Grand Prix Developmental Committee of Arizona Announces Return of Racing to The Streets of Phoenix

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Announcement Coincides With Release of Universal Pictures "Rush"; Argonne National Laboratory Providing Technological Assistance For World's First 36 Hour "Green", Targeted For 2015.


Chicago, IL, September 30, 2013 - (PressReleasePoint) - The Grand Prix Developmental Committee [of Arizona] has been created to bring racing back to the streets of Phoenix with a target date of Feb. 2015. And, with Ron Howard's "Rush"  a movie detailing the historic rivalry between Formula One champions Niki Lauda and James Hunt premiering September 27, the timing of this announcement is fortuitous.  

Proposed primary events are American Le Mans Series (ALMS, now part of United Sports Car Racing) Green Racing; the new FIA sanctioned Formula-E Electric series and Pirelli World Challenge of modified racing architecture that may very well change the face of Motorsports. Second year may conjoin ALMS, Formula-E, PWC and IndyCar events with support races. Third year, and possibly first year in the fall of 2015, could see an F1 event. Of particular note are plans to break ground for a new state of the art racing facility designed to accommodate a number of racing events including motorcycles, and a track design whereon the world may see the first sustained 300mph race

"While this may seem like a daunting task technologically', said Grand Prix Development Director Myron D. Stokes, "a recent interview with "Car Concerns" Harry Douglas, concerning a discussion  had with Chris Economaki in 1991. revealed that then existent Indy Car technology, given 3/4 miles of straightaway and about 33 degrees of banking, could hit 270mph.”

Stokes says it is a near term goal to initiate a 300mph experiment using C7 Corvette, Cadillac CTS-V Coupe or Mustang GT, which the committee  believes will require only comparatively modest modifications/tweaking in the areas of engine, suspension and aerodynamics.

"GPDC will not be alone in the attempt to accomplish this: Besides proposed involved OEM engineering groups, The Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory is assisting in the aforementioned aspects. Initial testing is proposed at Talladega (site of Saab's 21 Day "Long Run" of three 9000 series sedans in 1986) with its 33 degrees of banking, and the ultimate attempt at one of the European OEMs test tracks with sufficient straights. And yes, Guinness is expected to be there for this historical attempt", he said.

Argonne National Labs Key Role

Argonne's most important role in these initiatives is the development and utilization of racing bio-fuels that form the core of the project's environmental sustainability goals. In this, it does not fall short. “Argonne National Laboratory initiated the concept of Green Racing and continues to provide technical support to these races", said Forrest Jehlik, Research Engineer at Argonne's Center For Transportation Research. "It is exciting that when Grand Prix racing returns to Phoenix, it will be following the Green Racing protocols.  Imagine a Grand Prix race with fewer CO2 emissions than a Boston Marathon foot race; that’s Green Racing.”

Echoing the comments of Argonne's Jehlik, Valley of The Sun Clean Cities (Arizona) Coalition Director Bill Sheaffer noted that "The Valley of the Sun Clean Cities Coalition is pleased to be a part of bringing Grand Prix racing back to Phoenix. This 36 hour endurance race will not only be exciting for racing fans, but will demonstrate to everyone that by using biofuels and other alternative motor fuels there is cleaner air and reduces our dependence on petroleum fuels."

The Grand Prix Development Team

Already within this cabal of Motorsports and automotive industry veterans is designated Race Director Peter Wearing Smith of Australia, a race management veteran and auto journalist who ran an F1 team at the MACAU GP for some years; Rod Campbell, founder of PCGCampbell, Ford's Motorsports Agency and with extensive experience in the development of street racing venues ; Forrest Jehlik, Research Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory Center For Transportation Research; Dr. Sheila Ronis, Professor, Walsh College, Troy, Michigan;  Paul Brian of WLS Chicago Radio Program DRIVE, long time Director of PR for the Chicago Auto Show, and an executive with Pegasus Marketing; Brock Yates, Jr., Event Coordinator of Cannonball Circuit, LLC dba The Tire Rack One Lap of America; Andrew Marriott, Veteran UK Motorsports Commentator and Race Management; Steve Brown, international event planner of Hall and Brown Associates and The Resource Group, AV, Inc; Robert E. Seaman III of ProAdvisory Group, Chairman of the Millennium Foundation and the primary force behind the founding of the St. Petersburg and New Orleans Grands Prix among other motorsports initiatives while possessed of a competition license; Dr. Tracy Joshua, A Global Transportation Logistics executive whose professional experience includes Ford Motor Company and Xerox; John Mealer of The Mealer Automotive Companies;  Marvin LaBranche, MBA, MHRM, motorsports financials; Larry Weis, CEO of USAutoCom Associates, a top rated automotive/aerospace industry PR firm; Mr. Thomas H. Miner of Thomas H. Miner and Associates; Ben Ballout of Diplomatic Trade Ltd, an import/export firm with extensive Middle-East connectivity who will act as a bridge to collaborative motorsports activities in that part of the world; Jeff Machtig, co-Founder of DVE Telepresence, a virtual human representation technology that must be seen to be believed, Ed Possing, an established contractor specialist who will oversee street race construction activities, and who has constructed buildings around the world as part of humanitarian outreach; Greg Jones, inventor, innovator and CEO of Agsort, Inc., developers of advanced agricultural technologies that may change how the world feeds itself; Harry Douglas, award winning Nissan dealer and host of the global radio show "Car Concerns", Bill Sheaffer, Director, Clean Cities (of Arizona) Coalition; Alan Deszcz, Senior VP, NAI Capital and an accomplished racer; Ken Sprang, Esq., of the Washington International Business Law Counsel; business and corporate law generalist & law professor.
 
Permanent Race Track/City

Concomitant with efforts towards the world's first 36 Hour street race in Phoenix, are plans for a state of the art race track built with advanced building materials and alternative energy processes developed by the US Department of Energy. "At the recommendation of an Argonne Research Fellow, GPDC will be reaching out to the administrators of one of the world's premier environmental sustainability projects: Arcosanti, located in northeast Arizona off I-17 in the high desert, for architectural guidance in the building of the Race Track/City", said Steve Brown GP International Events Coordinator, The Resource Group AV. "Utilizing the Arcology building design process as developed by legendary architect Paolo Soleri for this proposed racing complex/city is exciting, and we look forward to visiting Arcosanti as early as next month.

OEM Outreach

Given the strong potential for technological breakthroughs in the automotive, aerospace and materials sectors, the Grand Prix Developmental Committee [of Arizona] is reaching out to senior executives at Ford, GM, Chrysler, Mercedes, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, Northrop-Grumman, Beechcraft, Piaggio, Cessna, BMW, Audi, Aston-Martin, Jaguar/Land Rover, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pirelli, Bridgestone, Google (driverless car initiative) major suppliers and others, for their early participation.

 "As a colleague once said, an extraordinary amount of technology cross-fertilization has occurred between these industries. When one considers that the conceptualization, design, design for manufacturability, manufacturing, sustainability and life-cycle management disciplines are symbiotic, the task of addressing the effects of wind, lift, thrust and drag on a moving mass is critical to analyze as a system", says Walsh College, Troy, Michigan Professor Dr. Sheila Ronis.  As a national security strategist, "car guy" and rocket scientist early in her career, she worked with former Cadillac Chief Engineer Bob Dorn to "fix" the Division's Allante Sport Luxury car.

"The goal of a sustained 300 mph race and all that it entails in a manner not dissimilar to the space race, ought to fire the imaginations of those involved. GPDC invites all of the companies involved, with their hundreds of combined years of experience, to join with this committee and the Argonne team to make this vision a reality", she said.

Energy Company As Title Sponsor Sought

There is consensus among committee members that the title sponsor of the world's first 36 Hour "Green" Street Race should be an energy company with clear goals of creating fuels and alternative energy processes conducive to environmental sustainability.  " GPDC is aware of the work of Sunoco, Shell and BP, among others, in this arena, and we reach out to them to join this project", Stokes said. "We also commend T. Boone Pickens for his CNG advocacy, and would welcome him aboard this quest as well."

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