Lake of the Ozarks raceway holds soft opening, prepares for future events

Local News

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. – Drivers came to test out the new raceway near the Lake of the Ozarks this past weekend for a soft opening.

The Ozarks International Raceway is now hosting small events in preparation for its first professional motorsports event next year.

Those with the raceway in Gravois Mills said these smaller events allow them to figure out where they can improve.

Manager James Pesek said after working for about two years on this project, it feels good that his family’s vision of bringing a racetrack to the Midwest is nearing completion.

“We’re ready now to start opening up to some small events, and then going into next year, we have some big events lined out to start out,” Pesek said.

One of those larger events, Pesek said, includes the SRO American Championships in May.

“We have a good relationship with the SRO and they were happy to come to check out the track and they love it so, happy to have them,” Pesek said.

Pesek said the track really came together through his dad’s vision.

“The track is….. we wanted something challenging, something you couldn’t pick up in a day and learn,” Pesek said. “It’s definitely got a lot of character to it, a lot of elevation change.”

Marketing Manager, Eliane Gilain, said while the track doesn’t allow spectators just yet, they are almost ready to welcome thousands of people to the lake area next year.

“They’re going to be able to see GT4 cars, GT3 cars,” Gilain said. “For fans, it’s racecars that they can drive on the road. You know, it’s Mercedes, Mustangs, Lamborghinis, so it’s really a relatable weekend for the fans. They’ll be able to walk around and meet the drivers.”

Gilain said they hope to have a racing school in the future for people to get into racing, or to continue their skills.

“It’s just been an overwhelming welcome from the community, so honestly, as much as we have prepared on our side, we feel that the community here at the Ozarks has helped us in many ways,” Gilain said.

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