Grand American Road Racing Association to Sanction 2005 Cooper Tires Championship Series
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 16, 2005) -- Officials from the Grand American Road Racing Association today announced that the sanctioning body has agreed to sanction the 2005 Cooper Tires Championship Series for Formula Ford Zetec race cars.
The Cooper Series was previously sanctioned by Grand American in 2000 and 2001. In addition to the new sanctioning agreement, the Cooper Series plans to field its own Ford-powered Multimatic Daytona Prototype for series alumni--including the 2005 series champion--in the 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona. The series also expects to field the car in four 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series races, preferably with Zetec Formula Ford drivers.
"We're ecstatic to be able to come back to the Grand American family," said Cooper Tires Championship Series President Jon Baytos. "We had 15 alumni in this year's Rolex 24 At Daytona, including Buddy Rice and Dan Wheldon, and we're going to encourage our drivers to go the Daytona Prototype route. A lot of single-seat drivers don't think about sports car racing, but there are so few opportunities to move up single-seater racing. It's a good deal for us and we're really looking forward to it."
Though best known as a sports car sanctioning body, Grand American has sanctioned developmental open-wheel races virtually throughout its existence. The Cooper Series will run 12 to 14 events in 2005, using a "doubleheader" format with two events on each race weekend.
"We are delighted to welcome the Cooper Series back to Grand American sanction," said Grand American President Roger Edmondson. "The Cooper Series has established itself as a well-run and hotly-contested championship over the years, and we are particularly excited that the series has also committed to field a Daytona Prototype. Over the years, we have seen a number of talented drivers move out of open-wheel development series into the Rolex Series and Grand-Am Cup and those drivers have had considerable success. Perhaps this new relationship with the Cooper Series will entice even more of these aspiring young racers to consider the Rolex Sports Car Series as a viable career option."
The Grand American Road Racing Association, which operates and sanctions the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am Cup Series, is the premier road racing organization in North America. The 14-race 2005 Rolex Series schedule and the 11-race Grand-Am Cup calendar deliver professional sports car racing to 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.