SALINAS — WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca celebrated the completion of the most extensive capital improvement project in more than two decades after a $20 million and eight-month renovation and beautification project concluded.
Elected officials, county staff, invited business leaders and WeatherTech Raceway staff participated July 7 in the celebratory inauguration and bridge cutting ceremony to mark the occasion. The celebration also kicked off the MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest at Monterey, which was the first Premier Event for the fresh new race surface and all-new Start/Finish bridge.
Speaking at the ceremony were Monterey County Supervisors Luis Alejo and Mary Adams, whose board approved funding the extensive projects.
“The County of Monterey is proud to make these significant investments in our world renowned WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca,” commented Alejo, chair of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. “We want to keep attracting premier racing events and tourism while making the experience as enjoying as possible to the racers, volunteers and many spectators. Our county recognizes that Laguna Seca is a special place known all over the world and we want to elevate its prominence among the best tracks anywhere.”
Adams, whose Fifth District includes Laguna Seca, agreed with the momentous occasion.
“Today is a significant day for all Monterey County residents as we celebrate the completion of recent work on one of our Crown Jewels, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca,” she said.
Adams added, “The new Start/Finish Bridge and track resurfacing represent the first major investment in this internationally treasured asset in more than 20 years. We are grateful to the many workers, partners and other racing enthusiasts who supported and encouraged this incredible project. People worked 24/7 to complete it on time. We will all benefit from their sacrifices to get the job done on schedule! Thanks to all for a job well done.”
“This is a remarkable day for the community, event and motorsport fans as we reopen and welcome the community back to use the new bridge and track surface,” said John Narigi, president and general manager of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. “I’m extremely proud of the collaboration among the teams from Monterey County Public Works, Facilities and Parks, Granite Construction and our staff through the many weather-related delays to bring us a new future. This has been a greenlight for progress and we intend to use that momentum to keep delivering world-class events.”
Narigi also thanked the support from organizations such as the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Monterey County Hospitality Association for their forward-looking interest in keeping the Laguna Seca Recreation Area a premier destination for visitors worldwide.
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca has long been a significant tourism and revenue generator for the county.
“This moment marks a significant occasion in our already rich history in motorsports,” Narigi added.
As a reminder that Laguna Seca Recreation Area is owned by the County of Monterey and ultimately belongs to the people who live here, both the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce conducted ribbon cuttings to commemorate the occasion.
The project, which began last November, included a complete repaving of the 2.238-mile track, an impressive new Start/Finish bridge that safely allows for both pedestrians and carts, extensive ground beautification of the historic recreation area, and a fresh coat of paint on many of the buildings that blends seamlessly into the surrounding hills and landscape.
After multiple setbacks due to the unprecedented storms and flooding the past eight months, the track and everyone involved in the project can now enjoy the “new and improved” facility near Salinas.