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Settlement reached over Laguna Seca noise complaints, track usage

A settlement has been reached between Laguna Seca and disgruntled locals who had filed a lawsuit seeking a reduction in the track's usage and noise levels.

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Monterey County, which owns the track, signed a long-term concession agreement with the non-profit organisation Friends of Laguna Seca (FLS) in July last year to secure its long-term financial future.

On 12 December last year, a group called the Highway 68 Coalition filed a lawsuit against Monterey County, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and the Friends of Laguna Seca, alleging nuisance issues for local residents, including increased noise and traffic, during its use on race weekends and track days.

The execution of a comprehensive settlement that was announced on Friday puts an end to the Laguna Seca Raceway lawsuit, Highway 68 Coalition vs County of Monterey.

"We view this as a very favourable resolution for the County and its long-term partner at Laguna Seca, the nonprofit organisation Friends of Laguna Seca," said Nick Pasculli, county communications director.

"The future of the track and the amazing recreation area, which is a premier County Park, is bright. Laguna Seca is loved by local, national, and global car enthusiasts and also by the tens of thousands of people who enjoy the beauty of the recreation area."

The settlement sheds light on the “long-term plans of Friends of Laguna Seca to conduct a previously planned sound impact assessment at the racetrack and carry out appropriate sound mitigation measures, all as part of being a good neighbour to the surrounding community.”

IMSA and other American series will race at Laguna this year

IMSA and other American series will race at Laguna this year

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

The 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course was constructed in 1957 and is scheduled to run seven major racing events in 2024, including the IMSA SportsCar Championship in April and IndyCar Series in June, and was resurfaced last year.

“FLS is pleased that the litigation was dealt with quickly and we’re looking forward to our next steps toward Laguna Seca’s long-term success for the benefit of the community of Monterey County and the entire racing world,” said FLS president, Ross Merrill.

“We know these improvements will take time, but we are committed to ensuring the success of Laguna Seca for decades to come.”

Bruce Canepa, vice president of FLS, said: “I grew up watching races at Laguna Seca and have raced there since the late 1970s.

"I have a lifetime passion for this facility and want to see it be preserved for future generations.

"With Friends of Laguna Seca, we’ve built a team of individuals who share the same passion, paired with business acumen, to make Laguna Seca the place we’ve always hoped it could be.”

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