Fifty years ago, the world-famous Laguna Seca race course was created by a tree. It’s interesting as well as tragic to see how it happened. Interesting in that a lot of circumstances had to come together; tragic in that it involved the death of a good friend. First, some background:
Automobile racing started on roads—real roads—early in the last century. As time went by, however, competition in the U.S. diverged from the rest of the world. The premier American event became the Indianapolis 500, held on an oval built for the purpose, while in Europe, Le Mans and the Mille Miglia, on real roads, were the most important. By the outbreak of WWII, virtually all American racing was on ovals and on roads everywhere else.
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