Seeing grand prix races

TRAVEL Q&A

April 19, 1992|By New York Times News Service

Q: I will be traveling through Europe from early June to October and would like to see grand prix Formula One auto races. Can you give information?

A: Here are the grand prix races scheduled in Europe during your visit. Information on the full schedule for 1992 is available from the Automobile Competition Committee of the United States, 1500 Skokie Blvd., Suite 101, Northbrook, Ill. 60062, (708) 272-0090, which supplied the ticket information telephone numbers here. Grandstand seats are generally about $150 to $200.

The French Grand Prix: July 5 in Magny-Cours, in the Loire region, near the town of Nevers. Ticket information: (33) 86.21.80.00.

The British Grand Prix: July 12 at Silverstone, near Northampton. Ticket information: (44 327) 857271.

The German Grand Prix: July 26 in Hockenheim, near Heidelberg. Ticket information: (49 62) 057021.

The Hungarian Grand Prix: Aug. 16 in Budapest. Ticket information: (36 28) 30040.

The Belgian Grand Prix: Aug. 30 in Spa in the Ardennes. Ticket information: (32 87) 275138.

The Italian Grand Prix: Sept. 13 at Monza, near Milan. Ticket information: (39 39) 24821.

The Portuguese Grand Prix: Sept. 27 in Estoril. Ticket information: (351 1) 3563931.

For those who want to attend one race, Grand Prix Tours, 2482 Newport Blvd., Suite 3, Costa Mesa, Calif. 922627, (714) 646-0327, organizes packages. These include hotels, seats for the race, viewings of practice and qualifying events, and extras such as tours of the Lamborghini and Maserati factories in Italy or talks by former race drivers.

Q: Can you give me information on rafting trips down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and help in locating a company that runs trips, supplying guides, food and sleeping gear?

A: There are 18 outfitters authorized by the National Park Service to run river trips in the Grand Canyon. A company that represents all of them is Rivers and Oceans, P.O. Box 40321, Flagstaff, Ariz. 86004, (800) 473-4576, which steers clients to trips that fit their wishes.

The outfitters provide guides, food and camping equipment. The season for the trips is May through October. As of early April, Rivers and Oceans and several of the outfitters reported only a few spaces remaining for June, July and August.

Motorized rafts generally make the trip through the whole canyon, about 200 to 275 miles (depending on the finishing point), in six to eight days; from Sept. 15, no motorized trips are allowed. Non-motorized rafts make the trip in 12 to 14 days.

In some of these rafts, participants paddle, and in others only the guide oars the raft. Another option is a dory, an aluminum or wood boat that provides a bouncier ride on the rapids than a raft does.

Those with limited time may make the trip on either the upper or lower part of the Grand Canyon, starting or finishing roughly at midpoint. The upper section can be done in four days on a motorized raft or six days by paddling; the lower section takes five days or eight or nine by paddle raft or dory (the lower-section length can vary, depending on where the trip ends).

Either option involves a hike between the rim and the bottom, about 10 miles with a change in elevation of 5,000 feet.

A trip generally costs $150 to $200 a person for each day spent on the river. For a full-length trip, the price usually includes transportation to and from the starting point. For portions, having a car moved from the starting point to the finishing point usually costs $125.

Here is an example of each of the types of trips, with prices for one person, in summer (rates may be lower in spring and fall). For a 14-day paddle trip, Arizona Raft Adventures, 4050 E. Huntington Drive, Flagstaff, Ariz. 86004, (800) 786-7238, charges a person; the company also has a guide-oared trip with some optional paddling by passengers, which takes 13 days and costs $1,783. On a paddle trip, the upper portion of the canyon, six days, is $986 and the lower portion, eight days, is $1,348.

By motorized raft, Wilderness River Adventures, P.O. Box 717, Page, Ariz. 86040, (800) 992-8022, charges $1,220 for the seven-day canyon trip, including a flight to Page or Las Vegas, Nev.; $521 for the upper portion, three and a half days, and $1,071 for the five-day lower portion, including a flight to Las Vegas or the South Rim.

Grand Canyon Dories, P.O. Box 216, Altaville, Calif. 95221, (209) 736-0805, offers a 13-day dory trip for $2,365, a six-day upper-portion trip for $1,253 and an eight-day lower-portion trip for $1,750.

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