Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca on 2006 calendar

Rolex Series Set for Return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2006 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 22, 2005) -- Two significant pieces of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Series ...

Rolex Series Set for Return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2006

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 22, 2005) -- Two significant pieces of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Series schedules were put in place today as Grand American Road Racing Association President Roger Edmondson joined Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca CEO Gill Campbell and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course President Michelle Trueman-Gajoch to confirm race dates at both historic North American circuits for next season.

"Any time you have a schedule announcement that includes two of the premier road courses in America, as this one does, it's a win-win proposition for all involved," Edmondson said. "We were particularly gratified to be able to come to an agreement with Michelle Trueman-Gajoch on a new date at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, a track where we have a fairly lengthy history. Likewise, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has been a mainstay of North American road racing for many, many years and host to high-level motorsports events. It's well-known and is one of those tracks that you have to have on the schedule along with Mid-Ohio if you want to be a first-class road racing organization."

Following a successful first-time event in 2005, the Rolex Series and Grand-Am Cup will return to the Monterey Peninsula and the picturesque Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on the weekend of May 5-7, 2006. In addition to confirming the 2006 date, Edmondson and Campbell also announced a new, three-year agreement that will see Rolex Series and Grand-Am Cup machines negotiating the Andretti hairpin, Wayne Rainey Curve and the famed "Corkscrew" turn through at least 2008.

"Moving forward over the next three years gives us an opportunity to build our event," Campbell said. "We believe that 2005 created an excellent foundation. More than 50 cars, more Prototypes than we've ever seen on this racetrack. It was a phenomenal event. The next three years gives us a chance to enhance everything that we were able to do in 2005. Certainly as a promoter, it gives us opportunities to be able to secure long-term sponsorships and also to let our fans know that they can count on this date now for years to come."

On the heels of its most successful Grand American weekend ever, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will see the Rolex Series and Grand-Am Cup return to an earlier summer date next year after August dates in 2004 and 2005. The Grand American weekend at Mid-Ohio will be June 23-25 next year, with the Rolex Series event slated for Saturday, June 24 and the Grand-Am Cup race on Sunday, June 25. Mid-Ohio previously hosted June Rolex Series races in 2000, 2001 and 2003, as well as June Grand-Am Cup dates in 2001 and 2003.

"The entire team at Mid-Ohio and TrueSports has been thrilled to be part of the whole evolution of Grand American," said Trueman-Gajoch. "As the event has been in August the last few years, we have not been 100 percent happy with its placement because of conflicts within the market, football season and so on here in this part of the country. The June date falls after school is out, and the real racing season in the Midwest will be just beginning, which I think is key. With the growth that we experienced this year at the event, both on the race track and off the race track, from a corporate standpoint, the field of cars, the absolutely competitive racing on Saturday evening, we're very enthusiastic about the date change from that perspective because I think we can only grow from there."

The confirmed dates for Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca join previously announced 2006 dates for the Rolex 24 At Daytona (January 26-29), the Rolex Series GT and Grand-Am Cup Series events at Lime Rock Park (May 27-29), Infineon Raceway (August 24-26) and the brand-new Miller Motorsports Park (August 31-September 2). More event announcements--as well as complete schedule announcements for both the Rolex Series and Grand-Am Cup--are planned in the near future.

The 14-race 2005 Rolex Series schedule and the 11-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
Drivers Wayne Rainey