2005 schedule announced

14-Race 2005 Schedule Will See Rolex Sports Car Series Visit Tracks in California and Mexico for First Time FONTANA, Calif. (October 30, 2004) -- As the hotly-contested Rolex Sports Car Series wraps up its 2004 season in the Lexus Grand American...

14-Race 2005 Schedule Will See Rolex Sports Car Series Visit Tracks in California and Mexico for First Time

FONTANA, Calif. (October 30, 2004) -- As the hotly-contested Rolex Sports Car Series wraps up its 2004 season in the Lexus Grand American Champions Weekend at California Speedway, Grand American Road Racing Association officials today announced a 14-race Rolex Series schedule for 2005.

The 2005 calendar--which opens with the 43rd Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona on the weekend of February 3-6--will also feature a pair of venues new to the Rolex Sports Car Series. On the weekend of April 29-May 1, the series will make its first-ever visit to the picturesque Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. The 2005 season will conclude on the weekend of December 2-4 with the series' first trip south of the border to Mexico City's famed Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

In between the prestigious Rolex 24--which traditionally kicks off the international racing schedule each year--and the season finale in Mexico, the Rolex Series will once again traverse the United States and into Canada in another thrilling season of sports car competition.

"We are confident that our 2005 Rolex Series schedule will bring terrific racing to fans throughout North America," said Grand American President Roger Edmondson. "This schedule will also deliver many key markets to our sponsors, and puts our Daytona Prototypes and GT cars on tracks with a history of great racing. While Grand American has seen significant growth the last five years, we're expecting 2005 to be our best season yet."

On March 3-5, the Rolex Series will pay its lone 2005 visit to Homestead-Miami Speedway, the site of two pulse-pounding events in 2004. The series then makes its way west to California Speedway for Round 3 on the weekend of April 1-3 before moving a few hundred miles to the north for Round 4 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on April 29-May 1.

After two weekends off, the Rolex Series heads north of the border to Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec for a six-hour race that will be contested on Saturday, May 21. Round 6 falls on the weekend of June 9-11, when the teams and drivers will make their first of three visits to upstate New York and Watkins Glen International for the annual six-hour race to be held on Saturday, June 11. The Rolex Series will then run the first of two races alongside the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona International Speedway on June 29-30. Closing out the first half of the season will be a trip to the state-of-the-art Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala. on the weekend of July 29-31.

The second half of the season kicks off with the second Watkins Glen event--and the second event to be run in conjunction with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup--on the weekend of August 11-12. Round 10 will see the Rolex Series visit the Midwest and the historic Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, August 27, before heading back out west to Phoenix International Raceway on the weekend of September 8-10.

On the same weekend that the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series makes its first-ever appearance at Watkins Glen International, the Rolex Series will be back for its third and final visit of 2005 on September 22-24. Virginia International Raceway will host the penultimate round of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series on the weekend of October 7-9 before the sixth season of Rolex Series competition draws to a close in Mexico City. While the Mexico City event is a fixture on the schedule, alternative dates are in current discussions.

Aside from the Rolex 24 At Daytona and six-hour races at Mont-Tremblant and Watkins Glen, most 2005 races are scheduled to be "sprint events" (250 miles or 400 kilometers) with the August event at Watkins Glen scheduled to be a 200-miler and the length of the race in Mexico City will be between 400 and 1000 kilometers. At Phoenix International Raceway, the Daytona Prototype and GT categories will be split with each class running its own, 250-mile race.

While the Rolex 24 At Daytona kicks off the race schedule on February 3-6, the teams and drivers will actually reconvene at Daytona International Speedway nearly one month earlier for the annual "Daytona Test Days" on January 7-9.

Specific information regarding television coverage of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series will be announced at a later date, although all 2005 events will once again air in the United States and Canada on SPEED Channel.

The Grand American Road Racing Association, which sanctions the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am Cup Series, is one of the fastest growing motorsports organizations in the United States. The 12-race 2004 Rolex Series schedule and the 10-race Grand-Am Cup calendar deliver professional sports car racing to many key markets throughout North America in addition to being televised in the United States and Canada on SPEED Channel and distributed globally through ESPN International. With title sponsorship support from Rolex Watch USA, the Rolex Sports Car Series showcases emerging and legendary drivers from around the globe and thoroughbred racing machines from the industry's leading constructors and the world's top automobile manufacturers. Learn more about Grand American at www.grandamerican.com.

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Series Grand-Am