Then & Now – A Look Back at Turn 11

By Barry Toepke
Peter Gregg (No. 59) and Bruce Leven (No. 86) get ready to push the limits of their Porsche Turbos just prior to the green flag.Historic Formula 1 cars as seen, and heard, at the 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion accelerate out of Turn 11. Photo by T.M. Hill

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has evolved over the years, most notably the addition of Turns 3 and 4 around the lake. Yet, even with the changes, it remains the spiritual home to sports car racing’s legends who favored Monterey above nearly any road course throughout the world.

One turn that has changed slightly is Turn 11. Originally Turn 9 it is the slowest turn on the course before racers stomp on the accelerator for the longest straight on the circuit. Here are two images taken from approximately the same vantage point.

In May, 1980, the powerful Porsche Turbos are lined up and preparing for the green flag to wave, as fans enjoy unobstructed views. It was a pretty wide open area in the early days, with fans parking on the hillside and getting very close to the action and racing line.

Now, the corner is still the slowest, but greater safety measures, a state-of-the-art participant medical center and corporate partnership branding are in place. While fans no longer can access the immediate area, it still provides drivers and fans with breathtaking moments as cars tend to brake late in attempting overtaking moves that sometimes forces cars wide…very wide.



its a very important turn. You can go off so easily, and yet, slow too much, and your opponent can get down that straight long before you exited the turn. frustrating!

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