County of Monterey and WeatherTech have come to terms on a multiyear naming rights agreement at the iconic motorsports and entertainment facility located at the County-owned Laguna Seca Recreation Area. Beginning April 2018, the famed 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course will be known as WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The track was built in 1957 by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) on land leased by Fort Ord in order to fill the void left by the Pebble Beach Road Races held between 1950 and 1956 before being deemed unsafe. The track, originally known as Laguna Seca Raceway, had held a naming rights agreement with automaker Mazda for the past 17 years that ends on March 31. SCRAMP manages Laguna Seca Recreation Area on behalf of the County.
The swiftness of an agreement is testament to the iconic facility’s stature in the world of motorsports. Already as word of the pending agreement surfaced, accolades from within the industry has been favorable. SCRAMP was able to capitalize on not only the facility’s heritage, but on the future plans in place to enhance the facility for generations to come. Laguna Seca has long been an economic engine for the Central Coast and it continues to operate without the benefit of public funds.
In the more than six decades since the opening of the track, countless prominent drivers on two and four wheels have challenged for trophies and taken on the famed Corkscrew turn, esses that descend five-and-one-half stories in a 450-foot span. The notoriety of the Corkscrew was enhanced with famous overtakes such as “The Pass” – Alex Zanardi overtaking Bryan Herta in the 1996 CART finale – and Valentino Rossi passing Casey Stoner at the 2008 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.