USAC Karting’s Thor Industries Elkhart Riverwalk Grand Prix Returns August 14-15
What happens when you combine thousands of spectators, live music, a massive cornhole tournament, a fireworks display that rivals the 4th of July in New York, and throw in a kart race through the city streets? The Thor Industries Elkhart Riverwalk Grand Prix, where kart racing meets street festival. The Thor Industries Elkhart Riverwalk Grand Prix has steadily become one of the must attend karting events in its first three years. Last year the event saw Tony Neilson win an astonishing 8 wins in 9 classes throughout the weekend as well as Chase Allard sweeping both of the ABC Excavating Shifter Duels. In starting a new tradition in Elkhart the 2019 grand prix saw the karts taking to streets on Friday night for the first time. Along with returning to the streets at night, the drivers will be welcomed by new Mayor Rod Roberson, a new permanent concert stage, and the redeveloped Central Park that sits between the front stretch and the pit area.
“When we first envisioned USAC karting we wanted to break the mold of just having races and going home. We wanted to hold special one off events that were family friendly and unique.” Explains Mike Burrell: “The entire weekend the fans will be able to interact with the drivers and their families. The pit area was moved next to the park and the competitors and their families can enjoy the concerts with the fans the entire event without having to leave the track. Our focus has been to entertain as well as provide a driver friendly environment to enjoy racing at. At times it’s easy to forget that there is a race going on in the city with atmosphere that the event creates.”
When the karts take to the streets the front stretch will not be the only part of the event with a new look. As announced in October, all classes are now running under the CIK body and seat rules. The class structure for the event remains very similar to the 2019 event. The 2020 running will see Briggs and Stratton Heavy CIK class return as well as the Masters and Junior classes. Also returning for their second year, The Margay Ignite Senior and Masters classes will be battling under the lights both nights as the Margay Ignite Shootout will also return on Friday night.
The fan favorite ABC Excavating Shifter Duel will return this year as well. With the date changing for 2020 this sees the conflicting date with the Summer Nationals moving away so that more shifter drivers can make the return to Elkhart.
Elkhart will also see the return of 100cc racing return with the two Yamaha heavy classes as well as the Yamaha Junior class. New to the rotation is USAC’s FK100 class that will feature the newer KA100 and VLR 100cc as well as allowing the older Yamaha Pipe and HPV engines. The FK100 Junior class will only feature the KA100 along with the VLR 100cc engines.
The event kicks off Friday August 14th with practice, qualifying, and special events starting in the early evening along with the first of two free concerts. Saturday sees a multitude of on and off track activities. On Saturday August 15th The Premium Concrete Cornhole tournament kicks off, practice and qualifying races continue throughout the early part of the day, the Thor Industries celebrity races open the event followed by the USAC Karting features during the late afternoon into the evening finishing with the second of the free concerts and a fireworks show closing the event on Saturday night after the final checkered flag flies.
Registration is already open for the 2020 Battle at the Brickyard and registration opens for the Thor Industries Elkhart Riverwalk Grand Prix on March 1st.
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