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DATE News (chronologically)
03/08/07
track news
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JAG Flocomponents gets naming rights for Houston GP  JAG Flocomponents was introduced today as the naming-rights sponsor of the racetrack for the Grand Prix of Houston, which will now be called “JAGFlo Speedway at Reliant Park”. Grand Prix officials also announced that as a result of the JAG sponsorship, major upgrades will be made to the facility for 2007, including significant improvements to the track surface.
 
“We are very pleased to welcome JAG Flocomponents to the Grand Prix of Houston family,” said Chuck Kosich, General Manager of the Grand Prix of Houston. “The support of the business community is vital to the success of our event, so we are delighted that JAG has chosen to make this investment in the Grand Prix. The support of JAG Flocomponents will allow us to make investments in our event that bring us closer to our goal of establishing the Grand Prix of Houston as one of the finest street races in the world.”
 
JAG Flocomponents, a leading manufacturer of valves for the energy and petrochemical industries, becomes the largest current sponsor of the Grand Prix of Houston as part of the multi-year agreement that includes not only the track sponsorship but also a full range of marketing and corporate hospitality benefits for JAG.  
 
“JAG Flocomponents is proud to sponsor the Grand Prix of Houston,” said John McCrae, CEO of JAG Flocomponents. “JAG is a fast-growing company that is dedicated to delivering top-quality products to our customers, and in this way I believe our goals are aligned with the Grand Prix of Houston. The Grand Prix provides JAG Flocomponents with an outstanding platform to showcase our company to a global audience as we continue to grow along with the Grand Prix of Houston.”
 
The sponsorship allows the Grand Prix of Houston to make improvements to the racetrack that will now bear JAGFlo’s name. In 2006, Reliant Park received high marks as the new venue for the Grand Prix of Houston, but organizers recognized that sections of the track surface were too inconsistent for the high-speed cars of Champ Car and American Le Mans. Before finalizing plans for the racetrack improvements, Grand Prix officials studied the existing surface and conducted thorough research on the possible plans of action.
 
“We recognized the need to improve the surface of the racetrack, but there were many factors to review and a number of possible solutions to consider,” said Kyle Novak, Director of Operations for the Grand Prix. “After extensive research we believe we have determined a course of action that will produce the best possible results for JAGFlo Speedway at Reliant Park.”
                       
Racing surface data was first gathered from a profilograph scan performed by Dynatest in
October of 2006. Each driving lane of the racing surface was graded on a standard roughness index assigned by the amount of surface deflection/drop graded longitudinally in race direction in 6-foot intervals. Champ Car team engineers also provided suspension data including pushrod strain, damper travel, and vertical body acceleration, and Bridgestone tire engineers and Champ Car provided valuable information for the project as well. As a result of this research, Grand Prix officials determined that track grinding was necessary in order to improve the surface for the 2007 Grand Prix.
 
To perform the grinding services, the Grand Prix has hired Eagle Grooving and Grinding Contractors, one of the country’s leading specialists with experience on such projects as Talladega Speedway, Walt Disney World, and the Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport. The racing surface will be ground using a self contained, water-cooled diamond grinding system designed and operated by Eagle Grooving. Diamond grinding will significantly reduce roughness and also improve surface macrotexture, which will improve tire grip.
 
The track is scheduled to be ground from the exit of turn 4 to entrance of turn 6 (Dome Stadium drive around the Reliant Astrodome) and the exit of turn 10 to entrance of turn 1 (Start/Finish straightaway).  The track will be ground in approximately 4 foot wide “swaths” in race direction, which will leave behind a “corduroy” finish with 50 – 60 tiny grooves per one foot of width. Work will commence on March 24 after the conclusion of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, and will be performed in the late evenings over a period of approximately seven days. Grand Prix officials are eager to get to work on the track improvements.
 
“We are very excited to be able to make this investment in JAGFlo Speedway at Reliant Park,” said Novak. “When the teams from American Le Mans and Champ Car arrive to compete in the 2007 Grand Prix, they will find an improved racetrack that should result in outstanding world-class racing for the fans.”
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