Two Race Teams and 15 Drivers to Conclude Season in Native California FONTANA, Calif. (October 19, 2004)-Several Southern California racers will compete in the Grand American Rolex and Grand-Am Cup Series season finale right in their backyard.
Two Race Teams and 15 Drivers to Conclude Season in Native California
FONTANA, Calif. (October 19, 2004)-Several Southern California racers will compete in the Grand American Rolex and Grand-Am Cup Series season finale right in their backyard. Among the 15 drivers and two race teams that are native to California are the first and second in the GT class points-Bill Auberlen and Boris Said.
They will continue to battle for the championship title into the Lexus Grand American Champions Weekend at California Speedway, Oct. 29-31. Auberlen leads Said by seven points in the official standings and both agree that being in their home state will add excitement rather than pressure in deciding who claims the title.
Auberlen, the driver of the No. 21 Team PTG BMW M3, hails from Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., and now resides in Redondo Beach, Calif. The veteran BMW driver is excited about racing in Fontana and having his family and friends cheer him on.
"There's a lot of seats in Fontana that I get to try to fill up with my family and friends," he said. "I'm looking forward to it because I tell them about [my racing] all the time. They never get to see it. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Said, the driver of the No. 22 PTG BMW M3, lives in Carlsbad, Calif., and agrees with his teammate.
"Fontana is a great track," he said. "I raced the NEXTEL Cup race there a few weeks ago. At the end of the year, you get kind of burnt out from traveling on airplanes every week. It's nice to race an hour from your house, that's for sure."
They have been fighting for the title for the entire year-Auberlen has won eight races and Said has won five-the Championship is still open. Regardless of the driver, the team still has the chance to take home the top-two spots in the series.
"It's fun fighting with Bill," Said added. "It's fun racing with him too. If I couldn't win it, I'd rather have Bill win it."
In addition to the first and second place competitors in the GT class, California also claims the third, fifth and sixth place drivers. The group includes Justin Marks of Chico, Kevin Buckler of Sonoma and Joey Hand of Sacramento.
There is at least one Californian competing on the Grand American circuit in every class this year. In the Rolex Series, Brent Martini of Laguna Beach, Vic Rice of San Rafael and Cort Wagner of Los Angeles race in the Daytona Prototypes, while Gene Sigal of Los Angeles competes in the SGS class. In the Grand-Am Cup Series, Kelly Collins of Newport Beach, Mike Cronin Jr of La Verne, Anders Hainer of Hidden Hills, Stu Hayner of Yorba Linda and Craig Stanton of Long Beach compete in the GS class, while Bob Endicott of San Pedro races in the ST class.
As well, there are two teams based in California, The Racers Group from Sonoma and Unitech Racing from Willow Springs.
Join Auberlen, Said and the rest of the Grand American field as they zip through the 2.88-mile, 21-turn auto competition course and get closer to the championship title.
Tickets to the Lexus Grand American Champions Weekend are $10 on Friday, $20 on Saturday and $30 on Sunday. Three-day packages are available for $45. General Admission RV sites are also available for the weekend for $100 and wristbands are $45 per person. Children 12 and under are free. For ticket and event information, call 800-944-RACE  or log onto www.califoniaspeedway.com.