DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 8, 2002) -- Grand American Road Racing Association and Fran-Am Sport jointly announced today that Grand American will sanction the 2003 Fran-Am Championship Series. Fran-Am Sport will be presenting a Winter Series World Championship in Florida, a North American Pro-Championship with events in the USA and Canada, and additional East and West National Championships for its 2000 drivers and teams who will not participate in the North American Pro Championship. In addition, it will present East and West Championships for Fran-Am 1600 competitors. The Fran-Am Championship Series for open-wheeled race cars with 2 L and 1.6 L engines had its North American debut season in 2002. It is based on the very popular and successful Formula Renault racing in Europe.
"We are very pleased to provide sanctioning body support to the Fran-Am Series," Grand American President Roger Edmondson said. "A key part of Fran-Am's philosophy is to control the costs of racing and that is a major goal of ours as well. With their proven formula from the Renault Series, we are confident that Fran-Am will quickly establish itself as a primary training ground for American racers."
The Fran-Am Winter Series World Championship, North American Pro-Championship and National Championship Series will be contested at selected rounds of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series as well as CART and Formula 1.
"Fran-Am is very serious about developing new American racers, and we are doing everything we can to make it easy, affordable and to provide the right rewards and incentives," Fran-Am President & CEO Thierry Burckhart noted. "With the professional support we will receive from Grand American Road Racing, Fran-Am will be able to grow much quicker."
The Fran-Am 2000 Championships, a cousin of Formula Renault in Europe, South America and China, was supported in its inaugural North American season by Michelin International. Each Fran-Am 2000 race features a $25,000 Michelin International-supported cash prize fund, with the overall series champion winning a ride with a leading team for the new 2003 Formula RENAULT V6 European series. While the FRAN-AM 1600 is designed to be the ideal "learning link" between karting and the more powerful FRAN-AM 2000, the FRAN-AM 1600 National Champion will be winning a FRAN AM 2000!
Formula Renault is recognized worldwide as a primary feeder for the Formula 1 stars of tomorrow. Recent graduates include McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, who went straight to Formula O1ne from Formula Renault, as well as Sauber's Felipe Massa. American Pat Long is competing in the 2002 British Formula Renault series with Raikkonen's 2000 championship-winning Manor Motorsports team.
More information on the Fran-Am Championship Series is available online at www.fran-am.com. Information about Grand American Road Racing Association is available at www.grandamerican.com.