Vegas track should make for good racing The course for the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix looked good on paper a few months ago, and it looks even better as construction nears completion for the April 6-8 event downtown.
The season opener for the Champ Car World Series has had crews working around the clock for three weeks to convert public streets into a 2.44-mile, 12-turn racing circuit, which will produce speeds up to 190 mph before the Indy-style cars down-shift and begin zig-zagging around casinos adjacent to the Fremont Street Experience.
Circuit manager Chris Kneifel created the course and has been the straw boss for the project.
Kneifel, a Chicago native who lives near Phoenix, is a former open-wheel competitor and overall winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2001 with co-drivers Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell.
He drove in the Champ Car series when it was run under the CART banner and finished eighth in the 1983 race held on the Caesars Palace parking lot.
But this circuit promises to provide more action than the races at Caesars in 1983 and 1984, he said.
"I really don't remember any of the turns, and a good course, whether a permanent track or temporary street circuit, should produce those memories," he said. "This one will."
Nearly all of the estimated 3,000 12-foot long concrete safety barriers are in place, fitted with 9-foot safety catch-fence panels.
Kneifel oversaw the installation late Wednesday night of three elevated 70-foot pedestrian walkways that will allow people to cross the track during race weekend. A 120-foot bridge will be installed over Grand Central Parkway to connect the primary grandstand to the paddock area. Las Vegas Review Journal
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