SCC: Homestead: Round two preview

Cars getting all the buzz hit the racetrack. Nissan 350Z, Mini Cooper & BMW Z4 to run Grand-Am Cup Miami 250. MIAMI, Fla. (April 10, 2003) -- Whether at a car show or a stoplight, the new Nissan 350Z, Mini Cooper S and BMW Z4 are creating a buzz...

Cars getting all the buzz hit the racetrack.
Nissan 350Z, Mini Cooper & BMW Z4 to run Grand-Am Cup Miami 250.

MIAMI, Fla. (April 10, 2003) -- Whether at a car show or a stoplight, the new Nissan 350Z, Mini Cooper S and BMW Z4 are creating a buzz by car enthusiasts and onlookers alike. This season the three cars are turning heads at a new venue - the racetrack - and fans in South Florida will have a chance to check them out this weekend in the Grand-Am Cup Series Miami 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The Nissan 350Z has received numerous accolades since its initial unveiling. Most recently, Automobile Magazine named it the 2003 Automobile of the Year, saying, "Like every real sports car, it has a kind of purity to it, a dynamic quality that's beyond the usual empty phrases about good power and good handling."

Keeping with Nissan's rich tradition of racing, Schuitemaker Motorsports has put the new 350Z on the racetrack in the Grand-Am Cup Series. Drivers Michiel Schuitemaker and B.J. Zacharias, both of Cincinnati, Ohio, gave the #35 Nissan 350Z its racing debut at the 2003 season opener in Daytona. The team has taken advantage of the down time leading up to this weekend's Miami 250 to continue its racing development of the new 350Z and looks to be a top contender in the Grand Sport II class during Sunday's race.

The resurrection of the Mini has also turned heads in the United States and worldwide. The hip new compact has garnered praise from a number of automotive news outlets, including AutoWeek, Edmunds.com and European Car Magazine just to name a few.

This weekend a trio of Mini Cooper S entries will take to Homestead-Miami Speedway's 2.4-mile road course. Nuzzo Motorsports will field the #20 and #21 Minis in the Miami 250 with drivers Tony Nuzzo, of Glen Head, N.Y., Shane Lewis, of Jupiter, Fla., Michael Bavar, of Colts Neck, N.J. and Eugene McGilycuddy, of Suffern, N.Y., taking their turns at the wheel.

Making its Grand-Am Cup debut this weekend will be Sterling Motorsports with its #99 Mini Cooper S. A pair of South Carolinians will team up in the Sport Touring I class, with Brian Smith, of Simpsonville, and Spencer Geswein, of Laurens, sharing driving duties in the #99 Mini during the 250-mile race.

Also running in the Sport Touring I class this weekend will be a pair of BMW Z4s. The Z4's predecessor, the BMW Z3, grabbed top honors from the automotive industry and on the racetrack, and the new Z4 is already on its way to doing the same. It was named the 2003 Design of the Year by Automobile Magazine and received the 2003 Model Year Preferred Sports Car AMES Award.

On the racetrack, TC Kline Racing has taken on the task of putting the first BMW Z4 in Victory Lane. The Deland, Fla.-based team campaigns the #15 and #92 Z4s, the only roadster race cars currently competing in the Grand-Am Cup Series. After their tremendous success at the wheel of a BMW Z3 last season, drivers Bransen Patch, of Matthews, N.C., and Donald Salama, of Brookline, Mass., have moved into BMW's latest sports car, partnering with Steve Pfeffer, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and David Tuaty, of Miami.

With such a wide range of cars taking to the track, the Grand-Am Cup Miami 250 weekend is sure to cater to every car lover's desire. To make the event even more enticing to South Florida race fans and car lovers, Homestead-Miami Speedway will sell tickets at the gate for $10 per day or a two-day pass for only $15.

Additional information about the Miami 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the Grand-Am Cup Series is available online at www.grandamerican.com.

-garra-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Shane Lewis , Tony Nuzzo , Bransen Patch , Michiel Schuitemaker , David Tuaty , Spencer Geswein , Brian Smith