Photo by Bob Heathcote

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca extends with SCRAMP for three years

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As it celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2017, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will continue to be in good and familiar management hands for the next three years.

The Monterey County (California) Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a three-year extension for day-to-day management of the racing facility by Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP).

SCRAMP originally built the county-owned facility in 1957, a relationship that reaches six decades this year.

“We have been working very closely with County Staff over the past several months to develop a plan that builds upon this iconic facility’s heritage of delivering significant economic impact to the Central Coast,” Michael Smith, president of the SCRAMP Board of Governors, said in a media release. “We will celebrate this heritage throughout the year with 60th anniversary celebrations, culminating in a Racing Through the Decades feature at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in August.”

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a major economic engine in the county. A 2015 study reported that the five major events at the facility generated $62.1 million in direct spending by event attendees, as well as generates $5.2 million in state and local tax revenues.

This year’s event season features the Ferrari Challenge (May 12-14), Spring Classic vintage car and motorcycle races (May 19-21), Superbike World Championship (July 7-9), Monterey Pre-Reunion (August 12-13), Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (August 17-20), Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix (September 21-24) and the Pirelli World Challenge (October 12-15).

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Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool