By Nicole Davis
Go karts will race through the streets of Beech Grove on Sunday, June 16 during the first Grand Prix of Beech Grove at Beech Grove High School.
Organized by Speedway Indoor Karting and Whiteland Raceway and sanctioned by the Southern Indiana Racing Association, this race is the third in a series of eight for the season. Team registration begins at 7 a.m., practices begin at 10 a.m. and heat races begin at 12:30 p.m.
“I think the framework and the right core group is in place here to where this event will quickly grow to be one of the most popular (and hopefully well-run and organized) single day kart race events in the state of Indiana,” wrote Andy O’Gara, an owner of Speedway Indoor Karting and event organizer, in an email. “We have worked extremely hard over the last few months and are anxious to see the finished on-track product come to fruition in a city that we all love so much!”
This is the first time the race will take place in Beech Grove. Mayor Dennis Buckley said hosting the race is something he has desired for the city since he took office, and it’s finally coming to fruition.
“I actually wanted to do it on Main Street but they told me it’s not wide enough,” he said. “So we decided to go out to the high school and the school board approved it. The race course winds its way through the parking lot at the school, around the roundabout in front of the school. It should be fun to watch. I think it’s intriguing that these young kids are out there racing. It’s a fast track because it goes downhill so they’ll be flying down there.”
Drivers in nine classes, between the ages of 5 and older, will compete for the fastest race time.
Setup will begin Saturday, June 15, when a couple of roads will be closed at 3 p.m. Race teams come from across the Midwest and will camp in the high school parking lot. There will be no parking on Hornet Avenue or at the churches in the area. Buckley said they encourage people to drive in off Churchman Avenue and park behind the high school or come in from Park Emerson Drive and park in the grass off Adelaide Street.
Organizers anticipate between 150 to 200 entries, bringing in between 2,000 to 4,000 spectators on race day. There is no charge to attend, but there is a fee for guests wishing to get into the pits. Attendees should bring a chair if they wish to sit. There will also be food and other vendors in the Hornet Park Community Center parking lot.
Proceeds from the races benefit nonprofits, including Noble of Indiana, Easter Seals, Handicapable Hands, Beech Grove Police Department’s Shop with a Cop, Marion County Sheriff Department’s Shop with a Deputy, Cottages for Kids, St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry and the David Moore Food Pantry.
For more information, visit sirakarting.org.
Grand Prix of Beech Grove
June 16, 12:30 p.m.
Beech Grove High School
5330 Hornet Ave.
Beech Grove, IN 46107