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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Traditional race is a no-go

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Southern Indiana Racing Association's request to hold their annual race in Forest Park was denied by the Brazil City Park Board. Times Staff File Photo.
A quarter-century of tradition is done at Forest Park.

The Southern Indiana Racing Association will not hold their annual go-kart race this June at Forest Park.

"You have a tradition in place for 25 years, but it's hard to take when they say 'no you can't,'" SIRA President Rich Eisgruber said.

SIRA has paired with Rotary to host the race for many years, with some of the money earned donated back to Rotary and a juvenile diabetes camp.

But the past two years, due to weather and other factors, Rotary has lost money on the races.

Without the local organization's backing, the Brazil City Parks Board denied the request from Eisgruber to hold the race in Forest Park.

Generally, the board does not rent parks to "for-profit" organizations.

Although SIRA is a not-for-profit organization, the board was concerned that most of the money taken in for the races went back to the drivers, and not to a local organization.

Board Treasurer Linda Messmer said a charity donation seemed like an afterthought after hearing Eisgruber's presentation to the board.

The board also cited, because of budget cut backs, the board would not be able to keep up with the "wear and tear" the go-karts cause on the track, which is mostly used for walkers and cyclists.

Local SIRA Director Tim Dickison was very upset when told that Rotary had signed up for holding the race with the Indy Karting Series, a rival faction of go-karting.

But Park Board Vice President Ruthann Jeffries said she has had little contact with IKS and the board has not approved a race to be held at Forest Park.

"I'm sure we'll tell them the same thing," Jeffries said.

Eisgruber said he was extremely disappointed that the race will not be held this year, but he is optimistic that go-karting will return to the area soon.

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Brazil Rotary Club has NOT signed an agreement with the Lucas Oil Karting series for this year or next. However we are discussing the possibility of doing so. The SIRA organization no longer has enough entries to make the race profitable for the Brazil Rotary Club, which is why it was dropped from our schedule of events for the 4th of July Celebration this year.

-- Posted by mpetersen on Wed, Mar 26, 2008, at 10:28 AM

"But the past two years, due to weather and other factors, Rotary has lost money on the races."

So the main reason was profit, not money as the paper published?

-- Posted by Matt Dillion on Wed, Mar 26, 2008, at 8:21 PM

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