CASA GRANDE — Local racing enthusiasts may be getting an early Christmas present out in the middle of the desert south of Casa Grande.

This week Attesa began paving its Podium Club raceway. The project had a groundbreaking in July after being held back by an unusually strong monsoon season. The racetrack, being built off of Bianco Road near Interstate 8, is taking shape.

“After over seven years, there’s a real sense of accomplishment for the team,” said Attesa Managing Partner Dan Erickson, who has been at the site every day this week. “Our contractors and staff members worked their a--es off to get this done. This is also validation for everyone who helped support us along the way.”

The Podium Club is the first phase in the Attesa project and promises a “safe, fun and challenging circuit” for cars and motorcycles. The initial portion of track will include 15 turns over 2.25 miles. Erickson said the group had reached its membership goals in October and were in regular contact with those who had placed their deposits.

Erickson said the biggest challenge before finally getting the track begun was the weather, which backed up plans about a month.

“We had the intense rain,” Erickson said. “It rained at our groundbreaking and from that moment it frickin’ rained nonstop. That created unstable spots on the surface, so then we had to wait for it to dry out and remediate those portions.”

According to Erickson, it would take just over a week to pave the initial racetrack, and then Attesa will build out the rest of the initial components of the Podium Club in preparation for a soft opening toward the end of the year. That includes a double-chip seal for the stretch of Bianco Road south of the I-8 exit, which is currently just a dirt path.

Erickson said he anticipates a “soft” opening for those who put down their deposits to be able to explore the track and amenities, leading toward a grand opening very early in 2022. When the site opens for both members and spectators, Erickson anticipates the Podium Club will include the racetrack, a paddock, a temporary clubhouse — a more permanent structure will be under construction later in 2022 — and food trucks and ride alongs to celebrate the unveiling.

Later down the road, the ambitious Attesa project calls for an expanded racetrack as well as residential and commercial developments.

Once the rubber finally hits the road at the Podium Club, Erickson said any local spectators can come out to watch.

Erickson expressed a lot of enthusiasm for Casa Grande’s innovative auto culture, with the Lucid Motors plant just down the road. The Lucid Air model recently won MotorTrend’s 2022 Car of the Year award.

“I’ve got one coming,” Erickson said of the Lucid electric vehicles. “I think they’ve got a hell of a product and I’m thrilled that they’re in Casa Grande right now.”

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Aaron Dorman is the Casa Grande reporter at PinalCentral, covering government, schools, business and more. He can be reached at adorman@pinalcentral.com.

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