Laguna Seca’s $14.9M Glow-Up Includes Fresh Track Surface, New Bridge
It’s been a long time coming for some freshening up at a track that was embroiled in drama only a few years ago.
Rejoice, lovers of smooth pavement and non-rickety walkways! Laguna Seca is getting a repave and a fresh new bridge.
Last week, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors approved a project budget of $14,902,198 for the replacement of the start/finish bridge and a full resurfacing of the 2.238-mile road course, per a post by the track on Facebook. "The investment represents the Supervisors’ deep commitment to ensuring the long-term future of our facility," the announcement read.
It is always a good sign to see a track make huge investments into the facility, as it signals an intent to be around for the foreseeable future. It's a particular relief for Laguna Seca, which seems to attract operations drama like moths to a flame.
The continued existence of the track at all felt up in the air when the county ousted the group that had managed the facility since its inception, the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula, from the track's management. The county's 2019 vote to replace SCRAMP with A&D Narigi—a group that had no prior experience in motorsports and only one member of its managerial team listed in its proposal—was deservedly criticized for its lack of transparency and the potential conflicts of interest at play, as Racer noted at the time. Racing fans had good reason to be concerned, as Monterey County frequently butted heads with Laguna Seca management and far too often took the side of local NIMBYs over the best interests of the track.
Yet A&D Narigi head John Narigi did have a local reputation for turning businesses around and it looks like he's doing just that with Laguna Seca. The track's last repave was in 2007, and the bridge has rotting wood and dangling wires that show it's at the end of its life. The load rating of the bridge has already been reduced and steps have been taken to limit the number of people allowed on it at once, reports the Monterey County Herald. Track management has been whittling away at smaller upgrades, having spent some $3.3 million on updates throughout 2021, reports the Monterey County Weekly, but the county has been hesitant to approve the big stuff until now.
Construction is set to begin in November, so the new pavement should be set and ready to go for next year's Rennsport Reunion, among the many, many other pro racing and amateur events held at the track.
If you'd like to let me test out the new surface by loaning me a tractor for the Porsche-Diesel race—or if you have any tips—send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org