SCC: California: Event preview

Grand-Am Cup Draws Today's Hottest Sport Compacts to California's New Road Course FONTANA, Calif. (March 15, 2002) -- When the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series takes to California Speedway's new road course on Sunday, March 23, the field of more...

Grand-Am Cup Draws Today's Hottest Sport Compacts to California's New Road Course

FONTANA, Calif. (March 15, 2002) -- When the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series takes to California Speedway's new road course on Sunday, March 23, the field of more than 50 cars will be highlighted by some of the hottest entries from Honda, Lexus, Acura, Mazda and Hyundai. With four classes of racing, these sport compacts will race door-to-door for one of the Sports Touring titles while sharing the track with legendary manufactures such as Porsche, Corvette and Audi in search of a Grand Sport win.

Fans of the latest imports will not want to miss the tight racing in the Sport Touring I and Sport Touring II classes, which feature all of the leading sport compact manufacturers. At least 20 of the more than 50 cars on track will be battling it out for the Sports Touring I title.

Factory-backed Team Lexus will field seven of its new IS 300s in the ST I class. These sporty new entries from the luxury car manufacturer made their debut last April in Phoenix, and picked up their first-ever professional win only two months later at the Virginia Festival of Speed. For his Lexus IS300s' first California race, team owner Chuck Goldsborough has once again pulled together an all-star driver lineup that includes championship-winning Andy Lally, as well as one of the best street stock drivers from north of the border, Quebec's Jean Dumoulin.

However, some of Lexus' toughest competition will also come from the north. Canadian-based Hyundai Motorsports will field three Tiburon's in ST I, with a Rolex 24 At Daytona-winning driver behind the wheel of its #8 entry. Michael Ciasulli scored a class victory in a Corvette at this year's Rolex 24.

Acura will have a full contingent of 12 Integras battling in both Sport Touring classes. Acura's Integra R and RSX will fight for the ST I victory, while its Integra LS goes for the win the ST II class. One of Acura's strongest teams in the ST I class will be the Power Racing Team with its seven Integra Rs. But Power Racing will face a fierce rival in 2001 driver champion Bob Endicott and his #64 King Motorsports Acura Integra R.

But one manufacturer that cannot be forgotten in the Sport Touring I class is BMW. The German manufacturer will have its larger M3s racing in the Grand Sport II class, while its Z3 Coupes and a 328i mix it up in Sport Touring I. Team Spartanburg's BMW Z3 picked up the first ST I win of the season at Daytona, and after winning two back-to-back wins last season, the one-car effort will hope to be just as lucky in 2002. But the three Z3s of Villaconn International hope to change all that. They also scored two victories during the 2001 season, and are planning on even more this year.

Porsche will also be looking for its first Sport Touring I victory on California's new road course. The SpeedSource team, which has been tremendously successful in the Grand Sports classes, will field two Porsche Boxsters in the ST I class this year in hopes of expanding their winning ways among the sport compact ranks.

Facing off against Acura in the Sport Touring II class will be two types of Mazdas. DTM Engeineering will field the #5 Miata in the class, while Baglieracing enters with its #57 Protégé.

While tuner fans will enjoy watching cars similar to their own fight it out in the Sport Touring classes, the fans of higher horsepower can also see their dreams cars battling amongst each other in the Grand Sport ranks. Defending series champion Powell Motorsports will be back with its #11 Corvette Z06, as well as a second #02 Chevy entry. But Porsche has won the season opener, as well as the final two races of 2001, making SpeedSource, Doncaster Racing and a number of other teams strong contenders with their Porsche GT3 Cup cars. Also expected to run at the front of the Grand Sport I class is the Zippo Saleen Mustang SR, of TF Racing.

Porsche will also be a top contender in the GS II class, with a number of Porsche 911s racing against rivals piloting Mustang Cobra Rs and BMW M3s.

The excitement of Grand-Am Cup street stock racing will get underway at California Speedway on Thursday, March 21, when the cars take to the track for practice in the afternoon. Additional practice sessions will be held on Friday, March 22, before the start of qualifying at 5:35 p.m. The 250-mile Grand-Am Cup race will kickoff the racing excitement on Sunday, March 24, at 8 a.m., prior to the start of the Yamaha Indy 400 at 12:30 p.m.

Tickets for the event weekend are currently available online at www.californiaspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 800-944-RACE (7223). Additional information about the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series can be found online at www.grandamcup.com.

-grand am-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Michael Ciasulli , Andy Lally , Bob Endicott
Teams Hyundai Motorsport , SpeedSource