SCCA Trans-Am Series Returns In 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 11, 2009) -- After a two-year hiatus since its last Champion was crowned, SCCA's Trans-Am Series will return in 2009, with a planned eight-race schedule for the series which held its first race in 1966.
Five of the eight races were announced today at the Performance Racing Industry show, in Orlando, Fla., as well as the series' title sponsor for 2009--Muscle Milk.
A joint venture between Sports Car Club of America, Inc. and subsidiary SCCA Pro Racing, the 2009 Muscle Milk SCCA Trans-Am Series will consist of six events in conjunction with some of the biggest SCCA Club Racing events across the country, creating powerhouse SCCA weekends, and two key professional events. Technical rules will be based on the SCCA Club Racing GT-1 class.
"There is a dedicated group of Trans-Am loyalists who have been working to make this happen since our last licensing agreement to operate the series expired in 2005," SCCA President & CEO Jim Julow said. "The re-birth of Trans-Am begins in 2009 with a grassroots-based series that has the potential to grow in the coming years into a full professional racing series.
"On behalf of SCCA and SCCA Pro Racing, I would like to thank Jim Derhaag for his tireless efforts to help put some of the critical pieces together and Muscle Milk for coming on board as title sponsor to make the series a reality."
The series will begin its 42nd Championship season March 21-22 at Road Atlanta as part of the Atlanta Region SCCA's season-opening National race. The series has previously visited Road Atlanta 12 times from 1973 through 2002, with race winners including former series Champions Peter Gregg, Pete Halsmer, Dorsey Schroeder, Tommy Kendall, Scott Pruett and Boris Said.
One month later, April 17-19, the series heads from the rolling hills of Georgia North to the rolling hills of Virginia, as part of North Carolina Region's Oak Tree Double National weekend at VIRginia International Raceway. It is only the third time the historic series has visited the historic racetrack, joining 1966 and 2002.
The series treks north of the border May 15-17 to return to Mosport International Raceway for the 25th time as part of the Victoria Day Weekend with the SPEED World Challenge Championships--reuniting SCCA Pro Racing's top series from the last 20 years. Pruett won the last series appearance at Mosport in 2003.
The series' lone visit to the left coast is a big one, joining the Rose Cup Festival June 12-14 at Portland International Raceway. The huge, traditional event played host to many Trans-Am Classic races, the last being in 1995, won by Ron Fellows. From 1975-2005, the race circuit held 21 Trans-Am Series races.
One month later, it's back east to the Finger Lakes Region's National at historic Watkins Glen Raceway, July 11-12. From 1968-1998, The Glen held 25 Trans-Am Series races ranging from feature events to participants in the 6 Hours of the Glen to the opening act before the NASCAR Cup race.
Three additional races will be announced shortly.
"We're excited about the return of Trans-Am and are pleased to be able to give something back to the series that has provided so much excitement for race fans throughout the years," said 1978 series Champion Greg Pickett, founder of CytoSport Inc., the makers of Muscle Milk.
All events are expected to be approximately 90 miles in length with no pit stops. Races in conjunction with Club Racing events will have qualifying and race sessions separate from the regular GT-1 competition grouping, so drivers have the potential to run both the GT-1 Club Racing event and the Trans-Am Series event on the same weekend.
The Muscle Milk SCCA Trans-Am Series dates back to its first season in 1966. From 1966-1970, the series held a Championship to crown a Manufacturers' Champion. In 1971, a Drivers' Championship was formally adopted, with both Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championships being awarded through the 2005 season. The series was split into two classes from 1976-1979, crowning Champions in each division. In 2006, two additional races were held, although no Manufacturers' Champion was recognized.
Throughout the years, some of the greatest names in motorsports have participated in the Trans-Am Series. Backdating the Drivers' Championship to the inaugural season, 30 different drivers took titles, with multiple Championships being won by Paul Gentilozzi, Tommy Kendall, Mark Donohue, Scott Pruett, Wally Dallenbach Jr., George Follmer, Peter Gregg, Horst Kwech, Scott Sharp and Bob Tullius. Gentilozzi leads all drivers, with 31 career wins.
SCCA both owned and operated the Trans-Am Series, either internally or through its SCCA Pro Racing subsidiary, from 1966 through 2000. In 2001, SCCA began a series of outside licensing agreements for the series from 2001-2006. In its 41 seasons, the series held 446 separate races.
Regulations and Administration
Announcements regarding regulations and series administration will be made shortly, although technical regulations will be based on current GT-1 rules from the Club Racing General Competition Rules (GCR) with additional potential safety requirements.
Club Racing events will be operated primarily by the individual SCCA Regions, with alterations to the protest and appeals process to be similar to that of Pro Racing events, managed by the SCCA National Staff. A dedicated technical inspector will be at each Trans-Am Series event, regardless of Club or Pro Racing sanction.
A series Web site is being established at www.sccatrans-am.com. Future announcements will be placed there and at www.scca.com.