The area that currently houses not only a world famous race track, but also 542 acres of stunning nature reserve, originated from US military property.
In 1917, Fort Ord was used as a maneuvering area and field artillery firing range. From the period covering the First and Second World Wars, it was mainly occupied by the 7th Infantry Division. The soldiers stationed at Fort Ord were among those involved in the Pacific battles with Japanese forces during World War II.
Laguna Seca Raceway was built in 1957 at a cost of $1.5 million raised from local businesses and individuals – who formed the Monterey Peninsula Sports Car Racing Association – on land that was previously part of Fort Ord. In 1974, the property was turned over to the Monterey County Parks Department.
Fort Ord was decommissioned in 1991 and officially closed in 1994. On April 20, 2012, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation designating a 14,651-acre portion of the old post as a Fort Ord National Monument. This national land borders the Laguna Seca Recreation Area where visitors can park and explore the natural terrain by bike or on foot.
Currently, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca hosts many premier racing events each year, as well as year-round hiking, biking, and camping. The same land that was used to train soldiers over 100 years ago is a destination for racing fans and tourists.
“We understand the rich history of the acreage that WeatherTech Raceway now sits on,” said John Narigi, President and General Manager of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. “Veterans Day is a time to remember and celebrate all of the brave men and women who served this country, as well as many of the fearless soldiers trained on this very land. We continue to honor their legacy by using the area as a place where families and racing fans can come together to create their own memories.
For major events, the military relationship remains. Color Guards from the nearby Defense Language Institute, Naval Postgraduate School or nearby Travis Air Force Base present the colors before the singing of the national anthem and the start of the race.
Camping is available year-round and tickets for the 2022 Premier Events Calendar will be available December 1 at WeatherTechRaceway.com.
(Courtesy of WeatherTech fraceway)