DAYTONA BEACH, FIa. (Oct. 7, 1997) -- The 1998 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, the world's most prestigious sports car race and one of the top motorsports events in the world, will be sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, Ltd. The announcement follows the reunification of North American professional road racing under the United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) banner. Daytona International Speedway was opened in 1959 and began professional endurance racing in 1962. Dan Gurney, driving a Lotus 19 Ford, was the first champion. The USRRC is the oldest name in North American professional road racing. It started in 1963 at Daytona, when many of racing's most famous drivers and exotic cars participated in the two-year-old endurance race at the famed Speedway. In 1963 at Daytona, Pedro Rodriguez of Mexico, driving a Ferrari GTO, was the first winner of a USRRC race. The USRRC conducted professional sports car races at Daytona until 1973. The first 24-hour sports car endurance race at Daytona was held in 1966. Since that time, with the exception of 1972 (6-hour race) and 1974 (no event held), the race has been a 24-hour competition. Former champions include Mario Andretti, Brian Redman, A.J. Foyt, Bobby Rahal, Al Unser Sr., Al Unser Jr. and Hurley Haywood, who has won the event an unprecedented five times. "We are thrilled to have the USRRC back in racing and back at Daytona," said John Graham, president of Daytona International Speedway. "The Rolex 24 At Daytona has become both nationally and internationally renowned. We feel this new association will only further enhance The Rolex 24." Although the sanction has changed for the 1998 Rolex 24 At Daytona, few other changes are expected. "The 1998 Rolex 24 At Daytona will have the same outstanding competition that fans have come to expect at Daytona," said Dan Greenwood, president and CEO of SCCA Pro Racing, Ltd. "We will again see a very competitive and exciting race with another robust field of cars. Competition has always been fierce at Daytona and that will continue in 1998 and beyond." Daytona International Speedway is home to the world's most prestigious sports car (Rolex 24 At Daytona), stock car (Daytona 500) and motorcycle (Daytona 200) races. It annually hosts 10 major weekends of racing, which include hundreds of individual races. In addition to the 1998 Rolex 24 At Daytona, next year SCCA Pro Racing -- under the USRRC banner -- will also sanction the NTB Trans-Am series (North America's longest-running road racing series), the newly-formed Can-Am, a GT Championship and other series. SCCA Pro Racing also sanctions the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, the Barber Dodge Pro Series and the U.S. FF2000 National Championship, among others. Tickets to the 1998 Rolex 24 At Daytona are now on sale through the Speedway ticket office by calling (904) 253-7223. If purchased in advance, substantial savings are available. Advance Super 4-day tickets are $70 and allow admission to the grandstand, infield, paddock and garage (not available on race days). They must be purchased by Jan. 30, 1998 at 5:00 p.m. Advance 2-day infield/ grandstand tickets are $35 ($40 on day of race), and advance 2-day unreserved grandstand-only tickets are $15 ($25 on day of race) -- both must be purchased by Jan. 29, 1998 at 5:00 p.m. In addition, reserved RV parking spaces along the infield road course are available. Each is in a park-like setting and allows excellent viewing of the road course and high banks.

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