Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will Now Just be Laguna Seca
The Japanese automaker has ended its naming partnership with the historic California track.
After a storied 17-year relationship, Mazda and Laguna Seca have decided not to renew their contract as naming rights partners. Starting on April 1, 2018, the famed track will drop "Mazda Raceway" from its title, returning to its former moniker of Laguna Seca from then on out, according to a report from Autoweek. Despite the news, Mazda claims that it will continue its dedicated efforts in motorsport that include the MX-5 Cup series, Formula Mazda open-wheelers, and its IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar prototype crew Team Joest.
While Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was often shortened to just Laguna Seca in the auto community, the company pulling out as title sponsor is still a major announcement. The brand's influence on the Californian track has been crucial for nearly two decades and evidence of the two's partnership can be found throughout the facility. A massive mural of Mazda's Le Mans-winning 787B prototype can be found just beyond the stands at Laguna Seca, making its mark on grounds while also being visible from the nearby Monterey-Salinas Highway.
“After 17 seasons as the title sponsor for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Mazda has chosen to end its naming rights agreement with the storied race facility,” Mazda said in a statement to The Drive. “We will continue to participate in key event weekends, as racing is a part of our DNA. The relationship between Mazda, the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) and the County of Monterey has been a wonderful one, and this decision was not reached easily. We wish the facility, the management team and the millions of fans who love the track as much as we do many more successful racing laps into the future.”
Well-known for hosting events like Monterrey Car Week and its sun-basked locale, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is also the home of various sportscar races throughout each season. It will continue to accommodate these contests in the future, albeit a different name come springtime.