CHAMPCAR/CART: San Jose Grand Prix circuit takes shape

CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY ON CITYSCAPE CIRCUIT SAN JOSE, CA - - APRIL 25, 2005 - - Construction is underway on the new "Cityscape" circuit for the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix set for July 29-31, 2005 on the streets of downtown San Jose, ...


SAN JOSE, CA - - APRIL 25, 2005 - - Construction is underway on the new "Cityscape" circuit for the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix set for July 29-31, 2005 on the streets of downtown San Jose, CA.

Construction plans for the new circuit, which was approved by the San Jose City Council on April 1, include street repairs and improvements, which are scheduled to be concluded by the end of May. Final lead-up modifications to the streets, including the removal of obstructions, such as street lights, etc., will take place in late June. The track infrastructure, which includes the laying of block and fencing, grandstand and viewing area construction and tenting, will begin on July 1.

"The development and construction of the new San Jose Grand Prix Cityscape circuit is going very well," said San Jose Grand Prix Vice President and General Manager Bob Singleton. "The City of San Jose and our contractors have done a tremendous job organizing and coordinating the work," he noted.

The new track, which was recently redesigned and moved to the heart of downtown San Jose, is 1.6-miles long with 11 turns including a "hairpin" turn and several long straightaways. The start/finish line is on Almaden Blvd. directly in front of the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. The circuit then quickly enters the first chicane and continues down the other side of Almaden, which is the longest straightaway on the circuit. At the end of Almaden Blvd. there is a 180 degree (hairpin turn), which sends the cars back down Almaden. The track then goes left on Park Ave., up a straightaway and enters the second chicane just before going right on South Market St. Competitors will run in front of Cesar Chavez Park on South Market then enter into the third chicane before going right on Balbach St. They will proceed down Balbach, another straightaway, before going right, back onto Almaden Blvd.

"We are very excited about the new Cityscape circuit," said Singleton. "We feel that the new layout for the track is a better setting for the race because it is aesthetically more pleasing and highlights more of downtown San Jose. It will also make for a better race because the course will be longer thus adding several additional passing areas and will give race fans more and better viewing areas. Another major factor in the decision to move the circuit was that we will have an expanded pit lane area, which in the ensuing years will allow for a greater number of cars to compete in the race."

The historic inaugural San Jose Grand Prix, which will be northern California's first downtown street race, will consist of three days of practice, qualifying and racing plus drifting exhibitions, autograph sessions, a Fanfest and Fan Forum. In addition to the Champ Car World Series race, set for Sunday, July 31 at 2:00 p.m., the weekend will feature Toyota Atlantic and Trans-Am Road Racing contests. Event organizers have also reached agreement with the U. S. Touring Car Championship Series and the Historic Stock Cars to hold races thus providing a full and exciting weekend for northern California race fans.

The inaugural San Jose Grand Prix, which is the eighth stop on the 2005 Bridgestone Present The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford schedule, will not be confined to activities at the track. In addition to practice, qualifying and races for all five series, the schedule calls for a week of activities in downtown San Jose including music, fairs, charity events and promotional activities. Also on the schedule are the Champ Car Fan Appreciation All-Driver autograph session on Friday, July 29 at 4:00 p.m., which is open to the public, three "drifting" exhibitions (Friday, July 29 at 4:45 p.m.; Saturday, July 30 at 9:30 a.m. and Sunday, July 31 at 12:15 p.m.) plus the finals of the Miss San Jose Grand Prix Contest on Saturday, July 29. Sunday, July 31 will be highlighted by the main event, the Champ Car race at 2:00 p.m., which features some of the greatest drivers in the world piloting cars that will approach speeds of 180 mph. The week long festival is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of fans to northern California's largest city and become a mainstay on the Champ Car World Series calendar.

Tickets for the San Jose Grand Prix are on sale now and can be purchased through ticketmaster (call: 408-998-tixs or 510-625-tixs or 415-421-tixs). Ticket plans range from a single day general admission price of $25 on Friday to $150 for a three-day Gold Grandstand seat which includes a paddock pass. Corporate and group discount rates are also available. For corporate sponsorships, hospitality and group tickets call: 408-277-9470.

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Series IndyCar