OWRS to add Trans-Am Racing to list of purchases

It was no surprise that coming on the heels of Open Wheel Racing Series, LLC's purchase of Championship Auto Racing Team, Inc., they also announced the purchase of Trans-Am Racing, LLC. TAR had an agreement for the marketing and operating rights to the Trans-Am Series for the 2003 season with Paul Gentilozzi at the helm.

The Sports Car Club of America, Inc. (SCCA) still owns the series name, however, and is the current sanctioning body for Trans-Am.

Now questions remain as to the future of America's oldest road racing series. Who will sanction the series: SCCA or OWRS? Will the closed-fendered, production-based V8-powered sports car series continue to draw fan interest with so many changes over the past years?

Further, SCCA subsequently pointed out that SCCA still owns all rights to the Trans-Am name and that there is currently no agreement between SCCA and OWRS regarding the 2004 series.

First lap: Scott Pruett.
Photo by Michael Kim.
Trans-Am have raced alongside CART at many venues in past years, including Long Beach, Detroit, Cleveland and Miami. In 2003, Rocketsports Racing, Jaguar and Scott Pruett dominated the series to take all three crowns.

Is this move a good one or will it have success both in 2004 and future years to come? According to John Clagett, TAR Executive Director, "This is another positive step for Trans-Am."

OWRS recently announced that they had reached an final agreement to purchase certain assets of CART. According to Gentilozzi, a partner in OWRS, the strengths of the two series will be a plus for the future. "Bringing Champ Car and Trans-Am under the same roof will allow us to best capitalize on both series' strengths, while more effectively managing both."

Meeting goals, setting schedules and finalizing staffs will be on the agenda for OWRS over the next several weeks. The Champ Car schedule has been released, as has the Atlantic Championship Series schedule (one of the assets that OWRS has secured). The 2004 Trans-Am schedule will be released before the end of 2003.