Where history is made
Think Laguna Seca – the latest round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge this weekend, with the California 8 Hours – and one corner jumps instantly to mind: the iconic Corkscrew.
Otherwise prosaically known as Turn 8 at the Mazda Raceway, the Corkscrew is a vertiginous left-right drop that plunges like a rollercoaster for the equivalent of nearly five floors in the space of less than 150 metres, or just a couple of seconds. In those vital instants, power and control is never more evident: finding enough grip to tread the fine line between cornering and crashing. But not only that. The Corkscrew follows a flat-out straight, before spitting the drivers out onto another equally rapid section. Controlling the power available throughout the sequence is a feat of gladiatorial proportions. And that’s why the Corkscrew is not just a corner, but a living metaphor for power and control.
Like Eau Rouge at Spa in Belgium (another venue for the Intercontinental GT Challenge) it's one of those epic corners that has consistently written epic moments of motorsport history. One of the most memorable occasions was when Italian hero Alex Zanardi somehow got past Bryan Herta on the last lap of the 1996 Indycar race: one of those overtakes that was in theory impossible. You can watch it here to see just how much bravery was needed.