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Grand prix of miami (open wheel racing)

The meaning of «grand prix of miami (open wheel racing)»

The Grand Prix of Miami refers to an intermittent series of American open wheel races held in South Florida dating back to 1926. AAA held one board track race in 1926, and then the facility was destroyed by a hurricane. The popular CART IndyCar World Series debuted in the Miami area in the mid-1980s with a street circuit at Tamiami Park, then returned to race at Bicentennial Park in 1995.

From 1996 to 2010, Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted the Indy cars on the 1.5-mile oval. The CART series participated from 1996 to 2000, then the event was switched to the Indy Racing League for 2001–2010. An additional Champ Car race was held for a brief time at Bayfront Park from 2002 to 2003.

In 1925, Carl Fisher (who built the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909) was developing Miami Beach and envisioned the Miami area as the winter auto racing capital of the world. Fisher built Fulford–Miami Speedway, the world's fastest 1-1/4-mile board track in nearby Fulford. The outstanding features of the track were the 50 degree banked turns, which required a speed of at least 110 miles per hour (180 km/h) to keep the cars from sliding down into the infield.

On February 22, 1926, the first AAA Championship Car race in South Florida took place at the facility. A crowd of 20,000 spectators saw Peter DePaolo win the 300-mile (480-km) race, the first and only major race ever held at the facility.[1]

Later in the year, the track was destroyed by the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926. The site of the oval is now occupied by the Diplomat Presidential Country Club.[citation needed]

Modern American open wheel racing in the Miami area dates back to 1985. In that year, the CART series began racing on a temporary street circuit in Tamiami Park a small outdoor sports facility in the nearby suburb of University Park. The race lasted through 1988, and on two occasions (1987 and 1988) included the CART Marlboro Challenge all star race.

In each of the four years it was held, it served as the CART season finale. The inaugural event in 1985 featured a famous championship battle between the father-and-son duo of Al Unser, Sr. and Al Unser, Jr. With Danny Sullivan leading in the waning laps, Unser, Jr. was running third, and for the moment, mathematically was going to clinch the championship points title. His father Al Sr. was charging in 5th place, and needed to move up to 4th in order to clinch the title for himself and Penske Racing. Despite personal misgivings about potentially robbing his own son of a championship, Al Sr. passed 4th place Roberto Moreno with only a handful of laps remaining, and held on to the checkered flag. By finishing 4th, Unser, Sr. beat his son in the championship standings by one point.

Rain plagued the race three out of four years, and after the 1988 running, CART officials announced they were not returning.[3] The primary reason was that CART wanted to change the date of the race to either September or to the spring. But promoter Ralph Sanchez did not want to move the race to September due to hurricane season, and did not want to move the race to the spring because it would create a conflict with the IMSA race he also promoted.

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