Laguna Seca to return to IndyCar next year as season finale round

The classic Californian circuit will return to the IndyCar schedule as next year's end of season race after a three-year deal is confirmed

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Laguna Seca will return to the IndyCar calendar from next year, its three-year deal commencing with hosting the 2019 season-closer taking place on September 20-22.

Laguna Seca has deep historic roots in the series, hosting Indycar and Champ Car races from 1983 to 2004 which included the season finales in 1989 to 1996. The track became a firm favourite among drivers and fans alike, being renowned as a challenging and undulating road course that provided plenty of spectacular racing action.

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This included one of the most memorable moments in American racing history when Alex Zanardi completed a thrilling last lap lunge on Bryan Herta at the famous downhill Corkscrew to seize the race win, leaving the track and re-joining ahead of his rival. It became known simply as “The Pass”.

Other notable moments at the track include Mario Andretti’s farewell race in 1994 and Bobby Rahal winning four consecutive races at Laguna Seca from 1984 to 1987.

‘It’s great news, but I might be biased,’ said Rahal, who now co-owns the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team. ‘There is nothing better than the Monterey Bay area, and it’s a great circuit that always drew great crowds, so I’m thrilled to have IndyCar racing coming back to a circuit I love so much. We will put on a good show, for sure.’

Laguna Seca’s IndyCar return is also likely to be the scene of the 2019 championship decider, as for 12 years running the IndyCar championship has been decided only in the final race.

Images courtesy of LAT Archive

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