IndyCar has announced that Laguna Seca will become the new host of the season finale from 2019 onwards, taking over Sonoma which has hosted the finale since 2015
Laguna Seca lost hosted an IndyCar race back in 2004 and has been the scene of some amazing battles, including the one between Bryan Herta and Alex Zanardi, the latter passing Herta on the last lap of the race at the infamous Corkscrew corner. The track also hosted the IndyCar finale from 1989-96.
In a press release, Mark Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said “I can’t imagine a more attractive destination location for INDYCAR’s season finale.
“Monterey is a place people want to be, and we will bring all of our guests. I think it’s a great choice for us.”
Bobby Rahal, who won the race in four consecutive years, was also thrilled at the announcement the track would return to the calendar.
“It’s great news, but I might be biased,” Rahal, now co-owner of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team that competes in the Verizon IndyCar Series, said of the agreement. “I personally won four Indy car races there and won my first Can-Am race there. Our Indy car team won with Bryan Herta and Max Papis and our sports car team won IMSA races there, so I would almost bet you that Laguna Seca is the site of more victories for me as a driver and team owner combined of any track I’ve ever raced on.
“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 Indy car racing coming back to a circuit I love so much. We will put on a good show, for sure.”
There was no word on the fate of Sonoma from the press release. The track has hosted the season finale for the last three seasons yet has not always produced the best racing. The full 2019 calendar will probably be announced in the near future.