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Jul 16, 2007

Three-Time 500cc World Champion Wayne Rainey To Be Honored This Weekend At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca


Celebration at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to be Held at 2 p.m. Thursday

MONTEREY, Calif. (July 16, 1007) Readily acknowledged as one of the greatest motorcycle road racers of all time, Wayne Rainey of Monterey will be inducted into the Legends of Laguna Seca Walk of Fame this Thursday (July 19) in a special ceremony at 2 p.m. at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Monterey Mayor Chuck Della Sala will read a proclamation welcoming Rainey into the inaugural group of the Legends of Laguna Seca, quite fittingly in Turn 9 of the world-renowned raceway which bears his name Rainey Curve.

Rainey's tireless efforts were a key factor in bringing MotoGP back to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2005 after a 10-year absence and his considerable influence led to persuading Yamaha, for whom he rode while winning three straight World Championships, to invest $2 million in track upgrades to comply with FIM specifications.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca established the Legends of Laguna Seca as part of the celebration of its 50th Anniversary. The first race at the track nestled in the hills of the former Fort Ord military installation was held in November, 1957. The first inductee was legendary auto racer Dan Gurney at the U.S. Sports Car Invitational in May.

"Wayne Rainey has contributed to the success of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in a myriad of diverse ways," said track CEO/General Manager Gill Campbell. "Personally as well as the entire staff at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the Monterey Bay Area community are so pleased to be able to show Wayne this token of our deep and sincere appreciation for what he has done for all of us. Wayne has made our world a better place."

Rainey's successful contributions in bringing MotoGP back to Laguna Seca has resulted in a huge positive impact on the local economy and the many organizations that help conduct events at the raceway as more than 150,000 fans attended the three-day event in 2005 and more than 145,000 in 2006.

Rainey's induction will be a prelude to on-track activity for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix MotoGP race this weekend, July 20-22.

Rainey won what was then called the 500cc World Championship in consecutive years from 1990-1992. He also won American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Superbike Championships in 1983 and 1987. He won three consecutive 500cc World Championship races at Laguna Seca from 1989-1991, as well as AMA Superbike races here in 1983 and 1986 and the AMA 250cc Grand Prix race in 1984.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2007. The world-renowned raceway has been operated since its inception by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP), a not-for-profit 501C(4) corporation. Each race season, SCRAMP donates its net proceeds to the volunteer groups that help put on the races. Last season, SCRAMP donated over $400,000 to those local charities and civic organizations.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca's Golden Anniversary season features a world-class racing schedule including the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix July 20-22, the 34th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races August 17-19, the AMA Superbike Championships September 15-16 and the Monterey Sports Car Championships, the American Le Mans Series' season finale, October 19-21.