Champ Car, ISC reach compromise in Phoenix

The finish line is in sight for a proposed Indy-style street race that would send cars speeding as fast as 180 mph through the streets of downtown Phoenix.

A last-minute compromise helped race promoters shake their staunchest opponent.

Representatives of Arizona Grand Prix, the group promoting the Champ Car World Series race, and Phoenix International Raceway, which hosts the NASCAR Checker Auto Parts 500, agreed on a greater time separation between the two events.

"We no longer oppose the race," said Jason Rose, a spokesman for PIR.

Both sides ended their fierce battle over whether city officials should wave a green flag for the race that would start in November 2007.

The last hurdle for this race is the City Council. But that is expected to be easier now that the opposition has been appeased.

The compromise came less than a day before today's City Council vote on the fate of the street race and on the heels of a failed attempt to negotiate a similar truce last week.

"I'm grateful," Mayor Phil Gordon said. "They've made this a win-win for the entire Valley."

If approved, the Champ Car race would bring racecars to a two-mile track winding around Chase Field, US Airways Center, Phoenix Convention Center and other landmarks. The three-day festival of speed, concerts and family events would take place annually for at least five years.

Steve Roman, a spokesman for Grand Prix Arizona, said that, with council approval of the race, the compromise would mean:

• The 2007 race would be moved to Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and 2, which is 21 days from its original proposed date.

• The 2008 race would take place on Nov. 21, 22, and 23, two weeks after the NASCAR race in Avondale.

• The two groups also agreed to promote each other's events, work on "appropriate dates" for races after 2008 and go to arbitration if they are deadlocked on race dates.

The street race was initially proposed to take place less than a week after the NASCAR race, which is what prompted PIR executives to oppose it. More at Arizona Republic

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