IMSA visited the iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the penultimate race in the 2017 championship. The Laguna Seca circuit has been around since the 1950s and is one of the most enjoyable tracks to visit in the USA. The circuit is a demanding one, with the famous corkscrew corner (a hard left, hard right combination corner that drops 59 feet in 450 feet of track). It has changed somewhat over the years, as in 1988 the track was lengthened from 1.9 miles to 2.238 miles to allow MotoGP and FIM superbikes to run here. Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, weather conditions are sometimes unpredictable, with frequent fog and cool temperatures quite probable. The race being the standard IMSA 2-hour 40-minute variety, and due to the tight nature of the course, strategy comes into play as passing is difficult on the course.
There were eight prototypes entered, but the usual pair of Mazda cars were not running, as the Joest team is doing development work on the cars for the 2018 season. The GTLM field consisted of nine cars, and included the normal contingent of two Corvettes, two Porsches, two BMWs, two Ford GTs, and just the one Ferrari 488 of the Risi team. The GTD class (FIA GT3) consisted of 16 cars, four of them Porsche 911 GT3Rs. Points wise, the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac has a big lead in the Prototype class, and basically, they just need to finish the last two races to gain the championship.