Rock Island Grand Prix class lineup

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -- The Rock Island Grand Prix, the world's largest karting street race, has announced its lineup of classes for Sept. 4-5, 2004. The Rock Island Grand Prix is again sanctioned by the FIA/CIK and is on the International...

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -- The Rock Island Grand Prix, the world's largest karting street race, has announced its lineup of classes for Sept. 4-5, 2004.

The Rock Island Grand Prix is again sanctioned by the FIA/CIK and is on the International calendar. Competitors in the CIK Intercontinental C and Intercontinental A classes will compete for the prestigious World Street Championship. The races are sponsored by SBC Communications and WHBF-TV.

"We are challenging worldwide competitors to compete against each other in the world's greatest street race," said Roger Ruthhart, president of the Rock Island Grand Prix, adding a number of foreign teams have already indicated plans to attend. "A street race is a unique experience. Because it is a temporary circuit, there can be no advance practice. Teams must show up prepared to hit the proper setup and find the best lines around the track after only a few short practice sessions. A street course is a great equalizer. It's just like racing Formula 1 but on a smaller scale. Winning either the ICC or ICA World Street Championship, at one of the world's premier events, is a major honor for any team."

Presenting Sponsors of the Rock Island Grand Prix are SBC Communications and Bi-State Home Improvement. Jumer's Casino Rock Island is sponsor of the $25,000 purse.

For the fourth year, "The Rock" will host the Superkarts! USA "King of the Streets" race sponsored by Bondurant SuperKart School, which will feature the top North American ICC gearbox racers. This year's race will run under SKUSA rules, but will be open to approved non-SKUSA licensed drivers.

Also in the plan for gearbox competitors are a 125cc Moto class and a 125cc Masters class, both sponsored by Bi-State Home Improvement. The moto class will run under SKUSA S1 rules but allow moto engines only. The Masters class will run SKUSA national rules which allow a mixing of ICC and moto engines.

Briggs & Stratton Motorsports and the Rock Island Grand Prix have also combined to offer two new races for the Briggs & Stratton overhead value 4- cycle Animal class. The "Rumble at The Rock" will be a new headline class featuring the Animal. The "Tom Argy Jr. Animal Roundup" class for Junior Animal drivers will also be run this year sponsored by Rieken Racing, replacing 4-cycle Junior II. This race is named in memory of long-time Rock Island race director Tom Argy Jr., who was killed in an auto accident late last year, and his commitment to the racing careers of junior drivers.

To encourage Animal competitors to join the fun at Rock Island, Briggs & Stratton will pay half of the $75 entry fee for the first 30 Animal drivers in each class. It's a unique program that rewards all of the racers, not just the winner. They will also donate an Animal motor which will be given away in a drawing open to registered drivers in the stock Raptor classes. The Rock Island Grand Prix will continue to feature 4-cycle Heavy and Medium classes for Raptor teams -- always among the most popular classes.

"The Rock Island Grand Prix is the premier street race in the country and we are excited to be a highlight of this great event. In developing this support program it allowed us a unique opportunity to give back to as many customers as possible. We look forward to some great racing and best of all, a fun weekend," said Dave Klaus, Motorsports marketing coordinator for Briggs & Stratton.

The Rock Island Grand Prix will continue its tradition of support for the TAG International program by offering two TAG races -- TAG International Senior and TAG International Masters. TAG classes allow a wide variety of electric push-button start motor packages to compete against each other in the same class. These packages are popular with race enthusiasts who are more interested in racing than the preparation and motor maintenance issues that accompany it. The Rock Island Grand Prix will also be one of a few select single-race qualifiers for the TAG International Championships.

"We are very excited to have Easykart USA join us this year as sponsor of the TAG International Senior class. Easykart, which is a very popular class on its own, is a great example of what touch-and-go racing is all about," said Ruthhart. "The Rock Island Grand Prix has been a supporter of the TAG concept since the very beginning. Our TAG races last year were among the largest and most prestigious in the country and we expect the same to be true in 2004. "The TAG Masters class is sponsored by WHBF-TV in Rock Island.

Other races being run at Rock Island this year include Yamaha Medium and Heavy pipe classes sponsored by SBC, and 2-cycle Senior Sportsman and 2- cycle Super Sportsman for 3-hole and 4-hole can exhaust, sponsored by Zimmerman Cars. These four always feature large and talented fields. Spec cans are provided by RLV Tuned Exhaust.

This year, the Rock Island Grand Prix is joining with several other high- profile racing events to promote SPEED WEEK in the Quad-Cities. SPEED WEEK will kick off August 26-29 with the World Series of Drag Racing at Cordova Raceway Park. It will also include the IMCA Season Championship at Davenport Speedway on August 27, the Quad City Speedway Championship on August 29, an Antique Motorcycle Swap Meet and Motorcycle Races Sept. 1-5 at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Sept. 3 Midget Mayhem Street Drags at Cordova Raceway Park and American Motorcycle Assn. flat track motorcycle races Sept. 4. SPEED WEEK will conclude with the Rock Island Grand Prix Sept. 4-5. During SPEED WEEK, the Putnam Museum/IMA Theater in Davenport will also be showing "NASCAR 3-D: The IMAX Experience." A variety of other fun activities will be blended with this non-stop week of racing.

Rock Island is located in an area known as the Quad-Cities on the Mississippi River where it intersects with Interstate Highways 80, 88, 280 and 74. The area has a population of 375,000 and welcomes karters with open arms. The Quad-Cities features three riverboat casinos and a great variety of entertainment and attractions.

The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District, which hosts the race weekend, is a great spot to go after a day of racing. It features a casino boat, a number of top restaurants, coffee houses, night spots, comedy clubs and dinner theater all within walking distance of the pit area and the host hotel. Live outdoor entertainment is featured on the Great River Plaza throughout race weekend.

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