Monterey County has removed longtime Laguna Seca managers SCRAMP from its role with the track, with new management firm A&D Narigi Consulting set to be approved by the county next week.
The shakeup would end a 62-year-run by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula, which has operated the Northern California circuit since its opening in 1957.
The former military facility, which is considered a public park, is owned by Monterey County.
The news, announced on Thursday, came as a “surprise” to SCRAMP, according to Tim McGrane, CEO of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and SCRAMP, who took over the position in June 2018
“As the existing facility operator, we were stunned by the fact that we were not provided the opportunity to discuss our proposal with the ACAO,” McGrane said.
“The entire process has been unconventional, ranging from the bypassing of the County’s usual Request For Proposal (RFP) process, the announcement in mid-October requesting proposals from any interested parties with only two weeks’ notice, and complaints that SCRAMP had not met deadlines to submit a proposal when in fact a submission date had been agreed upon in May, and subsequently met, has been challenging.”
This is not the first time that the county has sought an alternative to SCRAMP.
In 2015, Monterey County began private talks with International Speedway Corp. who, after a careful review of the operational parameters of the facility, determined not to submit a formal proposal for management of the track.
One year later, the Monterey County Administrators Office entered into negotiations with another group to replace SCRAMP for 2017 but were unable to agree to terms that were mutually acceptable.
The county then reverted to a three-year agreement with SCRAMP to continue running Laguna Seca.
“We’ve delivered an extensive, forward-looking proposal to the County for a new, long-term 20-year management and operating agreement that incorporates solid plans for revenue generation and expense reduction, expansion of the use of existing facilities, and development of Laguna Seca into a world-class destination,” said McGrane.
“We are building the right team, both paid staff and volunteers, with extensive motorsports experience, institutional knowledge, and the dedication to lead this important Monterey County asset into a successful future.”
A board meeting, with the plan to approve A&D Narigi Consulting as the new operators, is scheduled for Tuesday.