On Her 65th Birthday, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Celebrates With A Nip And A Tuck
Laguna bridge is falling down. But, a bigger, better bridge is being built in its place. Photo courtesy of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Today’s her 65th birthday. Who can blame her for celebrating the occasion with a nip here and a tuck there?
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca first opened for business on November 9, 1957, and she held her very first road race just two days later, on November 11. And, in the past 65 years, the track located on the Monterey Peninsula has become a global icon revered the world over by racers and racing fans.
For MotoAmerica president and three-time 500cc World Grand Prix Champion Rainey, it has to be difficult to put into words what the 11-turn, 2.238-mile jewel of a road course means to him. But, in a story penned by Marshall Pruett that appears on Racer.com today, Rainey said, “Laguna Seca’s place in history is in line with Monza, Nurburgring, Silverstone and other iconic racetracks in the world,” said Wayne Rainey, three-time 500cc world champion and president of MotoAmerica. “I’ve traveled all over the world racing and motorsport enthusiasts everywhere know Laguna Seca and the Corkscrew. Laguna Seca is a place where all the greats have raced and for me it sits at the top of the list. I won national championship events at Laguna and my three Grand Prix victories there played an important role in winning my world championships. Now, with MotoAmerica, we’re continuing to work closely with the racetrack so our riders, teams, and fans can continue to enjoy the facility and the racetrack as part of our championship.”
This week, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is beginning a renovation project. The bridge that crosses over the track near the end of the start/finish straightaway has been removed to make way for the construction of a new and wider bridge that will facilitate more fans heading into and out of the infield paddock. In addition to the new bridge, the entire road course will be repaved and ready in time for the 2023 racing season.
So, along with Road America, that makes two brand-new track surfaces that the MotoAmerica Championship will compete on in 2023.
Owned by the County of Monterey and managed by A&D Narigi, LLC, Laguna Seca, which encompasses WeatherTech Raceway as well as the park that doubles as a popular camping destination, is undergoing a comprehensive modernization process that will include $10 million in upgrades by the time the massive project is completed.
“WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca truly is a jewel in the crown of the many amazing amenities offered on our beautiful Monterey Peninsula,” commented Monterey Board of Supervisors Chair Mary L. Adams. “Like many local residents, I have enjoyed the thrill of championship racing as well as other entertainment provided at Laguna Seca throughout the years. We are proud of the improvements we are making at the track and know visitors will be delighted. We always welcome people to our area and love sharing the rich heritage of Laguna Seca with them. Come enjoy some time in Monterey County.”
Thank you, Mary. We will do exactly that when we return to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for MotoAmerica Superbikes at Monterey on July 7 through 9, 2022. Join us.
And, once again, Happy Birthday to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
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