AIS: Calgary Grand Prix Preview

The American IndyCar Series holds the fourth round of the 1998 Championship season this weekend at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park. The Stampede Pontiac Calgary Grand Prix will start at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 20. Practice and...

The American IndyCar Series holds the fourth round of the 1998 Championship season this weekend at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park. The Stampede Pontiac Calgary Grand Prix will start at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 20. Practice and qualifying will take place on Friday and Saturday.

Jimmy Santos of San Mateo, Calif., the current American IndyCar Series Championship points leader and winner of the 1996 Calgary Grand Prix, will attempt to maintain his points dominance by winning this weekend's race. Joe Truscelli, of Denver, Colo., leads the rookie point standings this season.

The Indy Cars raced in the American IndyCar Series are the same chassis as those raced in the Vancouver Molson Indy; Lola, March, Reynard. The AIS Series rules allow the engines to be changed to a 5.9 liter Chevrolet V-8 producing 700 to 800 horsepower or a turbocharged Buick power plant with a similar horsepower rating. Most teams have replaced the 2.65 liter engines used in the CART series with the Chevrolet V-8.

Buddy Lazier, winner of the 1996 Indianapolis 500, was the 1988 American IndyCar Series Champion. In 1989 and 1990, Robbie Unser, son of Bobby Unser, won the AIS Championship. Jacques Villeneuve, uncle of the F-1 champion of the same name, has also participated in the AIS series. Most of the Indy cars raced in the AIS have raced in the 500 mile Memorial Day classic at Indianapolis.

Other racing events taking place during the Stampede Pontiac Calgary Grand Prix this weekend include races for GT Challenge and Improved Touring cars as well as Vintage races. The GT Challenge will include participation by high performance GT cars such as Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs. The GT cars are expected to reach speeds of 150 mph on the front straight while the Indy cars, capable of running in excess of 225, will be running close to 200 on the fastest part of the circuit.

Admission to this weekend's event is $15 Canadian.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Buddy Lazier