The Firestone Grand Prix is an event that, since the early 1960s, has brought smiles to the faces of automotive enthusiasts, both young and old. It forms part of the IndyCar Series and brings thousands of spectators to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which is close to Monterey, California year after year.
The Monterey Grand Prix welcomed open-wheel racing in 1983 and then became part of the CART/Champ Car series for nearly two decades. It also forms one of the final rounds of the IndyCar series each season, making it often pivotal for crowning a new IndyCar champion.
It’s no coincidence that one of the most important races of the series is held at Laguna Seca, either. This 2.238-mile race track for motorcyclists and cars boasts standout facilities, a unique track with 180-foot elevation changes, and is formed on the very site that a lake once rested.
Over three days, RV-goers can soak up the atmosphere, camp at the race track, and enjoy a vacation during fall, a time when most people are trying to prepare themselves for the colder weather ahead. Firestone Grand Prix offers a myriad of different fan activities to break up the days.
After three days surrounded by automotive enthusiasts and the loud roar of engines, you may feel like wandering off and seeing what else Monterey and the greater area has to offer. Some of the best state parks in California can be found nearby, including Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and Henry W. Coe State Park.
Visitors can also pay a visit to the Old Fishermen’s Wharf, or explore the city’s rugged coast.
Now’s the time to book your tickets to the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey and begin planning your RV adventure. The automotive season is about to begin!
Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey tickets go up for sale within weeks of the event. You can purchase general admission tickets for adults or treat yourself to VIP hospitality tickets that offer an unreal experience for automotive enthusiasts. In the past, children under 15 have been free with a paying adult, unless seated in the premier pit row suites. Tickets have also cost between $40 and $190 for general admission and paddock access.
The Monterey County city of Monterey sits on Monterey Bay’s southern edge on the central coast of California. The best way to reach the city is by CA-1, which runs along Monterey Bay and south to Big Sur. The Monterey-Salinas Highway links to US-101 at Salinas through to Pacific Grove.
Those who make the trip to Monterey from out of town will likely enjoy the smooth journey made all the easier with QuickMap. The views out to Monterey Bay as you meander down CA-1 are also likely to put you in the right mood to start your vacation.
Upon arriving at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, you will find there are three possible entrance points, but entering via South Boundary Road may be the best option for travelers.
There are various parking options available for RV travelers who either bring their motorhome or pilot vehicle. Those who are camping overnight can head straight to the camping office to be directed to their chosen camping spot for the weekend.
Travelers seeking day parking may book a paid spot in advance, or join the thousands of other spectators in the general parking lot along Barloy Canyon Road. RV-goers that are not camping on site may like to consider the convenience of public transportation, such as taxis and rideshare providers who can remove the burden of finding parking spaces and waiting in traffic.
There is no dedicated public transportation option to get fans to and from the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey. However, if you see value in setting up your RV at an RV campground near WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, you can book a taxi or hire a rideshare service provider. When you’re ready to leave, you can then rebook them in advance to ensure a seamless exit once the racing ends.
With an action-packed three-day schedule of racing to get through, you blink, and you miss the action. Therefore, it makes sense to be able to camp on site, and that’s precisely what you can do. Fans will have a myriad of different camping options for motorhomes, trailers, tents, and more. Each area has various sizing limitations, from under 20 feet through to over 39 feet.
The race track boasts water and electricity hookups, an effluent disposal station, showers, restrooms, and even a playground for the kids. Some sites also have fire pits for the most authentic camping experience yet. Both reserved and general camping spaces are available, but RV-goers can enjoy peace of mind if they book in advance. Upon arriving, you will need to check in at the gate office, take your wristbands, and be directed to the best space for your RV by a site official.
Monterey is a tourist hotspot thanks to its abundant marine life and being home to the deepest and biggest underwater canyon of North America’s pacific coast. With so many drawcards, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to both primitive RV camping locations and RV resorts with service hookups.
Even those who don’t want to camp at the race track may have no problems locating an RV campground near to it for effortless access daily. Set your sights to within 20 miles of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Additionally, Salinas / Monterey KOA is under 25 miles from the raceway to the north along CA-101. Pinnacles National Park rests about 45 miles to the southeast and may already be near your route. Don’t delay in booking in advance to ensure you get your first pick.
Both footbridges and vehicle bridges ensure that getting around WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is effortless. From navigating the famous corkscrew corner to lining up for snacks at the vendors, you will be surprised at how one area flows to the next. There will be no need for scooters, skateboards, or other personal transportation at the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.
The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey occurs right before the wet season begins, which means you may be able to enjoy a rain-free racing event if you’re lucky. Given how close Monterey is to the Pacific Ocean, you can expect cooler temperatures than what you’d typically find throughout the rest of California. Pack a mixture of light and heavy layers, and don’t forget both your supporter’s gear and comfortable footwear.
It can be hard to know what to bring to an event that spans three days in a city that makes you want to stay even longer. First and foremost, bring all your camping and cooking supplies to ensure your comfort and convenience. For the racing, you may also like to bring binoculars so that you don’t miss a thing, and earplugs to block out some of that raucous engine noise.
If you’re a fan of particular drivers, then a permanent marker if the opportunity for an autograph arises is also worth bringing. There is an ATM on site for cash withdrawal, too, so that you can have the correct payment type for merchandise and vendor purchases.
Given that it’s fall during the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, you’re unlikely to experience extremely hot temperatures. However, you will be out in the elements, which means sun safety supplies convenient to have. Lather on the sunscreen, spritz some bug spray, and carry plenty of drinking water. Leave prescription medication, toiletries, and first aid supplies in your RV as a “just in case” measure.
You are going to be blown away by the myriad of different cooking options at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Some of the camping areas have dedicated firepits, which means you can indulge in S’mores, bread over the fire, camp-style hot dogs, and more. You can also use your barbeque or onboard RV kitchen appliances.
For the occasion, make sure you stop off at one of the grocery or convenience stores within a ten-mile drive of the race track. You can then be fully stocked with goodies upon your arrival.
Monterey is known for its seafood restaurants and bars along the edges of Monterey Bay. Travelers to the area can’t leave without at least first visiting what was once a sardine-packing building and is now a row of gift shops and restaurants.
If seafood isn’t to your liking, then quaint markets for deli sandwiches, fast food chains, privately owned restaurants, and stunning cafes are all on your must-visit list while in the area.
For those who are not that interested in devouring the soggy sandwiches they brought with them, then you’ll be pleased to know that better options await. There are food and beverage vendors dotted around the spectator viewing areas, not to mention a sponsored refreshment center between Turn 4 and Turn 5. While many vendors accept credit, not all will. Withdraw cash from one of the many ATMs if needed to make a purchase during the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.
Given the number of fans that attend any event at this standout facility, you can expect a heavy security presence. Raceway officials ask that you travel light and leave as many possessions as possible in your locked RV. The less you bring with you into the grandstands, the more comfortable you can be. Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey may also have restrictions on outside food and beverages and coolers.
The cool Mediterranean-like climate of Monterey in California means that you’re not going to be sweltering in the heat as you watch GP drivers tackle the complex course. Instead, you can expect average temperatures in the fall of between 50 and 70 degrees. If you download a weather app on your phone before you set off, you can remain up to date with all weather conditions and plan accordingly.
An accident or injury can rear its ugly head when you least expect it. While carrying a first aid kit in your RV can help with minor cuts, scrapes, and abrasions, you can receive further assistance at the race track. There are first aid sites on the outside of the track and in the infield with trained medical staff. There is also a hospital located within 12 miles of the venue, and a pharmacy within eight miles. In an emergency, don’t hesitate to dial 911.