Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

The Monaco of the Midwest Kart Grand Prix Slated to Bring Fans to OKC

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

The Monaco of the Midwest Kart Grand Prix Slated to Bring Fans to OKC

Article excerpt

It's not the Monaco Grand Prix with its champagne, royalty and exotic locale, but Oklahoma City residents soon will witness their own version of Grand Prix racing on a smaller scale -- smaller not so much in the size of the event itself, but in the scale of the cars that will be racing.

Instead of Formula One cars zipping around the Virage St. Devote and into Casino Square and on through past the Hotel Metropole, city residents will see go-carts that can fly upwards of 100 miles an hour zipping through the heart of downtown on Robinson, Park, Main and Sheridan.

And while Monaco's Grand Prix features turns around such famous restaurants as La Rascasse, racers in Oklahoma City will have to settle for zooming past the Oyster Bar in the Colcord Building or the Beacon Club in the First National Tower. Still, what the event may lack in European savoir faire, it more than makes up for in down-home fun. The fun starts Oct. 5 as the First Annual Kart Grand Prix of Oklahoma City gets under way downtown. The event is the brainchild of Mark Chaves, head of Kart Racing Inc. and the promoter behind the race. Chaves will trade his Navy whites for a fireproof racing suit as he himself tries to capture first place in the various races. Chaves has been working behind the scenes for months to make the race a reality and has had to work with many entities to make it happen. Trying to coordinate all of the sponsors, city officials and others necessary to make it a success has been a real challenge. "I really can't say enough about the city," Chaves said. "They've been fantastic in trying to help us negotiate all the various permits, and the mayor, who's a big racing fan, has also helped tremendously." That assistance was also recognized by Don Jaeger, marketing director of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau. "You have to recognize the assistance; this is not something that the CVB can do by themselves," Jaeger said. …

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