Legends Of Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif. (May 3, 2007) - The 50th anniversary celebration continues at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with today's announcement of the inaugural class of the "Legends of Laguna Seca," honoring five competitors who played significant roles in the colorful history of the Monterey track that opened in 1957.

Five legendary racers - Dan Gurney, Wayne Rainey, Pete Lovely, Eddie Lawson and Bobby Rahal - are the first inductees into the recently announced "Legends of Laguna Seca" program. Each will be honored on their own race weekend during the 2007 season's five major races.

Following their induction at this year's races, a permanent "Legends of Laguna Seca" walk of fame tribute is planned for the Corkscrew area."The rich history of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is one of our greatest assets," said Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of the facility. "And that history was made by legendary competitors who have thrilled fans for 50 years, so it is only natural that we begin honoring them for their unique and invaluable contributions."

Monterey, California

The Monterey resident's on-track record at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is peerless: three consecutive U.S. Grand Prix wins between 1989 and 1991, and victories in the 1983 & 1986 AMA Superbike Championship races and the 1984 AMA 250 Grand Prix race. Off-track, Rainey was instrumental in returning the MotoGP World Championship to Monterey for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. Turn 9 was named Rainey Curve in his honor in 1995. Long considered one of the greatest of all time, Rainey was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in April 2007. Rainey's Legends of Laguna Seca induction ceremony is set for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix July 20-22.

Upland, California

Eddie Lawson won the first world championship motorcycle race ever staged at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca when he beat the world's best riders to win the United States Grand Prix in 1988. His victory wasn't totally unexpected, as the California native had demonstrated his mastery of the challenging track during his AMA national racing career in the early 1980s. Lawson won the 1980 and 1981 AMA 250 Grand Prix races and the 1981 and 1982 AMA Superbike Championship races. Lawson retired from motorcycle racing after winning four world championships and four AMA national championships, but he did not retire from racing at Laguna Seca. He returned to Monterey to race Indy Lights and CART Indy cars in the early 90's, and has also competed and won in World SuperKart races. Lawson is being inducted into the Legends of Laguna Seca during the AMA Superbike Championship weekend September 15-16.