Grand-Am Details Future Daytona Prototype Plans DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 7, 2006) -- Building on a foundation that has seen the Daytona Prototype division of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special...
Grand-Am Details Future Daytona Prototype Plans
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 7, 2006) -- Building on a foundation that has seen the Daytona Prototype division of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve produce some of the best sports car racing in history, Grand American Road Racing President Roger Edmondson revealed today plans that will lead the organization's premier class into its next generation of competition and growth.
Edmondson made the announcements on the last of two days of testing at Daytona International Speedway where 40 Rolex Series teams and more than 75 different drivers began preparations for the 2007 season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 27 -- 28. After debuting in the 2003 running of the 24-hour classic at the "World Center of Racing," the Daytona Prototype class has grown to be the biggest and most competitive class in top-tier North American sports car racing. The category will begin its fifth season with the 2007 Rolex 24, but much of the ground work for the following five years of competition was recently finalized in a Daytona Prototypes constructors meeting at Grand American headquarters last month.
"We have been incredibly pleased with the amazing growth and wide-spread acceptance of the Daytona Prototype division since its introduction just a few years ago," Edmondson said. "Not only was the Daytona Prototype formula the success we knew it would be, it also grew quicker than we originally anticipated. This is due primarily to the great competition and close racing the category produced from its onset, and we must work hard to maintain this same balanced platform for success in the future. The first five years of any business cycle are critical and a key part in the final phase of that time span is properly planning for the next five-years of operation. We believe we have done a good job in preparing for the future with some of the rules and regulations unveiled today."
Existing Daytona Prototype Constructor Agreements will conclude at the end of the 2007 season to make way for the next five-year agreement period that will span from 2008 through 2012. Only constructors that have at least one entry in one race in 2007 will be eligible for renewal, while the new agreement period that commences in 2008 calls for each manufacturer to have at least two representative entries in each event in order to maintain approved status for the duration of the agreement.
Prior to the new agreement period, existing constructors may request approval to transfer their license to build Daytona Prototypes to another entity by September 1, 2007. However, all existing race cars and designs will remain eligible for competition from 2008 through 2012, regardless if an existing constructor continues in an approved capacity in the next agreement period.
"We made it clear to the constructors and competitors that made a commitment in the beginning that Daytona Prototypes would be eligible for a long period of time," Edmondson said. "At the same time, we feel the need to allow approved constructors to introduce certain bodywork changes or an entirely new body design within the existing parameters of the rules in order to keep the designs fresh and contemporary."
To that end, each approved constructor for the 2008 through 2012 period may submit for approval new or modified body designs by the same September 1, 2007 deadline. Any approved changes or new designs must be available from the constructors to all customers for use in competition by January 1, 2008. Current Daytona Prototype chassis will remain unchanged and any new or modified body designs must comply with current regulations and fit the existing chassis.
Another feature element of the next generation Daytona Prototype agreement is the provision for approved engine manufacturers to submit exclusive body designs to run with a single chassis of their choice. "Manufacturer" body designs may only be used in combination with the manufacturer's engine and only one such option per automaker is allowed. September 1 of next year is also the deadline for any manufacturer to submit designs.
"As the Daytona Prototype category has grown in popularity, we have been approached by several top automobile manufacturers from around the world who have expressed an interest in running like race car and engine combinations," Edmondson said. "Although our approved partners will remain the only constructors eligible to build Daytona Prototype chassis, the fact that manufacturers can now submit identifiable bodywork to complement their engines has been met with preliminarily positive feedback."
In other Daytona Prototype developments, Sabre Innovations has been approved as a new chassis constructor commencing with the 2008 season. Sabre plans to build its design that was originally submitted in 2003 and must comply with the minimum two entries provision throughout its first season to maintain approved status. Sabre has also been granted a provision to submit any new body designs by September 1, 2008 which will keep them consistent with the opportunities offered to existing constructors.
Sabre will be the first constructor to be added to the list of approved Daytona Prototype chassis constructors since the initial group of seven in 2003. That list includes Riley Technologies, Doran Designs, Crawford Race Cars, Fabcar Engineering, Chase Competition Engineering, Picchio and Multimatic.
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 will deliver professional sports car racing to key markets throughout North America. All 2007 Rolex Series events will be 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.