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Action Begins at Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Sports/Touring Car Racing

Action Begins at Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington

John Birchard
Voice of America
July 20, 2002

In a way, the drivers on this temporary racing circuit at RFK (Robert F. Kennedy) Stadium are like the drivers commuting to and from work in the Washington area.  They're concerned about traffic and weather.

The Trans-Am drivers had to deal with heavy traffic and hot, humid weather Friday afternoon as they qualified for tomorrow's race.

The driver-and-car combination best able to handle the conditions and this tight, seven-turn track was Butch Leitzinger in a Corvette.  Leitzinger turned a quick lap of a minute and 12 seconds or 133 kilometers per hour.  This is the fourth pole position in a row this season for Leitzinger.

Starting beside him on the front row Saturday will be Boris Said in a Panoz Esperante.  Said is the Trans-Am championship leader, having won three races in the series before this weekend.  The defending series champion, Paul Gentilozzi, qualified sixth in a Jaguar.

One after another, drivers are praising the temporary track at RFK Stadium.  They all compliment the layout, the new asphalt surface and the general organization of the Cadillac Grand Prix.

Organizers of the event only began construction of the track and its facilities in late March.  This weekend, there are not only a complete race track, but also grandstand seats for 30,000, plus luxury suites and track concessions providing food and other items for the fans.  Organizers are predicting as many as 70,000 fans will be in attendance this weekend.

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