The inaugural Grand Prix of Beech Grove for karting is taking shape with free admission for spectators.
As announced last week, the Franciscan Health Grand Prix of Beech Grove presented by Deem will see the green flag Sunday, June 16 with practice at 10 a.m.
The event is sanctioned by the Southern Indiana Racing Association (SIRA) for karting. It is the third event of the year for SIRA. Organizers expect races will begin in early afternoon and end at 5 p.m.
Kart races will be for all ages, beginning with youths five years old through older adults. Racers can register through SIRA at: www.sirakarting.com. Event registration continues online through June 12. Pit passes are $15 each.
Andy O’Gara, event organizer and Beech Grove native, explained that this type of event is ideal for Beech Grove and Central Indiana where racing enthusiasm is high following the recent Indianapolis 500.
A temporary course with protective barriers will be set up in front of the Hornet Park Community Center and include a portion of the south parking lot and the circle in front of Beech Grove High School.
Spectator parking is available at the north and rear parking lots at the high school and in front of the Hornet Park Community Center. Spectators are urged to bring their lawn chairs for comfort. Viewing sites include an area at the far westside of the football field.
Vendors, including the Beech Grove Lions Club, will be on site plus a variety of food trucks and show cars.
“The enthusiasm is building,” O’Gara said. “Kart owners are preparing for this brand-new event on the calendar. And this is a good, safe event that families can enjoy.”
Organizers are expecting 150 entries.
Announcement of the community-wide event was made May 28 by O’Gara, his wife and retired Indianapolis 500 driver Sarah Fisher and Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley.
“We’ve seen the karting community, which is the basics, where a lot of kids that get their chance at IMS (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) start,” Fisher said at the announcement. “So, to get those families inside the loop and showcase the city of Beech Grove and what they’ve done to support this basis of racing is really awesome.”
O’Gara and Fisher are co-owners of Whiteland Raceway Park and Speedway Indoor Karting.