World’s largest karting street race comes to Rock Island

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The world’s largest karting race is in Rock Island over Labor Day weekend.

The Rock Island Grand Prix began on Saturday, August 31, 2013. During the event three premier races were scheduled. The Rock Island Downtown Arts & Entertainment District featured top racers from around the country.

Karters and their fans have been coming to Rock Island for 19 years for free racing. For the 2013 event, organizers asked spectators to bring a non-perishable food item for the River Bend Foodbank.

“We all know it is difficult for people to get ahead in life if they are hungry,” said Roger Ruthhart, president of the Rock Island Grand Prix. “We thought this was a good opportunity not only to try something different with the racers, but to also focus attention on the needs of the foodbank.”

A new event for the weekend was a Vintage Kart race which featured karts from the 1950s-1980s. The positions for the start of the fun race were determined by the amount of donations a rider gave.

Before the 14 races scheduled for Sunday afternoon, an Opening Ceremonies will kick-off the day at 11 a.m. The ceremonies will start with the Driver’s Parade, followed by the Kid’s Autograph Session at the starting line.

General admission to the races is free, and there is a $10 charge for the pit area.