LAKE ELSINORE: Grand Prix, canceled by drought, is back in play!Sep 4th, 2015
LAKE ELSINORE: Grand Prix, canceled by drought, is back in play BY MICHAEL J. WILLIAMS / STAFF WRITER Published: Sept. 2, 2015 Updated: Sept. 3, 2015 11:26 a.m.
Organizers move the 2015 event to the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park, which has its own reclaimed water supply.The 2015 edition of the Lake Elsinore Grand Prix will happen after all, though at a different venue.
Last month, organizers canceled the annual event staged from The Diamond minor-league baseball stadium because of the drought and Gov. Jerry Brown’s order to reduce water use statewide.
The Grand Prix has been rescheduled for Nov. 7-8 at the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park after discussions among park management, Lucas Oil off-road racing representatives, Grand Prix organizer Podium Productions and city officials.
PREVIOUSLY REPORTED: Drought concerns cancel Grand Prix
“I’m thrilled that we were able to make this deal,” said Lake Elsinore City Councilman Bob Magee, a racing enthusiast and past participant in the Grand Prix.
The event, which is open to all categories of dirt bikes, dates back to the late 1960s and has survived as a tradition, despite some hiatuses.
“It’s a significant piece of our history, and both spectators and participants enjoy it,” Magee said. “We didn’t want to fold up just because of Jerry Brown’s declaration of emergency.”
Magee said the drought isn’t as much an issue at the track because it has its own reclaimed water supply. The Diamond’s 7.2-mile route that looped through hills and canyons required purchasing a huge amount of water that had to be distributed by trucks.
Motorcycle park General Manager Chad Azevedo said that, by combining already existing tracks in the park, management will be able to create a Grand Prix-style course about 6 miles long. Lucas Oil, which holds regional and national off-road events at the site, has agreed to be a sponsor of the November races, Azevedo said.
“It’s right up our alley,” he said of the Grand Prix. “It’s a motorcycle event, and that’s what we do on a daily basis. We didn’t want to see it not happening, so we wanted to come up with Plan B. We’re fully aware it’s not going to be a traditional Grand Prix because we are in a drought.”
Details and a race schedule should be released in the ensuing days on the website, lakeelsinoregp.com, he said.