Cleveland GP roars back to life
A Cleveland summer tradition will be renewed on June 22-24 when the high-speed thrills of the Champ Car World Series return to Burke Lakefront Airport for the 2007 Grand Prix of Cleveland. The event enjoyed a resurgence under new ownership while celebrating its 25th anniversary last summer, and organizers are planning on even bigger things this year. Fans can look forward to a number of exciting innovations including new racing events, a big-name concert, and a first-time fan amenity that will allow fans to get closer to the action than ever before.
The Grand Prix will once again be headlined by the Champ Car World Series, America's longest-running open wheel racing series with exotic high-speed rocketships capable of speeds of more than 240 m.p.h. However, this year Champ Car will be joined by an unprecedented on-track lineup, including two all-new racing events that promise to create a great deal of excitement among younger fans: the Kumho Street Warriorz and the Formula Drift Championship.
For the first time, the Grand Prix of Cleveland will feature drag racing, when the Kumho Street Warriorz drag racing series takes to the track at Burke on Friday and Saturday night. The Street Warriorz will drag race street-legal daily-drivers under the lights on the track's front straight after the daily races are finished, giving fans a rare opportunity to actually participate in the racing action at the Grand Prix. The Street Warriorz will compete on Friday and Saturday evenings until midnight. The Grand Prix will also feature the Formula Drift Championship Series, a unique high-skilled, high-powered motor sport where drivers intentionally maneuver their cars into well-executed, controlled sideways slides at high speeds through a marked course. For more information on the Street Warriorz or Formula Drift, please visit http://www.streetwarriorz.com or http://formulad.com.
Additional support series will include the Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear, SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup, BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by MAZDA, and the F2000 Championship Series. All of this adds up to a total of eight racing series competing at the Grand Prix of Cleveland, so fans are in for a great weekend with a spectacular variety of on-track action.
Spectators will have the opportunity to enjoy all this great racing action from an entirely new vantage point thanks to a major new attraction at the Grand Prix: the Infield Pit Area. For the first time, the Grand Prix of Cleveland is introducing an elevated pedestrian walkway, to be called the Bridgestone Bridge, which will allow spectators to cross over the pit lane into the Infield Pit Area. Fans will be able to watch all the racing from this unique location and will be right on top of the action in the pits. The Infield Pit Area will require a separate ticket called an Infield Pit Pass, which is available for purchase in advance and on-site, and is also included with all 3-day Super Passes and hospitality tickets.
The throaty growls of turbocharged racecars will not be the only audible stimulus at Burke Lakefront Airport during the Grand Prix, as the sweet sounds of Cleveland legends Michael Stanley and the Resonators will entertain fans during a concert on Saturday, June 23. The concert will take place on the Budweiser Stage after the day's racing action, and the show will be free to all Grand Prix ticket buyers meaning fans can see the legends for as little as $5. Gold Circle premium seating in front of the stage is also available for purchase for $25.
The jam-packed racing schedule and the Michael Stanley concert will be combined with a wide variety of activities and attractions that will truly create a "three day festival of speed" at the Grand Prix. The Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital Family Fun Zone will entertain children with interactive games, a reptile exhibit, inflatables and much more. In addition, fans of all ages will enjoy non-stop entertainment with professional beach volleyball, the Cleveland Grand Prix Charities go-kart track, beer gardens, live local music, extreme sports demonstrations, and the popular Miss Grand Prix of Cleveland contest.
Before last year's race, Mi-Jack Promotions and CEO Michael T. Lanigan became the new promoters for the Grand Prix and immediately provided much-needed financial security and a fresh approach to the much-loved but oft-troubled event. After a very successful first year when more than 118,000 fans streamed through the gates at Burke Lakefront Airport to signal a return to glory for the traditional Northeast Ohio event, the new promoters have continued to make improvements by introducing the new innovations and continuing to focus on creating a family festival atmosphere. With the momentum building and ticket sales already pacing ahead of a year ago, the Grand Prix of Cleveland should once again be the talk of the town when the gates open on June 22!
For more information on the Grand Prix of Cleveland contact the event's downtown business office at (216) 619-RACE (7223) or visit www.grandprixofcleveland.com.