ROCK ISLAND, ILL –The Rock Island Grand Prix, the world’s largest karting street race, will host an exciting schedule of races Labor Day Weekend, Sept.3-4, 2011. The competition, held in The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District, will feature top racers from across the country. Presenting Sponsors are AT&T and Casey’s General Stores.
This year there will be four premier race events as well as a full afternoon of other races. The winner of this year’s TAG Senior race will take home a check for $5,000. The winner of the Yamaha Super Can Medium race will take home $4,000. Winners of the new Pro Open and the popular King of the Streets races will each take home $2,000.
In addition, the winner of King of the Streets race will participate in a USF2000 driver combine through the Grand Prix’s partnership with the IZOD IndyCar Series. Ronald McDonald will place the traditional crown and cape on the winner and visit fans at the Grand Prix both Saturday and Sunday. The King of the Streets winner and the winner of the TAG Junior race will also win custom made kart suits from K1 Race Gear.
The winners of the Rotax Senior and Rotax Junior races will have the chance to win a free entry to the 2012 U.S. Rotax Grand Nationals and the chance to compete for a coveted spot on Team USA at the Rotax Grand Final. Each entry is valued at over $1,000.
The winner of the TAG Junior class will also win a KartRaiser Electric kart stand (transportation model with tray valued at approximately $850) supplied by Michael Polizzi and Full Bore Karting LLC. Participants in this year’s Rock Island Grand Prix also become eligible for a 15 percent discount at the Skip Barber Driving School. All winners of this year’s races will also receive Oakley sun glasses. All RIGP competitors qualify for a free web page at racingin.com. Contingency programs have also been offered by Bridgestone, MG Tires and Dunlop.
There are several new additions to this year’s race weekend. On the track the most notable, other than expanded prize packages, is the new 2-cycle Pro Open class. There are few restrictions as to what competitors can do to their karts and be legal in this class, so it is sure to provide fast, exciting racing and perhaps break the track lap record set in 2006.
Off the track, Sunday’s Opening Ceremonies have been moved to 11 a.m. with the Kid’s Autograph Session with drivers at 11:30 a.m. The popular Family Fun Zone is back on Sunday with bounce houses and games for the kids.
On Saturday, members of the Vintage Karting Association will have karts on display from the Fifties, Sixties, Seventies and Eighties so that race fans can see how kart racing has evolved. At 1 p.m. Saturday there will be a Vintage Kart Race featuring many of these restored karts. Sunday, the Quad City Camaro Club will hold a car show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both displays will be on 18th Street north of the race track near WHBF-TV4.
The Saturday Labor Day Ride fundraiser for the American Cancer Society to raise funds to battle non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is also part of the festival weekend. It is sponsored by The Daiquiri Factory, 1909 Second Ave. in The District. Sign-in is from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and the last participant is due in by 6 p.m. All kinds of vehicles are invited, you must be over age 21 to participate and the entry fee is $10. . For more information, wwww.daiquirifactory.com .
Jumer’s Casino & Hotel is sponsor of the $35,000 purse – one of the largest payouts in professional karting. Holiday Inn in Rock Island is the host hotel and race headquarters. General admission to the races is FREE, although there is a daily charge of $10 for the pit area.
Action starts Saturday and Sunday at 8 a.m. and concludes around 5 p.m. There is nightly outdoor entertainment beginning at 8 p.m. on the East Plaza Stage featuring The Travoltas on Saturday and Sunday night, sponsored by the Rock Island Brewing Co. These are all-ages shows and admission is charged.
The Rock Island Grand Prix will also sponsor three TAG USA race classes – Junior, Senior and Masters. Also featured this year are two classes co-promoted with the U.S. Rotax Max Challenge – Rotax Senior, Rotax Junior. The event will also feature several other Yamaha classes, the IAME Leopard, classes for the 4-cycle clones and shifter karts with a 6-speed transmission. In all, 14 races will be run on Sunday.
The races will also be web cast live around the world on Sunday by eKartingNews.com .
John Deere & Co. returns as sponsor of the John Deere Awards Show at the Holiday Inn for drivers and race teams.
The Rock Island Grand Prix has drawn top drivers from 36 states as well as Canada, Bermuda, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, France, Italy, Poland, Costa Rica, the Philippines and England.
Others sponsors of this year’ Rock Island Grand Prix include: IZOD IndyCar Series, O’Reilly Auto Parts; Quad-Cities area McDonald’s restaurants, GP USA; Longley Systems; Schurr Power Racing Engines; Modern Woodmen Financial Jose Schuur agent; CBS4 TV; radio stations B100, 97X, Star 93.5 and Rock 104.9; The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus newspapers; Lafarge; Allied Waste Services; Mediacom; K1 Race Gear; and Oakley.
Sponsors also include Coors and Euclid Distributing, Full Circle Media, Briggs & Stratton, JET Karting, Ostrom Painting and Sandblasting, Triple E Sales, HyVee food stores, Zimmerman Honda, Courtesy Car City, VP Fuel, Sunbelt Rentals, Communications Engineering Corp.(CEC), Gas & Electric Credit Union, Rogan Inc., 61 Kartway, County Waste, and J&J Camper.
Race details are available on the Grand Prix website at rockislandgrandprix.com or ridistrict.com.
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AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the United States and one of the largest in the world. AT&T is the recognized world leader in providing IP-based communications services to business and the U.S. leader in providing wireless, high speed Internet access, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. As part of its "three screen" integration strategy, AT&T is expanding video entertainment offerings to include such next-generation television services as AT&T U-verse TV. With 55.8 million subscribers, AT&T provides international voice services to virtually every country and territory in the world. It is a global company that sets the industry standard for a new era of integrated communications and entertainment services. The AT&T Foundation has contributed more than $1.8 billion to nonprofit organizations around the country, putting it among the five largest corporate foundations in the United States. (www.att.com)
Casey’s General Stores, with headquarters in Ankeny, Iowa, operates 1,645 stores in 11 Midwestern states. The first store was opened in 1968 by founder Don Lamberti. The majority of the group’s stores are in communities with a population of 5,000 or less. Casey’s success has been attributed to clean stores, restrooms and the friendly employees who pride themselves on customer service. Casey’s customers know that inside each store they will find dedicated, helpful and well-trained employees, exceptional prepared food and a clean environment in which to shop.(www.caseys.com)
The Rock Island Grand Prix is hosted by the Downtown Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District which features retail shops, excellent restaurants, live entertainment, dinner theater, art galleries and comedy clubs all within walking distance of the host hotel. Jumer’s Casino & Hotel is just a short drive away. Rock Island is located on the Mississippi River three hours west of Chicago in an area known as the Quad-Cities which straddles the river and the Illinois/Iowa border. It is at the intersection of Interstate highways 74, 88 and 80 and is served by Quad City International Airport in Moline, Ill. (www.ridistrict.com)