A NEW LOOK FOR THE 2000 TRANS-AM® SERIES -- SPEC REAR WING, MULTI-VALVE ENGINES AND FUEL INJECTION HIGHLIGHT RULE CHANGES; NEW MANUFACTURER ELIGIBILITY ON TAP TOO
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series will enter its 35th year of racing action in 2000 with a new look as cars competing in the series replace the standard rear spoiler with a high-flying spec rear wing. Along with the new look, significant technical changes are also in store for North America's longest-running road racing series, including the return of multi-valve cylinder heads and fuel injection, as well as new eligibility for a wide range of auto manufacturers and models. "We're looking to build the future success of the Trans-Am Series, both for 2000 and beyond, said Scott Rittinger, Trans-Am Series General Manager. "The rule changes are designed to keep the series interesting and exciting for fans, cost-effective for competitors, and relevant for manufacturers and sponsors as a useful marketing tool." The admission of multi-valve cylinder heads and fuel injection in 2000 will mark the first time since 1990 that these technologies have been permitted in the Trans-Am Series. The multi-valve configuration (four valves per cylinder only) will be permitted on 275 c.i. V-8 engines, and fuel injection is allowed only on 311 c.i. V-8 and 275 c.i. V-8 engines (required on the latter). "We're bringing in multi-valves and fuel injection to provide additional opportunities for manufacturers and teams -- and to add interest for fans of motorsports technology," said Kevin Bayless, BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series Competition Director. "This technology is standard on most of today's production cars, and by embracing this technology now, we can form a basis for long-term rules stability for our competitors. It's not our goal to make the current equipment obsolete, however, and we'll make sure that the Trans-Am Series remains cost-effective, and that the playing field remains level for all competitors." In order to contain development costs and prevent unfair advantages, competitors using fuel injection must also run a SCCA Pro Racing-specified engine management system produced by EFI Technology. The series-standard 311 c.i., two-valve, push-rod and carbureted V-8 power plant will remain eligible for Trans-Am Series competition, along with 335 c.i. and 358 c.i. two-valve V-8 engines. Eligibility for the 275 c.i. V-6 engines has been discontinued, and all competitors must use a V-8 engine in 2000. The spec rear wing is being introduced as a means of equalizing the downforce potential of a wide variety of vehicles, while maintaining a more production-based appearance. "The use of a rear spoiler makes it necessary to distort the decklid of most cars to create maximum downforce," added Bayless. "By allowing a spec rear wing, the rear of the car may retain much more of the production car styling and still produce competitive downforce. Our intention is to allow additional manufacturers an opportunity to compete successfully in the Trans-Am Series using a variety of body styles." Competitors are not required to run the wing, which has a maximum width of 72 inches, and may choose to continue use of the current 65-inch maximum width rear decklid spoiler. For 2000, the Trans-Am Series offers a wider range of manufacturer and model eligibility for performance-oriented coupes and sport sedans. Manufacturers and models eligible for 2000 include Audi (A6), BMW (M3 and M5), Cadillac (Catera), Chevrolet (Camaro, Corvette and Monte Carlo), Chrysler (Sebring), De Tomaso (Mangusta), Dodge (Avenger), Ford (Mustang), Jaguar (XK-8), Lexus (SC400), Mercedes Benz (CLK 430/55 AMG, CL500), Mercury (Cougar), Oldsmobile (Aurora and Intrigue), Pontiac (Firebird/Trans Am and Grand Prix) and Toyota (Solara). Other models from 1997 to 1999 remain eligible, including the Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette and Monte Carlo; the Dodge Avenger; the Ford Mustang; the Oldsmobile Intrigue and Cutlass Supreme; and the Pontiac Firebird/Trans Am and Grand Prix. The 2000 SCCA Pro Racing Regulations, with detailed rules on all SCCA Pro Racing series including the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series, will be available mid-November 1999.