12-Race Grand-Am Cup Schedule Biggest Ever 2007 Card Features Longer Races, Familiar Venues and Iowa Debut DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 7, 2006) -- On the heels of a 2006 season that saw the Grand-Am Cup Series attract an average of nearly 75 ...
12-Race Grand-Am Cup Schedule Biggest Ever
2007 Card Features Longer Races, Familiar Venues and Iowa Debut
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 7, 2006) -- On the heels of a 2006 season that saw the Grand-Am Cup Series attract an average of nearly 75 race cars per event, Grand-Am Cup Series officials today announced an expanded 12-race 2007 schedule that will allow those teams significantly more time to race, as well as a return to some popular venues.
Every 2007 Grand-Am Cup Series event has a minimum scheduled distance of 400 kilometers, which is also the standard "sprint race" distance on next year's calendar for the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve, which was announced earlier this week. The Grand-Am Cup season will open and close with timed events, including a new-for-2007 three-hour event at Daytona International Speedway, as well as Twin Six-Hour season finales--one each for the Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) classes--at Virginia International Raceway, which is hosting similar events for the first time this weekend. The 2007 lineup of 12 races is the biggest in Grand-Am Cup history, surpassing the 11 race calendar that was contested in 2003.
Whereas the 2006 schedule had four of 10 events where the GS and ST classes conducted split-class races, 2007 will see both classes racing simultaneously only twice, at the three-hour Daytona season-opener and at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, July 7. By popular demand, Watkins Glen returns to the 2007 Grand-Am Cup Series schedule for an event that will be held in conjunction with the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series weekend.
For the first time since 2004, Grand-Am Cup will also return to the 2.3-mile, 11-turn layout at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, April 15. It will be the first split-class event of the 2007 season, with separate 400K ST and GS events running on the same day. In the last Grand-Am Cup event at the South Florida speed plant in September, 2004, Anders Hainer and Boris Said co-drove a Nissan 350Z to the overall victory, with SpeedSource teammates David Haskell and Sylvain Tremblay taking the ST victory en route to winning the class championship.
The Grand-Am Cup Series will also be a featured attraction during the traditional Father's Day weekend event at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. Grand-Am Cup last raced at Mosport in 2005 with Canadian David Empringham celebrating the GS class victory alongside American Gunnar Jeannette and the father-and-son team of Jim and Jamie Holtom taking the ST class honors not far from their home in Carp, Ontario. This time, however, the classes will race in separate 400K events with the ST class running on Saturday, June 16 followed by the GS class on Sunday, June 17.
"Grand-Am Cup Series competitors and fans have a great deal of affection for Watkins Glen, Homestead and Mosport, and we are thrilled that the opportunity presented itself to return to all three venues in 2007," Grand American Road Racing Association President Roger Edmondson said. "In addition, we feel strongly that by running separate events for each class wherever possible next season, the great competition in the series will become even better. With at least 60 race cars at every event and nearly 100 for some races, combined class competition put good racing room at a premium, to say the least. Short of sending people home, which we don't want to do, split-class events is really the only way to go."
The Daytona race will once again kick-off the 2007 schedule as Grand-Am Cup opens with a pair of Florida events. The three-hour Daytona race is slated for Friday, January 26 -- the day before the Rolex Series opens with the Rolex 24 At Daytona -- with Round 2 taking to Homestead-Miami on April 15.
From Florida the series makes its way to the brand-new Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa for Round 3 on April 21. The Grand-Am Cup feature show will showcase both the ST and GS classes on the 1.3-mile stadium road course in a pair of same-day Twin 400K races.
Next up is a return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Round 4 on May 19-20. The GS machines will lead off the weekend's Grand-Am Cup activities on Saturday, May 19, followed by the ST race on Sunday, May 20.
One week later, both classes will converge once again on Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. for Round 5. The GS will start the festivities with a 400K feature on Saturday, May 26, while the ST class will share the bill on Monday, May 28 with the Rolex Series GT machines.
Mosport hosts Round 6 on June 16-17, followed one weekend later by Round 7 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 23-24. The GS machines are slated to race on Saturday, June 23 -- the same day as the Rolex Series Daytona Prototype event at Mid-Ohio -- followed by the ST race on Sunday, June 24 once again alongside the Rolex Series GT class.
The 3.37-mile, 11-turn "long course" at Watkins Glen International opens the second half of the season with the combined event on Saturday, July 7.
Barber Motorsports Park will once again host the Grand-Am Cup Series on Saturday, July 21 with separate ST and GS races slated for the same day before the series returns to Canada and Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, which has moved from its traditional date on the first weekend in August. The ST class will take on the streets of Trois-Rivieres as the headliner on Saturday, August 18, with the GS headline event on Sunday, August 19.
The 4.5-mile Miller Motorsports Park layout that hosted its first Grand-Am Cup Series race last month will welcome the series back to Utah on September 14-15, two weekends later than in 2006, when the event was held on Labor Day weekend. The Utah run will mark the third and final time in 2007 that the GS and ST classes will run in a combined race.
Completing the 2007 slate will be a return to Virginia International Raceway for the twin six-hour races on October 6-7. The GS teams will wrap up their season on Saturday, October 6, followed one day later by the ST finale. In total, the 12-race schedule features two more races than in 2006.
In addition to the race schedule, Grand-Am Cup teams will also participate alongside their Rolex Series peers in the annual Daytona Test Days on January 3-6, 2007.