DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 10, 2003) -- Grand American Road Racing Director of Competition Mark Raffauf announced a two-year strategy that will give the association's Rolex Sports Car Series Grand Touring division a new format. The 2004 season will see a mix of current GT and GTS cars combined with cars with different specifications to form two classes within the Grand Touring division. In 2005, the Grand American GT rules transition will be completed and all cars will compete in a single GT class and be subject to the new rules structure.
"We are continuing the evolution of championship road racing that we began with the Daytona Prototypes," Raffauf explained. "For all the same reasons that the Prototype rules were the right thing to do - more cost effective, expanded eligibility and closer competition - the direction we are setting for GT is right for production-based racing."
The 2004 season will continue to include the cars currently running in the Rolex Series GTS and GT classes, with some modifications relating to weight, fuel capacity and engine performance. The two current classes will be merged together to form the GT class in 2004.
In addition, Grand American will move the current Grand Sport I class from the Grand-Am Cup Series to the Rolex Series. The Grand Sport I class will be renamed Super Grand Sport (SGS) and will compete for a separate class championship and a share of the overall purse in the Rolex Series. In 2004 the GS II class will revert to the Grand Sport title and will be the top class in the Grand-Am Cup Series as it had been in the past.
Rules are also being written for what ultimately will be the "new" GT class in 2005. These new rules will create a single GT class and allow for production cars as well as tube-framed race cars with strict production body regulations to compete head to head.
"Grand American Road Racing exists to produce and promote road racing in America," President Roger Edmondson noted. "That means we have to have racing that fits the needs of American racers and provides the entertainment that American fans want to see. All of our planning and operations are within the context of the need to provide a stable platform for an American championship series that will stand the test of time."
A competition bulletin was released that included the following information regarding rules structure in 2004 and 2005.
The following guidelines will be used for GT and SGS competition in 2004.
2003-legal GT cars (GT):
Weight increases (TBD)
Reduced fuel capacity and refueling rate (TBD)
Possible engine output reduction - cost based
2003-legal GTS cars (GT):
Engine output reduced to (TBD) by intake restriction and/or RPM limit
Tire size reduced as per current rules for 2004
2003-legal GS I cars (SGS)
Weight reduction of no more than 100 lbs.
Possible spec rear wing
SGS will run for a separate championship in 2004
For 2005, GT and SGS cars will merge into a single GT class that will also include new design and construction options that include the following:
Alternate constructions may be allowed in order to increase car model eligibility
Approved FWD cars may be converted to RWD
Use of alternate corporate engines- approval similar to DP program
Possible Grand American approved aero package including rear wing and front splitter
Other Grand American specified components may be required
Minimum weights and component approvals will be established on individual car make basis
Builders who construct cars to the 2005 GT standard will be allowed to compete with those cars during the 2004 season.