Laguna Seca Review

By: Jeff Littrell

The Time Trials and Race at Laguna Seca were yet another example of a successful collaboration with the Alfa Romeo Owners of Southern California. The weather held beautifully over the resplendent track that is Laguna Seca and everyone enjoyed a fun and exciting weekend.

There were no major incidents, except a Corvette that brushed the tire wall coming out of turn 11 and an Alfa Romeo 164 that burst a cooling hose, spun and backed into the wall at turn 6. Other than that, the weekend just provided the perfect opportunity to test man and machine on the challenging course in beautiful Monterey.

Overall, the turn-out was large but the FCA contingent was a bit small. We realize that details on the track events have been coming a bit late but we?re working to correct that via inserts in Sempre Ferrari. Even so, just look at the Calendar of Events and you?ll see that we?ve got our track dates nailed down from now until November so reserve the dates and plan to join us. The next track event will be at Las Vegas Raceway on June 10th and 11th.

I can?t over-emphasize how there is something for everyone at these events. Your Ferrari was meant to be driven and you really ought to bring it to one of our track events to let it stretch its legs a little. If you aren?t ready to run on the track with other cars all around you then sign-up for the Introductory group. With that, you?ll be able to get on the track behind a pace car that will show you the proper racing line at something near 7/10ths speed. This is an exhilarating experience that offers very little risk because no passing is allowed and speed is controlled. It only costs $60 to run two days and it includes some limited classroom instruction. No safety equipment is required beyond good factory seat belts and a helmet. If you don?t have a helmet the Alfa club can rent you one so there?s no excuse not to come out.

At Laguna there were a number of Ferraris in the Intro Group, including a yellow 308 GTS, a red 308 GTS, and a red 308 GT4.

The Time Trials are the next step up. Here there are three different run groups to help the novices learn at a reasonable pace but still allow more experienced drivers to get in good, clean laps. Speed is not regulated - you go as fast as you dare - but passing is limited to the straights so risk is lessened. Participants is this group get practice sessions all day Saturday and on Sunday morning and then get to race against the clock Sunday afternoon.

Having run in many non-timed track events previously, I really enjoy the competition that is brought out by having the formal Time Trials. In this event I finished second in my class and I?m looking forward to becoming number one! Time trialing requires a fire extinguisher and a 5-point harness, as FCA member Roger Moore painfully discovered when he went to get his TR teched at the track and didn?t have one. I?m really sorry for Roger but there a couple lessons to be learned here. First, we are very concerned about your safety. Second, read the description of the events carefully - we always list the required safety equipment in Sempre Ferrari. Third, get you car technically inspected BEFORE you come to the track so that you don?t get any surprises. I had Ferrari of Beverly Hills inspect my car the week before the event and they noticed that I had a worn front wheel bearing. Because I went in early, I had enough time to get it fixed before the event.

Mounting a harness and fire bottle in your car is not difficult to do. There are great bars available that bolt between the factory shoulder harness mounts for most cars (such as 308s, 328s, and GT4s). Hopefully, we?ll do a Tech Tip on these in the near future.

While there were four FCA members participating in the Time Trials, only Arthur Trejo had the guts to bring his Ferrari. The rest of us are guil