Mazda announced that it has extended its naming rights agreement for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) for another five years. The agreement was ratified by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and extends the two organizations’ relationship, which began in 2001, through 2016. The world-famous Monterey, California facility is home to one of the finest natural road-racing courses in the world, and has been a mainstay of professional auto and motorcycle racing since 1957.
Mazda’s support has helped enable SCRAMP, operators of the Raceway, and Monterey County to make Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca one of the finest racing facilities in the world. Over the past decade, the circuit has received such major improvements as permanent pit lane garages, permanent luxury hospitality suites and expanded track runoff areas, plus spectator enhancements ranging from a new scoring trylon with hi-definition monitors to radar-controlled speed signs over the track’s two straightaways.
Jay Amestoy, Vice President, Public Affairs and Motorsports for MNAO, said, “We first fell in love with this track and the Monterey peninsula as fans in the 1970s and ‘80s when Mazda was new to the U.S. and we were establishing our name with the American public and race fans. Our successful partnership with SCRAMP and the Monterey County Parks Department during the last dozen years has made the raceway our home-away-from-home. At Mazda, we don’t have company picnics, we have track days. We are enthusiasts at heart, and it shows in the vehicles we build. No Mazda reaches the showroom without extensive development and testing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.”
During its 50-plus 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, Nurburgring, Monaco and Silverstone. It is common for overseas tourists to visit Mazda Raceway even when there are no on-track activities. One of the reasons is that it is home to one of the most famous series of turns in motor racing, the Corkscrew, turns 8a and 8b, which has a heart-pounding six-story drop in elevation.
According to John Pinio, Monterey County Director of Parks, the relationship between Mazda and the County has been one of harmonious cooperation. “The County receives a tremendous boost from Mazda’s ongoing participation in the facility,” Pinio said. “Mazda has been an ideal corporate partner and honestly cares about supporting the community in ways that go beyond a traditional sponsorship.”
“I can’t begin to say enough about our partnership with Mazda. Through the support of Mazda North American Operations, and its dedicated management who share our passion for motor racing, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is able to attract world-class racing to California’s Central Coast. It is one of the primary economic engines for the Monterey Peninsula,” said Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “A dozen years of working together has raced by, and we are looking forward to what will hopefully be another dozen.”