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January 11, 2012 – For Immediate Release

 

Grand Prix Classes Ready to Roll at Quantum Key West 2012

--  Five Days of Racing Begins Monday

  

Key West, Fla. -   High profile fleets, intense competition and superb sailing conditions have made Key West a showcase event for many one design classes. The popular Farr 40 class, which debuted in 1996, is certainly one of them. Jim Richardson recalls many fond memories and looks to next week for more.

 

    “I absolutely love Key West. It is one of my all-time favorite regattas,” said Richardson, who bought the 12th Farr 40 ever built. “It’s an incredible venue and Premiere Racing always does a terrific job. I just think Key West is the Super Bowl of sailboat racing. It’s as close to an industry-wide convention as you will find.”

 

    Richardson has skippered Barking Mad to three Farr 40 world championships, but his 2008 victory at Key West remains one of the highlights of his sailing career. Richardson had fallen short in 10 previous attempts to add that notch to his belt, finishing as runner-up on three occasions.

 

    When the Barking Mad team broke through and took the Key West title, earning Boat of the Week honors in the process, Richardson was on cloud nine. He embraced long-time tactician Terry Hutchinson while the tears and the booze flowed.

 

    “It was certainly a great thrill to finally win Key West. That was a major goal that had eluded us for so long and it was such a relief to finally finish on top,” said Richardson, who splits time between residences in Newport and Boston. “When you do well in Key West you feel really good about it because the competition is always so tough and the venue can be challenging. There is a lot of subtle current and wind shifts that keep crew on their toes.”

 

   After a one-year hiatus because its world championship was held in Australia last winter, the Farr 40 class is returning to the southernmost tip of the United States for the 15th time. Barking Mad is among seven boats entered in Quantum Key West 2012, being held Jan. 16-20 on the azure waters off the Conch Republic.

 

   “We’ve been going to Key West ever since the class got started. The event is iconic and the boat is iconic,” said Geoff Stagg, who has managed the Farr 40 class since its inception. “Key West is always one of the most anticipated events on our annual schedule. The level of participation we’ve had in Key West over the years is indicative of the high regard in which the event is held among our owners.”

 

   Stagg said it speaks volumes that the second-largest Farr 40 regatta in class history came in 2001 off Key West. That is the year George Andreadis and his Atalanti XI crew fought their way to victory in a talent-laden 37-boat fleet.

 

  As usual, the Farr 40 class in Key West will feature a slew of big-name tacticians, including multi-time America’s Cup champion Hamish Pepper (Barking Mad) and match racing champion Ian Williams (Charisma).

 

  Another class that has carved out a reputation for high-performance and bare knuckles competition off Key West is the Melges 32, which will have 19 boats on the line this year. Samba Pa Ti, which was named Boat of the Week after winning Key West 2010, headlines a deep, talented fleet that will no doubt come down to the wire. Skipper John Kilroy (Los Angeles, Cal.) has brought on an extremely talented helmsman in past Melges 24 world champion Lorenzo Bressani of Italy.

 

   Warpath, which finished second in Key West last year and just captured the 18-boat Melges 32 Gold Cup off Fort Lauderdale, figures to be another top challenger. Skipper Steve Howe will have veteran professionals Morgan Larson (tactician), Marco Constant (main trimmer) and Willem Van Way (jib trimmer) in the afterguard.

 

   “I think it’s going to be the same as it is every year with any of 10 boats capable of winning,” Howe said. “Certainly, Samba is a proven program, but there is a ton of talent on a lot of the other boats as well.”

 

   Former Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Ed Baird and Chris Larson are calling tactics aboard Pisces and Catapult, respectively. Former Olympic medalist and Volvo Ocean Race veteran Richard Clarke will be working with a top-notch helmsman in Alec Cutler aboard Hedgehog.

 

   Howe has competed in Key West 10 previous times as skipper of a Farr 40 entry. This will be the San Diego resident’s first time racing a Melges 32 as he attempts to win the regatta for the first time.

 

   “Key West is definitely one of those regattas on the bucket list that you want to check off. It’s a great test because you have five days of racing and usually see a wide range of conditions,” Howe said. “As always, the key is to be consistent, stay clean and manage the risks.”

 

   Some of the most exciting racing in Quantum Key West 2012 will certainly come in the 52-foot class, which has drawn eight entries of various designs. Included in the class are brand new IRC 52 designs from Reichel-Pugh and Botin Partners along with two others that are coming right off the Med Cup Circuit.

 

   “This is going to be one of the finest IRC 52 fleets ever assembled,” said Ed Reynolds, president of Quantum Sail Design Group, which is sponsoring the regatta and fielding an entry in that big-boat class.

 

   Quantum Racing, which has won three of the last four TP52 world championships and two of the last three Med Cup circuits, will be skippered by Quantum primary stockholder Doug DeVos with America’s Cup veteran Terry Hutchinson calling tactics.

 

   “Nobody has been more supportive of the sport of sailing and backed that up with action than Doug DeVos so it’s somewhat fitting that he’s sailing in the regatta this year,” Reynolds said.

 

   Some of the world’s top amateur skippers and captains of industry such as Hap Fauth, Ennio Staffini and Irvine Laidlaw will be at the helm of the 52-footers, which feature fully professional crews consisting of sailors with vast America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and Olympic experience. Among the notable tacticians on the scratch sheet are Gavin Brady (Vesper), Tommaso Chieffi (Anema & Core) and Peter Holmberg (Highland Fling XII).

 

   “This fleet will have fantastic racing for sure. On the typical Key West race track, the boats will be very close together. Although there will be a small span in rating difference, I expect that most of the boats will be so similar in performance that it will have a one-design feel,” said Tony Rey, who is calling tactics for Peter Cunningham aboard PowerPlay. “Races will definitely be won and lost on the start line and in the turns, not in the design office.”

 

   This marks the 25th anniversary of the annual race week off Key West and Reynolds said Quantum was happy to help keep the renowned regatta going during tough economic times.

 

   “We recognize that Key West Race Week is the flagship regatta in this country and has been for well over two decades," Quantum President Ed Reynolds said. “This has been reinforced by many people we’ve spoken with both here and abroad. Even with the smaller fleet sizes of recent years, this midwinter, big-boat regatta is very important to North American and
international sailboat racing. We would like to see it continue and are committed to supporting the regatta during this transition period.”

 

  Other classes to watch include the debuting Farr 400, the new High Performance PHRF boats, the Mini Maxis and the J-Class boats. There will be plenty of action on all three racing Divisions.

 

 

Bill Wagner

Press Officer

 

Regatta dates are January 15 – 20, 2012.

 

Event Sponsors are Title Sponsor Quantum Sails and Day Sponsors Lewmar/Navtec (Official Marine Hardware), Mount Gay® Rum (Official Rum), and Nautica Watches (Official Timekeeper). The Supporting Sponsors are B&G (Official Marine Electronics), Marlow Ropes (Official Rope), Gill and Layline (Official Technical Gear and Retailer) and Sebago (Official Footwear).

 

Key West Race Week is also supported by The Florida Keys & Key West Tourism Council. The Historic Seaport at the Key West Bight is the Official Marina. The Ocean Key Resort and Spa is the Official Hotel. Sapporo USA is the Official Beer Supplier and Regatta Ginger Beer is the Official Ginger Beer.

 

27 Industry Partners bring their support through a program that is now in its 11th year.

 

Quantum Key West 2012 is a US SAILING sanctioned event.

 

The racing will be conducted under permit in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary protects 2,900 square nautical miles of critical marine habitat, including coral reef, hard bottom, seagrass meadow, mangrove communities and sand flats.

 

Event information, past results and photos:  www.Premiere-Racing.com

 

 

 

About Quantum Sail Design Group

 

Founded by a group of independent, experienced sailmakers who shared a common vision, the Quantum Sail Design Group has been dedicated to overcoming the trend towards mass-marketing and mediocrity in the sailmaking industry. The company is known for its winning sail designs in dozens of classes from dinghies to super yachts and its high-performance FusionM® sails. 

 

Quantum has more than 60 sales and service outlets throughout the world, with European headquarters in Barcelona, Spain, and corporate offices in Traverse City, Michigan.

 

www.QuantumSails.com

 

  

For more information on Quantum Key

West Race Week 2012:

 

Premiere Racing, Inc.

67B Front Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945
Tel: (781) 639-9545 Fax: (781) 639-9171
Email:
Peter@Premiere-Racing.com          Web Site: Premiere-Racing.com

Key West Race Week Photo Gallery

Key West Race Week 2011 Results

 

Photographs are available to qualified media.

Email: jeanne@premiere-racing.com

 

 

 

 


 

December 20, 2011 - For Immediate Release

 

Quantum Key West 2012 to Deliver Top Tier Competition

--- Veteran Sailors Anticipate Great Racing and Key West Fun

  

Key West, Fla -  Top-of-the-line IRC 52 racing is alive and well and headed for Quantum Key West 2012.   A strong fleet of eight 52-footers will compete in the 25th anniversary edition of the renowned midwinter regatta held off the southernmost tip of the continental United States. Included in the class are brand new IRC 52 designs from Reichel-Pugh and Botin Partners.

 

  Key West annually attracts a who’s who of big-name professional sailors. Most of those “rock stars” will be congregated in the Mini Maxi, IRC 52, Farr 40, Melges 32 and Melges 24 classes. Terry Hutchinson will be competing at Key West for the 16th time, although this year was somewhat of a surprise. Hutchinson, an Annapolis native, did not expect to do any monohull events this year while training in catamarans as part of his role as skipper of Artemis Racing, the Swedish syndicate challenging for the America’s Cup.

 

   However, Hutchinson will now take a break from the team’s training camp in Spain to serve as tactician aboard Quantum Racing, a TP 52 being entered by the regatta’s title sponsor and skippered by Doug DeVos. Quantum Sail Design Group, which captured the TP 52 World Championship in 2008, 2010 and 2011, and the Audi Med Cup in 2008 and 2011, is bringing a star-studded crew to Key West. 

 

  “Key West annually symbolizes the start of the coming sailing season. The event always features top-notch competition and this year will be no different,” said Hutchinson. “The conditions on the race course are the best and when you come ashore what is there not to like. You are in one of the great warm weather locales in the U.S. in the middle of January. Just a fantastic spot!”

 

      J/80s: In an era when a brutal economy has negatively impacted participation in sailing regattas all over the world, the J/80 class is somewhat of an anomaly. While other one-design classes have seen fewer boats traveling to major events, the J/80 has actually seen some growth.

 

   Glenn Darden, a veteran of the J/80 class and past world champion, credits that trend to a variety of factors. First and foremost, is great leadership from class officers led by Kristen Robinson. Second, is a well-organized racing circuit that clusters events geographically. Of course, the fact a J/80 can be sailed by a crew of four helps with travel expenses.

 

   “But the overall bottom line is that the J/80 class has a lot of momentum in this country and is also growing worldwide,” said Darden, a resident of Forth Worth, Texas.

 

   The J/80 class is certainly one of the success stories of Quantum Key West 2012. The J/80 has maintained the number of boats competing at this annual regatta since prior to the downturn in the economy in 2008. Darden, the two-time defending champion at Key West, will seek to sail Le Tigre to a three-peat against a deep fleet of at least 18 entries.

 

   “I think it helps that Key West is the centerpiece regatta of a winter circuit,” said Darden, noting the J/80 class has events scheduled in Miami for February and March. “I think everyone involved with the class is excited to kick off the season in Key West. It’s always a blast!”

 

   This will be the eighth time Darden has done Key West and used the word quality to describe the reason he keeps returning to the five-day regatta, organized by Premiere Racing. “I think Key West offers some of the top conditions in all of international sailing,” he said. “The race management is always top-notch and you get in an awful lot of great sailing over the course of five days.”

 

   Darden expects stiff competition from past North American champion Bruno Pasquinelli (Dallas, Texas) aboard Tiamo and thinks class newcomer Brian Keane (Weston, Mass.) could make some noise. Keane was Key West champion in J/105 class the previous three years, but will sail the J/80 in 2012 after jumping into the class in time to compete in the 2010 worlds.

 

   “As a sailor coming from the northeast, the warm weather is a big draw,” said Keane making his 10th appearance at Key West. “To me, Key West has three great things going for it – location, race management and competition. You are guaranteed to get the best of all three ingredients.”

 

  Farr 30s: Long a stalwart one-design class in Key West, the Farr 30 had a one-year hiatus in 2010 while undergoing a re-organization. Owners took over management of the class and returned to Key West in 2011 with Jim Richardson and the Barking Mad team capturing the Midwinter Championship.

 

  “The racing at Key West was terrific last year and we expect it to be just as intense this year,” said class president Deneen Demourkas, owner of the California boat Groovederci.  

 

   Seven boats from California to New York, not to mention one from Sweden, will duke it out on the azure waters off the Conch Republic at Quantum Key West 2012. Demourkas said 17 boats have already registered for the Farr 30 Worlds in Sweden and believes there will be a similar number of entries in Key West next year since the 2013 worlds are being held on the East Coast.

 

  “This class has a long history of sailing at Key West and we plan to continue that for many years to come,” Demourkas said. “Peter Craig and Premiere Racing have always been very supportive of the class and in turn we feel we should be supportive of the regatta.”

 

   Key West Debuts: A hallmark of the annual race week in Key West has been the debut of new designs and this year is no different. The Farr 400, McConaghy 38 and Carkeek HPR 40 are among the recently launched lines that will make their inaugural appearance at Key West.

 

  William “Sled” Shelhorse (Virginia Beach) officially became the first owner of a Farr 400 and took delivery from Premier Composite Technologies (Dubai) in September. Shelhorse raced Meridian X one day of the Annapolis Yacht Club Fall Series, but Key West will serve as the boat’s competitive premier with a 5-boat one design start.

 

   “We love the sport-boat aspect of the Farr 400 and the fact it can be trailered,” said Shelhorse, who has previously raced a Tripp 38, 1D35 and Farr 36 at Key West. “It’s a tremendously well-built boat that provides a lot of bang for the buck. It has breakaway speed downwind, but is also very strong upwind.” Joe Woods of Great Britain, a longtime Key West competitor, is another of the new owners.

 

   “We are thrilled the new Farr 400 One Design competing in Key West. The regatta is certainly an important proving ground for new boats nationally,” said Patrick Shaughnessy, president of Farr Yacht Design. “A one design start for the class clearly communicates the boat’s initial success and appeal in the marketplace.”

 

  J/Boats: Quantum Key West 2012 will mark the introduction of a J/Boat specific handicap class. There are eight J Boats entered in PHRF 1 that will be broken out and rated by Rod Johnstone and his consortium and scored Time-On-Time.

 

“This sub class is comprised of the old (J/35) and the new (three J/111s) and promises to be a building block for J classes in the future,” event director Peter Craig said.The concept of J Boat specific handicap classes will become a reality at the 25th anniversary event and owner feedback suggests the 2013 edition of race week will attract two strong J classes.”

 

Bill Wagner


November 10, 2011 – For Immediate Release

World Class Competition On Tap for Quantum Key West 2012

--- 25th Anniversary Event to Feature Top Talent and Design Debuts

  

Key West, Fla. -  Grand Prix champions and racing enthusiasts are gearing up for Quantum Key West 2012. The twenty-fifth edition of Key West Race Week will feature strong international programs and top-tier competition.

   

      A race week hallmark in years past has been new design debuts. The absence of new models in recent years appears to be over. New designs in 2012 include an R/P IRC 52, a J/V IRC 52, the Farr 400, a McConaghy 38 and a Carkeek HPR 40 (current scratch sheet).

 

    Long time Key West players are coming back - with or without their own rides. Hap Fauth cherishes his annual visit to the southernmost point of the United States for an action-packed week of sailboat racing.

 

    The Newport (R.I.) resident has competed for years and enjoyed tremendous success aboard his series of boats named Bella Mente, most recently capturing IRC 1 class in 2010.

 

    Fauth is currently without a boat, having donated his Reichel-Pugh 69 and commissioned a Judel-Vrolijk 72. The latest Bella Mente is under construction and will not be launched until March, but Fauth was not about to miss the 25th anniversary event. To solve the problem, Fauth simply chartered a top-of-the-line TP52 to compete in what will surely be a headliner class next January.

 

   “Hap absolutely loves Key West and wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Bella Mente program manager Robert Ouelette said. “The competition is always good, the conditions are challenging and the race management is superb. Hap is really looking forward to going once again.”

 

    Renowned professionals Dee Smith and Peter Isler will serve as tactician and navigator when Fauth helms the Juan K designed Team Origin 1851 Med Cup boat in a power-packed IRC class that already boasts six other 52-footers. Two of the entries are the new custom IRC 52s Highland Fling XII (Irvine Laidlaw, Monaco) and Interlodge (Austin Fragomen, Newport) – both making their racing debuts in Key West. Add the current TP 52 World and Med Cup Champion, Quantum Racing, to the mix and you have the all the makings of the 25th anniversary headliner class.

  

   Many of the world’s top professionals will be participating in the Melges 32 class, always one of the most closely-contested at Key West. Tokyo-based owner Makota Uematsu has done Key West numerous times on a series of boats named Esmeralda and is now moving into the Melges 32 class.

 

   “Mr. Uematsu would not miss Key West. He really enjoys everything about the regatta,” said veteran professional Tony Rey, who is managing the Esmeralda program. “Key West is the best racing you will find anywhere in the world that time of the year. It’s a fantastic venue with very reliable conditions. Key West always provides spectacular racing.”

 

  Among the notable early entrants in Melges 32 class is Samba Pa Ti, which skipper John Kilroy sailed to second place at the most recent Melges 32 World Championships. Another strong player is Geoffrey Pierini, who steered Sicktrix32 to third place at the Copa del Ray in Palma.

 

  Key West serves as kickoff to the season leading up to the Melges 32 World Championships, being held off Newport in September. “Anyone who is serious about competing at the 2012 Worlds should be at Key West,” Rey said. “Before all is said and done, I think you will see all the top teams down there. The fleet will be as deep as usual.”

 

  The Farr 40 class is returning to Key West after a one-year hiatus to hold its world championship in Australia. Barking Mad (Jim Richardson, Boston) and Flash Gordon (Helmut Jahn, Chicago) are among the recognizable programs already entered in Quantum Key West 2012. Tink Chambers of Stagg Yachts, which manages the Farr 40 class, said a ship carrying U.S., European and Australian boats is currently en route from Istanbul following the recent European Championship.

 

  “The Farr 40 owners and crews love sailing in Key West and are very happy to be coming back for some winter time fun in the sun,” Chambers said. “Key West has long been a staple of our circuit and everyone involved with the class is thrilled to be competing there once again.”

 

    The Mini Maxi class presented some of the closest racing last year. 2012 will feature the long awaited line up between the two boats that won the last three Mini Maxi World Championships – Niklas Zennstrom’s J/V 72 Ran (2010 & 2011) and Dan Meyers’ J/V 66 Numbers (2009).

 

  Along with the returning marquee classes, Key West Race Week customarily serves as a proving ground for up and coming new one design classes. 2012 is no exception with the exciting Farr 400 class.

 

   While the Grand Prix boats may draw the headlines, the heart and soul of race week is the one design and handicap classes that are present year after year. The Melges 24s, the Farr 30s, J/105s, and the many PHRF models come for the racing, the camaraderie, and some of that Florida sunshine.   

   "This event has such a rich grand prix history with all the world class talent and new yacht designs, one tends to forget about the grass roots classes that played such an important role over these past 25 years." said Quantum Partner Farley Fontenot. "And they still do - look at the great racing in recent years in PHRF, the J/80 class, smaller IRC classes and with all those J/Boats over the years - including the latest concept featuring two J/specific handicap classes. Once again Key West will be the only place to be on the third week in January!"

 

   Regatta chairman Peter Craig and his team at Premiere Racing are always looking for ways to improve Key West. This year includes the introduction of J/Boat specific classes. A special handicap consortium headed by J/Boat founder Rod Johnstone and PHRF consultant Bruce Bingman has created two classes for owners who want to race against boats of similar design and performance.

 

  “The J/Boat owners are unanimous about wanting to compete at Key West race week, but they want to be handicapped fairly,” Johnstone said. “We think this format has great potential. When we see the final entry list, we will know exactly how to group the various J/Boats to ensure fair, competitive racing.”

 

  Johnstone envisions a faster class consisting of designs like the new J/111 and Key West regulars like the J/109 and J/124. The second class will likely be comprised of smaller models such as the J/92 and J/95. Johnstone said owners can find rating comparisons on the J/Boat website and said the handicapping for Key West will be done using a time-on-time formula.

 

Regatta dates are January 15 – 20, 2012.

 

Event Sponsors are Title Sponsor Quantum Sail Design Group and Day Sponsors Lewmar/Navtec (Official Marine Hardware), Mount Gay® Rum (Official Rum), and Nautica Watches (Official Timekeeper). The Supporting Sponsors are B&G (Official Marine Electronics), Marlow Ropes (Official Rope), and Gill and Layline (Official Technical Gear and Retailer).

 

Key West Race Week is also supported by The Florida Keys & Key West Tourism Council. The Historic Seaport at the Key West Bight is the Official Marina. The Ocean Key Resort and Spa is the Official Hotel.

 

27 Industry Partners bring their support through a program that is now in its 11th year.

Quantum Key West 2012 is a US SAILING sanctioned event.

 

Event information, past results and photos:  www.Premiere-Racing.com

 

Bill Wagner

Press Officer

 

 


 

May 5, 2011 – For Immediate Release

 

Key West Race Week – 25 Years and Counting!

--- Quantum Sail Design Group Leads Industry Support for 2012

 

Key West, Fla. - North America’s premiere annual big-boat regatta, Key West Race Week, has much to celebrate. A new Title Sponsor, early one design class and sponsor commitments, and exciting grand prix news are just some of the reasons that the 25th anniversary will be a memorable gathering.

 

Key West Race Week welcomes Quantum Sail Design Group as the Title Sponsor for 2012. Its support will enable Premiere Racing to produce another quality event in January, while working toward the goal of long-term viability for this renowned, international regatta.

 

Race dates for the week-long sailing event are January 16 – 20, 2012.

 

“We recognize that Key West Race Week is the flagship regatta in this country and has been for well over two decades,” said Quantum President Ed Reynolds. “This has been reinforced by many people we’ve spoken with both here and abroad. Even with the smaller fleet sizes of recent years, this midwinter, big-boat regatta is very important to North American and international sailboat racing. We would like to see it continue and are committed to supporting the regatta during this transition period.”

 

“We are very thankful to Quantum for stepping up to fill the important role of title sponsor. It’s gratifying to know its fundamental reason for doing so is the continuation of Key West Race Week,” said Premiere Racing’s Event Director Peter Craig. “As we work to develop a sustainable business model for the event, Quantum has solved a critical short-term need by serving as a bridge to the future.”

 

Another key component to the long-term viability of the event is the continued commitment from other established sponsors such as Lewmar/Navtec, Mount Gay Rum® and B&G. These are some of the companies that have played a significant role in enabling Key West to establish itself over the years.

 

Race Week’s unique Industry Partner Program, with over 30 companies participating in 2011, enters its 11th year. Marine Industry companies lend their support in what will continue to be an important component to the viability of the regatta.

 

Local support from the Florida Keys & Key West Tourism Council and local businesses will also be instrumental factors in the regatta’s sustainability.

 

2012 Racing

The attributes of Key West racing remain unchanged: quality competition, top-tier race management, reliable breeze and warm January temperatures. It is the sole, annual national and international big boat event in the U.S., and with no other comparable regattas that time of year globally.

 

“As we’ve reached out to boat owners, one design classes, sailors and the sailing industry, it’s been rewarding to hear the positive feedback and the impact this regatta has and has had on sailing here in the U.S.”, said Craig. “Our goal is to work with those classes and groups that can attain critical mass to provide great competitive racing, and have a desire to work with us to produce a quality event.”

 

Classes committed include the Melges 32 and 24, Farr 40 and 30. As always, J/Boats will be well represented with their J/105 and J/80s. Other one design classes are in discussion with Premiere Racing.

 

A 2012 innovation will be J/Boats specific handicap classes. IRC Racing will be presented in the form of a TP52 (modified) class and a group of smaller boats in the 36’-43’ range.

 

Design debuts are a Key West hallmark. 2012 will undoubtedly feature more eye openers - big and small. Irvine Laidlaw has his new R/P 52 building at McConaghy in Zhuhai, China. First stop for Highland Fling XII will be Key West, Florida. “What better place to debut than Key West?” remarked Laidlaw a long time Key West competitor. “There is a resurgence of activity with both new construction and converted TP52s in the U.S. and there are likely to be 8-10 on the starting line next January.”

 

2012 FLEET NEWS

 

Event information, past results and photos:  www.Premiere-Racing.com