Grand Prix of Minnesota
The Grand Prix of Minnesota was an auto racing event held from 1996 until 1998 on an Alan Wilson (motorsport)-designed temporary street circuit in Minneapolis, Minnesota near the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. It was known as the Children's Grand Prix of Minneapolis in 1996, changing its name to The Sprint PCS Grand Prix of Minneapolis for its final two years.
The Grand Prix of Minneapolis was started as the first professional auto race in the United States that would contribute all of its profit to charity. The goal of the Grand Prix was to make a $1 million annual contribution to the Cancer KIDS Fund, part of the Children's Healthcare Foundation of the Twin Cities. The event was founded by Mark and Claudia Cohn after their son Tyler (1988 – 1997) was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 4. Rather than giving a one-time donation, the Cohn's decided to create an event that would provide long-term support for the Cancer KIDS Fund.
The event debuted on July 6 and 7 1996 with Boston Market as the sponsor. They returned for their second year on July 4 through 6 1997 with Sprint PCS as its sponsor, and they held an event on June 27 and 28 1998 with Sprint PCS continuing to be their sponsor.
All three years had the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Trans-Am Championship as the featured race. The supporting races in 1996 included the World Challenge Grand Sports Division, Sports 2 and Touring Division, Touring 1 and 2, Spec Racer Ford Pro Series, and a Vintage Car race. The supporting races in 1997 were the Barber Dodge Pro Series, World Challenge Touring Division 1 and 2, Spec Racer Ford Pro Series, and a Vintage Car race. For their last year, the supporting races were the United States Road Racing Championship, F2000 Series, World Challenge Touring Division 1 and 2, and the Dodge Neon Charity Challenge.
|1996||July 7||Tommy Kendall||Ford Mustang Cobra|
|1997||July 6||Tommy Kendall||Ford Mustang Cobra|
|1998||June 28||Paul Gentilozzi||Chevrolet Corvette|
|1998||June 28||James Weaver - Butch Leitzinger||Riley & Scott Mk. III-Ford|
SCCA World Challenge S2 Class
|1996||July 7||Shane Lewis||Mosler Intruder|
SCCA World Challenge T1 Class
|1996||July 7||Greg Theiss||Eagle Talon|
|1998||June 28||Chris Wiehle||Chevrolet Corvette|
SCCA World Challenge T2 Class
|1996||July 7||Chuck Hemmingson||Oldsmobile Achieva|
|1998||June 28||Lance Stewart||Acura Integra Type-R|
SCCA Spec Racer Ford
|1996||July 7||James Goughary|
Barber Dodge Pro Series
|1997||July 6||Rino Mastronardi|
U.S. F2000 National Championship
|1998||June 28||Jonathan Bottoms|
- Deborah Hopp, Publisher, Children's Grand Prix of Minnesota 1996 Official Souvenir Program, MSP Communications Custom Publishing
- Deborah Hopp, Publisher, Sprint PCS Grand Prix of Minnesota 1997 Official Souvenir Program, MSP Communications Custom Publishing
- Deborah Hopp, Publisher, Sprint PCS Grand Prix of Minnesota 1998 Official Souvenir Program, MSP Communications Custom Publishing