Road America preview

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 2, 2001) - The Grand American Road Racing Association, featuring the Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series, will travel to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., July 5-8. The four-mile, 14-turn ...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 2, 2001) - The Grand American Road Racing Association, featuring the Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series, will travel to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., July 5-8. The four-mile, 14-turn permanent road course is the longest on the Grand-Am schedule allowing drivers to reach speeds nearing 200 mph as they vie for a spot in Victory Lane.

The Rolex Sport Car Series is made up of five classes that will compete in the Road America 500 on Sunday, July 8. The SportsRacing Prototypes are the premier classes in the Rolex Series and showcases purebred race cars. Prototype designs include low silhouettes, mid-engine chassis, high rear wings, and state-of-the-art components like carbon fiber bodywork and onboard electronic telemetry. There are two classes within the SportsRacing Prototypes (SRP), with the SRPII class featuring lighter weight cars with less powerful engines. In prototype racing, the car's chassis is married to one of several available racing engines with chassis builders Ferrari, Kudzu, Lola, Norma and Riley & Scott and engine-makers BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Judd, Mazda and Nissan used in various combinations.

Joining the prototypes in the Rolex Series are three classes that fall within the GT category. Turbocharged Porsches and V8-powered Corvettes and V10 Vipers compete in the Grand Touring Super (GTS) class against other exotic sports cars like the new Saleen S7R. The other GT classes in the Rolex Series include Grand Touring (GT) and American GT (AGT). GT is comprised of racing versions of production sports cars including the Porsche 911, BMW M3, Mosler MT900 and Mazda RX7. Finally, AGT includes tube-framed race cars with American engines - Corvettes, Camaros, Firebirds, Mustangs and Oldsmobiles being among the most popular.

The Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series will compete in a three-hour endurance race around Road America's course on Saturday, July 7. Grand-Am Cup offers its own four-class line-up. Eligible vehicles are limited to those makes and models sold to the general public through established retail sales outlets in North America. Popular makes and models in the series include Corvette, Firebird, Mustang, Porsche, BMW, Honda, Acura, Mazda, Audi and the new Lexus IS 300. The four classes that make up the Cup series include Super Grand Sport (SGS), Grand Sport (GS), Sport Touring (ST) and Compact 2000 (C2K), with class designations based on engine size and performance. SGS features the big hitters from Chevrolet, Porsche and others, down to C2K where Acura Integras mix it up with Honda Civics, Hyundais and Mazda Miatas.

The racing excitement will get underway at Road America on Friday with practice sessions. Qualifying for the Grand-Am Cup race will be held on Saturday morning, with the race beginning later that day at 5 p.m. Rolex Sports Car Series qualifying will be held on Saturday afternoon, with the Road America 500 beginning at noon on Sunday.

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Series Grand-Am