MOTORSPORTS INDUSTRY LEADERS ANNOUNCE THE FORMATION OF GRAND AMERICAN ROAD RACING ASSOCIATION
NEW YORK (Sept. 21, 1999) - Senior motorsports executives formally announced today the formation of Grand American Road Racing Association, a new motorsports sanctioning body whose primary focus will be the organization of professional road racing throughout North America.
Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., and drawing on a wealth of motorsports tradition and expertise, Grand American Road Racing has been established as an authority with a long-term vision.
"In creating this new organization, we have taken a page from the NASCAR book," said Roger Edmondson, who will serve as president of Grand American Road Racing Association. "We've put together a timely concept that will address the needs of promoters, sports car competitors, road racing fans and the industry at large for many years to come."
During today's announcement, Edmondson introduced his senior management team, announced a multi-year television agreement, released a strong inaugural 2000 season schedule that commences with the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona and unveiled the Grand American Road Racing logo.
Joining Edmondson are long-time motorsports officials Dave Watson, who will serve as technical director; and Mark Raffauf, who will serve as race director. Bruce Mosley joins Grand American Road Racing as director of marketing.
In addition to the senior motorsports executives, Edmondson announced that John Bishop, the founder and long-time president of IMSA, would join Grand American Road Racing as the sanctioning body's commissioner.
The Grand American Road Racing Association has signed a four-year partnership with Speedvision to air Grand-Am races and related ancillary programming. In the first year, Speedvision will televise seven of eight races. Beginning in 2001, Speedvision will carry the Rolex 24 at Daytona in its entirety. Speedvision also will package highlights of the races into one-hour programs that will be aired on Fox Sports Net. In addition, Speedvision will produce 24 original half-hour shows each year focusing on the culture and competition of Grand-Am racing.
The 2000 Grand-Am schedule features eight events at seven tracks, including: Daytona International Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Elkhart Lake's Road American and Watkins Glen International. The season will begin Feb. 3 in Daytona and will conclude in October at Watkins Glen. In addition, two pre-season test days will be held in early January at Daytona International Speedway.
Grand American Road Racing competition will feature three categories of competition: SportsRacer, GT, and International Sports Sedan. The SportsRacer and GT categories will be subdivided into various classes, which are based upon performance level and construction methods.
However, the Grand-Am series will offer more than simply three classes of exciting racing. In addition, a fan festival that showcases various elements of road racing will take place at each track in conjunction with the race. Sports car auctions, merchandise booths and vintage automobile shows are among the many marketing initiatives in development. These events will ensure that as many fans as possible experience the past, present and future of American road racing.
"We plan on moving forward with one eye in the rearview mirror and learning from the success of sports car racing in this country's past," Edmondson said, "while looking forward to the excitement of a new millennium."