Photo by Bob Heathcote

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca extends with SCRAMP for three years

Leave a comment

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).

Follow @JerryBonkowski

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Leave a comment

To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

Follow@KyleMLavigne