Laguna-Seca to Receive Improvements. But What About the Fans? Staff
by Staff
Thinking (stress 'thinking') that I may be interested in attending the U.S. GP again, I decided to peruse for ticket info, when I stumbled across the following press release. MOfos, what about the improvements for the fans? Let's here it!--Pete *'Read More' to see the entire release.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tickets & Info: (800) 327-SECADecember 21, 2005


Turn One Run-Off Increases, Complete Track Resurfacing Among the Largest Changes

MONTEREY, Calif. (December 20, 2005) – Construction is set to begin on nearly $7 million of improvements to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, part of an ongoing safety and facility upgrade for the world-renowned circuit. These improvements are scheduled for completion in time for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix July 21-23, 2006.

The most dramatic improvements include an entire surface repaving, as well as creating additional run-off at Turn 1. Adding runoff at the fast first turn requires removing a portion of the hillside as well as the former media center building that sits atop it. A state-of-the-art hospitality center will replace the former media center building. Additional runoff will also be added at turns 3, 4, 6, and 7.

The improvements are being made with input from the Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme (FIM) and the MotoGP Rider Safety Commission. These new changes follow a Yamaha Motor Corporation-funded $2 million upgrade that occurred one year ago making it possible for MotoGP World Championship to return to the United States for the first time since 1994 as the 2005 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is the only racetrack in the United States to receive Grade A homologation from the FIM, as well as Grade 2 homologation from the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The FIM and the FIA are the world’s governing bodies for motorcycle and automobile racing, respectively.

“This is a significant upgrade for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and continues to push us toward our goal of leading racetrack safety, not only compared to tracks in the United States but around the world,” said Gill Campbell, CEO/General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “These changes are only possible through the assistance and support we get through our partners and sponsors like Red Bull, Yamaha and Mazda.”

“While these changes were made in conjunction with Dorna and the MotoGP riders, it will also increase safety for everyone who runs at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, from track rentals and club competition to our other professional events like the American Le Mans Series and the Rolex Sports Car Series,” Campbell said.

John Pinio, Director of Parks for Monterey County states, "The County of Monterey, who own the 542 acre recreation area that is home to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, has a 31-year relationship with SCRAMP through a concession agreement. As a County Park facility, we greatly appreciate the commitment of SCRAMP, Mazda, Red Bull and Yamaha to not only bring this world class motorcycle event to our community, but also provide the financial resources to fund the improvements needed to keep the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the forefront of the racing industry."

Necessary permits to complete the work have been acquired, and demolition of the existing media center will take place December 27 at 8:00am.

The 2005 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix drew a weekend attendance of 153,653, the largest event attendance in the 49 seasons of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Tickets for the 2006 event went on sale on September 1. General Admission tickets, general camping, and grandstand seats are still available for the July 21-23, 2006 event weekend at or by calling (800) 327-SECA.

Tickets for the remaining Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca events will go on sale January 9th, including the U.S. Sports Car Invitational featuring the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series May 5-7, the 33rd Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races August 18-20, and the Monterey Sports Car Championships featuring the American Le Mans Series October 20-22.

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About Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and SCRAMP:

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was built in 1957 and has been operated since its inception by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP). The world-renowned 2.238-mile, 11-turn permanent road course has seen many of the all-time greats in motorsports grace its technically challenging layout that includes the spectacular signature Corkscrew (Turns 8 and 8A). Among the many who have raced here are the likes of Mario Andretti, Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson, Michael Andretti, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and on and on through a virtual who’s who of automobile and motorcycle racing. SCRAMP is a not-for-profit corporation that donates net proceeds from each race season to the volunteer organizations that help put on the events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

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