This annual gathering of Miatas at Laguna Seca is one I’m very fond of; you would know this because at 4:15 am I had already been awake for an hour and was standing in a Krispy Kreme parking lot with half-awake friends and Rad Roadsters staff. This is the event’s sixth year of proceeding, but only my second, unfortunately! People come from all over the nation do drive their cars on track, participate in parade laps, check out other cars and the latest products and just enjoy the company of fellow Miata owners.
But, back to my standing in a parking lot. The trip from Los Angeles to Monterey takes almost 8 hours, the reason being we don’t want to take boring highways all the way there. After we set off at 4:30 we stop at an IHOP, down the road an hour, for some breakfast and to meet up with others. After we’re full it’s time to head to Morro Bay for a traditional picture in front of the rock and some antics.
From there it’s highway one, up the coast, all the way to Monterey. If there’s not too much traffic and you’re brave enough to cross into oncoming traffic to use the passing lanes, or if your engine has enough power I should say, then the sweeping corners, constant elevation changes and scenic views are the perfect way to spend the weekend, even if you don’t have a destination.
After arriving at the host hotel in Monterey we were greeted with much needed barbecue, provided for free courtesy of the event organizers, while a car show was already in progress in the parking lot. We met up with some familiar faces from up north, Bo Gaut’s car, which we previously featured, was looking as good as ever. After a couple drinks and catching up with lots of friends I think everyone was dead tired, so we went to bed and tried to get some sleep, while thoughts of the corkscrew danced in our heads.
Early Saturday morning was the driver meeting, fog encompassing the track provided a nice relief from the glaring temperatures and sun in Southern California.
The event organizers were kind enough to provide a garage space for The Marco Canlas Project, which is a group of enthusiasts and friends of Marco continuing to build his miata, despite his recent passing because of cancer.
Walking around the paddock revealed tons of interesting cars, some stock and some that barely had recognizable components from what they once were.
As the racing started we would get rides around the track from vendors and afterward head to the corkscrew or other locations on the track to watch drivers perfect their lines throughout the day.
The second day was Saturday and more, with a mid-day sprint race being put on by the event organizers and a chat with the man himself, Rick Weldon. Look out for our interview with him in the near future. The winner of the race was Mark Drennan and followed to close second was Justin Ross. The two were battling for position all race long. They switched places 6-7 times through the race. Justin was leading the last lap till the corckscrew where Drennan made his move. He was able to fend Justin off till the checkered flag.
As the day wound down we said our goodbyes and people headed back to the places they will be from. I’ll look forward to next year and hopefully see you all on the track.
Article written by: Garrett Ogle
Photos by: Kenjo Raif and Garrett Ogle