TA: Heartland Park Topeka to host 2006 races

TRANS-AM ® SERIES TO RUN AT HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 1, 2006) - The longest continuously-running road race series in the United States will continue to boast that designation. Plans are already ongoing in order for...

TRANS-AM ® SERIES TO RUN AT HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA

TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 1, 2006) - The longest continuously-running road race series in the United States will continue to boast that designation.

Plans are already ongoing in order for Heartland Park Topeka to host two Trans-Am ® series events in 2006, the 40th Anniversary of the Trans-Am series. The first event, billed as "Trans-Am Thunder in the Heartland", will be run Labor Day, Sept. 4 following the final SCCA National Event weekend of the year and will also include the Spec Racer Ford and Spec Miata SCCA classes. The second and final event of the series is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 8 and will be a Trans-Am only race leading into the 2006 SCCA National Championship Runoffs ® week.

"Trans-Am has been the longest running road racing series in the United States and to see that legacy lost would be a great shame. By reaching out to grassroots racers, GT-1 racers and the professional drivers with those cars still in their garages, we believe that the Trans-Am legacy can be continued for the 2006 season," Heartland Park Topeka owner Raymond Irwin said.

"The Trans Am Series has been through many transitions but each time the competitors, fans, and sponsors have shown their enjoyment and support for the series by carrying the brand forward again. Heartland Park Topeka is proud to add to that support by hosting two 2006 Trans Am series races."

Most recently operated in conjunction with the Champ Car World Series, Trans-Am ceased operations following the 2005 campaign. The 2006 Trans-Am Series will be the first appearance at Heartland Park Topeka for Trans-Am since the inaugural season of the facility in 1989. That first SCCA Trans-Am event at Heartland Park was claimed by former two-time IMSA champion and Kansas native Max Jones.

"With the current resurgence of the Ford Mustang and expectations of the new Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Charger rejoining this popular segment of the United States marketplace, the Trans-Am series is just a step away from being back on the track," Irwin said. "SCCA and Heartland Park Topeka are working together to carry the series forward through 2006 in order to keep the series name and recognition alive"

Created in 1966 by the SCCA as the Trans-American Sedan Championship, the Trans-Am series originated with cars in SCCA's "A" Production class, but eventually included purpose-built tube-frame race cars competing on road courses. Trans-Am was known through the late 1960s and early 1970s as a series for muscle cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, Plymouth Barracuda and Dodge Challenger. Another domestic muscle car, the Pontiac Trans Am, was named after the series.

"Obviously, the Trans-Am series is currently in a state of flux," SCCA President and CEO Jim Julow said. "Trans-Am is a very important name not only in SCCA history, but motorsports history as well. We are excited that Raymond Irwin has stepped in so that we may continue the tradition of the longest continuously-running road racing series in North America in 2006."

The 2006 race series marks the 41st consecutive season of competition for the venerable road racing series. Events will be promoted by Heartland Park Topeka and sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing. Additional information, including purse payout, vehicle and driver eligibility and event partners will be announced shortly.

-www.hpt.com.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Max Jones