SONOMA, Calif. (December 19, 2000) - The $35 million Modernization Plan at Sears Point Raceway took a big step forward as construction crews have installed the first Hillside Terrace Seats in the project.

The first rows of seats have been installed in the hillside area above Turn 2 on the road course. Approximately 34,000 of these seats will be ready for the 2001 racing season alongside Turns 2-4. An additional 30,000 terraced seats will be constructed above Turns 8-9 during Phase Two of the project, which will begin following the 2001 racing season.

<small>Photo courtesy Sears Point Raceway

The two-year project is scheduled to be fully complete by the 2002 racing season.

"This seating environment will be unique to motorsports. Our terraces will combine the best aspects of a reserved grandstand with the less formal tradition of relaxing on a hillside in the Wine Country," said Steve Page, president and general manager at Sears Point. "It's exciting to see them finally taking shape and to actually see the kinds of sweeping views they provide."

The seats will provide fans with extensive space comforts. Each seat will be 24 inches wide, a full 33-percent wider than the average bleacher seat (18 inches). Moreover, there will be nearly four feet of leg room in front of each seat (43 inches). The seats alongside Turns 2-4 will also offer fans a breathtaking view of virtually the entire road course, with the exception of Turns 3a and 11.

The project just completed its third month and crews have moved more than three million cubic yards of dirt. In addition, 25 tons of drain rock has been used, as well as three miles of drain pipe.