Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) and the Monterey County Board of Supervisors recently reached a contract agreement for a one-year naming-rights extension for the iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca facility. The current partnership will extend through March 31, 2018, while Mazda works directly with the county on plans for a long-term partner relationship with the track.
Mazda will retain a six-month exclusive right-of-first-negotiation to enter into a new or continued exclusive agreement with the county.
“Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is truly our spiritual home,” said Masahiro Moro, president and chief executive officer (CEO) at MNAO. “We understand the importance that facilities like Mazda Raceway play in sports car racing, which is why we’ve remained dedicated to the facility for so many years. We look forward to working with the Monterey County Board of Supervisors on a long-term agreement that will allow the facility to thrive and remain among the world’s finest race tracks.”
While Mazda has been the primary naming partner of the racetrack since 2001, this is the first time an agreement has been made between MNAO and the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. Previously, all naming rights agreements have been between Mazda and The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP).
SCRAMP will continue to manage and execute the Mazda agreement as it has for the past 16 years. In addition, SCRAMP, which has managed the raceway since its inception in 1957, has an expanded management role, assuming all operations of the Laguna Seca Recreation Area and the associated campgrounds, not including the shooting range.
“Mazda has been an invaluable partner and continues to call Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca its home away from home,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “There are sponsors, and then there are partners. Mazda falls firmly into the latter category, as they truly appreciate the relationship and invest far more than just money into ensuring this race circuit continues to be one of the world’s finest. We are pleased to have the Mazda team fully engaged with everything we do, now and hopefully into the future.”
Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 (#MRT24) program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy (#MRTI) is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer.