Red Bull Grand Prix
July 19 - 21, 2013
The Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix is one of Monterey County's biggest annual events, drawing 120,000 visitors to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. "It is the Mecca for motorcycle fans," says Melvyn Record, Vice President Marketing and Sales at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix is the only MotoGP race in the world where fans can meet riders and engineers; that unprecedented level of access draws fans from Europe, Asia and Australia to Monterey County.
The Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix "defies one's preconceived notions of this kind of event," says Record. "The vibe is much more like an alternative music festival than what many people imagine a motor race is like." Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca's infield is loaded with exhibits from manufacturers showing off the latest motorcycle models, tools, clothing and accessories. "It's like a carnival," says Record. "There's so much more to see and do here than just watch the race."
MotoGP fans could fill three days at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix without ever seeing a race.
The infield is loaded with shopping opportunities. MotoGP fans can load up on all kinds of souvenirs, while motorcycle riders can find everything from clothing to accessories and much more.
There's also entertainment to be had everywhere on the infield, which is where the party starts the moment the gates open.
Getting to the Red Bull U.S Grand Prix
It's just as convenient to leave your car at satellite parking at California State University Monterey Bay as it is to park on-site. Buses run every few minutes throughout the day between CSUMB and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Shuttle buses have their own lane to get in and out of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca; spectators on the shuttle can wave at fans trapped in a traffic jam as they speed by on the way to their cars.
Prefer to have your car on-site? Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca offers parking pass options for cars and motorcycles. Three-day motorcycle parking is $50, while a Sunday-only motorcycle parking pass is $25. Three-day auto parking is $30, while a Sunday-only auto parking pass is $20.
Autographs and Photos: Meet the Riders at Pit Road
There's only one place in the world where MotoGP fans can step onto Pit Road and meet their favorite riders and engineers, and that's the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. In-the-know fans make the pilgrimage to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from thousands of miles away just to meet riders like Casey Stoner, Jorge Loreno and Dani Pedrosa.
On Friday, Pit Road will be open to every fan with a Paddock Pass. "This is one of the best-kept secrets of the event," Record says. Spectators with access can meet riders, get their autographs and even get their photos taken with the best in MotoGP racing.
Best Viewing Spots
While a grandstand pass is great for ensuring a reserved seat, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca offers plenty of other great vantage points. The hills and open fields within and surrounding the track provide great spaces where fans can set up camp chairs and a cooler and enjoy the view. Record recommends moving around the track to see the race from different vantage points.
There's a few spots, however, that are the most coveted. Record says spectators should hike to the top of the hill inside the northeast corner of the track to see one of the toughest challenges of any track - Mazda Raceway's infamous Corkscrew. Riders must navigate two tough turns while tackling a ten-story drop as they head toward turns 10 and 11. "It requires a lot of finesse on the part of the riders," says Record, and watching them navigate the risky area is a sight that fills even the most jaded spectator with excitement. "My son has been watching motor racing all his life," says Record, and even he was impressed at the sights from that spot.
Some campsites also have spectacular views of the track. If you're a camper lucky enough to get campsite 113, for example, you'll have a perfect view of riders rounding turn 6 and climbing the hill on their way to the Corkscrew. Meanwhile, sites like 162 and 163 command sweeping views of turns 1 through 5.
What to Wear
For race fans that expect cool coastal weather at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the reality can come as a shock. "Because we're inland, it can get hot out here," says Record. However, visitors expecting heat may find themselves chilly in the morning. Record recommends wearing layers; a sweatshirt over a T-shirt works well.
With little shade to be had, prepare for a day in the sun. Wear sunblock, and if you're fair-skinned, make sure to wear some sort of shade hat.
What to Bring
Unlike most spectator sport arenas, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca allows visitors to bring almost anything that will add to their comfort. "It adds to a festival, party-type atmosphere," Record says.
Food and Drink
Though Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has a wide variety of delicious, reasonably-priced food and drink for sale throughout the event, they also welcome fans who bring their own supplies. "We just want you here," Record says. When packing your cooler full of food and drinks for your day at the track, make sure your beverage containers are plastic or aluminum; glass beverage containers are not allowed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Chairs, Coolers and More
If you're planning to spend most of your time sitting on the hill watching the race, bring a camp chair, picnic blanket or cushion to sit on. Make sure to bring plenty of sunblock to re-apply during the day. For even more shade, take a page from top racers and bring an umbrella with you (you'll have to supply your own umbrella girl).
Pets can come to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca if they are leashed, but are only allowed in the campgrounds and parking areas.
Wining and Dining at the Track
It's not all hot dogs and burgers at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca! Whether you're looking for a healthy vegetarian salad or an artery-clogging chili dog, you'll find food to fit your needs. Options range from standard racetrack fare to Mexican favorites like quesadillas to pizza from California Pizza Kitchen and much more.
The drinks are as varied as the food at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. If you're in need of hydration, "we pride ourselves on having affordable water at the track," says Record. Soda is plentiful, and naturally, there's Red Bull available. Fans over the age of 21 can also enjoy alcoholic beverages such as local wines, margaritas and a variety of beers. A local microbrewery even has a casual beer garden on site where fans can kick back, drink locally brewed beer, and socialize.
Race Nights on the Row
One of the top Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix events takes place several miles away from the track. Over two thousand motorcycles head to Cannery Row on Saturday night for "Race Nights on the Row."
See legions of Ducatis and Harleys lined up as well as exotic bikes such as the Honda RC45, Bimota 3D or the Kawa Turbo. Check out offerings from major after-market sport and racing part suppliers and admire some of the best custom bikes in the country. This family-friendly street festival is free to attend.
Local Scenic Drives
Highway One through Big Sur is legendary among motorcyclists, but it's not the only top scenic drive in the area. Experience the best drives Monterey County has to offer. If you're coming in early or staying an extra day, see our article on Monterey County's 6 Top Scenic Drives for route descriptions and interactive maps.
Tickets and Add-Ons
The Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix offers truly a la carte ticket pricing. Spectators can purchase general admission tickets and then add on features they desire, such as grandstand seats, paddock passes, on-site parking, souvenir programs and camp sites. Packages are also available for the guest that wants it all! See the official Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca ticketing area for information about the many packages available, as well as to purchase any of the options below.
General Admission Tickets
Tickets for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix are $40 for a Friday general admission ticket (which includes open grandstand seating), $50 for Saturday and $60 for Sunday. Save money by purchasing two-day and three-day tickets. A two-day general admission ticket for Saturday and Sunday is $80, while a three-day pass to the entire event is $90.
Reserved grandstand seats at Turn 4 and Turn 11 are available both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for Saturday's grandstand seats are $10, while Sunday's grandstand seats are $20. Please note that this fee does not include General Admission.
Get closer to the action with a paddock pass. Paddock passes for all three days are $50 and are $25 for Sunday only. On Friday, all fans with paddock passes will be admitted to Pit Road, where they can see the bikes up close and meet riders and engineers.
Avoid the shuttle bus from satellite parking at CSUMB - park at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca! Three-day motorcycle parking is $50, while a Sunday-only motorcycle parking pass is $25. Three-day automobile parking is $30, while Sunday-only parking is $20.
Experience the thrill of riding your own motorcycle on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a Saturday parade lap. All participants must have a Saturday admission ticket as well as proof of insurance, registration and valid drivers license. Parade Lap passes are $75 and include a three-day Green parking pass for one motorcycle.
Campsites for all three nights cost $175 for RV sites and range from $150 to $190 for tent camping sites. Two nights at a tent camp site is $100, while Saturday night tent camp sites are $50. Review campsite options and restrictions at the official Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca ticketing site.