The Grand Prix of Karting took place in one of Quincy's many
is a135 acre park that offers something for
anyone on any given day. For the Grand Prix of Karting weekend, the first
weekend of June, it offered one of the most beautiful, most challenging, and
most fan friendly karting events there ever was. For the people of
Quincy and other race fans, it marked the beginning of summer and what a
fantastic way to begin a summer!
Gus Traeder, who ran this event for 32 years, picked an absolute fantastic spot
to hold a race recognized as one of the premiere karting events around the
world. As Keith Freber of Margay put
in once, "I have been to karting events all over the world and absolutely
none top The Park. I have always enjoyed the town and event immensely."
course itself took place on the road on the outer edge of the park. Many
people always considered it to be a mile course but if you get picky about it,
the Quincy Park District has it
posted to be exactly 1.13 miles, for those walkers and runners who utilize the
park for this activity.
How would you like a shaded pit area instead of baking in the
sun in a hot driver's suit? Plenty of trees and nice breeze almost made
you think you were out for Sunday drive. Well actually you were out on
Sundays many times but it was anything but a casual drive. How would you,
your pit crew, and any of the thousands of fans attended like to sit under a
shade tree to watch one of the races? Yes, you had that too. If
anybody wanted to work on their tan, enjoy the sun and sip on a favorite
beverage of choice, you had that as an option
You not only raced other drivers, but you raced the course itself
too. The track demanded respect as it offered elevation changes, curbs,
stone walls, manholes and trees in
close proximity. Thousands of straw bales were used all over
the course for safety purposes.
The racing action photos here are courtesy of
Todd Bolton Racing. Be sure to catch some of the
helmet cam video Jason Birdsell during practice of
the Park. The video is courtesy of Mark Weaverling.
To give a better idea of the layout here are two more photos.
One is taken from the entry form papers from one of the later years of the race.
It is not exactly quite to scale but from the aerial photo included I would
think you would consider it close enough. It at the very least gave you an
idea of the number of turns and length of the straight-aways. To say The
Park was a high speed track, might have been an understatement. It was
definitely one of the most beautiful and challenging races that ever took place
in the world of karting.