Dear Supervisor Potter,

I am writing this letter in support of the Friends of Laguna Seca and thought I would include a little family history regarding the Laguna Seca Raceway. As you well know my parents started Robert Talbot Incorporated in Carmel, in 1950. I started Robert Talbott Vineyards in 1982 giving us 99 combined years of employment to Monterey Peninsula residents. I was fortunate to be taken to attend all five of the Pebble Beach Road Races in Del Monte Forest starting in 1950 and ending after the tragedy in 1955. I then attended the first Laguna Seca race in 1957 and continued to attend every race at that track until I left for College in 1966. Subsequently, I have attended many historic car races under Steve Earle and most every motorcycle event from the early days, then Moto GP to this summer’s FIM Superbike race. There is nothing I like more and will take every opportunity to either drive or ride the track whenever I can.

Most recently, I have built and opened a 501 ©3 Motorcycle and Family History Museum in Carmel Valley Village. I strongly believe in the concept of giving back to our community that has given us so much throughout the years, hence our non-profit approach. I also strongly believe that the Laguna Seca Raceway is an absolute gem and treasure for the Monterey Peninsula, California, the U.S.A. and frankly, the International racing community. In all the years that I have attended events at the track, never have I seen it in such a deplorable condition as is evident today. As a businessman, it is hard for me to fathom the extent of mismanagement this beloved venue has endured.

I strongly believe that the future of this iconic Track would best be served in the reliable, knowledgeable, and trusting hands of truly local successful businessmen who indeed, have the best interests of our Community and the racetrack at heart. Their proposal of a non-profit approach is indeed refreshing to the Talbott family and one we wholeheartedly endorse.

In closing, I urge the Supervisors to choose “The Friends of Laguna Seca” for the future leadership and stewardship of the Raceway which deserves so much more than it has been receiving at present. Many of my colleagues in the Racing community feel the same way and endorse this local group as well.

With respect,
Robert Talbott

Dear supervisor

As Vice president Monterey Bay Karters I am very aware of the pending decision on the future of Laguna Seca recreation area. I am writing this letter to strongly support the Friends of Laguna Seca.

Friends of Laguna Seca’s President, Ross Merrill has been a huge part of Monterey Bay Karters for over two decades. From day one Ross wanted MBK to be a non-profit and has helped our organization put our income back into improving the track and equipment our club uses. He has helped secure use permits through the city of Marina and finance the many improvements required by the FAA at our Marina track site. With Ross’s help and guidance Monterey Bay Karter’s has grown into one of the strongest Karting organizations in Northern California, recently hosting one of the largest karting events ever held in Northern California. Over the years MBK have supported both Salinas and Marina PAL programs and if a Kart track were to be built at Laguna Seca we would love to expand our public and youth programs further. You’re never going to get a better offer than what the FLS has proposed. Please consider; FLS is offering an initial 25 million to improve Laguna Seca with no strings attached – they are a non- profit – any income they make must be used to improve the facility or donated to local charities.

As I’m sure you know Motorsports related events bring in the largest % of income to Monterey county tourism dependent businesses each year. Friends of Laguna Seca is committed to better managing Laguna Seca which will help insure a bright future for our local hospitality industry and the many people and organizations that depend on Laguna Seca recreational area.

Please vote for Friends of Laguna Seca and the future of Monterey.

Tom Agan
VP Monterey Bay Karters

Dear Monterey County Board of Supervisors,

The board and membership of the Laguna Seca Sports Shooting Association (LSSSA) would like to offer our support to the Friends of Laguna Seca and their vision for the future of the Laguna Seca Rifle and Pistol Range.

Our non-profit organization has been holding competitive shooting events at this facility for 35 years. We look forward to the opportunity to continue our years of safe shooting and support of the range. We believe the Friends of Laguna Seca are the group that we can best work with to this end.

Dennis Smith
President of the Laguna Seca Sports Shooting Association.

Dear Supervisor Jane Parker,

Thank you for your effort to search for new management and operation of the Laguna Seca Recreation Area and solutions to the many issues that exist at the facility. It appears deferred maintenance has left this important facility in disrepair while concurrently under-utilized.

I support the Friends of Laguna Seca and their local non-profit approach. In 2012, Monterey Bay Karters faced near extinction after operating at the Marina Municipal Airport for two decades due to a very complicated mix of use permit issues and federal _mandates from the FAA. Through very careful navigation of the issues and creative thinking, Friends President Ross Merrill worked with our city officials and the FAA to create and implement solutions to solve these problems. Monterey Bay Karters now is one of the largest karting programs on the West Coast hosting a full program of kart club racing including hosting the nationally recognized Super Karts! USA event at Marina which brings hundreds of karting participants and spectators to our city for a week each year.

Over the 17 years Mr. Merrill and Monterey Bay Karters have managed events at Marina Municipal Airport they have done so with extreme professionalism, safety, and reliability.

The extensive expertise and financial team that the Friends has assembled appears as solid as it gets and it is very possible the long term success and preservation of the Laguna Seca Recreation Area and its impact on the local economy of Monterey County depends on your consideration of Friends of Laguna Seca.

Sincerely,
Mayor Bruce Delgado

Dear Supervisor Potter:

I am writing you to convey my strongest support for Friends of Laguna Seca and their vision to return the Laguna Seca Raceway back to the venue that will live up to its internationally-recognized reputation.

As a resident of both Monterey County and Silicon Valley, we feel blessed with the beautiful surroundings that are envied around the world. During our various travels (especially those related to motorsports events) we’ve come to learn that Laguna Seca enjoys a special reputation for its beauty and history. Unfortunately, I do not believe that Laguna Seca has been able to live up to that reputation for quite a few years and no longer deserves those accolades. Changes are needed before it is too late.

I’ve been personally involved in amateur motorsports for over two decades, starting with attendance of my first racing school at Laguna Seca in the mid 1990’s. During the earlier years, our family and friends frequently attended various marquee events at the facility. Sadly, that has not been the case in the recent years, as the steady decline of the facilities as well as the quantity and quality of events have made it less and less inviting. As a result, the $100’s of thousands of dollars I’ve spent on supporting my motorsports hobbies and leisure activities have largely been at and around other facilities in California.

Friends of Laguna Seca represent the right type of change that is needed – strong leadership with worldwide perspective AND strong local and regional roots that will bring not only Monterey Peninsula but the Greater Silicon Valley network and skillsets to bear. Having personally known the key leadership of Friends of Laguna Seca for years, I am confident that they have both the right vision and the ability to fully execute their plans to return Laguna Seca to its full glory – a place where motorsports enthusiasts consider a must-visit venue and a strong magnet for the lifestyle that Monterey Peninsula represents.

A place where I can spend more time pursuing my hobbies and proudly invite others to do so as well – a track that I will be proud to call my “Home Track”.

Supervisor Potter, thank you for the opportunity to address this matter and look forward to my own enthusiastic involvement in helping Friends of Laguna Seca to recapture the magic of Laguna Seca.

Sincerely,
Sam H. Lee

Dear Supervisor Fernando Armenta

As a local resident and a long time user of all the facilities at Laguna Seca (from cycling events, gun range, to attending and participating in the on track motorsports events) I recommend that you support the Friends of Laguna Seca proposal.
The Friends of Laguna Seca is the only option that combines strong local leadership with a proven business track record of running large profitable operations with a local non-profit organization.    This provides the best of both worlds to the people of Monterey County.    It allows Laguna Seca to develop into a sustainable world class facility which attracts users and visitors from around the world.

I urge you to support Friends of Laguna Seca!

Sincerely
Bill Ward

Dear Supervisor Potter:

I am an avid motorsports enthusiast and amateur racecar driver.  Professionally, I am the retired Chairman and CEO of a large Silicon Valley software company and I now sit on various tech company boards.

Whether or not you yourself are a car enthusiast, I am sure you are aware of the significance of the asset that is Laguna Seca raceway?  To those who love cars and motorsports, Laguna Seca is a national and even international treasure, an asset on par with Mount Rushmore or Yellowstone; an iconic and revered site with a rich and important history.  But it is also a site with immense potential in the present day, both as a tourist draw and as a motorsports venue.

SCRAMP’s management of the Laguna Seca facility has been atrocious and the facility is dilapidated and unsafe.  I am pleased to see you taking action to turn things around.  Thank you!

Although Laguna Seca raceway is the nearest racetrack to my home, I rarely bother to participate in events at Laguna Seca.  My spending on motorsports (dining, lodging, retail purchases, and all of my wife’s spending) goes to the areas surrounding Sonoma Raceway, Thunderhill Raceway, and various out-of-state venues.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet with Ross Merrill and others from Friends of Laguna Seca and I’ve reviewed their plans and proposals for the Laguna Seca facility.  I am impressed with their thoughtfulness, vision, planned investments, and fiscal savvy.  And wow!  From Mr. Merrill I learned that the Laguna Seca facility has a shooting range.  Who knew?  Perhaps once the shooting facility is improved, I could shift some of my shooting range time down to Monterey too?  I know my wife would prefer that.

Supervisor Potter, I strongly encourage you to award the Laguna Seca management contract to Friends of Laguna Seca.  Under their leadership we could again restore Laguna Seca to national and international prominence and create an important draw for tourism and leisure activities.

Sincerely,
Martin W. Brauns

Dear Monterey County Board of Supervisors,

I am writing this letter in support of Friends of Laguna Seca’s bid to become the new concessionaire for the Laguna Seca Recreation Area (LSRA).

By way of introduction, I am the Chairman of The Wheeler Company, a management-consulting firm focused on professional sports, motorsports and general business. Many know me as “Humpy”, the most decorated promoter in NASCAR auto racing. I started off as Director of Racing for Firestone and then became President of Charlotte Motor Speedway and later COO & President of the first motorsports organization to go public on the NYSE – Speedway Motorsports. I am a member of 14 halls of fame and have been honored by three North Carolina governors for my work in tourism.

I have always thought Laguna Seca had the potential of being one of the greatest motorsports facilities in North America. Its physical location, the dynamics of the area and its heritage combine to make such potential possible. In order to do so, it needs a management team that can run a great track. I was excited to hear about Friends of Laguna Seca and strongly believe they are the best team for the job; they have the strongest Board I have ever seen with a motorsports facility. Their General Manager, Lauri Eberhart, worked for me for over 20 years and became one of the smartest, most admired individuals in motorsports. A superb lawyer by trade, she knows the racing business backwards and forwards and knows how to make the right decisions. With all my success, Lauri was my right hand and was not afraid to get her hands dirty. She is totally honest, smart as a whip, a very logical thinker and is young enough to set her legacy at Laguna Seca’s facility.

I wish the County well in its pursuit of a good steward for this facility. Racing, like many sports, is going through a metamorphosis and the team with new ideas and a smarter team will prevail.  Accordingly, my advice is to go with Friends of Laguna Seca.

I am available if you would like to speak to me further about why I believe Friends of Laguna Seca would be the right choice for LSRA.

H.A. Wheeler,
Chairman, Speedway Benefits
Chairman, The Wheeler Company

Dear Monterey County Board of Supervisors:

I have resided on the Monterey Peninsula for 32 years. During this time period, I have enjoyed many events at Laguna Seca. When I was General Manager of the Highlands Inn, our company frequently did luxury catering at the racetrack. The same was true when I was General Manager of the Lodge at Pebble Beach. I’m sorry to say that over the last decade, I’ve seen a noticeable decline in the facilities at the raceway.

I am aware of the proposal submitted by the Friends of Laguna Seca for the LSRA Concessions Agreement. I am enthusiastically endorsing the Friends of Laguna Seca’s bid to be the concessionaire for the following reasons:

(a): They are a local non-profit organization.
(b): The Friends of Laguna Seca have put together an outstanding founding Board of Directors that have deep community roots and exceptional business experience.
(c): They have identified a top professional to manage LSRA.
(d): They will commit significant financial resources to make the LSRA the world class facility that it should be.

As a hotel and restaurant owner, I know that hospitality and agriculture and the two engines driving the economy of Monterey County. The Monterey Peninsula is a world class destination that attracts automobile enthusiasts and destination tourists from all over the world. LSRA is an absolute jewel which needs to be polished. There is no better group to take on this challenge to potentialize what we all could see in LSRA as a significant economic driver of Monterey County and the Monterey Peninsula economy.

In closing , I strongly endorse this incredibly talented local group of successful businessmen and women who will give it their all to take LSRA into the future.

Thank you for your consideration.

Kindest regards,

David Fink
CEO Mirabel Hotel and Restaurant Group

DF/gmb

To: The Monterey County Board of Supervisors,

I am aware of the current Request for Proposal concerning the future of Laguna Seca Recreation Area (LSRA).  I’m writing to let you know that I strongly support Friends of Laguna Seca’s proposal for the LSRA concession agreement.

The Friends of Laguna Seca’s local presence, its non-profit approach, its commitment to fiscal discipline and the comprehensive vision for LSRA convinced me to become a Friends of Laguna Seca Founding Member.

If the County awards the LSRA concession to Friends of Laguna Seca I pledge significant financial support and will do what I can as a Friends of Laguna Seca Founding Member to ensure the long-term success and viability of LSRA.

I truly believe Friends of Laguna Seca’s singular focus to revitalize and reinvent this historic raceway into a world-class facility and motorsports venue will have lasting benefits for the citizens of Monterey County and the Salinas Valley.

I would underscore that Friends of Laguna Seca’s focus will always be on what’s best for the facility and most importantly not the private gain of any person or corporate entity.

Sincerely,
Ranson W. Webster

Dear Monterey County Board of Supervisors,

I am aware of the current Request for Service Proposal concerning the future of Laguna Seca Recreation Area (LSRA). I’m writing to let you know that The Dyson Foundation strongly supports Friends of Laguna Seca’s bid for the LSRA concession agreement.

By way of background, The Dyson Foundation is committed to making grants to organizations that improve their communities efficiently. This project is a perfect example of what the Foundation strives to make possible.

The organization’s local presence, its commitment to fiscal discipline and the Friends’ smart and comprehensive vision for LSRA convinced the Foundation to support the non-profit goals of the Friends of Laguna Seca.

Should the County award the LSRA concession to Friends of Laguna Seca, the Foundation will contribute financial support to ensure the long-term success and viability of LSRA.

I truly believe Friends of Laguna Seca’s singular focus to revitalize and reinvent this historic raceway into a world-class facility and motorsports venue will contribute to the general welfare of the citizens of Monterey County and Salinas Valley. Again, this is exactly the type of mission that the Foundation supports.

Sincerely,
The Dyson Foundation

Dear Monterey County Board of Supervisors,

As an active member of both the professional auto racing community and the vintage auto racing hobby, I am well aware of the current Request for Service Proposal concerning the future of Laguna Seca Recreation Area (LSRA). I’m writing to let you know that I strongly support Friends of Laguna Seca’s bid for the LSRA concession agreement.

For background, I have been involved with racing and Laguna Seca Raceway for some time. I am not only an enthusiastic collector and racer of historic cars, but I am co-­owner of the professional racing organization, Chip Ganassi Racing, which fields teams in NASCAR, IMSA SportsCars, RallyCross and Indy Cars. Additionally, I am the owner and Chairman of RK Motors, a leading dealer of classic and performance cars.

I believe the experience of the Friends of Laguna Seca’s Board, the organization’s local presence, its non-­profit approach, commitment to fiscal discipline and the Friend’s comprehensive vision for LSRA convinced me to become a Friends of Laguna Seca Founding Member.

Should the County award the LSRA concession to Friends of Laguna Seca, I pledge significant financial support and will do what I can as a Friends of Laguna Seca Founding Member to ensure the long-­term success and viability of LSRA.
The racing community is a small world, and I am fairly familiar with others who are interested in this project. However, I believe Friends of Laguna Seca’s lack of conflict of interest, non-­profit status and singular focus will have lasting benefits for the citizens of Monterey County and Salinas Valley and the facility itself.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance or provide any additional information that may be of use.

Best regards,
Robert I. Kauffman

Dear Monterey County Board of Supervisors,

This letter is to express my enthusiastic support for Friends of Laguna Seca in its bid to become the new concessionaire for Laguna Seca Recreation Area (“LSRA”), most specifically the raceway.

By way of introduction, I am president of Meyer Pacific, a real estate investment firm and the founding chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum, recently named by leading automotive publications as the finest automotive museum in the world .. In addition I have personally known most of the Board members of Friends of Laguna Seca for over 40 years. I can tell you this impressive, bright and honorable group has a true passion for motorsports and the business acumen to successfully operate LSRA. Their motives are truly altruistic with a vision to reinvest all profits back into the facility for the good of the community.

These men of accomplishment feel strongly about preserving the traditions of Laguna Seca Raceway and have the attention to quality and detail to bring restored glory back to the facility. Also, their non-profit structure stands in clear contrast to other for-profit organizations that may desire to operate LSRA. For-profit corporations have obligations to their stockholders, not their communities.

For these reasons and many more, I believe Friends of Laguna Seca are the best suited to operate and maintain LSRA and will be a welcome addition, and supporter, of our community.

Respectfully,
Bruce Meyer

Dear Monterey County Board of Supervisors,

It’s with great pleasure that I offer my wholehearted and enthusiastic support of the Friends of Laguna Seca in their bid to take over the management of both the Laguna Seca Recreation Area and Laguna Seca Raceway. As both the Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angles and as a partner in the MotoAmerica AMA Pro North American motorcycle racing series, I strong endorse the character and business acumen of the Friends of Laguna Seca.

I personally know most of the business leaders in the group and have found them to be successful, honorable and passionate about both motorsports and in serving the local community in Monterey County. Having worked with these leaders in other capacities over the past two decades, I have found them to be tireless in their pursuit of perfection in every area of both business and motorsports.

This group is uniquely qualified to run LSRA thanks to the diverse backgrounds of its members — business and civic leaders, an attorney, developer, racers and event specialists — all from the central cost that are devoted to both preserving the heritage of this unique facility, bringing fiduciary responsibility to the track and its management, serving the needs of the community that surrounds it and growing the events — and by extension the local economy — affiliated with LSRA in a responsible and respectful way.

I have been personally going to Laguna Seca since the 1960s in roles as a team owner, manufacturer and corporate sponsor as a former VP of Roush Industries. Today both organizations I am involved with are still dedicated to the facility and its events, from exhibiting world-class vehicles from the Petersen Automotive Museum Collection at the Rolex Reunion to running a MotoAmerica race alongside World Superbike.

While my affection for the location continues, I believe that with the right leadership, particularly a non-profit run by local business leaders, Laguna Seca would quickly become the world-class facility the community of Monterey deserves. Surrounded by some of the most idyllic natural beauty and stunning architecture in the world, Laguna Seca is positioned to become the Monaco of the West Coast, and under the guidance of Friends of Laguna Seca I believe this goal would come to fruition quickly and in a responsible way. If you have any questions, I encourage you to reach out directly. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Terry L. Kargas
Executive Director
Petersen Automotive Museum

Dear Monterey County Board of Supervisors,

This letter is to voice my personal support along with my company, Just Marketing International (JMI), the world’s largest motorsports sponsorship agency, of the ‘Friends of Laguna Seca’. This is the not for profit organization that has a keen interest in helping to build Laguna Seca into the future.

I have known this impressive group of individuals for a long time; they are passionate about motorsport and the automotive industry and, most importantly, have been supporters of Laguna Seca for many years. I find they have the wherewithal, experience, attention to detail, and passion to help build Laguna Seca into the world class facility it can be and can think of no group of individuals better suited to achieve this.

As an example of what a group like this can achieve, I highlight Bruce Meyer, co-chair of the Petersen Museum (which was recently named the finest automobile museum in the world) and a world renowned car collector, is very supportive of this project and previously has rallied together a group of passionate enthusiasts to create the not for profit ‘Peterson Museum’ which is now world class.

I am also confident, that my group, JMI, who have managed more track and event sponsorships and marketing partnerships than any other entity in motorsports, can certainly help contribute blue chip support of Laguna Seca under this arrangement.

Zak Brown
Group Chief Executive Officer

Dear Board of Supervisors,

I am writing this in reference to the Friends of Laguna Seca. I’ve known Ross Merrill for about 20 years. He and his associates have started a non-profit entity to bid for the track management contract.

Currently, under SCRAMP’s management, there are so many restrictions that some groups, even larger ones like the National Auto Sport Association, can barely afford to utilize the facility for events.

I am looking forward to another organization taking over because I know it can’t get any worse. I have looked at the Friends of Laguna Seca program. First, they are the only local group, with local people, familiar and appreciative of the track’s historical significance and they have high visions for full utilization and profitability for the track all while keeping the local economy and the neighbors in mind. Secondly, Ross and his associates are very experienced at managing high-level business and are trustworthy and straight shooters. Please consider choosing them to preform facility management for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Sincerely,

Jerry Kunzman
Executive Director
National Auto Sport Association

Dear Monterey County Board of Supervisors,

This letter concerns the Laguna Seca Recreation Area’s future and my support for Friends of Laguna Seca.

First, let me tell you a bit more about myself. I am the Founder and CEO of WeatherTech. We manufacture and sell premium vehicle floor liners that are manufactured in the USA. We also supply products to many automobile manufacturers (OEM) as an original equipment supplier. I grew my company from a $50,000 startup to a $500 million company. We are the 2016 title sponsor of the IMSA road race series that runs the Grand Prix at Laguna Seca Raceway and a current sponsor of Laguna Seca Raceway.

I have personally worked with Bruce Canepa and know him to be committed and tireless in achieving outstanding results. I also know the significance of his business and motorsports network. For this and many other reasons I enthusiastically support Friends of Laguna Seca’s bid for the concession agreement of Laguna Seca Recreation Area. This group of highly successful business leaders shares the same philosophy I do: excellence and commitment to building lasting, sustainable success.

Another reason I support Friends of Laguna Seca is their local commitment and their vision for the future of LSRA. They possess a true understanding of Laguna Seca’s value and its impact on the greater community and the motorsports world. They also care about preserving the heritage of this unique facility. This is a group that can develop LSRA into a world-class facility and motorsports venue that will benefit a broad set of stakeholders.

Lastly, as a non-profit, Friends of Laguna Seca’s focus will always be on what’s best for the facility not the private gain of any person or corporate entity.

I am available if you would like to speak with me further about why I believe Friends of Laguna Seca would be the right choice for LSRA.

Dave MacNeil
Founder and CEO, WeatherTech
“Made in the USA”

Dear Monterey County Board of Supervisors,

I am writing this letter in support of Friends of Laguna Seca’s bid to become the manager and operator of Laguna Seca Raceway and its related facilities.  By way of introduction, I am the Director of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

I have worked with Friends board member Bruce Canepa for many years.  I respect and admire Bruce’s passion for motorsports as well as his business aptitude and attention to quality and excellence.  These combined traits have propelled him to great success and allowed him to build a deep network of like-minded and accomplished individuals such as those who formed Friends of Laguna Seca.

From the perspective of someone who has worked at the oldest and most historic speedway in the country, I value and appreciate Laguna Seca’s position in motorsports history.  Friends of Laguna Seca has distinct advantages and appeal including relationships with sanctioning bodies and sponsors coupled with speedway management and access to capital – all critical to reinventing Laguna Seca for the modern area. In addition, their non-profit structure means that all of the proceeds generated will be reinvested into the facility, which ensures that Friends Laguna Seca will always make the community it serves its first priority.

Please let me know if you would like to speak with me further regarding my wholehearted endorsement of Friends of Laguna Seca.

Sincerely,
Ellen Bireley
Director of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum