Laguna Seca management secures funding for facility upgrades

Photo: Nick Lish

Originally posted to RACER.com by Marshall Pruett

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors has approved a request for significant funding by WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca track management firm A&D Narigi, LLC. The presentation to the board made Wednesday morning by John Narigi to use county funds to upgrade the county-controlled facility passed with four out of the five supervisors voting in favor of the proposal.

First on the list is to replace the crumbling bridge that spans the start/finish line and provides passage into or out of the paddock for the majority of the attendees at the venue. A design for a new, 12-foot-wide bridge that would allow for foot traffic and golf cart usage to cross the track has been produced by Monterey-based architects The Paul Davis Partnership at an estimated cost of $4.8 million.

Host of the last three Porsche Rennsport Reunion events, the German auto manufacturer informed Narigi that it will not return to the Californian circuit for its next edition – planned for 2023 – without a new bridge in place. The board’s approval would appear to give Porsche no reason to look elsewhere for hosting of the next Rennsport.

Narigi’s request also included funding for the resurfacing of Laguna Seca’s well-worn track surface, which received it last new layer of tarmac in 2007. Along with the bridge replacement and other modest updates to the facility in this initial funding approval, the county committed to spend approximately $9.8 million to modernize the ageing property in the coming years. To complete the full restoration and modernization of Laguna Seca, Narigi estimates $66 million will be needed in total.

Before specific timelines on the bridge replacement and track resurfacing can be generated, Narigi and the county will need to commission and complete a variety of environmental impact studies and receive approval to move forward with demolition and construction at the circuit that resides within the county park.