Food Poisoning Sidelines Jorge Diaz, Jr.

MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 10, 2004) -- 2003 Motorock Trans-Am Series Rookie of the Year Jorge Diaz, Jr. withdrew from this weekend's Trans-Am 100 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca due to food poisoning. Diaz is currently fourth in points.

"It appears something Jorge ate on the airplane on the way here has made him very ill," said team owner Jorge Diaz, Sr. "He was up all night last night with nausea and a host of other symptoms. We spoke this morning and although he was excited about racing here, he didn't think he could be competitive in the race. We therefore decided to withdraw to allow Jorge to recuperate.

"We will return full time to the Trans-Am Series in 2005," added Diaz, Sr. "Our support is 100% behind the Trans-Am Series and the Champ Car World Series."

The Trans-Am 100 is scheduled for Friday and Saturday Sept. 10-11 at the 2.238-mile permanent road course at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The 45-lap Trans-Am race is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday. The Trans-Am Series is part of a full weekend of racing, which also includes the featured Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, as well as the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama, and Formula BMW USA.

The race will be broadcast LIVE on HDNet, with tape-delayed highlights coverage on Spike TV's popular "Dangerous Curves" timeslot, Sunday, Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. (EDT, PDT).

The Motorock Trans-Am Series features closed-fendered, production-based, V-8-powered sports cars, competing on permanent road courses, and temporary street and airport circuits throughout North America. The Trans-Am Series is America's oldest continuously running road racing series and celebrates its 39th year of competition in 2004.