Daytona Prototypes Summit II
Constructors and Officials discuss common goals.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 2, 2003) -- Grand American Road Racing Association President Roger Edmondson hosted a summit meeting of Daytona Prototype constructors and suppliers Tuesday at the Brickyard Crossing in Indianapolis. Attended by representatives of six prototype constructors, various component suppliers and Grand American officials, the meeting covered a broad range of topics from competition regulations to sales and marketing efforts.
In his opening remarks Edmondson greeted the group and told them, "About a year ago we sat in this same room and discussed what was then just a concept. Today the Daytona Prototypes class is a reality and the cars are on the track thanks to your efforts. As we have told you since the beginning, these are the cars of the future. We are fully committed to these cars as they exist today and these cars will continue as our premier class for the next 20 years."
Following the opening remarks Mark Raffauf, Director of Competition, went through the agenda that included updates on car availability, rules discussion and an open discussion.
Each of the four builders with cars currently running in the Rolex Series stated that they had cars complete or under construction. Multimatic said it has two cars complete and that both are for sale and ready to race. Picchio has two cars available with 60-day and 120-day lead times for completion. Doran Enterprises will have another car completed in 30 days. FABCAR is working on its fifth chassis and will have a car available in 30 days. FABCAR's Dave Klym noted the car is currently scheduled to have a Toyota engine, but can be changed to suit a buyer's preference.
The mood of the group in the rules discussion was best summed up by an early comment by Multimatic's Larry Holt who said, 'the formula is right'. Kevin Doran agreed with Holt and added that the current rules package should stay in place for at least the next 10 years. Those sentiments were echoed by all of the constructors including Crawford Race Cars and Riley & Scott. Crawford has continued to refine its design and has scheduled additional wind tunnel testing for next month with plans of completing the first car later this year. Riley & Scott has two chassis under construction at its shop and is waiting for customers to complete engine and powertrain choices.
There was discussion about airflow into and out of the cars. A firm standard on the particular size and location of additional vents will be agreed to after the constructors design their own modifications and present those designs to Grand American officials.
FABCAR's Klym, who has built cars powered by Porsche and Toyota, said the rule that headlights and taillights be from the same company as the engine manufacturer are expensive to do. The consensus opinion was that brand identity on the cars was a positive part of the program. Grand American officials said the headlight/taillight rule would stay in effect, but that they would research options that could reduce the cost of implementation.
In open discussion, there were frank comments that prospective buyers are being cautious as they wait to see if the class will change or go away in the near future. In response, Edmondson pointed out that Grand American Road Racing has presented a very stable series since its inception in 1999. "We have taken a long term approach to what we do," he said. "We have a stable schedule with tracks that are with us for the long haul. We have a multiyear agreement with the best TV partner in the sport - SPEED Channel. And we've got great cars being built by dedicated professionals that share our vision to stay on course with the rules. And you should know, Bill and Jim France have both told me they stand behind Grand American 100% and that we are on the right track."
Attendees at the meeting included:
Crawford Composites - Jan Crawford
Crawford Race Cars - Max Crawford
Doran Enterprises - Kevin Doran
EMCO Transmissions - Dan Cota
FABCAR - Dave Klym
Goodyear Tires - Bob Shaffer
Grand American - Roger Edmondson, Mark Raffauf, Dave Watson, Don Hayward,
Rob Elson, Patrick Murphy
Multimatic - Larry Holt, Sean Mason, Barry McSherry
Pankl, Inc. - Keith Lowande
Picchio/G&W Motorsports - Armando Trentini, Cole Scrogham, Price Cobb
Riley & Scott - Bob Riley, Bill Riley
Xtrac Transmisions - Andrew Heard
Grand American officials are also planning to have a meeting with current and prospective Daytona Prototype car owners during the upcoming Phoenix International Raceway race weekend. Prototype constructors will be on hand to answer questions and schedule construction and delivery for new teams.
Additional information about Grand American Road Racing Association and the Daytona Prototypes can be found online at www.grandamerican.com.