Six more at GMP are planned for 2017
Cars and Coffee St. Louis made its first visit to Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois on Sunday, April 2. Cars and Coffee is an informal gathering of car hobby enthusiasts who meet and share their passion for automobiles. Everyone is invited and there are no memberships or dues required. According to Cars and Coffee St. Louis organizer Ben Schneider, the inaugural GMP event was his group’s largest to date. The immediate success of the event surprised many people, including the management of GMP.
“It was one of the first Cars and Coffee St. Louis events held on a Sunday afternoon and we really didn’t know what to expect,” said Chris Blair, GMP’s Executive Vice President & General Manager. “We were up against the Cardinals’ home opener — which is a holiday in St. Louis — and we honestly thought there would only be about 150 cars for the first one, which is a very respectable number.”
Less than one hour after GMP’s gates opened, the entire 280-car parking area designated for Cars and Coffee St. Louis reached capacity and the event spilled into an area set aside as the drift arena during Midnight Madness events.
“The cars just kept coming and we really stopped counting when we had more than 500 on the grounds because our operations team was focused on getting everyone into the venue,” Blair added.
As an added bonus, Cars and Coffee St. Louis participants also were invited to watch drag racing during the track’s E.T. Bracket Series meet.
“Each Cars and Coffee St. Louis event will be different,” Blair continued. “Our next event will take place on the midway behind our superspeedway grandstand and participants will be able to watch the Porsche Club of America’s St. Louis Carrera Classic free of charge. Future events will take place in our road course paddock area and others will be held in conjunction with events taking place at the Gateway Kartplex. We want to showcase all we have to offer to the car enthusiast community.”
Based on the success of the first showing — and the tremendous support from Cars and Coffee St. Louis organizer Ben Schneider — GMP is going to expand food offerings and music at future events.
“Luckily, we didn’t run out of food at the first one and our concessions team did a tremendous job keeping up with the demand,” said Blair. “We’re calling in reinforcements for future shows and will offer multiple beverage locations and additional food choices. We see the tremendous potential and look forward to hosting an event each month.”
2017 Cars and Coffee St. Louis schedule at Gateway Motorsports Park:
May 21 — Behind the NASCAR grandstand.
June 11 — INDYCAR paddock area.
July 9 — Kartplex paddock area.
August 20 — Behind the NASCAR grandstand.
September 10 — INDYCAR paddock area.
October 8 — Behind the NASCAR grandstand.
For more information on Gateway Motorsports Park, please call (618) 215-8888. Follow GMP on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
About Gateway Motorsports Park
Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, the 1.6-mile Circuit of St. Louis road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.