DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2001) - The purse, point fund and other prizes earned by teams and drivers in the Rolex Sports Car Series hit a new high mark for 2001, reaching a total of $2,524,525. The purse and point fund for the 10-race Rolex Series came in just under $2 million in paid awards. The additional awards came from the series' contingency award program and Rolex watches presented at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and to the Rolex Sports Car Series driver champions.
"Money is of course a necessary part of life and we are proud of the monetary awards we offer our competitors," Grand American President Roger Edmondson stated. "But long after that money has been spent, this year's Rolex Series driver champions will still have an absolutely unique Rolex watch as a priceless reminder of their accomplishments."
Grand American saw a significant increase in participation by the automotive industry in its contingency award program for 2001. Participating companies included Tosco 76 race fuel, Nitrogen by Air Products, Avon tires, BMW engines and automobiles, Bosch spark plugs, Chevrolet Corvette, Cra-Z Soap, Dunlop tires, Dynamic Suspension shock absorbers, Featherlite motorcoaches and transporters, Goodyear tires, Hawk Performance Brake Pads, Kumho tires, Mazda engines and automobiles, Mid Valley Transmissions, Mosler MT900 automobiles, Nissan engines and automobiles, Penske shock absorbers from Competition Tire, Performance Friction Brake Pads from BSR, Pi data acquisition systems, Quarter Master clutch & bellhousings, Stand 21 apparel, Tex T101 transmission and X-1R Performance Lubricants.
More than $2 million was posted by those companies for the year, with more than $350,000 earned during the season. "The competition in the Rolex Series extends to our industry supporters too," commented Grand American Special Projects Manager Patrick Murphy. "A number of auto manufacturers and aftermarket companies offer big awards for wins and top showings in the series. Unfortunately, only one make can win at a time, so earned awards can't match posted awards. Having said that, having 18 percent earned is above average and we're proud of the contribution our contingency sponsors make to the series."
A large part of the Rolex Series prize money is earmarked for the series' Team Owner Program. The TOP recognizes teams that have committed to the Rolex Series and provides them with extra awards, hospitality and other benefits. "Teams that make the commitment to race with us all season deserve special attention," Edmondson added. "We welcome any team that has a car that fits our rules, but the series regulars definitely deserve more reward." The TOP program includes purse bonuses and a series point fund that are not available to other entrants.