2006 schedule released

2006 Rolex Series Schedule Features Three New Venues Infineon Raceway, Long Beach & Labor Day Weekend Finale in Salt Lake City Added ALTON, Va. (October 9, 2005) -- Officials from the Grand American Road Racing Association announced Sunday...

2006 Rolex Series Schedule Features Three New Venues

Infineon Raceway, Long Beach & Labor Day Weekend Finale in Salt Lake City Added

ALTON, Va. (October 9, 2005) -- Officials from the Grand American Road Racing Association announced Sunday a 14-race Rolex Sports Car Series schedule following today's VIR 400 at Virginia International Raceway. Schedule highlights include three new venues, new dates for two established events, a return to a familiar venue and a season in total that will start earlier -- late January with the Rolex 24 At Daytona -- and end sooner -- Labor Day Weekend with the SunChaser 9-Hour at the debuting Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City -- than any other season since Grand American's inaugural year of competition in 2000.

In addition to the nine-hour race in Salt Lake on Saturday, Sept. 2, other new venues include Infineon Raceway one week earlier (August 24 -- 26) and a Saturday race at the nation's premier street road racing event, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 8.

New dates have been established for existing races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (June 23 -- 24) and the VIR 400 here at Virginia International Raceway that will be moved to the spring (April 21 -- 23) after recent races in the fall.

The Rolex Series also returns to Lime Rock Park where the GT class will headline the traditional sport car event at that venue on Memorial Day Weekend, with the race slated for the Monday holiday.

The 2006 season begins one week earlier than this year's calendar with the kick-off Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 26 -- 29. The schedule move takes the premier endurance race off of Super Bowl weekend and will now be run on the open weekend between the NFL finale and that league's championship weekend.

Daytona will once again host two races with a return visit with NASCAR on Thursday of July 4th weekend (June 29), while Watkins Glen also doubles up with Rolex Series races with the Sahlen's Six Hour (June 2 -- 3) and the traditional Friday night race with NASCAR (Aug. 10 -- 11).

In addition to the pair of races with NASCAR and the shared card with the Champ Car World Series at Long Beach, the Rolex Series will join the IRL IndyCar Series for three races. Both the Infineon Raceway event and June Watkins Glen race are on shared weekends with IndyCar as is the traditional race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (March 23 -- 25).

Other races on the 2006 card include Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (May 5 -7), Phoenix International Raceway (May 12 -- 13) and Barber Motorsports Park (July 28 -- 30).

Mexico City is on the schedule for a Saturday race on the NASCAR weekend, March 2 -- 4, although the final date for that event will be determined in the near future. The 2005 season will conclude this November on a race weekend shared with the Champ Car World Series and the possibility exists for a return of that combination in 2006.

The Grand American Road Racing Association, which operates and sanctions the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am Cup Series, is the premier road racing organization in North America. The 14-race 2006 Rolex Series schedule and the 10-race Grand-Am Cup calendar deliver professional sports car racing to 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.

-garra-

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Series Grand-Am