ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (September 3, 1997) -- Les Richter, executive vice president of the California Speedway, has been named as chairman of the new Trans-Am Council, announced SCCA president and CEO Nicholas W. Craw.

As Chairman, Richter will oversee all aspects of the Trans-Am Championship. The Trans-Am Council is being created to serve as the series' governing board and to control all policies and administration of the series.

The Trans-Am Council will have representation from entrants, participating manufacturers, race promoters, series sponsors and media partners, in addition to representatives of the SCCA's Board of Directors and SCCA Pro Racing's Board of Directors.

"Les Richter is one of the most respected people in motorsports," says Craw, "and I'm delighted that he's coming on board to provide the Trans-Am with his experience and judgment. With such an impressive background that includes NASCAR and Penske -- two of the most revered names in the sport -- Les' expertise will be a tremendous asset in crafting the new Trans-Am."

"I'm certainly looking forward to this opportunity," said Richter. "The entrants are deeply committed to the Trans-Am and I look forward to the challenge at hand -- to establish the Trans-Am as the nation's premier road racing series."

California Speedway president Greg Penske says, "The Trans-Am Championship's history involves Roger Penske and his driver Mark Donohue, and that heritage remains very important to this day -- not just to the series but to Penske Racing as well."

"The sport benefits from having a strong Trans-Am series, and the series will clearly benefit from Les Richter's expertise and abilities. We are delighted to play a continued role in forming the future of the Trans-Am," added Penske.

Known as =8CThe Coach,' Richter will assume his Trans-Am Council Chairman duties immediately, while continuing on at the California Speedway. Richter will split time between SCCA's Englewood headquarters and Fontana, California.