Vintage Faire Mall shoppers got a sneak peek Tuesday of this weekend’s Modesto Grand Prix.
A promotional event at the mall featured Ryan Kinnear and Fritz Leesmann, two of the professional superkart drivers entered in this weekend’s race along downtown streets. The two posed for pictures, signed autographs and talked with race fans.
The event also featured superkarts, which look like miniature Formula One race cars; videos; and a pep talk from race promoter Tom Kutscher. Modesto has teamed with Kutscher’s SuperKarts USA to put on the grand prix.
The event drew a steady stream of die-hard race fans and the simply curious.
“We are definitely a motorsports family,” said Turlock resident Bernadette Gonzales, who brought sons Antonio, 9, and Santana, 7, to Tuesday’s event. Gonzales said she and her husband, Kenny, and the boys will be at the grand prix.
Modesto officials hope the race will be an economic driver for downtown, bringing 10,000 spectators there to watch the race and shop and eat in stores and restaurants. Officials also hope the race will draw people downtown who may not be familiar with what it has to offer.
The grand prix is Saturday and Sunday, and tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the gate for each day. Children 10 and younger are free. But spectators can watch the drivers practice for free Friday.
For more on the grand prix – including on the race schedule and purchasing tickets – go to www.modestogp.com.