Puerto Rico Grand Prix to be staged at Isla Grande Airport

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The Puerto Rico Grand Prix, the 2003 season finale for the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup, will be held on a temporary circuit at Isla Grande Airport, part of the Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport complex in the island's capital, San Juan. The announcement was made by event promoter Jorge Diaz, Puerto Rico Governor Sila Maria Calderon, the Tourism Company of Puerto Rico, and San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini. The Puerto Rico Grand Prix is scheduled for Oct. 26.

Diaz is pleased to be hosting the initial Puerto Rico Grand Prix. The affable Puerto Rico native hopes this race will mark the beginning of a long string of racing events in his island home.

"I think this is the first step into a great and bright future for racing in the Caribbean," said Diaz, whose son, Jorge Diaz, Jr. is competing for the Rookie of the Year Championship in the Series this year. "Puerto Rico is the gateway to the Caribbean and South America. This race will show the world that Puerto Rico has the talent and dedication required to put together a first-class international racing event."

The 1.6-mile, 10-turn circuit, which was laid out by renowned race track designer Martyn C. Thake, will be very similar to the Burke Lakefront Airport--site of the U.S Bank Presents Cleveland Grand Prix. The picturesque circuit, which uses San Juan Harbor as its backdrop, boasts a wide racing surface and 100-percent visibility for fans. Thake's most recent projects include the Monterrey, Mexico and Mexico City Champ Car World Series circuits, and the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Champ Car and Trans-Am Series street course.

The event will mark the first time the Trans-Am Series will race in Puerto Rico. The Series will also present its year-end awards in Puerto Rico.

"We couldn't find a finer location to put an exclamation point on the 2003 season," said Series Executive Director John Clagett. "The Isla Grande Airport is the perfect venue for this race, and is convenient to the bustling city of San Juan. It will pose its own unique challenges, and we're looking forward to a thrilling race for both the drivers and fans."

The Puerto Rico Grand Prix, the season finale of the 2003 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup, is scheduled for Oct. 26, and will be aired on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED Nov. 1 at 1 p.m.

-scca pro racing/trans am-