DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 5, 2004) -- While much of the Grand American community was already gathered in Las Vegas for Monday night's Rolex Sports Car Series Awards Celebration at Caesars Palace, both the Rolex Series and the Grand-Am Cup...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 5, 2004) -- While much of the Grand American community was already gathered in Las Vegas for Monday night's Rolex Sports Car Series Awards Celebration at Caesars Palace, both the Rolex Series and the Grand-Am Cup Series were also well-represented at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center throughout the week.
Billed as "the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world," the SEMA Show attracts more than 100,000 industry leaders from over 100 countries. The show features automotive, truck and SUV, marine and RV products.
Newly-crowned 2004 Daytona Prototype engine manufacturer champion Pontiac used the SEMA show to spotlight its Daytona Prototype program as well as to announce its participation in the GT category for 2005. The No. 2 CITGO Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford, which was driven to victory in both 2004 Rolex Series events at Homestead-Miami Speedway by Andy Wallace and Milka Duno, was part of the General Motors Racing display. Pontiac also announced plans to field two of its new GTOs beginning midseason in the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series GT class.
"We've found the right type of racing venue to demonstrate the performance capabilities of the Pontiac GTO," General Motors Racing Director Doug Duchardt said. "Pontiac has already achieved success in the Daytona Prototype class of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, and next year will expand its involvement to the GT division with Pontiac GTOs."
"We see great potential for the GT class in the Grand American (Rolex) Series, added GM Racing road racing Group Manager Harry Turner. "GM Racing will be an active participant in that growth by providing highly-developed yet affordable vehicles. We will also provide comprehensive technical support for Pontiac teams."
The cars, which meet the new Rolex Series GT rules, will have production-based LS2 small-block V8 engines and will retain the stock body design.
"The GTOs on race tracks will strongly resemble the GTOs in Pontiac showrooms," Turner said. "The production body panels--hood, doors, roof, rear deck lid, and front and rear facias--will be precisely duplicated in lightweight composite materials. Front and rear fender flares will accommodate wide racing tires, and a series-specified rear wing will add both aerodynamic balance and race car charisma."
With an eye toward competing in the 2005 Grand-Am Cup Series, Ford Motor Company unveiled a race version of the all-new 2005 Mustang, as well as a new performance parts and competition program. The Ford Racing Mustang competition program will offer a multitude of options for the grassroots racing participant. The company aims to bring factory engineering and know-how to the development of race-prepared chassis and vehicle offerings.
"The Mustang is synonymous with performance modifications and competitive racing," said Ford Racing Technology Director Dan Davis. "It has an unparalleled pedigree in many forms of racing, and the all-new 2005 Mustang makes a terrific platform to continue that history of racing competition and victories."
The Grand American Road Racing Association, which sanctions the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am Cup Series, is one of the fastest growing motorsports organizations in the United States. The 14-race 2005 Rolex Series schedule and the 11-race Grand-Am Cup calendar will deliver professional sports car racing to many key markets throughout North America in addition to being televised in the United States and Canada on SPEED Channel and distributed globally through ESPN International. With title sponsorship support from Rolex Watch USA, the Rolex Sports Car Series showcases emerging and legendary drivers from around the globe and thoroughbred racing machines from the industry's leading constructors and the world's top automobile manufacturers. Learn more about Grand American at www.grandamerican.com.