— Racers rejoice: Mazda and SCRAMP relationship to continue through 2011 —
IRVINE, Calif. – Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today announced it has extended its existing contract with the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) and will remain the title sponsor of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for at least five more years. The just-signed contract extends the two organizations’ current relationship through March 2011. The world-famous Monterey, Calif. facility is home to one of the finest natural road-racing courses in the country and has been a mainstay of professional auto and motorcycle racing since 1957.
Mazda’s support has enabled the management of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to take the track to the next level by embarking on a capital improvement plan to make it one of the finest racing facilities in the world. In recent years, the circuit has received major improvements, including a revamped lakebed and vendor area, new permanent garages on pit lane, permanent hospitality suites and expanded runoff areas.
“Our successful partnership with SCRAMP and Laguna Seca over the past five years has made the raceway our home-away-from-home. The two-and-a-half-mile circuit is the ultimate Zoom-Zoom for racers, race fans and Mazda enthusiasts
everywhere,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of MNAO. “And with the extension of our relationship, the best times at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca are yet to come.”
During the 2005-2006 winter off-season, major changes began taking place in preparation for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix motorcycle race. In its debut at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last year, the MotoGP World Championship event was a sellout, attracting over 150,000 spectators and making it the largest event, and largest single weekend, in track history. The MotoGP stars will return to Mazda Raceway in July for their only stop in North America.
Along with a complete repaving of the racing surface, the changes for the 2006 season include adding additional runoff to Turns 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7, as well as smoothing out a dip on the back straight on the steep uphill approach to Turn 8.
Most dramatic was the work needed to accommodate the additional runoff in Turn 1, the flat-out kink at the top of the start-finish hill. Located next to a steep bluff, the only way to expand the runoff area was to cut the hillside back and tear down the historic media center in the process. The building was razed over the winter and construction began on a new hospitality center. All remaining work is expected to be completed by July.
During its 50 years of racing, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has established itself as the premier road-racing track in North America. Worldwide, it is mentioned in the same breath with other historic tracks such as Le Mans, Indianapolis, Monaco and Silverstone, to name only a few.
“Mazda Raceway and Laguna Seca simply go together like gasoline and motor-racing. A high performance car company with motorsports coursing through its veins is the perfect partner for our premier road-racing facility,” said Gill Campbell, CEO/General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “It’s a privilege to be able to work with an organization such as Mazda for what will soon become an entire decade.”
The latest information and event tickets for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca can be found at www.laguna-seca.com. Remaining spectator events for the year include:
- May 5-7: U.S. Sports Car Invitational featuring the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series
- July 21-23: Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix featuring the MotoGP World Championship
- August 18-20: Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races featuring the Cooper marque
- October 20-22: Monterey Sports Car Championships featuring the American Le Mans Series
SCRAMP has operated Laguna Seca Raceway since its opening in 1957. The non-profit organization has utilized the raceway as a means to benefit local charitable and non-profit organizations while promoting economic vitality of the surrounding area. The results have been astounding, as SCRAMP has distributed almost $12 million to over 100 Monterey Peninsula charitable and service groups over five decades in operation. SCRAMP and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca have established themselves as the most important economic and charitable organization in Monterey County.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.