The County of Monterrey has informed the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) that it does not plan to continue their managerial partnership in regard to Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. The development brings an end to SCRAMP’s 62-year run of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the track.
A Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for next Tuesday will see the county confirm a new deal with A&D Narigi Consulting, LLC.
The consulting firm is headed by John Narigi who is well connected in the Monterrey area. Narigi was awarded Citizen of the Year by the Monterrey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce in 2017 according to his LinkedIn page.
The land on which the track is located was originally owned by the United States Army and was then leased to SCRAMP in 1957 to build Laguna Seca. In 1974, the U.S. Army transferred ownership of the land to the County of Monterrey who still owns it today.
When the County of Monterrey acquired the land, they continued to allow SCRAMP to conduct the managerial and day-to-day operations of the facility. The current three-year contract between SCRAMP and the County of Monterrey is set to expire at the end of this calendar year, presenting yet another opportunity for the county to look elsewhere for a partner.
In 2015, the county attempted to garner the interests of the International Speedway Corporation, the owners of tracks such as Daytona, Watkins Glen, and the newly-renovated ISM Raceway. ISC eventually decided not to file a bid for control of Laguna Seca.
The county also shopped elsewhere for a new partner in 2017, discussions with potential partners never materialized, though, and the county signed a three-year deal with SCRAMP which they will not renew.
“This news comes as a surprise to the SCRAMP organization,” said Tim McGrane, the CEO of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and SCRAMP. “We were starting to make real progress on getting the facility and the raceway operations turned around and poised for the future, but it appears at this time we may not have the opportunity to see these plans through,” McGrane added.
SCRAMP was one of three groups who sent proposals to run the facility after the county requested bids in October of this year. Christopher Pook, the man responsible for the creation of the Grand Prix of Long Beach, also submitted a proposal to run the facility. Pook served as president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach for 28 years before leaving in 2001.
The proposed plan from A&D Narigi Consulting, which totals just 11 pages compared to SCRAMP’s 38-page proposal, states that the group does not wish to decrease the number of races held at the track and that adding additional events will be critical to their plan of raising revenues.
McGrane described the process for which to submit bids as “unconventional,” in a statement sent by SCRAMP to members of the press. McGrane pointed to the fact that the County of Monterrey announced on October 15 that it was looking for new bids, it provided just a two-week window and set an application deadline for October 31.
“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,” McGrane said.
According to publicly-available records through the California Secretary of State’s website, A&D Narigi consulting filed its LLC registration with the California Secretary of State’s office on October 7, twelve days before the public announcement. The registration cites a residential address as its designated office.