Rock Island Grand Prix

The Rock Island Grand Prix organisers have issued a press release on their August 2008 event, announcing that they will retain the 125cc masters gearbox category. As a condition there has to be at least 22 entries for the category. The press release also outlines what exactly the Rock Island Grand Prix is all about.

Press Release:

125cc Masters gets reprieve at Rock Island Grand Prix

RIGPROCK ISLAND, Ill. – In response to pleas from drivers, the Rock Island Grand Prix organizing committee has announced that it will suspend the planned implementation of a TAG Heavy class at this year’s event in favor of retaining the 125cc Masters gearbox class.

“This is a highly unusual action on our part,” said Roger Ruthhart, president of the Rock Island Grand Prix. “We have seen the 125cc Masters class in decline both at our event and nationally. The Rock Island Grand Prix is one of the few national events where the class is still featured. We were approached by some racers who asked us to reconsider plans to drop the class.

“These are people who, in some cases, have been long-time supporters of our event and of kart racing in general, so we agreed to discuss available options and have come up with a plan that we hope everyone can live with. It has always been our goal to provide an event at which as many racers as possible can compete and this action is taken in that spirit and again shows that we try to be as competitor-friendly as possible.”

The plan approved by the race committee provides:

  • Competitors in the 125cc Masters gearbox class have until June 1, 2008 to have registered at least 22 competitors. The class allows drivers over age 35 to compete in both moto and ICC powered gearbox karts run at differing weights. If that threshold is reached, the race program will move forward as announced. If it is not reached, 125cc Masters will be dropped and TAG Heavy will be reinstated.
  • No refunds will be given in this class after June 1 unless the class is dropped.
  • No “ghost riders” will be counted. This is about putting a competitive class on the street for spectators, not just about paid entries.

The Rock Island Grand Prix plans to begin registration in late February or early March – several months earlier than previous years – giving competitors ample time to sign up before the June 1 deadline. If adequate support doesn’t surface, 3 months will remain to register drivers in TAG Heavy.

“It is our hope that we will be able to be a premier event for the 125cc Masters drivers for many years into the future. But from a business perspective, we cannot offer classes with declining participation,” said Ruthhart. “This offers these competitors a fair opportunity to rebuild and retain the class. But if the support is not there, we will go ahead with plans to add the TAG Heavy class.”

Additional news about plans for this year’s Rock Island Grand Prix will be announced at Kart Expo International, held Feb. 23-24 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center in suburban Chicago. For more information on this event, visit www.e-kmi.com, or see the slide show under Newsletters and Press Releases on the official Rock Island Grand Prix home page, www.rockislandgrandprix.com .

The Rock Island Grand Prix has drawn top drivers from 34 states as well as Canada, Bermuda, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, France, Italy, Costa Rica and England. Drivers will compete in 14 races featuring around 400 race entries.

Presenting Sponsors of the Rock Island Grand Prix are Mazda and AT&T. Jumer’s Casino Rock Island and Kart Expo International presented by Sodi Kart are also major sponsors. John Deere & Co. returns as sponsor of the John Deere Awards Show for drivers and race teams. Festivities will wrap up just in time for fun on the outdoor stage once again featuring The Travoltas. Outdoor concerts will be offered all three nights.

Others sponsors of this year’ Rock Island Grand Prix include: Zimmerman Cars; CBS4 TV; radio stations B100, 97 Rock, Star 93.5 and The River 104.9; The Dispatch, The Rock Island Argus and The Leader newspapers; Quad-Cities Online; Mediacom. Illinois Oil Products is the sponsor of HyVee VIP Hospitality Park and the Jewell Group is sponsor of the Pre Grand Prix Party. Other sponsors include Budweiser and Stern Beverage, Sprint Kart Speedway and 61 Kartway, PG Racing, JET Karting, Triple E Sales, Courtesy Car City, Rieken’s Racing, CJC Investments, Sunbelt Rentals, Communications Engineering Corp.(CEC), Gas & Electric Credit Union, Rogan Inc., EZ Companies, County Waste, Full Circle Media, Fastenal of Moline, and Rock Island Country Market. Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available.

On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle. At the track, you’ll see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing, because every Mazda has the Soul of a Sports Car. In fact, the fastest growing road-racing class in the U.S. is the SCCA’s Spec Miata class, with nearly 1,500 first- and second-generation Miatas tearing up America’s racetracks, making it the most-raced production car in the world. Mazda’s involvement in motorsports extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the world’s premier road-racing circuits, and the Skip Barber Schools for driving and racing.

Mazda North American Operations, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Canadian operations are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., in Ontario, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico, Mexico City. (www.MazdaUSAmedia.com, www. Mazdaspeedmotorsports.com )

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, including $60 million in 2006, putting it among the five largest corporate foundations in the United States. (www.att.com)

The Rock Island Grand Prix is hosted by The Downtown Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District which features Casino Rock Island, retail shops, excellent restaurants, live entertainment, dinner theater, art galleries and comedy clubs all within walking distance of the host hotel. It 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)

For more information on the Rock Island Grand Prix, visit www.rockislandgrandprix.com .

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