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Feb 8, 2002

Laguna Seca Groundbreaking Set For Today

From a press release:<BR><BR>$15 Million Improvement Project Groundbreaking<BR><BR>Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Gets a Facelift<BR><BR>First Phase Includes Garages and Hospitality Suites-<BR><BR>Monterey, CA (February 8, 2002) – The groundbreaking for the first phase of a multi-year, $15 million improvement project at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is set for Friday, February 8, 2002. From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., local dignitaries, city and Monterey County officials, Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) and Mazda representatives and drivers from the CART series will be on hand to usher in a new beginning at the world famous road course. The event coincides with CART Sneak Preview, which will be taking place throughout the weekend. Honorary co-chairs of the Leadership Cabinet for the Capital Campaign, set up to help fund the project, include racing legend Mario Andretti and car designer Carroll Shelby. World-renowned motorcycle racer, Wayne Rainey, is the honorary chairperson.<BR><BR>"We're thrilled to finally break ground on these long-planned improvements," said SCRAMP President Kathy Hayworth, "and we thank the spectators and participants in advance for putting up with our dust throughout the forthcoming construction process. The end result will be well worth the wait and will positively enhance the racing experience for everyone who attends an event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. We appreciate the efforts of all those who helped make this possible."<BR><BR>The entire improvement project will direct $15 million toward revamping Mazda Raceway's support facilities including permanent garages topped by hospitality suites, a revamped media center with race control and timing and scoring. Phase I is slated to cost $7.8 million. To help with the cost of the improvement project, SCRAMP has secured a $7,112,300 loan with First National Bank. The groundbreaking kicks-off construction of Phase I, which entails the project section that is nearest to Turn 11.<BR><BR>"This is Mazda's home away from home," said Jay Amestoy, Vice President of Mazda North America Operations, "so making MRLS an even better, more enjoyable racing facility for fans, racing teams, drivers and our employees was one of the primary reasons for our relationship with SCRAMP."<BR><BR>The partnership Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) signed with Mazda North America Operations early last year was vital in helping fund the improvement project. The $7.5 million SCRAMP received helped our organization move forward with plans to replace the temporary structures built for each event with permanent facilities including garages, luxury suites, bathrooms and other much needed infrastructure improvements, and address improvements in safety, traffic and parking.<BR><BR><BR><BR>From a related press release:<BR><BR>County Supervisors Ratify Modified Financial Plan for SCRAMP<BR><BR>Includes $7,112,300 Loan for Track Improvements<BR><BR>Phase I Groundbreaking on Friday, January 8<BR><BR>Monterey, CA (February 5, 2002) – The Monterey County Board of Supervisors has officially ratified a modified financial plan that includes a new loan agreement for the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP). The loan secures more than $7 million for the non-profit organization's multi-year, $15 million improvement project. SCRAMP took out the $7,112,300.00 loan with First National Bank of Central California. As the overseeing body of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, SCRAMP was required to get the board's ratification as part of its use agreement with Monterey County. This unprecedented transaction in the history of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca helps solidify the world-renown track's future as a world-class facility. Cooperation between Monterey County, SCRAMP, First National Bank of Central California and Mazda North America Operations have all created a strong financial foundation for improvements that will allow the heritage of top notch racing and hospitality at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to flourish for many years to come.<BR><BR>"The ratification allows us to move forward in our continued efforts to improve Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca," said SCRAMP President Kathy Hayworth. "The Board of Supervisors are good partners in helping us achieve our goals of increasing the economic vitality of the Central Coast by improving the level of our facility, through completion of the Master Plan. We appreciate their continued support."<BR><BR><BR><BR>And from yet another related press release:<BR><BR>CART Banks Cash for Community<BR><BR>CART Sneak Preview Helps Local Economy In a Traditionally Slow Time of Year<BR><BR>Monterey, CA (February 4, 2002) – The financial impact of CART Sneak Preview is tremendous for the Monterey Peninsula. Traditionally, many hotels and local businesses see a lag in the amount of tourist revenue during this time of year, except for one large event. With the influx of CART teams, sponsors, drivers, series personnel, national and international media and race fans the dollars start to add up. Big time! Not only are restaurants full of hundreds of hungry visitors to the Monterey Peninsula, but the hotels see the positive impact as well.<BR><BR>"Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and CART deserve the checkered flag for bringing Sneak Preview to the Peninsula this week," said Greg Keebler, General Manager of Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center on Monterey Bay. "Not only do local businesses benefit from a new infusion of business in February from the CART teams, officials and associated business partners, but the local fans get a behind-the-scenes experience at the track for free. Sneak Preview is a win-win!" <BR><BR>Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is unique in the sports world. The racetrack is run by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP). SCRAMP is a not for profit organization chartered to benefit local charitable and not for profit groups, and to promote economic vitality. SCRAMP motorsports events have an economic impact of more than $129 million dollars annually for central coast businesses, and over the last 44 years that has added up to more than $1 billion dollars for area business owners.<BR><BR>"The CART Sneak Preview adds a new reason for visitors to enjoy Monterey County," said Burke Pease, Executive Director of Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We welcome this addition to our calendar and know guests will be rewarded with a great experience."<BR><BR>The 501C3 not for profit organization is under the direction of its volunteer, 25 member Board of Directors, and SCRAMP has achieved and surpassed all conceivable goals. In total, SCRAMP, Mazda Raceway continue to positively impact area businesses and charities with millions of dollars related directly to events held at the track. CART Sneak Preview is just one of them. SCRAMP has made more than $10 million dollars in donations to charities in Monterey County and supported Monterey County Parks, plus raceway improvements, with approximately $1 million per year. At the conclusion of the 2001 season, $507,500 was donated to local and regional charities. The 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series Sneak Preview is a great beginning to having another successful season.
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