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Chip Herr to run Touring Car in 2004

Herr to run SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car in 2004. TOPEKA, Kan. (Jan. 20, 2004) -- Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., is gearing up to compete in the 2004 SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championships. Herr made the decision to jump to...

Herr to run SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car in 2004.

TOPEKA, Kan. (Jan. 20, 2004) -- Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., is gearing up to compete in the 2004 SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championships.

Herr made the decision to jump to North America's premier road racing series after completing a successful 2003 campaign in the SCCA North American Championships Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires series.

"World Challenge is now my focus," the 21 year-old rookie driver said. "It's my dream. It is something I've always wanted to do. I never thought it would be possible, but now it looks like it is.

"We're looking forward to stepping up a level and doing something new. It's a great series to be a part of. If everything goes right, we'll be running a full season. That would be ideal."

Last season, Herr scored five wins (BeaveRun Motorsports Complex, Lime Rock Park, VIRginia International Raceway, Road America and Gratten Raceway) and had nine podium finishes in 11 races en route to winning the inaugural Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Atlantic Tour Championship. Driving in the Spec Miata classes, Herr also won the SCCA American Road Race of Championships (ARRC) Championship and the SCCA Mid-Atlantic Road Racing Series Championship (MARRS).

"Those are the only championships I've ever won," Herr said of his accomplishments. "2003 was my year to go out and do it all and every thing worked out as planned."

Despite last year's success, Herr understands that the transition to SPEED Touring Car won't be an easy one and has set his goals accordingly.

"I know how tough the competition is and how good the drivers are. It's going to be a whole new experience. It's a lot more preparation, adjustments and getting to know your car. I think it's possible [for me] to be in the top-20, but I'm hoping for at least the top-15. I would love to have a podium [finish] in World Challenge one day. But, my ultimate goal is to win Rookie of the Year."

Herr will pilot a car familiar to SPEED Touring Car and ARC Racing fans.

"We have Chuck Hemmingson's car. I was supposed to drive with ARC Racing...[but] when they decided to sell out, I ended up buying one of the cars.

"This car has so many more adjustments. It's amazing the amount of things you can change. It's all new to me. The good news is, I have a lot of people who are willing to give me a hand. We're just trying to get as much information as we can. This first year we're going to have a big learning curve. But, we're just looking to have fun and learn."

In addition to running in SPEED Touring Car, Herr has also decided to return for his sophomore season of Mazdaspeed Miata Cup competition. This decision was made due to the fact that Miata Cup will run with SPEED World Challenge at several events this season.

"For me, I know Miata very well and I can dial-in a car. That's why I'm going to build a pro Miata ...and since they are going to be running together, I figured why not have a Miata in the trailer."

The SPEED World Challenge Touring Car season will make its first standing start of 2004 at Sebring International Raceway for the fourth-consecutive year as part of the 52nd Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring week March 17-20. In 2004, the series will visit Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Infineon Raceway, Portland International Raceway, Mosport International Raceway, Road America, Road Atlanta Motorsports Center and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

For more information about SCCA SPEED World Challenge, visit www.world-challenge.com. For more information about the Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires, visit www.sccapro.com/miata.

-scca pro racing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Chuck Hemmingson , Chip Herr