CLEARWATER, Fla. (December 4, 2001) --The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, this continent's longest running road racing series, has announced a 12-event schedule, literally taking it coast to coast in 2002.
The Trans-Am Series, operated by the Panoz\Sanchez Group and sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, has selected venues from New England to southern California, including three new street races in Miami, Washington D.C. and Denver.
"We couldn't be more thrilled about our upcoming season," said PSG President Dennis Huth. "Our schedule is an exciting blend of natural road courses, established world class street races like the prestigious Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and new events in critical major markets. And to be able to host races in all four U.S. time zones plus two events in populous eastern Canada makes 2002 very convenient to our fans and sponsors."
The 2002 season kicks off in style on the streets of Miami at the Grand Prix of the Americas, in Miami, Fla. The Trans-Am Series will be showcased on Saturday, April 6, while the American Le Mans Series takes center stage Sunday, April 7. The Grand Prix of the Americas is the first of five American Le Mans/Trans-Am doubleheaders and the first of six races on temporary street courses.
Trans-Am teams will embark on a 2,700-mile transcontinental dash from Miami to Long Beach, Calif., as the Trans-Am Series makes its 11th appearance at the prestigious Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 14. It is the first of four joint appearances with the CART FedEx Championship Series.
The month of May will mark the continuation of one tradition and the rekindling of another. On May 19, The Trans-Am Series travels north of the border to Canada's Ontario province and the beautiful Mosport International Raceway. The Trans-Am Series makes its 23rd appearance at Mosport, as the tradition of Trans-Am on Canada's Victoria Day weekend continues. Then it's on to New England, where after a two-year hiatus, the Trans-Am Series returns as the feature event on Lime Rock Park's traditional Memorial Day weekend, with the race slated for Monday, May 27.
Two stops in Ohio -- a June 29th visit to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (with ALMS) and a July 13th stop at the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland (with CART) -- will mark the beginning of the critical mid-season stretch.
The Trans-Am Series showcases American iron -- like Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Corvettes and Dodge Vipers -- versus the world -- marques like defending Manufacturers' Champion Jaguar. There's no better place to showcase America' versus the World than Washington D.C., where the Trans-Am Series joins the American Le Mans Series for the inaugural National Grand Prix of Washington D.C., on July 20.
August begins with the Trans-Am Series back at the Grand Prix de Trois-Riiveres after a two-year absence, followed by a stop at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., which is hosting the Trans-Am Series for the 33rd straight season (dating back to 1970), a Trans-Am record.
The Trans-Am Series and the FedEx Championship Series again team up at the Grand Prix of Denver. The Sept. 1 event is the Trans-Am's final appearance of the season on a street course and with CART. The Trans-Am Series made two appearances to the Mile High City in the first rendition of the Grand Prix of Denver in the early 1990s.
The season comes to a close in October with a double dose of southern hospitality. On Oct. 11, the series returns to the red clay hills of Georgia for the first time since 1999, as Road Atlanta hosts a Trans-Am race on one of the most prestigious sports car racing weekends -- the Petit Le Mans for the ALMS.
Virginia International Raceway, which hosted the Trans-Am Series in the series' first-ever season, but not since, will host the 2002 season finale on Oct. 27.
All 2002 Trans-Am events will be televised nationally on either CBS or Speed Channel (formerly SpeedVision). The TV schedule will be announced in the next two weeks.
Paul Gentilozzi (Jaguar XKR) is the series' defending champion, having defeated Johnny MIller (Jaguar XKR), Brian Simo (Qvale Mangusta), Tommy Archer (Dodge Viper) and Rookie of The Year Justin Bell (Chevrolet Corvette) for the prestigious BFGoodrich Cup.