A wet and slippery track awaited our 86CUP competitors as they rolled into Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca on the morning of Saturday, February 18. Heavy rain in the preceding days had started to subside by mid-day, but even as I surveyed the paddock area around lunchtime, large puddles of water were pooled around here and there, and a steady stream of water could be seen running across turn 3. It wasn’t going to be an easy day for these drivers. As I watched, a flatbed tow truck came in off the track, bearing a dark blue BMW that had pushed a little too hard and found itself in the sand trap.
But inside the garages, drivers discussed lap times and shared information about the changing conditions as they came in from the previous track session. “It’s drying off in some sections”, one said. “There’s still a river across turn 3″, another driver added. “The braking zone for turn 2 is tricky, you have to brake early, ease off the brakes as you cross the wet zone, then get back on the brakes hard just before turning in.” Our friend Scott Grasso, who was shooting video from trackside, shared a brief clip he caught of an M3 drifting around the wet hairpin of turn 2.
But by the late afternoon, the rain had stopped, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds, and the surface conditions began to look more promising. Out on the track they went, and the lap times started decreasing. The morale in the garages picked up, and people were already talking about the next round of competition coming up, scheduled for March 4-5 at Thunderhill Raceway. By the end of the day people were looking satisfied with their times, and as they packed up their cars the clouds moved in again and the rain began to fall. Another day at Laguna Seca, completed.
86CUP is the premier, independently organized, FRS/BRZ Time Trial series in North America. Utilizing a ruleset that is specific to the platforms, the 86CUP aims to provide a friendly, safe, environment in which 86 enthusiasts can hone their driving skills. Come join us at our events, get a ride, and experience the true capabilities of our platform in its natural environment!
For 2017, we’d like to welcome GT-Radial as the title sponsor for the NorCal 86CUP! GT Radial has been a sponsor for us since the beginning, but this year, they’re upping the ante and generously giving away cash prizes for the podium winners of the Stock and Street classes in addition to the tire Contingency program.
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More photos in the gallery below! (includes non-86CUP participants too)