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Gran Prix returns to Cal City

March 28, 2011

After a 25-year absence, the Return of a Classic Event will make its debut in California City with the running of the California City Gran Prix, April 15-17.
This event was once a major attraction in the deserts of Southern California, but then it went away. The then promoter decided to retire and requirements surrounding the desert became even more difficult to meet.
As a result, California City lost a yearly event that brought well over 1200 competitors to the city and 17,000-plus spectators from Southern and Central California and other states. Racers came from as far as Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. The event’s demise was not only a big loss for desert enthusiasts but Cal City felt the pinch in revenue losses that such large crowd left.
However, this year Alta Vista Events, with the support and assistance of California City, will bring back event on the weekend of April 17-19.
“This is the time to take advantage and bring that ‘Happy Money’ I’m always talking about,” said event promoter Lou Peralta. “We already have a hot-bed of OHV enthusiasts who have filled the coffers for the past few years with their purchase of the California City OHV License, now let’s give them an organized event that they and everyone in their family can participate in.”
Friday is set aside for competitors to check-in and/or register for the event. In the works is also a “Racer’s Reception” hosted by local residents and businesses.
As part of Friday’s schedule of activities, there is a “Racer’s Scram-ble Golf Tournament” at the local Tierra Del Sol golf course. Golfers are encouraged to check-in between 10 a.m. and noon. Local Pro Bob Dacey, who is also manager of the golf course, has put together an excellent tournament that will offer discounts to play and provide festivities and prizes for those who compete.
Saturday and Sunday are the dates set for the return of a classic as no less than 38 various classes of competition in motorcycles, ATVs and UTVs will be featured over the two days.
Action will start with the young ones in the Mini classes, racing on an abbreviated course. However, there will also be classes for Ladies, Pros, Experts, Novices and Beginners, plus the popular age classes featuring the 30+, 40+, 50+ and 60+ years-olds, and racing teams competing on a 20-mile desert course laid out on unmaintained city and county roads.
The Gran Prix will also feature a Vendors Alley for local and outside businesses. In addition, local and other vendors will provide food and refreshments.
The start and finish location and the Vendor’s Alley are set up on the edge of town at College Avenue, which is accessible by everyone.
An awards ceremony will be held Saturday night for those Pros who competed earlier in the event. There is a $2000 purse for the top Pros.
There is no charge for spectators. Several areas have been set aside for spectators to enjoy the action and take advantage of this once-a-year event.
For more details, please go to or call (760) 373-8227 or (760) 578-6258.

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