KONI Signs On As New Title Sponsor of Grand-Am Cup; Series to be Renamed KONI Challenge Series LAS VEGAS, Nev. (November 1, 2006) -- As part of the 40th SEMA show in Las Vegas--the premier automotive specialty products trade event in ...
KONI Signs On As New Title Sponsor of Grand-Am Cup; Series to be Renamed KONI Challenge Series
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (November 1, 2006) -- As part of the 40th SEMA show in Las Vegas--the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world--one of the world's leading brands of shock absorbers and North America's premier road racing organization joined forces, as officials from KONI and the Grand American Road Racing Association today announced that KONI has become the title sponsor of the Grand-Am Cup Series, which will be renamed the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series.
The three-year agreement calls for KONI shocks to be used on all KONI Challenge race cars starting in 2009. Beginning in 2007, the KONI Challenge will include a separate points race for competitors using KONI shocks, which will be considered an independent championship throughout the season. This "championship within a championship" will be worth $10,000 to the top point earners in both the Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) classes using KONI shocks.
"KONI is a well-recognized name in motorsports and is a natural fit for the Grand-Am Cup Series, which has become an extremely popular road racing series for high-performance production vehicles," said Roger Edmondson, Grand American Road Racing Association President. "Coming off a 2006 season in which the Grand-Am Cup Series had record fields and incredibly close competition, the addition of KONI as the title sponsor is a logical next step in the development of the series. We expect the KONI Challenge to be better than ever over the next three years with KONI's tremendous support."
In addition to its title sponsorship, KONI will maintain a contingency program for both the KONI Challenge Series and the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. In each KONI Challenge and Rolex Series race, top-three finishers in the GS and ST classes in the KONI Challenge and top-three finishers in the Rolex Series Daytona Prototype and GT classes using KONI shocks will be eligible for contingency awards. First-place finishers using KONI shocks in any of the four classes will earn an $800 bonus, with $400 for second-place finishers and $200 for third.
"It's important for KONI to consistently have a presence in motorsports, and especially in a series where we can make a strong contribution," said Jim Vance, KONI North America General Manager. "Part of KONI's legacy is its involvement in racing, something we have been doing for decades. Sponsorship of the KONI Challenge is a perfect way to kick off KONI's 150 years of being in business, and we look forward to the start of the new racing season in 2007."
As part of its sponsorship, KONI will also have a significant involvement in the annual KONI Challenge Series Championship Banquet. Beginning in 2007, KONI will be prominently displayed on windshield banners of all KONI Challenge Series race cars, in addition to five-inch KONI decals in other prominent locations on every race car and patches on all driver uniforms.
Following the press announcement, a special media photo session will be held with the new Car and Driver Nissan 350Z KONI Challenge race car where Edmondson and Vance will apply the new Grand-Am KONI Challenge official series decals. The Car & Driver Nissan is located outside the main entrance (N3) to the North Hall exhibits.
With 150 years of experience in the suspension business, KONI understands how best to improve a vehicle's ride and handling. KONI North America is a leading supplier to automotive OEMs and the aftermarket. Part of ITT Industries, KONI North America develops, manufactures and sells high quality, high performance shock absorbers for all kinds of personal and commercial vehicles, as well as public buses, private motorcoaches, trucks, trailers, railway cars and race cars. Visit www.koni-na.com for more information.
About Grand American
The Grand American Road Racing Association, which operates and sanctions the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve and the KONI Challenge Series, is the premier road racing organization in North America. The 15-race 2007 Rolex Series schedule and the 12-race KONI Challenge Series calendar delivered professional sports car racing to key markets throughout North America in addition to being televised in the United States and Canada on SPEED and distributed globally through ESPN International. With title sponsorship support from Rolex Watch USA and presenting sponsorship from Crown Royal Special Reserve, the Rolex Series showcases emerging and legendary drivers from around the globe and thoroughbred racing machines from the industry's leading constructors and the world's top automobile manufacturers. Learn more about Grand American at www.grandamerican.com.