Las Vegas street race location revealed

UPDATE #14 Look for this rumor to finally go to 'fact' today. See Hot News article for full story.

07/04/06 This Las Vegas Review Journal article talks about the revitalization plans the city of Las Vegas has for the downtown area. The upgrades they are talking about fall within the proposed Champ Car track. Las Vegas Blvd. is five blocks to the East of Main Street on the map.

Working the race into the planned revitalization of downtown Las Vegas is very similar to what happened in Long Beach and the plans for Phoenix. The force behind the Vegas race is the same person who is behind the proposed Phoenix race – Dale Jensen, owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns and so much more.

The central corridor of downtown Las Vegas' designated entertainment district has a new name – Fremont East – and a revised plan to fill a few blocks of Fremont Street with neon.

The area, which spans three blocks of Fremont Street from Las Vegas Boulevard to Eighth Street, is to have a decorative arch over each end of the district bearing the name Fremont East. The city also is planning to copyright the name.

06/23/06 See pages 53 through 56 of these May 3rd Las Vegas City Council meeting minutes whereby the Las Vegas Champ Car street race is meeting with near unanimous approval. So far it sounds like this race is a go on all fronts.

05/04/06 See this Hot News item for news on the interest this race is generating in Las Vegas and a news report on last night's City Council meeting.

05/02/06 Inside sources tell us the track diagram has been changed from what we show below as that diagram is a month old and may undergone a couple of revisions.

05/02/06 According to, a 14-turn, 2.44-mile course set at the north end of the Las Vegas strip has been submitted for approval by the Council.

"The situation is that if the City Council approve, then we are there," Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven told AutoSport. "We have a promoter in place, and a Las Vegas Grand Prix would be a perfect fit for the series, and a perfect fit for Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world."

04/30/06 To the right is the proposed Las Vegas Champ Car street circuit layout created by presented in 3-dimensions. This overlay on a recent aerial photograph of the area shows that this track should race well. All the streets are wide and there are a number of long straights. At 2.44 miles in length, it is longer than most of Champ Car's street circuits, including the renowned Long Beach which measures just under 2 miles in length.

04/29/06 Photos of a portion of the proposed Las Vegas Street circuit:

Refer to map below right for Turn Numbers referenced on photos

04/28/06 Here is the City Council meeting announcement (PDF – 18 pages including track layout). Proposed track is quite interesting and is located right where we said it would be when we broke this story months ago.

04/28/06 The Las Vegas City Council will meet on Wednesday May 3rd to discuss all the latest business relating to the city and one item on the agenda will be an application for $3.2m in public money to be spent on improvements to the infrastructure to create a temporary racing circuit on the streets of the city. The plan is for a 2.44-mile track to be laid out in the old downtown area, to the north of the famous Strip, close to an attraction called the Fremont Street Experience (as we rumored below). The plan is for the race to be held on the weekend of April 6-8 2007. Interesting given April 6-8 would be the week just prior to next year's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Mileage wise, however, the two events are far enough apart so as not to be a problem. Logistically, given the rumored merged 22-race IRL/Champ Car schedule for 2007, it makes sense to run these races back-to-back.

01/26/06 It seems Champ Car could have another option for a race location in Las Vegas, though we think this may be too far out of town. Could a road course be designed into the road network around the resort?

California developer Matt Rose today will outline plans for a $4B sports resort eight miles from the Las Vegas Strip that he hopes “will lure amateur, Olympic and possibly professional sporting events." The Ultimate Sports Resort would include “a 26,000-seat arena, a 5,000-seat aquatic center, an air-conditioned driving range" and other sports-related elements. It would also have a 150,000-square-foot casino, 5,500 hotel rooms and ten nightclubs AP, 1/26

11/30/05 It is interesting to note that and are registered and take you to a racing website showing Bridgestone Champ Car tires and the words "Coming Soon." 09/26/05 This Las Vegas Sun article talks about the status of a possible street race in Las Vegas and it does not sound like it's even close yet…..but stay tuned.

08/18/05 According to sources, the proposed Las Vegas street circuit will be in the area shown on the map to the right, even if our track layout isn't exactly correct. The area is just west of "old town" Las Vegas which was the original hub of the gaming industry along Fremont Street. The big open undeveloped space next to Interstates I-15 and I-515 will be utilized we are told. We laid out what we think might be the course layout (pictured right). It measures 2.4 miles. We were told it was a "long" street circuit by Champ Car standards, so that agrees with our guess of a layout. The long straight along Main Street measures a whopping 0.8 miles in length and the open expanse is perfect for paddock area and grandstands. The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino and the Nevada Hotel and Casino sit inside the track. The layout, if correct, would feature four tunnel sections, under the railroad twice and under I-515 twice. Would Champ Car be so bold to build a street circuit like this that the drivers can actually pass on? What a novel idea.

A less ambitious 1.7-mile layout is shown above left. Although simple and short at just 1.7-miles, you can pass on it as well. A possible 2.25-mile layout is shown to the right. This layout would have the least impact on city streets.

Holding a season-ending street race in Las Vegas the weekend before the traditional Thanksgiving weekend is expected. We heard Thanksgiving weekend was also being explored, but if Champ Car did that they might have a mutiny on their hands with the teams and their families. Besides, who would travel to see a race on Thanksgiving weekend when everyone wants to be home with their families?

07/15/05 Word here in Edmonton is that a Las Vegas Champ Car street race is a distinct possibility, in 2006 or 2007. Final approvals are not all in place yet, but we hear the layout and location are great. It will not be on The Strip of course, but it's not far away and it's not any of the previously rumored locations in Vegas. The talk is that this race could and should be Champ Car's season finale in early November, back in the USA which is where it should be. Mark C.

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