Forty-nine-year-old father, husband, businessman, city leader.
Newly reelected Lake Elsinore City Councilman Bob Magee is all those things – but he’s also known for his love of motocross, and this past weekend he made a showing in what is arguably the city’s most high-profile historical affair, the 44th annual Lake Elsinore Grand Prix.
“It’s an exciting and unique event,” Magee said of the Nov. 10-11 “Prix” that was sponsored by Storm Events. “How many cities have a starring role in a movie [about racing]? How many cities have a motorcycle named after them? I don’t know of any.
“It’s a part of our history,” he continued.
While Magee didn’t win the lone UTV race he competed in -- “I finished, but no where near the front” – it didn’t matter. Thousands attended this weekend’s event that was staged at The Diamond Stadium and featured a course traversing approximately seven miles of city streets, dirt trails and hillsides.
and there were flashbacks to Lake Elsinore’s motorcycle racing legends: Steve McQueen’s Husqvarna was on display – the same bike he rode in the movie “On Any Sunday” (1971), which featured footage shot in Lake Elsinore.
[Click here to read a 2011 Patch interview with “On Any Sunday” director Bruce Brown.]
Prix attendees could also check out a 1974 250 cc Honda Elsinore – the bike named after the city.
“I want to preserve this,” Magee said of the more than four-decades-old Lake Elsinore Grand Prix.
While there has been some pushback from public agencies over environmental concerns about the race’s course this year, Magee said he is committed to finding common ground that satisfies all.
According to Magee, protected habitat around the levy had been of concern for officials from agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but the councilman said the city is working with Rep. Ken Calvert’s office to come up with an agreeable compromise.
The city is also debriefing with residents, businesses, and Storm Events personnel to discuss what went right this year and what can be improved upon, Magee said.
The 2012 Prix course received good feedback from racers and the community, according to Magee, so it is his hope the route can be preserved moving forward.
“The course was challenging and there was minimal impact on business and residents’ access,” he said.
Magee contends that while history and passion for the sport are reasons to keep growing the Lake Elsinore Grand Prix for future generations, bottom line is important too.
“Lake Elsinore is one giant recreation area,” he said, noting that early reports he’s getting indicate attendance at this year’s event was up, and business increased at local restaurants, hotels and the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park – the latter of which featured a live concert Saturday night.
The Prix, Magee said, “is very special. We want this to continue.”
To view more photos of the 2012 Lake Elsinore Grand Prix, click here.