Rolex Sports Car Series Returns to The Glen DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 30, 2001) - The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series will return to Watkins Glen International for the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 on August 9-10. This will be the second race...
Rolex Sports Car Series Returns to The Glen
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 30, 2001) - The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series will return to Watkins Glen International for the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 on August 9-10. This will be the second race of the season at The Glen for the series, following the Six Hours of the Glen in May. The Rolex Series is sharing the weekend with NASCAR's Winston Cup Series, marking the first time Rolex sports cars and Winston Cup stock cars have shared a track in more than a year.
There will be several changes facing drivers and teams from the previous race. Unlike the Six Hours of The Glen, where the winning Ferrari raced nearly 600 miles, the August race will be only 250 miles. The shortened distance will force teams to change their strategy and setup for the race.
The Team X-1R Corvette was forced to change its transmission in the pits at the Six Hours of The Glen. Although the team performed the feat in a remarkable 11 minutes, allowing the Corvette to battle back for the American GT class victory, a repair of that sort during the shorter Bully Hill Vineyards 250 could prove more costly.
Another notable change between the two races will be the racetrack itself. The Six Hours of The Glen was run on the longer 3.337-mile course, which includes "The Boot." However, for the first time ever the Rolex Series will race on the shorter 2.45-mile road course during the Bully Hill Vineyards 250. The short course will allow the SportsRacing Prototypes to reach near record speeds, far faster than the Winston Cup stock cars also competing during the weekend.
The SportsRacing Prototypes are the premier classes in the Rolex Series and showcase 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 of prototypes, with the SportsRacing Prototype II 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.
In addition to the two classes of prototypes, three classes of GT cars will compete in the Bully Hill Vineyards 250. The Grand Touring Super (GTS) class contains the fastest GT competitors. Turbocharged Porsches, V8-powered Corvettes and V10 Vipers compete in the GTS class against other exotic sports cars like the new Saleen S7R.
The Grand Touring (GT) class is comprised of racing versions of production sports cars including the Porsche 911, BMW M3, Mosler MT900 and Mazda RX7. Turbocharging is not allowed in these cars. The American GT (AGT) class includes tube-framed race cars with American engines - Corvettes, Camaros, Firebirds, Mustangs and Oldsmobiles being among the most popular.
Teams Looking to Sweep The Glen
After earning victories at The Glen in May, several teams will be returning to the road course looking to score a clean sweep of The Glen's Rolex Series races. Among them will be Doran Lista Racing, whose Judd-powered Ferrari outlasted an ailing Dyson Racing Team car to capture its first victory of the season. However with the shorten race format, the Ferrari will need more than endurance to pick up another Glen victory.
Fordahl Motorsports will also be aiming for a repeat victory in their Saleen S7R. In its debut season, the Saleen has proven to be a dominant force in the GTS class, and a sweep of The Glen would look impressive on its rookie-year resume. G&W Motorsports scored its first and only GT class victory of the season at the Six Hours of The Glen with their #81 Porsche GT3 R. As the team battles to defend their inaugural season GT championship, they hope The Glen will prove lucky for them yet again. Team X-1R was able to fight back from a broken transmission at the Six Hour, but they know they will have to be nearly perfect in order to repeat in the AGT class.
Points Race Heats Up at The Glen
With only one race remaining after the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 in the 2001 Rolex Series season, teams will not only be fighting for a spot on the podium, but also jockeying for points as their quest for team, driver and manufacturer championships heightens. Dyson Racing Team and James Weaver, of England, are hoping to repeat their inaugural season team and driver championships in the SRP class, but it will not be easy. They are faced with tough competition from Doran Lista Racing's Didier Theys, of Phoenix, and Intersport Racing's Jon Field, of Dublin, Ohio.
The SRPII class has plenty of excitement in the driver championship race, as Archangel Motorsport Services' Andy Lally, of Northpoint, N.Y., tries to hold off a serious threat from Bruno St. Jacques, of Montreal. The battle for the AGT driver championship is even closer between Team X-1R co-drivers Doug Goad, of Farmington, Mich., and Craig Conway, of Daytona Beach, Fla. Team strategy will be key during the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 for their team.
Porsches are aiming for championships in both the GT and GTS classes, but Fordahl Motorsports' Saleen S7R is hoping for an upset GTS championship in its rookie season. JET Motorsports' BMW M3 is also giving G&W Motorsports' Porsche GT3 R a run for the championship in the GT class.
More information on the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 and the Rolex Sports Car Series is available online at www.grand-am.com. Tickets can be purchased online at www.theglen.com.