San Diego GP New Sponsors

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (July 27, 1999) -- Local business and city officials, new sponsors Xerox and Mesa Distributing, and leadership from the San Diego Grand Prix Association and the American Le Mans Series were among those gathered today to signal...

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (July 27, 1999) -- Local business and city officials, new sponsors Xerox and Mesa Distributing, and leadership from the San Diego Grand Prix Association and the American Le Mans Series were among those gathered today to signal beginning of site preparations for this fall's inaugural San Diego Grand Prix at the Naval Training Center.

Xerox and Mesa Distributing come on board as associate sponsors of the Nov. 5-7 sports car racing weekend, it was announced by newly named San Diego Grand Prix chief executive officer Brian Turner. The Mesa Distributing family of products include Heineken, Miller, Tecate and Gordon Biersch. SDGP media partner KNSD-TV (Channel 7/39) also joins the fold as an associate sponsor, and event organizers are close to finalizing a deal with Clear Channel Communications and its local radio affiliates -- XTRA Sports 690 AM, 91X, KGB-101.5 FM, KOGO-600 AM, and KCBQ-105.3 FM.

"We're off and running for what will be an historic racing event," Turner said. "All eyes of the world motorsports community will be on San Diego for the American Le Mans Series season finale. We welcome our new sponsors to the family as world-class sports car competition returns to Southern California."

Local spectators and a worldwide television audience will for the first time see exotic sports prototypes and GT race cars -- representing manufacturers such as Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW, Panoz, Porsche, Audi and Lola -- take to the brand new 1.58-mile, tree-lined, waterfront road course at the Naval Training Center.

Some 80 teams and top-name drivers in U.S. and international road racing will compete for $180,000 in prize money, as well as $1.5 million in bonus payouts to season-ending points champions. CNBC will provide the live national cablecast to more than 73 million households, while Eurosport will carry the event live in 47 countries around the world.

"We'll have the teams and drivers who have been making headlines at the 24 Hours of Le Mans year after year, including this year's race-winning BMW." Turner said. "Our beautiful waterfront setting framed by the downtown San Diego skyline. What more can you ask for?"

Construction of the 10-turn road course is set to begin in early August. Paving is expected to take two weeks, after which begins the process of placing 1,600 concrete barriers all the way around the inside and outside of the track. And that's just the racecourse, stretches of which will allow the high-powered racing machines to reach speeds in excess of 170 mph.

The American Le Mans Village Expo, with more than 150 displays featuring automotive, home and entertainment products and services, is expected to be a prime attraction for fans and series participants alike. There will be grandstand seating for 25,000 spectators surrounding the course, as well as pit row suites facing the scenic front straight along Chaucey Road, a corporate hospitality suite compound, and recreational vehicle parking inside the course.

"We'll have all the bells and whistles to make this a family event to remember," Turner said. "San Diego is in for a treat. And, with our beautiful Southern California fall weather, so are all the people who will be flying in from faraway places. We can't wait for race weekend!"

Tickets for this inaugural event go on sale Aug. 2 at all Ticketmaster locations. For further information, including suite rental and expo exhibit space, please call the San Diego Grand Prix office at 619-233-3278.

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