Is Laguna Seca Raceway in Trouble?

Law Tigers at Thunder in the RockiesMazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a legendary place when it comes to motorsports racing. It has hosted races from premiere international leagues as well as national championships, but there’s a problem. The track is having funding issues, and a personal injury lawsuit is laying these issues open for the whole world to see.

The Problem with Laguna Seca Raceway

The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) has managed Laguna Seca for over 50 years, but it’s been having problems. In 2014, the MotoGP Championship pulled its race from the calendar at the storied track. The powers-that-be at Dorna—the company that runs MotoGP—said the track didn’t have the modern advancements that modern raceways must have to keep riders safe. The criticism was only the beginning of the racetrack’s woes.

Monterey County owns the racetrack and county counsel members weren’t happy with the development. They accused SCRAMP of misusing sponsorship funds that were meant to improve the track. Mazda paid $7.5 million for naming rights and to sponsor the track, but $5.25 million of that money was to be used to improve the track. Many county officials claim this hasn’t happened.

Fast forward to 2015, and the CEO of Lit Motors—a company developing a motorcycle that doesn’t tip over—has become involved. As he was pounding out laps to test lean angles, the CEO crashed a Ducati 1199 Panigale. He piloted the Ducati into a run-off area while trying to avoid a slower rider when he encountered unmarked sandbags. The crash resulted in over $500,000 in medical bills as well as 10 months’ worth of recovery time.

The CEO is now suing for his pain, suffering, medical bills and lost wages. He claims SCRAMP was negligent both in placing the sandbags and in the lack of improvements to the track. Could he be right? Will the conflict between the Monterey County Counsel and SCRAMP play into the lawsuit? Keep following our blog for more updates from our motorcycling attorney. You can also share your opinions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.