Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series Offers Record $100,000 Race Purses for 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (December 14, 2006) -- The 2007 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series will offer the richest purses in series history with today's announcement at the 2006 Grand-Am Cup Series Awards Celebration that each of the 12 races will pay out $100,000 per event, including up to $10,000 for a victory in the Grand Sport (GS) class.

The GS winning team will earn a minimum of $5,000 for a race victory, but could double its winnings to $10,000 if the team uses KONI shocks. Second place in GS will pay $3,750 for teams not using KONI shocks or $7,500 for teams using KONI, with $2,500 going to the third-place finisher in GS without KONI or $5,000 for teams using KONI.

The Street Tuner (ST) class has a similar structure, with $3,750 going to the class winner if the team does not use KONI and $7,500 for a winning team with KONI, followed by $2,500 or $5,000 for the second-place finisher and $1,750 or $3,500 for third in ST. Both classes will pay out to the top-20 positions, with double the purse for any top-20 finisher using KONI shocks.

"Clearly, our competitors are already seeing the benefits of KONI's new sponsorship of the KONI Challenge Series," said Grand American Road Racing Association President Roger Edmondson. "Teams will have until the 2009 season to convert their race cars to KONI shocks, but the opportunity to double their earnings by using KONI should be tantalizing to a considerable number of our competitors. Certainly, KONI's involvement in the series has been significant in allowing us to offer the largest purses we've ever had."

Prior to the 2007 season, the Grand-Am Cup Series purses were based on a percentage of fees from entries that started each race. As a result, this number fluctuated throughout the season depending on the number of cars that took the green flag in each individual race. At no time in series history, however, did the race purse total anywhere near $100,000, which is guaranteed for 2007.

The top-20 teams using KONI in each class will earn the KONI bonus regardless of their finishing position in the race. For example, if the GS race-winner did not use KONI shocks but the second-place finisher did, the GS winner would earn $5,000 and the second-place finisher would get $8,750 ($3,750 in GS purse earnings plus the $5,000 KONI bonus).

KONI was announced as the title sponsor of the KONI Challenge Series during the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas last month. At that time, it was also announced that KONI will offer a $10,000 prize at season's end to the top point earners in both the GS and ST classes using KONI shocks exclusively.

-credit: garra