Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Makes for Unique Finish For Stage Four of Amgen Tour of California

The final 2.29 miles of Stage 4 of the 2016 Amgen Tour of California will provide a challenging and unique opportunity for the field of elite international cyclists to compete at a world-class motorsports venue.

The concluding stretch of the 133.6-mile fourth stage, the longest stage on the tour, will take place on the grounds of the Laguna Seca Recreation Area and conclude at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s traditional start/finish line. It will be an ultimate test of strength, endurance, skill and strategy. 

America’s most prestigious cycling event, the Amgen Tour of California, May 15-22, is a Tour de France-style cycling road race that challenges the world’s top professionals along a demanding eight-day course through nearly 800 miles of iconic Golden State terrain through 12 host cities: San Diego, South Pasadena, Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks, Santa Barbara County, Morro Bay, Monterey County, Lodi, South Lake Tahoe, Folsom, Santa Rosa and Sacramento.

The riders will be headed west on California State Route 68 after completing the climb and descent of Laureles Grade from Carmel Valley. They will enter the park grounds by making a tight 180-degree right-hand off the highway onto the park’s primary access road and then quickly another hairpin turn to the left. From there, it’s a nearly one-mile climb with an elevation change of almost 385 feet before reaching Perimeter Road.

Riders will veer slightly to the right while crossing Perimeter Road and then down a short hill into the Marketplace before setting up for a 90-degree right-hand turn that will take them onto the track at Turn 5 of the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course. It’s then a 1,353-foot climb (approximately 60-foot elevation change) to the left-hand Turn 6 and a steeper climb (100-foot elevation change) on the 1,427-foot long Rahal Straight to Turn 7 before reaching The Corkscrew, one of the most famous turns in all of motorsports.

The hard-left, hard-right Corkscrew (Turns 8 and 8A) will nearly catapult the riders toward the final three turns and the finish line. The initial 12-percent drop at Turn 8 quickly becomes an 18-percent drop at Turn 8A in just 450 feet of track length. That’s a six-story drop in the length of just one-and-a-half football fields. The elevation drop between Turn 8 and Turn 9 (Rainey Curve) is 109 feet, nearly 10 stories. It’s all downhill from the left-hand Turn 9 to the right-hand Turn 10 and finally the sharp left-hand Turn 11 before the 850-foot sprint to the finish line.

Spectator access will be greatly increased and unlike any other racing event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca:

▪ Turn 5 – Spectators will be allowed onto the racing surface just before Turn 5, allowing fans the opportunity to view the battle from the time the riders reach Perimeter Road, onto the racing surface at Turn 5 and up the hill toward Turn 6. 

▪ The Corkscrew (Turns 8-8A) – always a prime viewing area because of the incredible drop, the breathtaking left-right turns and, of course, the speed.

▪ Turn 10 – spectators will be allowed access onto the paddock entrance road inside the fencing, allowing for high-speed viewing as the riders sweep through Turns 9 and 10 on their way to the stage’s final turn.

▪ Start/Finish Line – the conclusion of the grueling 133.6-mile ride and, quite possibly, a dramatic handlebar-to-handlebar finish.

Gates open at 11 a.m. Pacific Time with riders expected to enter the facility at approximately 3:30 p.m. The main paddock area will provide an exciting lifestyle festival experience, with a full array of vendors, displays and activities. 

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will hold its May Twilight Cycling event following the conclusion of the May 18 Amgen Tour of California event. Riders will be allowed on track beginning at 5:30 p.m. for the monthly two-hour ride. Bay Bikes will be on hand to loan bikes, helmets and help with minor maintenance.

SCRAMP celebrates 60 consecutive seasons of hosting world-class motorsports events in 2016. This year’s schedule continues the decades-long tradition of showcasing national and world championship series’ of sports car, open wheel and motorcycle racing, as well as one of the most prestigious annual historic car racing events in the world. 

Tickets for every major event on the 2016 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca calendar are on sale now. Click HERE for more information or call the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Ticket Office at 831.242.8200.