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Fair Park, Dallas

Fair Park, Dallas, was a 2.42-mile temporary street circuit constructed around the Texas State Fairgrouds in Dallas, TX. It hosted a single Formula 1 Grand Prix in July, 1984.

A 1.3 mile circuit, designed by Alan Wilson, that incorporated parts of the north-east section of the Grand Prix course was used by the SCCA Trans-Am Series in 1988.

This page was contributed by Guy Watney, Kansas City Region SCCA.

Table of Contents

Track Facts

Time zone: CST/CDT (-0600/-0500)

Historical Note

When they arrived at Dallas, the FISA and FOCA officials must have deeply regretted their decision to waive the normal requirement that promoters demonstrate their competence by hosting an international motor race before being allowed to run a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Some problems were predictable. It should have surprised no-one that the heat in Dallas in July was, to say the least, oppressive. Others were less so. The first signs of trouble occurred when the promoter's security personnel refused to recognize FOCA-issued credentials: it does not seem to have occurred to them that a race without drivers, mechanics or officials is not likely to be much of a race.

Once this little misunderstanding had been cleared up, more serious concerns became apparent. Having had no opportunity to test, the tire companies were forced to guess what tires to bring and uniformly guessed wrong. Tire temperatures were astronomical, and some tires would not last a lap. Like Detroit, the track was bumpy, lined with concrete, and had inadequate run-off areas. Unlike Detroit, the track surface started to fall apart during practice, and was seriously damaged by a 50-lap CanAm race the day before the Grand Prix. Attempts to repair the surface over-night using quick-setting concrete came to nothing when the concrete refused to set. Morning warm-up was postponed and later cancelled as spectators were treated to the sight of construction workers laying more new concrete one hour before the race was due to start.

Nonetheless, the race started only 11 minutes late, with the actor Larry Hagman (`J.R.' in the popular TV soap-opera `Dallas') making his contribution to the faintly farcical atmosphere by waving the cars off for their parade lap wearing a yellow suit and matching stetson. Despite all this, and to everyone's surprise, the Grand Prix turned out to be an excellent race, won by Keke Rosberg. The final race of the weekend was a 5-lap celebrity sports car race, by which time parts of the track were little more than gravel road and during which two of the `Dallas' stars (Steve Kanaly and Patrick Duffy) crashed into the concrete within minutes. Formula 1 heaved a sigh of relief that it was over, and never returned.

Undeterred by the above, the Sports Car Club of America tried a TransAm Series race at the site in 1988. It was no more successful and, similarly, only lasted one year.

Track Maps and Imagery

The original track used by Formula 1 in 1984 was:

Two alternative track configurations were proposed but not developed.

The track configuration used by SCCA TransAm in 1988 was:

For information on how these aerial images work, Click Here.

Weather

Click Here for more detailed weather information.


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