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Late in 2010, between December 3rd and 5th to be exact, the Catalina Grand Prix was run on that tiny island which sits some 26 miles off the Southern California coast. The 2010 event went off almost perfectly despite some new limitations, and such a good time was had by all who attended, the question was asked over and over again – will the world-famous Catalina Grand Prix be back again?

The Catalina Grand Prix announcement

As of the end of April, when the announcement was made, the Catalina Grand Prix will be returning to the island in December of 2012! Yes, it is a year later than we might hope for, but this an indication of just how successful last year’s running of the Catalina Grand Prix was for the people of the tiny Santa Catalina Island and the city of Avalon. The delay will be rewarded with an extension of the festivities, though, so no whining is allowed.1952 Catalina Grand Prix Program

In fact, the 2012 Catalina Grand Prix will feature and entire week of celebrations and what is promised to be a very large selection of fan and family-oriented activities. According to Brad Wilson, Senior VP of Sales and CMO for the Santa Catalina Island Company, “SCICo felt that additional planning was needed in order to make the Grand Prix more unique to the Island and more special than if it was just an annual event on the normal race calendar. SCICo will take an active role in securing sponsorships with the City as well as administration to enhance the overall visitor experience.”

All race operations will again be handled by the City of Avalon; they will also share the permitting process and all expenses with SCICo over the next 18 months as the 2012 Catalina Grand Prix approaches.

Catalina Grand Prix plans for 2012

The notice for the 2012 Catalina Grand Prix also included some of what is in store for the attendees at the next running. Planners are already getting ready and they have designed a program which will keep visitors to the island entertained and spending their money all week long.

To be included in the 2012 running of the Catalina Grand Prix, thus far, will be a one or two day practice for the racers – something last year’s competitors would have loved to have – and much improved spectator areas – attendees didn’t seem to have a problem at the last one, but any improvements will surely be appreciated. Also scheduled will be a Concourse of Classic Motorcycles, a very special display of Grand Prix history from the 1950s, V.I.P. food and beverage areas, entertaining performances of top name talent at the classic Casino Ballroom, a parade of motorcycles, top motorcycle racers from around the world and, in a nod to the future, an electric motorcycle exhibition race.

The 2012 Catalina Grand Prix

1959 BSA Catalina 500Early word from those involved in the 2012 Catalina Grand Prix is that major sponsors are lining up to get behind the event, so that end is covered. Plans are being made, teams are already committing to the event, and most expect that the entire island will be sold out long before the festivities begin. If you are wishing to attend, you had better make your plans soon. Of course, arranging anything this early is difficult, but you should at least set yourself a reminder.

The Catalina Grand Prix was a world-famous race back when it was being run in the 1950s, and people flocked to it from around the world. Motorcycle manufacturers even dubbed models ‘Catalina Specials’ after having some success racing on the streets and dirt of Catalina. The new Grand Prix is really all thanks to My Cuz Vinnie Promotions, who did most of the legwork involved to make the 2010 event a reality, so a certain debt of gratitude is owed there. If it were not for them, it would remain a race of the past. Don’t forget that if you are lucky enough to find yourself on Catalina Island at the end of 2012 for that year’s Catalina Grand Prix!

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

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