Aldermen supported the idea last month if organizers could come up with a detailed plan.
Good Time Doc’s owner Randy Springer, who brought the idea to City Council with Jacksonville resident Jim Rowe, says volunteers, safety equipment, police officers and funding will be in place. Springer says the event should draw at least 5,000 people downtown. He says he’s raised about $9,000 from city business owners to sponsor the race.
“All the money goes toward paying for material for the track," says Springer. "Things like barriers, hay, trophies. We'll have no profit. Anything else we can add to the purse. The money is going to put on the show."
Organizers say Jacksonville’s smooth downtown streets would make a great race track. The course would travel from the north side of the square, south on Sandy, east on College, north on Main and back to the north side of the square. The pro karts would be going up to 70 miles per hour on some races.
Springer told aldermen there will be straw bales, snow fencing, and barricades to keep fans safe. He says there will be designated crossing points across the track between races.
Racers with the Mid-State Kart Club in Springfield and Mid-America Track Challenge will participate. The clubs have a $1 million insurance policy if spectators are injured in an accident. City Council asked for organizers to consider increasing the policy to $2 million.
Alderman Bill Scott says safety is the number one concern for everyone involved in the race.
“Especially with the general public so close," says Scott. "Medical costs are higher and higher all the time. A million dollars today is not a lot of money, so we just thought it would be in the best interest of everybody to get a $2 million policy on this."
The races would begin at about noon on May 19th and conclude at about 5:00 to 6:00 that evening. City Council will have to pass a resolution to shut down the downtown streets that day, which will likely happen when it votes to close the streets for the Downtown Celebration.