Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mazda Extends Laguna Seca Contract

Mazda and Laguna Seca know a good thing when they see it, so their relationship has been extended through March 2011. As a result, the iconic race course in Monterey will continue to be officially known as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Laguna Seca hosts races for MotoGP, Grand-Am, ALMS, and, of course, the Monterey Historics. In addition to those major events, Laguna Seca hosts a variety of SCCA events and various driving-school clinics throughout the year. The track is best known for its "Corkscrew" (turns 8 and 8A), which features two turns in rapid succession combined with a precipitous drop in elevation. While I have never driven the course myself, I have lost many, many races in Gran Turismo by botching the Corkscrew on the final lap.

The official announcement of the contract renewal drifted into corporate-speak silliness when Mazda North American Operations honcho Jim O'Sullivan issued this rather unfortunate statement:
"Our successful partnership with SCRAMP* and Laguna Seca over the past five years has made the raceway our home-away-from-home. The two-and-a-half-mile circuit is the ultimate Zoom-Zoom for racers, race fans and Mazda enthusiasts everywhere."

*Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula
The ultimate Zoom-Zoom? Yikes...

You can read the full press release at the ALMS website.

Photo courtesy of GM.