July 26, 1997 WEST MICHIGAN GRAND PRIX TO DEBUT IN 1998; SCCA Trans-Am Championship to Headline Event GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- SCCA Pro Racing, Ltd. will sanction the West Michigan Grand Prix, and the inaugural event, scheduled for the ...
July 26, 1997
WEST MICHIGAN GRAND PRIX TO DEBUT IN 1998; SCCA Trans-Am Championship to Headline Event
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- SCCA Pro Racing, Ltd. will sanction the West Michigan Grand Prix, and the inaugural event, scheduled for the weekend of July 24-26, 1998, will feature the SCCA Trans-Am Championship and a full array of SCCA Pro Racing support series.
Dan Greenwood, SCCA Pro Racing, Ltd., President and CEO and Dan Beahan, West Michigan Grand Prix Event Director made the announcement Thursday, July 24 at a "trackside" press conference.
Three Trans-Am race cars -- Tom Kendall's All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang Cobra, the Don Sak Racing Oldsmobile Cutlass and the Bamal Fastner Chevrolet Camaro of Ray Genick raced down Fulton Street as part of the opening ceremonies that featured Grand Rapids Mayor John H. Logie waving a ceremonial green flag when the race cars reached the "finish line."
"I lobbied for the SCCA Trans-Am for the better part of a year and a half," said Beahan. "There were a number of factors that went into our decision. It's the best road racing in the country today and it features American-bred cars and drivers, which is so appropriate for this market. The Trans-Ams' great heritage factored into our decision, too."
The Brayton Memorial Street Circuit -- named for the late Scott Brayton, past driver for the Amway Indy Car team -- is situated in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. World-renowned race track designer Alan Wilson was involved in the design process of the 1.5-mile, 13-turn circuit.
"Its an exceptional venue and a great course," said Wilson. "Withthe river, bridges and city buildings, it will be a venue that will offer the drivers a great challenge, excellent spectator viewing and look great on television as well."
"Were delighted and honored to be involved in the West Michigan Grand Prix," said Greenwood. "This is a win-win situation for everybody involved -- Grand Rapids is a perfect market for a Grand Prix. There's already a great depth of community support in place, and the West Michigan Grand Prix Association is made up of outstanding local leadership -- precisely the elements necessary to sustain this type of event."
"SCCA Pro Racing has been selected as the sanctioning body of choice for three of the last four new street races -- Reno, Minneapolis and now Grand Rapids," said Greenwood. "Promoters know that we offer the best racing and event management package available."
"Proceeds from the West Michigan Grand Prix will be used for downtown revitalization," added Dan DeVos, Chairman of the West Michigan Grand Prix Association. The DeVos-led WMGPA is a non-profit corporation composed of civic leaders.
The West Michigan Grand Prix is located at 15 Ionia SW, Suite 500, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503. The phone number is (616)-336-PRIX (7749).