Springfield, MA – Plans have been announced for a vintage race car Grand Prix this summer through the streets of downtown Springfield Massachusetts. WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports..
As many as 100 pre-1960s model sports cars from such storied makers as Porsche, Ferrari, and MG are expected to race in the heart of downtown Springfield during three days this July.. It would be the first of what promoters of the Springfield Vintage Grand Prix hope will become an annual charity event and tourism bonanza.
The cars will be supplied by members of the Vintage Sports Car Club of America. The club's president, John Schiefflin predicts the Grand Prix will be a major attraction and not just for car buffs and race fans
Proceeds from the event will go toward a new educational program at the Museum of Springfield History, which houses many classic cars with Springfield connections.
The three day grand prix scheduled for July 22 through the 24, will be free to the public .Schiefflin says they'll put on an event everyone can enjoy
For many years, the Vintage Sports Car Club of America put on a Grand Prix in Pittsburgh ,but Schiefflin said there was a change in philosophy for that prompted a search for a new location.
Michael Hall, a Springfield resident and sports car fan, is the founder of the Springfield Vintage Grand Prix the events promoter .
Hall said they are still seeking sponsors for the event and he said the budget will be determined in large part by the race course,which has not been finalized. Talks are continuing with city officials about the plans which will entail closing several streets. Hall said community meetings will take place with downtown business owners and residents.
Melvin Edwards a Springfield City Councilor, and the president of the organization, Keep Springfield Beautiful, a major backer of the Grand Prix, says its economic impact could be enormous
The races will be run under the direction of the Sports Car Club of America, whose national steward, Peter Roberts said safety will be the top priority .
The promoters of the Springfield Vintage Grand Prix say no city tax dollars will be spent for the event..