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Report: ISC negotiating to operate Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

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The Monterey (Calif.) Herald reports that International Speedway Corp., is negotiating a potential deal to operate Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca.

The Monterey Board of Supervisors’ agenda for Tuesday morning’s meeting states that an agreement regarding the track is to be discussed in closed session. The agenda lists International Speedway Corp., as the negotiating party. The meeting agenda states that price and terms are under negotiation.

A request for comment from ISC had not been returned Tuesday morning.

International Speedway Corp., owns 12 tracks that host NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including Daytona International Speedway, Darlington Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway. ISC tracks also host other events, including the IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship.

The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula, a non-profit which has operated the track since its inception in Nov. 1957, has been managing the raceway on a monthly basis since March 2014, according to the Monterey Herald. The newspaper quoted a statement from county officials that they have “been exploring options for the management of the raceway to ensure its long-term success.’'

Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca is an 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course covering 542 acres along California’s central coast. Its most famous section is turns 8 and 8A, commonly referred to as The Corkscrew, which features a drop of 59 feet in elevation while competitors make a hard left and then a hard right.

Among those who have raced at the track include Stirling Moss, who won the inaugural Pacific Grand Prix and was the event’s only two-time winner. The 1962 Pacific Grand Prix had a starting lineup that included Roger Penske, Bruce McLaren, Dan Gurney, Graham Hill, Jim Hall and Jack Brabham. Others who later raced there included Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Mark Donohue, Parenlli Jones and Mario Andretti, who made the 1994 CART race there his last race.

The NASCAR Grand National West Tour raced there in 1973. Bobby Allison competed in the 1981 NASCAR Winston West race there. The first CART race there was 1983.

The track will host the FIM Superbike World Championship next month and the Pirelli World Challenge in September. The Tudor United SportsCar Championship raced there May 3 with Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante winning.

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