NEWBURY PARK, Calif., Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - Belinda Endress, of Newbury Park, Calif., will be making her Grand-Am Cup Series debut this weekend at the California Speedway in Fontana. Endress will be competing in the high-horsepower GSI-class...
NEWBURY PARK, Calif., Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - Belinda Endress, of Newbury Park, Calif., will be making her Grand-Am Cup Series debut this weekend at the California Speedway in Fontana. Endress will be competing in the high-horsepower GSI-class for Global Motorsports Group (GMG) of Newport Beach. She will co-drive with team owner James Sofronas in the #29 Unicom Wireless/ Xtreme Island Designs/ GMG BMW M3.
"I'm really excited about teaming up with GMG Motorsports," enthused Endress. "I think running with James in my first Grand-Am Cup race will be fun, and I am hoping for success. What's really great is this will be the first time my father is involved in sponsoring our efforts. It's also my birthday weekend and it's at our local track, so I am looking forward to getting my friends out there to watch me race!"
Endress, originally of Lansing, Mich., has multiple wins in various forms of motorsports and was the 2000 24 Hours of Moroso SSB-class winner. Endress has two race wins in the highly competitive Panoz GT Series and was twice the series' runner-up in season-long points. In her first year of competitive road racing she was named the Women's Global GT Series (WGGTS) series' "Most Improved Driver of the Year" for 1999. Prior to racing wheel-to-wheel on the track, Endress earned multiple national and regional championships in SCCA Solo II autocross competition. While this weekend marks her first foray into Grand-Am Cup competition she finished fifth in GT-class at the 2000 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) endurance classic, the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
Endress, celebrating her birthday on the 22nd, will be carrying the Unicom Wireless banner, at this weekend's event. Unicom, of Santa Clarita, Calif., is the prime provider of wireless products and services- including 2-way radio, cellular, Nextel and Iridium Satellite Global Services- for the Santa Clarita Valley and will be supplying the team with radio equipment for the event. Longtime supporter Xtreme Island Designs of Honolulu- maker of high-end island apparel- will again back Endress at this event.
Unicom Wireless is the 23-year old company of Endress' father, Robert. This weekend marks the first time in her career that the company will sponsor her racing endeavors. Endress had been estranged from her father until 2000 when, with the help of her brother, he came to witness his daughter race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. She qualified and finished second in the WGGTS event that day.
"I pulled my car into the winner's circle," said Endress of the first meeting. "My brother was the first person to greet me and he said, 'Hey, I brought some one here.' He stepped aside and there my real dad was standing behind him! It was like water in balance, very comfortable. I was beyond elated. Racing has brought a disjointed family together. Being that this is a local race, we thought the perfect opportunity to work together."
The multi-talented Endress owns and operates SK Productions, a sports video company, in Newbury Park. Prior to racing cars she was heavily involved in horse racing, working as an assistant trainer and exercise rider. She has also done stunt work, acting and, modeling in her career. Beyond her road racing skills, Endress has driven stock cars, vintage cars, Legend cars and shifter karts. She has competed in drag racing and powerboat racing as well. Currently, outside of her daily work routine and racing, she acts as a safety and high performance-driving instructor in southern California.