A CRUCIAL YEAR FOR THE GRAND PRIX PLAYER'S DE TROIS-RIVIÈRES
31st edition of the event to be staged July 28-30, 2000
Trois-Rivières, Quebec, January 18, 2000 Taking a pro-active stance in an effort to solidify the event's survival, organizers of the Grand Prix Player's de Trois-Rivières have put together a racing program in which old favourites and new trends will combine to successfully ease the way into the year 2000.
"The current context forces us to make some decisions for the future and we want to revitalize the event by staging two races sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association (Grand-Am), which will evoke memories of the great era of the Can-Am series," explained Leon Methot, president and general manager of the Grand Prix Player's de Trois-Rivières. "It will also allow thrill-seeking racing fans to discover powerful cars that are among the most technologically-advanced in the world.
"This series will bring an entirely new dynamic because the races are more than 90 minutes long, which means that teams must make pit stops during the race, something we haven't seen in Trois-Rivières. There will be two events on the weekend program in the SportsRacer category, which features cars by chassis manufacturers Ferrari, Reynard, Cadillac and Lola that develop in excess of 650 horsepower, and the GT class, which comprises cars such as the Viper, Porsche, Corvette and Mustang."
Besides the Grand-Am series' drivers, a roster that includes the illustrious Elliott Forbes-Robinson, who was among the notables at today's news conference, the 31st edition of the Grand Prix Player's de Trois-Rivières held on July 28-30 will spotlight drivers in the Atlantic, Formula 2000 and Formula Ford (F1600) series.
"Over the years, the Atlantic and Formula Ford series have become fixtures and racing fans have consistently seen the rising stars of motorsport waging a constant battle on the Trois-Rivières street course," added Mr. Methot. "The same holds true for Formula 2000, which was the big revelation last year, largely because of the terrific performance by Quebec driver Marc-Antoine Camirand. So, we feel that we have put together a hybrid program that we hope will bring in the crowds...and new sponsors!"
One driver who did not require any coaxing to return to Trois-Rivières is Elliott Forbes-Robinson, the defending champion in the American Le Mans series, who remarked following the announcement of the event: "I have competed at Trois-Rivières on a number of occasions and I'm very excited about driving on this historic track once again. After Daytona and Le Mans, I think Trois-Rivières will quickly become one of the favourite stops on the racing schedule."
Roger Edmondson, who heads the Grand American Road Racing Association, one of the many organizations under the stewardship of Bill France Jr., of NASCAR, is equally enthused about the arrival of this new championship series in Trois-Rivières.
"Our presence in Trois-Rivières is an integral part of our business plan, and I believe that we will be able to play a key role in the long-term growth of this event, which is international in scope," stated Mr. Edmondson. "Everyone who is involved in our series is well aware of Trois-Rivières' outstanding reputation and they are looking forward to performing in front of fans who are as passionate about auto racing as they are."
Another positive development resulting from the arrival of the Grand-Am series in Trois-Rivières is the interest it will generate among Quebec drivers, since it will be more affordable because each event requires two drivers per car and the stature of the series will make prize money more significant.
"There's no doubt that this is a crucial year for the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières," remarked Mr. Methot. "This racing program offers us the best opportunity for growth and the only thing left is for us to find the financial stability to sustain the event, whose economic impact is undeniable, and continue its tradition of excellence."
The event organizers also announced that other elements will be added to the Grand Prix Player's de Trois-Rivières program both from a racing standpoint as well as activities related to the event over the next few weeks.