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Sports Car Rolls into Las Vegas

22 April 1998

The second round of the Professional Sports Car Racing (PSR) season
continues this week-end in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Toshiba Copiers &
Fax Grand Prix will be conducted on the 2.25 mile 9-turn track. For the
World Sports Car (WSC) ,GT-1, GT-2 and GT-3 race teams the four
hour enduro will get underway at 1:00 PM (PST) on Sunday April 26.
Supporting the four- hour enduro will be the Endurance Cup (2 Hour and
45 min) race for Stock Sports Cars and the Sports Toyota Championship
(30 minute race).

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway received a lot of praise from the
participants last year. The ultra-modern garage facilities as well
as the track configuration were given thumbs-up reviews by all of the
teams. The major difference this year is that the main event will be run
during the day.  Last year the endurance race was on Saturday night. One
other change is that the track configuration has been shortened by a
quarter-mile from last year's event.  This race will be the first real
test for the PSR marketing department. 

With the on-going split in the sportscar sanctioning world the Las Vegas
race is the first of the season to determine if  the fans will support
two series. The previous two races at Daytona and Sebring are so well
established that regardless of any in-fighting among the sanctioning
bodies a large contingent of competitors and racefans arrive for the race
meeting.  The number of competitors attending the Las Vegas race could
be smaller than last year since this race venue is, for many East Coast
based teams, an out and back tow. Last year the PSR race was followed the
next week-end with a PSR race in Pikes Peak, Colorado. The expense of a
round-trip tow of 6,000 miles was easy to justify with two races. With
just the one event some teams may defer to attend. The other indicator
that the race is having a tough time drawing a lot of cars is that
the four-hour enduro is going to run all four classes together. This
could be a recipe for carnage. On a long- road course such as Daytona,
Sebring or Watkins Glen the combining of the classes makes sense. However,
on a short road course of 2.25 miles it leaves little time for any of
the drivers to get even a moments rest. It will be interesting to watch.

The one unknown for determining the number of competitors is that the
announced prize money for the Las Vegas race is up over last year. Even
with the increase in prize money, there are still some teams feeling the
sting of not being paid for the last two races of the 1997 season. For
the enduro race the prize money will be distributed from 1st ($15,000)
to 20th ($1,000) place. In addition to the over-all prize money each of
the four classes will have prize money distributed from 1st($8,000)
to 5th ($1,000) place. To regain the confidence of the competitors,
the organizers are literally going out of their way to assure teams that
PSR is here to stay and will be the sportscar sanctioning body of the
future. Results and actions will speak for themselves.

Setting aside all of the internal politics of sportscar racing, the
marketing department of PSR is trying to capitalize on the momentum
coming out of Sebring. The Momo Ferrari team led by team owner Gianpiero
Moretti will be a drawing card to see if the team can continue their two
race winning streak.  The Las Vegas race week-end will also be hosting
the Endurance Showroom StockCar Series, Sports Toyota Championship
series and the American City Racing League. For ticket information
contact 702-644-4444 or by fax 702-644-7774.

David Treffer -- The Auto Channel