Fontana: California preview

Rolex Series win up for grabs at California Speedway With three winners in four races, Fontana has no clear favorite DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 28, 2003) -- Handicapping a car race is always a risky proposition. The variables of mechanical ...

Rolex Series win up for grabs at California Speedway
With three winners in four races, Fontana has no clear favorite

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 28, 2003) -- Handicapping a car race is always a risky proposition. The variables of mechanical longevity, being the victim of another car's wrong moves and just luck in general will always weigh heavily in the final outcome when men and machines come to do battle. But picking a winner in the upcoming Grand American 400 at California Speedway on June 6-8 is even more of a crapshoot as no team has established itself as the one to beat after four rounds in the 12-race Rolex Sports Car Series championship.

What has emerged is a wide range of race cars that have the potential to win. From the powerful Daytona Prototypes to the muscle cars of GTS to the nimble and reliable coupes and sedans of GT, every class in the Rolex Series has been at the front of the pack at some point this season. As was proven at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, being shrewd and reliable can pay big dividends.

The Daytona Prototypes have to be the cars getting the best odds from the bookmakers. The #59 Brumos Racing Porsche with two wins and the #54 Bell Motorsports Chevrolet with a victory a couple of weeks ago in Alabama have already proven they are ready to step to the top of the box. The #58 Brumos sister car has not won yet, but a string of fast qualifier times and 247 laps led so far this year clearly show it has the power. The #8 BMW-engined Picchio of G&W Motorsports looked strong at Phoenix in early May and is one lucky break away from claiming its first win.

The GTS class saw a pair of cars take the front spot at Homestead-Miami back in March when the Heritage Motorsports Mustang and Diman Racing's Corvette each took turns in the lead. The Mosler MT900R sat just a few feet behind the leader for many of the closing laps at Birmingham and has to be considered a serious threat.

Scuderia Ferrari of Washington, with two second-place finishes so far this year, has been nipping at the heels of the Prototypes already. With a new racecar set to debut at Fontana, maybe this will be the weekend they put it all together.

In all, 10 different cars have led laps through the first four stops on the Rolex tour. There are 14 different cars that have finished in the top-five in those races. With that much competition up near the front, the best odds are that a new team will be added to the winners' list at Fontana. That kind of competition is a race fan's dream come true.

Tickets are currently on sale for the Grand American 400 at California Speedway and can be purchased online at www.californiaspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 800-944-RACE. Additional information is available on the Grand American website at www.grandamerican.com.

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Series Grand-Am