One of the most iconic races in the US is coming back this year, with reports the Catalina GP is back on for 2020.
The original Catalina Grand Prix was held on Catalina Island, off the coast of Los Angeles, from 1951 to 1958. It was sort of an American take on the concept of the Isle of Man TT, seeing the day’s hotshot racers careening madly through the island’s public roads and trails to take the win. It was legendary, particularly because of the high class of talent that showed up to race … but after the ’58 race, there wasn’t another event until 2010.
In 2010, AMA District 37 organized another event on Catalina, with an emphasis on offroad action. There were 786 riders registered for a total of six races, and the revived GP supposedly brought in 20,000 spectators. But, since then, it’s been dead again.
This time, though, we’ll only have to wait 10 years for the next race, not 52 years, as a group of clubs have gotten together to work with the island’s administrators to once again put on a GP. Cycle News reports the GP will actually be run by the island’s staff, and that it will be a one-off event. Points from the races won’t count into other series.
This year’s course will have both paved and unpaved sections, like the original event, and is expected to be about five miles long. And, organizers are working on making sure this GP will be a recurring event after this year, with possibly a five-year term.
There’ll be lots more information to come, of course, but for now, your best bet is to keep an eye on the Catalina Grand Prix’s Facebook page, where no doubt we’ll see more rules, regulations and other details posted in the weeks to come.