Power boats race into Springfield this weekend for national tournament

Formula 1 racing boats roar across the lake at the Clark County Fairgrounds Wednesday as Clark County conducts a feasibility study to see if power boat races can be brought to the area. Bill Lackey/Staff

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Formula 1 racing boats roar across the lake at the Clark County Fairgrounds Wednesday as Clark County conducts a feasibility study to see if power boat races can be brought to the area. Bill Lackey/Staff

Tickets are still available for the Springfield F1 Grand Prix powerboat races set to be held this weekend at the Clark County Fairgrounds lake.

The event will feature two full days of racing in three classes — F-1, F-lights and J-Hydros — as part of the NGK F1 Powerboat Championship. Testing and practice will be held on Friday, followed by qualifying and heat races on Saturday and the race day finals on Sunday.

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Tickets sales have been going pretty well, Clark County Fairgrounds Executive Director Dean Blair said.

Campsites and general admission tickets are still available, Blair said, while a few tailgate sites and VIP tickets remain.

“A majority of the tickets will be sold at the gate,” he said.

Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett will shoot the starting flair on both Saturday and Sunday, Blair said. The Northwestern High School Marching Band will lead the parade of boats and drivers onto the lake on Sunday that will also include a B-25 flyover, he said.

RELATED: Lake events at Clark County Fairgrounds could bring in millions

“It should be fun,” Blair said.

The race was previously held in Detroit for decades and will be broadcast to an international audience of millions on the CBS Sports Network. Between 20 and 25 boats will participate in the race at the 125-acre lake at the fairgrounds. It’s one of six sanctioned races being televised this year.

Other attractions for the powerboat racing event include a beer garden, food vendors and a Saturday night concert featuring Nashville musicians The Kate Hasting Band and Ty Cooper. All tickets for the grandstand show will be sold at the gate, Blair said.

The Springfield Soup Kitchen will be serving alcohol to raise money for its operation, he said. Alcohol is currently sold at other non-fair events, such as the Antiques Extravaganza, Blair said.

The weekend will also include the Best of the Best Barrel Horse Races, which can also be viewed free of charge at the Champions Center.

RELATED: 3 places to see Clark County native Kate Hasting Band this weekend

Daily general admission passes are available each day for $15 in the hillside grass seating area, while weekend general admission passes are $30 each. Blankets and chairs are encouraged, according to the race website. Children 12-and-younger are free.

Daily VIP seating tickets are $50 each, which includes lunch buffet, cash bar and VIP parking. Weekend VIP passes are $100 each.

A weekend tailgating pass is $100 and includes one daily gate admission, as well as a 15-by-30-foot parking space. No overnight parking is permitted.

Race view camping site passes are available for $200 and include two weekend general admission passes. A no-view camping pass is also available for $125. Both camp site passes include a 30-amp power hookup.

For more information, log on directly to www.SpringfieldF1GrandPrix.com.

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Staying with the story

The Springfield News-Sun has written extensively about boat racing events at the Clark County Fairgrounds lake since the story first broke last fall.

HOW TO GO

What: Springfield F1 Grand Prix boat races

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Where: Clark County Fairgrounds, 4401 S. Charleston Pike

Ticket information: www.SpringfieldF1GrandPrix.com

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