Groundbreaking class changes for 2003

NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series announces groundbreaking class changes for 2003. Provides competitive balance for rear-wheel and front-wheel drive competitors; Changes made to fill the need for heads-up competition at grassroots...

NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series announces groundbreaking class changes for 2003.

Provides competitive balance for rear-wheel and front-wheel drive competitors; Changes made to fill the need for heads-up competition at grassroots level

GLENDORA, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2002) -- The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) announced, today, class changes for 2003 in the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series. The modifications to the current class structure reflect the interest level and needs of the sport compact series at all levels of competition.

"As the premier sanctioning body in all of drag racing, we believe it is our responsibility to pioneer and develop the future roadmap of sport compact drag racing," said Cary Menard, vice president technical administration. "NHRA is all about racing. And, as the leaders in the sport, we must take a proactive, leadership position to develop a class structure that meets the needs of all racers, while providing a logical progression for enthusiasts to step up from a novice class to the ultimate level of professional competition."

In 2003, the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series will feature two professional "heads-up" categories competing for a world championship: the PRO RWD (rear-wheel drive) class, which was formerly called PRO, and the new PRO FWD (front-wheel drive) category. The creation of the PRO FWD class provides a logical stepping stone for those competitors currently competing in the front-wheel drive only HOT ROD class.

"NHRA is committed to supporting front-wheel drive racing technology, which is a unique part of sport compact drag racing. Clearly, fans and manufacturers alike share in this passion and we want to preserve this front-wheel drive sport compact tradition. Technology in drag racing has historically been rear-wheel drive oriented and has a demonstrated performance advantage over front-wheel drive vehicles," said Menard. "By creating a PRO class for both front-wheel and rear-wheel drive racecars, we can now provide a balanced and professional level of competition for each."

Each PRO category will feature rear-wheel drive and front-wheel drive full tube vehicles.

The current HOT ROD (front-wheel drive) and ALL-MOTOR (no power adders) will be maintained in 2003 and compete for an NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series World Championship. The current MODIFIED category will feature rear-wheel drive only vehicles. As a part of the class structure changes, NHRA will eliminate the STREET TIRE class in 2003. In all, five NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series World Championships (PRO RWD, PRO FWD, HOT ROD, MODIFIED, ALL-MOTOR) will be up for grabs in 2003.

In addition, NHRA announced the creation of two additional "heads-up" categories, the SPORT FWD and SPORT RWD classes. The classes, which will feature street-legal only vehicles with power adders, were created to fill the need for racers looking for a "heads-up," competition style of drag racing.

"These two new categories will provide an opportunity for area sport compact racers to run in a 'heads-up' format, against similarly equipped street vehicles, rather than using a dial-in handicap," said Menard.

The SPORT FWD and SPORT RWD classes will be equalized through the number of cylinders and power adders, as well as minimum weights.

"With the creation of the new classes, NHRA believes we have found the right formula to attract a wide range of race cars from the high performance street set-up to the full-on professional race teams," said Menard. In addition to the professional classes, all NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series events we will feature E.T. bracket competition.

More details regarding the classes for 2003, including rule changes, power adders and weight limitations, will be made available on the website at nhrasportcompact.com by mid-October, 2002.

The NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series features drag racing for both import and domestic sub-compact models competing at 10 events across the nation with national television coverage on ESPN2.

<pre> NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series

PRO RWD (formerly PRO) Compete for World Championship Full Tube Chassis

PRO FWD New Category Compete for World Championship Full Tube Chassis

HOT ROD Front-wheel drive only Power Adders/Weight Limitations Compete for World Championship

MODIFIED Rear-wheel drive only Power Adders/Weight Limitations Compete for World Championship

ALL-MOTOR Front-wheel drive/ rear-wheel drive Naturally-aspirated engines - No power adders Compete for World Championship

SPORT FWD New Category Front-wheel drive only Power Adders/Weight Limitations "Heads-Up" racing Event Winner

SPORT RWD New Category Rear-wheel drive only Power Adders/Weight Limitations "Heads-Up" racing Event Winner

</pre> Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has more than 80,000 members nationwide and more than 130 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series, NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA Castrol GTX Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

-nhra-

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