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DATE News (chronologically)
08/20/09
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Chicago suburb seeks IndyCar and ALMS races  UPDATE #2
Waukegan GP course Layout
We have added exclusively the course layout.  The temporary curbs / chicanes are simply placed to establish and denote a proposed area to create a series of corners and have yet to be finalized… therefore they are “proposed” and will be re configured… the purpose of these corners are 1. To reduce the terminal speed at the end of the straight 2. To create additional corners 3. Create additional viewing opportunities and action for the patrons… Since this drawing is a initial version there have already been additional revisions (Not to the course route) but to other attributes to the site.

08/19/09 AR1.com hears that the group behind Waukegan Grand Prix LLC are some local businessmen and Mayor Robert Sabonjian.  We hear they met with the LAMS this past weekend at Road America for a possible 2010 race, and there have been initial discussions with the IRL for an IndyCar race starting in 2011.  Waukegan is 35 north of downtown Chicago and the track is right on the waterfront.  From what we hear this events has all the key ingredients to be a success - finances, great track layout, great viewing opportunities.  With Milwaukee losing it's IndyCar race, this can fill the void, though we bet ISC, owners of Chicagoland Speedway, will try to stop it.

08/19/09 When word spread that the city of Waukegan is bidding to bring a motorsport race to the downtown area, Sheridan Road resident Jeff Rothbart wondered if the cart was being put before the horsepower.

"It seems to me that there's some kind of hurriedness to it," Rothbart told the City Council Monday night. "Is there a business plan for this? (Organizers) should make sure a business plan is available to the public."

While Mayor Robert Sabonjian told Rothbart that "business plans take a while to generate," he does have something else in hand right now: a map of the proposed 1.9-mile circuit for a Waukegan Grand Prix.

According to Sabonjian, the course would have a start/finish line on the Amstutz Expressway just south of the Washington Street bridge. Drivers would head south on the Amstutz to a point just north of where the divided highway ends at Genesee Street. There, a tight hairpin turn would be constructed onto Sheridan Road, sending drivers north to Water Street.

From Water and Sheridan, drivers would head west to Genesee Street, north to Washington Street, west to County Street, north to Grand Avenue and, finally, east back to the southbound Amstutz.

City officials plan to tour the course Wednesday, Sabonjian said, to gauge what would be needed to get the roadways in shape to host races that could begin next summer -- if all goes well in attracting racing leagues and financial backers.

"It's not easy. It's a very complicated project," Sabonjian said. "But we're doing our due diligence, (and) we would love to have something ready for 2010. But if it has to wait for 2011, we'll do it in 2011."

At Monday's City Council meeting, Sabonjian announced that the city will host public hearings on the project to offer more details and answer questions. He estimated that meeting dates will be announced "early next week."

Rothbart indicated Tuesday that the public meetings will draw a crowd, saying "there is a lot of opposition" among downtown-area residents he's spoken to about the concept of roaring engines on the lakefront.

"There's been a lot of talk," he said. "People along the bluff are upset about it, obviously, because anybody who's ever been to even a stock car race can remember the noise."

Sabonjian said he's heard the concerns about such things as safety, noise and the economic impact of staging a motorsport race -- which he has defined as possibly American LeMans, IndyCar or motorcycle in format -- on existing Waukegan roadways. More of this negative article at SuburbanChicagoNews.com

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