 at that mach number. But he did. And Jim Hall was right, and ground effect in motorsport was borne.
It’s a track filled with history. Young James Dean passed on driving his Porsche to Laguna Seca. Mark Donahue hustled the mighty “if you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower” 917/30 there. And Alex Zanardi gadzooked Bryan Herta, turning his IndyCar into a rally machine to make a nutty pass stick for the win.
It’s a place I kinda grew up.
Laguna Seca Raceway: A Project We Cannot Forget
So when Laguna Seca approached Interfanatic (nee Web Site Maintenance & Design) after hearing Carroll Smith crow about our site, it was a thrilling moment.
We love doing cutting edge. We love doing what can’t be done. And we, like the people behind Laguna Seca, love racing.
This week’s image:
Interfanatic‘s founder, Ryan Delane, takes or creates every image you see in our social feed.
To make up for last week’s screenshot, this week we have a real photograph. An image of love. I took this slide with love; love for my father, love for motor racing, and love for photography. This, for me, has everything. I took this photograph at a dinky little throwback track called Moroso. It was phenomenal. I remember there wasn’t much in the way of safety back then. As I recall there were gators in a culvert at one of the turn exits. You didn’t want to get upside-down there (not that you would want to get shiny-side down anywhere). But apparently some guy got himself eaten after tipping over there the month before. But the lack of guardrails and corner-workers who gave a damned what I did allowed me to do this. To get the image I wanted. And, for me, it remains glorious.