SCC: California Speedway pre-race notes 2005-03-18

GRAND AMERICAN'S CLASS ACT FONTANA, Calif. (March 17, 2005) --- If Grand American's slogan "a driving passion - it's what moves us" doesn't capture the essence of the racing organization, not much else will. The Grand American Road Racing ...


FONTANA, Calif. (March 17, 2005) --- If Grand American's slogan "a driving passion - it's what moves us" doesn't capture the essence of the racing organization, not much else will. The Grand American Road Racing Association was established in 1999 to return stability to major league sports car road racing in North American.

As the organization enters its sixth season of competition, they journey west to California Speedway for the Rolex Sports Car and Grand-Am Cup Series events on April 1-3, 2005.

The creation of Grand American can be rooted back to the success founder John Bishop had with IMSA in the 1970s and 1980s. However, during the 1990s, sports car racing's decline could be traced to uncontrolled technology and costs therein. Grand American set out and accomplished sensible and affordable rules that are competition driven, but grounded in common sense and stability with a firm commitment to a level playing field.

No matter the race or level, in Grand American nothing can be used on a racecar without sanctioning body's approval and all information regarding the piece of equipment must be made available to all competitors. This means that no team has an unfair advantage over another. Whether it's a transmission, gear box, drivers seat or any other piece of equipment, all teams must be able to gain access to such equipment if they choose.

Grand American's top-tier Rolex Sports Car Series has established itself as the most competitive professional road racing championship in North America. Just look at the 2005 Rolex 24 at Daytona and you'll see why road racers like Hurley Haywood, Max Papis, Scott Pruett, Wayne Taylor, Andy Wallace and Max Angelelli are competing for the championship and others, like NASCAR's Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Casey Mears and Kurt Busch as well as IRL's Scott Dixon, Buddy Rice and Darren Manning are taking a stab in Grand American.

Rolex Sports Car Series

Daytona Prototypes (DP) are the top category in Grand American as they are exotic, mid-engine machines that are purpose-built strictly for competition on the track. These machines are low to the ground and capable of speeds in excess of 185 mph. Seven approved constructors produce the Daytona Prototype chassis, which costs about $400,000, and a single chassis can be raced in several events. The current configuration also allows for several years of competition with the stable rules package. Powered by V-8 engines that are tuned to produce around 500 horsepower, the Daytona Prototypes are also restricted to a minimum weight from 2,125-2,200 lbs depending on the size (liters) of the engine.

The Grand Touring (GT) division competes alongside the Daytona Prototypes and is home to production-based racecars that are similar in appearance to the latest high-performance sports cars and coupes that can be seen on the street daily. Underneath their appearance, many of these vehicles have the same technology found on the DP's. The class' rules package equalizes weight, tire size and engine rpm to provide an even playing field for a variety of international and American-made cars. GT's produce between 390-450 horsepower and have a minimum weight from 2,500-2,800 lbs depending on the car and hit speeds of 170 mph.

Grand-Am Cup Series

The Grand-Am Cup Series is Grand American's showcase for the latest international and American-made high performance sports cars, coupes and sedans straight from the dealer showroom floor. The only major changes are in the area of safety. In the Grand Sport (GS) class there are several factory sports and muscle cars from around the world. These cars weigh 2,730-3,250 lbs and produce 350-405 horsepower. GS cars have fuel tank capacities that range from 16.5-20 gallons and reach a top speed of 160 mph.

Sport Touring (ST) class features a variety of sports cars and high-performance compacts that are as equally popular among competitors and today's consumers. These machines have four and six cylinder engines and some may have turbochargers and superchargers. Engines produce 170-240 horsepower and weight ranges from 2,200-2,925 lbs. Top speed for ST competitors is about 135 mph.

Ticket Information

General Admission tickets for the road course event are available for $30 on Sunday (Rolex 400 event), $20 on Saturday (Grand-Am Cup 200 event and Rolex qualifying) and $10 on Friday (practice). A three-day pass is also available for $45. Children 12 and under, when accompanied by a paying adult, are free. Every ticket is general admission with infield seating and access into the garage area.

For ticket and event information, call 800-944-RACE [7223] or log on to


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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Tony Stewart , Darren Manning , Kurt Busch , Casey Mears , Max Papis , Scott Dixon , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Jimmie Johnson , Hurley Haywood , Max Angelelli , Buddy Rice