CHAMPCAR/CART: San Jose announces track improvements

SAN JOSE GRAND PRIX ANNOUNCES 2006 CIRCUIT AND FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS TICKET RENEWALS NOW AVAILABLE SAN JOSE, CA - - NOVEMBER 9, 2005 - - After a highly successful inaugural event that truly was "More Than A Race", San Jose Grand Prix ...



SAN JOSE, CA - - NOVEMBER 9, 2005 - - After a highly successful inaugural event that truly was "More Than A Race", San Jose Grand Prix listened to fans and drivers about what could be done to make the weekend festival of speed even better.

Among the changes that will directly affect the fan experience is better access around the site plus improved viewing areas for all spectators. One bridge has been widened, plus an additional bridge will be added to improve spectator flow around the circuit. Improvements have also been made to the grandstands providing better viewing of all on-track action. Gold 1 and 2 grandstands will be elevated; Silver 3A and 3B grandstands will be consolidated into one grandstand; Silver 4D will be moved closer to the track; and Silver 1 grandstand will become the closest to the new and expanded Champ Car paddock. In addition, approximately 5000 more grandstands seats have been added, increasing the capacity. New and improved general admission locations have also been created.

The on-track changes are just as dramatic. The track will be flush to the curb at the rail track crossings on Almaden Blvd. and Market St. making it smoother, which will allow for more speed. The turn at the corner of Almaden Blvd. and Park Ave. will be widened, as well as the track along Park Ave. The turn at Market and Balbach Sts. will also be widened -- all of which will create potential passing opportunities.

In addition to the circuit changes it was also announced today that before beginning the public ticket sale for the 2006 San Jose Grand Prix, set for July 28-30, the event is offering patrons of last year's inaugural race the opportunity to renew their same seats at last year's prices until January 1, 2006 when tickets will go on sale to the public.

"With every event you try and improve the event year after year," said San Jose Grand Prix Vice President and General Manager, Bob Singleton. "The challenge with a first year event is to make the improvements, the changes, that increase the on-track and off-track experience. We have listened to both the drivers and our fans in making our changes and improvements," he noted. Singleton added that, "In addition, for all our valued customers, we are happy to announce that we are going to renew their tickets for the 2006 San Jose Grand Prix at 2005 prices until January 1, 2006 when the San Jose Grand Prix tickets will go on public sale."

Commenting on the improvements to the track, Champ Car World Series Vice President of Operations and Race Director, Tony Cotman said, "I think it is very good to see that the San Jose Grand Prix make a very good effort to help Champ Car improve the show. In looking at the track this morning and the proposed changes, they have taken a lot of input from the teams, drivers and Champ Car and helped us to enhance our product, so we are very excited about next year's event. I think the biggest change is in Turn #4, widening it by over 50' to the entry of four, coming out of the hairpin (Turn #3) -- that is good and should provide the opportunity for a lot more passing."

Explaining how the changes will affect the on-track competition, Champ Car driver and Los Gatos native A. J. Allmendinger, who was raised in San Jose and drives for RuSport Racing said, "I think the San Jose Grand Prix put on a great event last year. It overwhelmed everyone to see how popular Champ Car was here in San Jose. I believe the San Jose Grand Prix is taking the right steps to make the racing better. They definitely know how to put on a good show and now they are fixing the track to improve the racing, which is a positive for the fans, the teams, the drivers and the city. I am happy to see the San Jose Grand Prix, the Canary Fund, the City of San Jose and Champ Car making the changes necessary to make the race stronger and I am really looking forward to coming back next year and competing in my home town."

The 2006 San Jose Grand Prix, which proudly supports the Canary Fund, is the ninth stop on the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford schedule. The Champ Car World Series features some of the greatest race car drivers in the world competing in the most diverse and exciting series in the world. Champions Sebastien Bourdais, Jimmy Vasser, who hails from the Bay Area, Canadian Paul Tracy, Allmendinger and Mexican star Mario Dominguez are among the drivers that compete in the series.

Continuing its theme from last year, "More Than A Race," plans for the 2006 San Jose Grand Prix call for more activities including music, fairs, charity events and promotional activities. The week long festival is expected to draw over 150,000 fans to northern California's largest city. With more bridges, more viewing, more passing, more excitement and more fun, the 2006 San Jose Grand Prix will be more than it's highly successful 2005 debut.

Canary Fund, which was founded by Don Listwin, is dedicated to advancing the science of the early detection of cancer and is the Official Social Cause of the Champ Car World Series.

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Series Atlantic , IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Paul Tracy , Mario Dominguez , Sébastien Bourdais