Pikes Peak International Raceway may become police training center

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About the only racing that is likely to take place in the future at Pikes Peak International Raceway will be simulated police chases.

According to a report in the Colorado Springs (Colorado) Gazette, efforts are underway to convert the shuttered racetrack into a regional law enforcement training center.

A group of police chiefs in the Colorado Springs area have asked the city’s utilities board to lift zoning restrictions that would allow the training center to make the track its new home.

According to The Gazette, current PPIR partner Guy Kathe seeks to donate the 200-acre site for a center that would benefit departments in Colorado Springs and Fountain, Colorado, as well as the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

“The sheriff’s and police departments are using our site for driving training right now,” Kathe said, according to The Gazette. “We believe it’s the right thing to do for the community.”

If the zoning change is approved, plans call for the proposed training center to include a large firing range, a pursuit driving range, weapons storage and also an area for area firefighters to also train.

A vote is expected in June on the zoning change proposal.

A previous ownership group purchased the land the track sits upon in 1996 for $1 million, according to The Gazette, and attracted major league racing series for several years.

The Verizon IndyCar Series previously raced at the 1-mile paved track from 1997 – 2005, as well as the Indy Lights Series (2003-05).

NASCAR raced at PPIR in both the Xfinity (1998-2005) and Camping World Truck Series (1998-2002). The track also hosted the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Midwest Series, NASCAR Southwest Series, ARCA Racing Series and the ASA National Tour Series.

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