Puerto Rico: Preparations continue

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- As the Motorock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup teams prepare their transporters for the trans-oceanic trip from Jacksonville, Fla. to San Juan, officials from the Puerto Rico Grand Prix are busy readying the ...

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- As the Motorock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup teams prepare their transporters for the trans-oceanic trip from Jacksonville, Fla. to San Juan, officials from the Puerto Rico Grand Prix are busy readying the circuit. Construction is continuing on the 1.6-mile temporary airport track, while several musical acts have been signed to perform during the race weekend.

According to Puerto Rico Grand Prix Race Director Martyn Thake, construction is moving along very smoothly. The picturesque circuit, which uses San Juan Harbor as its backdrop, boasts a wide racing surface and complete track visibility for fans. The circuit will have more than 10,000 grandstand seats and 20 custom-made, air-conditioned hospitality suites.

"The grandstands are finished and the paddock is completed," said Thake. "The paving has been done for months, and the debris fencing is on site. We've purchased two Simple Green Safety Team trucks from the Champ Car World Series for the event. Shipping and logistics for the big move are underway.

"It's been a challenge, being a first-year event," added Thake. "But the local airport officials have been fantastic and that has helped immensely.

"Additionally, the unique modular fencing system we're using has made this much easier," explained Thake, referring to the special fencing system used by both Formula One and the Champ Car World Series. "The fencing allows us to build much of the circuit near the site, then move it into place. I couldn't do it without this system. It's much faster to install and remove. The entire race track will be finished after two weeks work as opposed to the 30 days it normally takes."

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Grand Prix Promoter Jorge Diaz is continuing the Motorock concept of "Cars, Stars and Guitars" launched last month at Miami. Eight area artists have been signed to perform after on-track activities the evenings of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24, 25, and 26. Each group is well known in Puerto Rico and the surrounding islands, and represents musical genres ranging from alternative rock to salsa. The concerts will be staged just adjacent to the Isla Grande circuit.

Artists that have been booked are: pop alternative group Obie Bermudez and rock group La Secta on Friday night; reggae bands Wisin y Yandel, Hector y Tito and Don Omar Saturday; as well as reggae band Daddy Yankee and salsa sensation Jerry Rivera on Sunday.

"These artists are very famous locally," said Diaz, "and we've very happy to have them. The concerts will be $20 per night. Additionally, we will be offering a special three-night ticket for $50. This is a great value for the fans.

"We are expecting 10-15,000 people per night for the events," added Diaz. "That's going to be the reality. These are the number one groups in Puerto Rico, making an already great event even more exciting."

"Jorge has done an incredible job integrating music and motorsports which embodies the Motorock concept," said Trans-Am Tour Executive Director John Clagett in reference to the outstanding musical lineup. "The artists represent a strong and exciting program. It's a perfect blend; there's something for everyone."

The Puerto Rico Grand Prix will air LIVE on SPEED Channel Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. The Motorock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup features closed-fendered, production-based, V-8-powered sports cars. The Trans-Am Tour is America's oldest continuously running sports car racing series and celebrates its 38th anniversary in 2003.

Motorock is the creation of a popular culture brand that blends the enthusiast markets of cars, stars and guitars. It is a yearly series of destination live events that showcases the excitement of motorsports, music and lifestyle while delivering a unique new form of broadcast entertainment programming.

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Series Trans-Am
Drivers Jorge Diaz