Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca


Years ago, in 1957, the motor racing landscape forever changed. That’s when the first sports car race was held here at the new Laguna Seca Raceway.

The beginnings of now-named WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is traced back to the Pebble Beach Road Races that began in 1950. And by 1956, this popular race had swelled to more than 50,000 spectators crowding the tree-lined forest course. International driving stars regularly competed and the atmosphere was both racing and a social happening.

There were, however, some very serious problems concerning driver and spectator safety, who were dangerously close to the road. There were no safety areas between the racers and the many pine trees that lined the public roads. There was also concern about the quality of the road surface and widths for safe passing.

Unfortunately, in April 1956, the concerns took a disastrous turn. Ernie McAfee left the road in his Ferrari 121 LM and hit a tree. It was a fatal accident, and the last race to be held in the forest.

The popularity of the races and the financial impact on the community, however, impressed the military authorities at Ford Ord. They began working with the newly-formed group of civic-minded businessmen who created the not-for-profit Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) in an effort to keep sports car racing in Monterey.

In mid-1957, negotiations between SCRAMP and the Army flourished and a site at Laguna Seca on Fort Ord was selected for the race track. SCRAMP paid the Army $3,000 for use of the land and the lease was signed on August 7, 1957.

During negotiations, SCRAMP volunteers were furiously working to raise $125,000 to construct the track. They raised the money and construction began the first week of September 1957.

Remarkably, the track was completed in a mere 60 days, just in time for the first race to be held on November 9 and 10. When Major General W.M. Breckenridge and SCRAMP officers cut the ribbon on the new facility, 35,000 spectators and 100 entries had shown up. The success of the inaugural race sealed the track’s future. While the track has undergone enhancements, it still retains its original sports car racing spirit.

Through the years, the scenic facility has hosted many international events that have attracted visitors from around the world, such as Can-Am, Trans-Am, Formula 5000, IMSA, IndyCar, American Le Mans Series, Superbike World Championship and MotoGP motorcycle races, as well as the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

The track itself has undergone significant changes over the past two decades to meet evolving safety homologation requirements. Changes include the addition of the infield in 1988 (present day turns 3, 4 and 5) extending the track from its original 1.9-mile length to its current 2.238-mile length, plus the relocation of pedestrian bridges and embankments, and the expansion of gravel pits for additional runoff.

Perhaps one of the most famous moments in motorsports lore took place at the Corkscrew when Alex Zanardi passed Bryan Herta on the inside of the Corkscrew on the last lap of the 1996 CART race to take the victory.

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca continues to be recognized as one of the top ten traditional road courses in the world.

Now, years later, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which is owned by the County of Monterey and managed by SCRAMP, flourishes with major race events. From the humblest of beginnings to a world-renowned race track, SCRAMP continues to give back to the community, businesses and remains an economic engine for Monterey County.

Board of Governors

Dr. Dean Fewtrell, Chair
Gregg Curry, Secretary
Luis Alvarez
Michael Kotalec
Gregg McWilliams
Shelley Niedernhofer
Marc Risman

Race & Events Committee

Chair & Director of Vehicle Control

Dennis Farber

Directors of Vehicle Control

Jim Coldwell

Patrick Kelly

Vice Chair & Director of Guest Services

Dr. Dean Fewtrell

Director of Guest Services

Mark Mendoza

Director of Hospitality

Debra Brown

Secretary & Director of Communications

Gregg McWilliams

Directors of Paddock

Lee Ames

Doug Finch

Bryan Mutoza

Director of Government Affairs

Carl Anderson

Director of Transportation

George D. Covell, Jr.

Director of Camping

Gregg I. Curry

Directors of Vendor Services

Dan Lee

Al Mulholland

Directors of Admissions

Juliet Lucero

Ginger Mutoza

Director of Spectator Medical

Monica A. Nathan

Director of Race Operations

Joe Prospero

Director of Communications

Carl Schumaker

Director of Information Technology

Henry Simpson