|Date: 4/5/2010 9:13:48 PM|
LIKA, NJMP Help Open 110th NY Int'l Auto Show
By Walter Elliott
NEW YORK CITY -- Members of the Long Island Karting
Association, Skip Barber Racing School and New Jersey
Motorsports Park helped open the 110th New York
International Auto Show in an up close racing manner here
Three of LIKA's racing divisions, totalling 19 karts, put on
near continuous heats on Manhattan's 12th Avenue 9-11
a.m. April 3. They circulated on a temporary one-20th
mile oval in front of the Jacob Javits Convention Center
between West 37th and 38th streets.
LIKA was actually part of a two- or three- ring racing
circus, depending on how one among the thousands waiting
to enter the Javits Center viewed the morning's racing
demonstrations between West 38 and 34th streets.
LIKA, for example took shifts with some 12 karts from the
Grand Prix New York indoor track. Grand Prix New York's
customer racing karts were driven by NYIAS Chairman John
LaSorsa, Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association
President Mark Schienberg and other show organizers in an
unofficial bragging rights championship.
Three driver-instructors from the Skip Barber Racing School
where simultaneously putting two of their Mazdas and a
BMWthrough a 12-gate slalom course roughly a fifth-mile
long between West 37th and 35th streets.
NJMP officials were meanwhile finalizing their rotation of
guest drivers before the NYIAS' opening. Andy Lally,
Spencer Pumpelly and David Donohue were among
those ready to sign autographs and field questions at the
Javits' Crystal Palace South Concourse once the show
officially opened at 11 a.m.
LIKA, NJMP, Skip Barber Racing School and Grand Prix New
York were four of several entities who maintain racing's
presence at the NYIAS. The Barber school, LIKA and Grand
Prix New York, on one hand, were part of several special
events that treated the public and/or media since March
31. NJMP joins Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Acura and
Kia with continuing public displays until the show closes 7
p.m. April 11.
"We're excited to bring karting to the New York Auto
Show," said LIKA President Peter Monte before the grand
opening crowd. "It's a great way to get involved with
Monte - along with drivers George and Ken Moss and
Michael and Melanie Giessen said they took up NYIAS'
invitation last month. The temporary speedway is the
smallest circuit and only oval on their 15-race calendar.
They usually run on paved road circuits at the Nassau
Coliseum parking lot, NJMP's kart circuit, the Old Bridge
(N.J.) Raceway Park road course and Oakland Valley
Raceway Park in Cuddybackville, N.Y.
"We, NJMP, OVRP and Old Bridge are combining for the first
time to promote karting in Greater New York," said Monte.
"Grand Prix New York's a sponsor and we've just had a
winter series with them."
GNYADA and NYIAS have acknowledged racing in
previous opening day ceremonies. An IMSA/ALMS Porsche
911 sports production car were among those setting 12th
Avenue elasped times one year.
GNYADA and NYIAS officials raced U.S. Lawn Mower Racing
Association vehicles on the Javits inner roadway another
year. A couple of Formula SAE cars from Columbia University
joined one opening day parade of unique vehicles.
Local and automotive media received some exclusive
events March 31-April 1. Multiple 24 Hours of Daytona
winner Hurley Heywood, for example, took on all live
and Xbox gamers in racing a Mazda Raceway Laguna
Seca computer simulation at the Porsche exhibit.
Daytona 500 winner Geoffrey Bodine came along with the
USA 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics gold medal winning
four-man bobsled team - and a Bo-Dyne sled - at the
"Mercedes-Benz wanted a gold-medal team to go with their
gold medal cars just for this show only," said Bodine, of
Chemung, N.Y. "I talk about how use of wind tunnels and
other NASCAR technology is transferable to bobsled design."
M-B of North America used Bodine and the gold medalists
to announce their SLS racing series. Specially licensed
owner-drivers of their AMB-prepared SLSs may drive up to
12 dates at Road Atlanta or Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The race dates, unlike the Ferrari or Corvette challenges
witnessed by race spectators, are strictly club dates.
Lincoln Technical Institute at University of Northwestern
Ohio - the former a one-time NASCAR Nationwide
Series team sponsor, the latter owners/promoters of
Limaland Raceway - are anticipated to be part of the
National Automotice Technology Competition and career fair
Lally and Pumpelly had meanwhile practiced their
penmanship at the NJMP exhibit Good Friday. The duo were
meeting the public while placed between their own No. 71
NASCAR Grand-Am Porsche 911 GT3 car and a No. 71
Bobby Labonte NASCAR Sprint Cup Chevrolet Impala.
NJMP's display, which continues to be the largest
motorsports-oriented exhibit of the show, includes a No. 7
Bertil Roos Racing School Ford-engined formula car and an
example of its F1 Kart program.
Officials of the Millville-based brought new features to their
2010 calendar within and outside of their April 1 press
conference. At the conference, a rallycross circuit is being
built to introduce that form of racing. Up to six cars are to
compete in short races on a mixed asphalt/dirt surfaced
track as done in Europe.
Outside of the conference, one NJMP official disclised that
a dirt asphalt road race has been scheduled for Father's
Day weekend. There will also be an enduro/street stock
road race on tap.
"I've been coming to the show for 15 years, but this' my
first time here on a Good Friday," said Lally. "I'm getting
some people who ask the basic racing questions and some
who really know racing. This (April 1) crowd is the largest
NYIAS organizers anticipate 1.2 million people to see over
1,000 vehicles at the Javits Center. The traditionally last
international auto show on the calendar usually attracts the
largest crowds and is scheduled to coincide with the Easter
and Passover holidays.
"This' the first time I've TWO cars at the show," said Lally.
"The other one's the No. 10 Grand Am Continential Tire
Sports Car Challenge at the KIA booth downstairs."
The No. 10 is a 2010 Kia Koupe production sports car.
Toyota has a Kyle Busch No. 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup
Snickers Camry on display across the floor alongside a video
of Busch putting a Camry hybrid through its paces at
Talladega Super Speedway.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS-AMB example is on the show's
main floor, among other racing cars. Acura is featuring the
No. 7 ALMS XM Satellite Radio LMP2 car from 2007. Mazda
meanwhile has a No. 70 GTR production sports car.
Chevrolet has a Cruze outfitted for FIA World Touring Car
Challenge competition. It was not known, as of March 31,
whether the Cruze will be used for Stateside road racing.
The NYIAS is open 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. through Saturday and
10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets and other details are
found at sutoshowNY.com.
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