PHOENIX (April 3, 2002) -- The Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series made its west coast debut at Phoenix International Raceway last year and will continue to break ground by introducing its new Twin 250s racing format during the United Auto 200 ...
PHOENIX (April 3, 2002) -- The Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series made its west coast debut at Phoenix International Raceway last year and will continue to break ground by introducing its new Twin 250s racing format during the United Auto 200 presented by azcentral.com and cars.com event weekend in Phoenix, April 18-20. Grand-Am Cup's four classes typically race together, but will be split into two 250-mile races to highlight the quick Grand Sport classes and the sporty Sport Touring classes in separate races.
"Last season the Sport Touring classes provided the some of the closest racing on the track, which resulted in a points championship race that came down to the season Finale," Grand American Road Racing President Roger Edmondson said. "By having their own race, these drivers will now have the additional excitement of driving for the overall victory. It should make for a very exciting race for the drivers and the fans."
After hosting Grand-Am Cup's tightest championship points race last year, the Sport Touring I class kicked off the 2002 season with even fiercer competition. In the latest point standings, only eight points separate the top-eight teams, and the 250-mile Sport Touring race is shaping up to be thrilling battle for not only the win, but also the points lead.
"It will be a nice change to race separately. I have found in previous races when we are with the Grand Sport class cars, they are lightning quick on the straightaways, but they actually slow us down in the infield by a second or two a lap," remarked Team Lexus owner/driver Chuck Goldsborough, whose #3 Lexus IS300 holds a one-point lead in the ST I team standings. "They have to decrease their speed so much in the corners that if they get in front of us in a tight corner, it can affect our lap times."
The Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series is the premier proving ground for many of today's automotive manufacturers. It features actual production cars straight off the showroom floor with only minimal racing modifications to enhance safety and performance. The series will also run its new Twin 250s format at Watkins Glen International in June, Virginia International Raceway in August and Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant in September.
The Sport Touring I class features various small to midsize four-door sedans and sports coupes, such as Lexus IS300s, Acura Integra Rs, BMW Z3 Coupes, Honda Civics and Porsche Boxsters. The Sport Touring II class includes small sedans like the Acura Integra LS, Chevy Cavalier, Ford Focus, Mazda Miata and Protégé. The Sport Touring classes will race in the first of the Twin 250s at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday evening. With a 6 p.m. scheduled start, the Sport Touring cars will race through sunset and into the night for 250 miles.
The larger horsepower cars of the Grand Sport classes will race the second Twin 250 on Saturday at 3 p.m., prior to the start of the Rolex Sports Car Series United Auto 200 presented by azcentral.com and cars.com. High-end sports and GT models make up the Grand Sport I class including Corvettes, Porsche 993s and Saleen Mustangs, while popular sports and muscle cars such as Porsche 911s, Mustang Cobras, BMW M3s and Audis S4s race in the Grand Sport II class.
Tickets for the Grand-Am Cup Twin 250s at Phoenix International Raceway, as well as the Rolex Sports Car Series United Auto 200 presented by azcentral.com and cars.com, are available online at www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com or by calling 602-252-2227. Additional information about the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series can be found online at www.grandamcup.com.