Street race that's not a drag to watch

  • 2004-09-02
  • By Julia Balandina
RIGA - Speed freaks will have the opportunity to really test their mettle this year in the Street Race Party, which is being held at night for the first time this year. Hundreds of cars will be pitted against each other on Sept. 4 at the Bikernieku Sports Complex Center in the all-night competition to try and find out who's the next Schumacher. The core event will be the drag race, an event rather new to many Balts.

The rules are simple: two cars start at one point and dash straight to the finish line at full speed - burning rubber and breathing fire. It's extremely loud, it smells, but it's enormously exciting.
In 2002 some 10,000 people attended the event, but last year there were 25,000, all of whom came for the full-throttle adrenalin rush. Organizers say that they will not be let down this year.
"We're thinking not only about our participants this year but about their fans. Our show will be unforgettable for them," said competition director Laura Lukina.
"We prepared bike, auto formula and carting shows. Our spectators will also see the bikes' burning rubber show and how the bikes can compete with the most powerful cars," she added.
Organizers have also invited Latvia's strongest men to the show to give the event even more muscle. The show, she insists, can't be missed.
"Only here and nowhere else in Riga will you be able to see real adrenalin lovers - people jumping through firewalls on their bikes - culminating in the most extraordinary fire show ever seen before in Latvia," she says.
The drag races themselves will take place in five different categories - each depending on the capacity of the car engine (from 1.6 liters to more than 5).
The racetrack is 210 meters long and will be completely illuminated - so there will be no problem following the ultrafast speedsters to the finish line.
The event will be held at the Bikernieku Sports Complex Center at 2 Eizensteina Street, about 20 minutes away from downtown Riga. The first race is planned for 10:15 p.m.
Those interested in participating can register on Sept. 4 at the Bikernieku Sports Complex Center. The participation fee is 10 lats (13 euros) and 2.5 lats for spectators.