In terms of entertainment, 2020 has been like a high-school party that got shut down by parents at 9 o’clock. Annual events being postponed or canceled can lead to the summertime blues, but necessary when you're talking about a global pandemic. Even so, there are a handful of events still on the calendar as we enter the third quarter of this year. One event, in particular, will be breaking a champagne bottle for its inaugural debut on Sept. 5. —an automotive gathering that aims to be the Goodwood Festival of Texas called the Groesbeck Grand Prix.
Amongst the evergreen rolling hills of central Texas, you will find the small scenic town of Groesbeck, located less than an hour away from Waco. The town is home to the Old Fort Parker historic site and Fort Parker state park with a population of less than 4,500. Small towns can offer many things mom and pop shops, photogenic backdrops, and hoon-provoking empty country roads.
Groesbeck Grand Prix founder and organizer Mike Satterfield, known in automotive media circles as the Gentleman Racer, wanted to create a vintage motoring event that everyone could enjoy. A motorsports festival of sorts that offers a little bit of everything, like vintage racecars running around the track.
In the past, Satterfield has helped organize hill climb events and car shows in Mexico and wanted to try similar events in America. The main problem was finding a location, and you need a place with a local government cool enough to shut down public roads to host an amateur race. The town offers places to eat, sleep, camp and shop while being near enough to major cities for visitors, racers and participants to attend.
Geographically, Groesbeck is less than three hours from Dallas, Houston and Austin, which is practically around the corner in a state like Texas. When you factor in the views, the history and the roads that Groesbeck has to offer, it quickly starts to look like an ideal place to host a motorsport festival. The heart of Groesbeck Grand Prix is a 1.5-mile time trial on closed public roads for pre-1985, period-correct, competition cars, and a Mexia Concours for pre-1985 cars of various significant vehicle classes.
The finish line ends at the historic Old Fort Parker where spectators can also enjoy live entertainment, food trucks and a vendor village. You can even reserve on-site RV or tent camping to enjoy the Groesbeck Grand Prix the entire weekend without leaving.
Anyone who wants to compete in the time trial race or Concours show can still register by going to the event’s website, where you can also buy tickets for to attend. This is now a ticketed event to control the number of people and take the necessary precautions during this COVID pandemic. Don’t forget your face mask!
The Groesbeck Grand Prix starts on Saturday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 6. It is operated by volunteer participants with proceeds going to its charity partner, Drive Toward a Cure, to help fund Parkinson's Research being done in Texas. This event seems to have all the necessary ingredients for a great motor weekend, vintage race cars on public roads, food trucks slinging grub, a Concours-quality car show, camping in central Texas's photogenic hills and a worthy cause to support all inside a historic old fort.
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