Subject: FIA GT CHAMPIONSHIP HEADING TO NORTH AMERICA FIA GT CHAMPIONSHIP HEADING TO NORTH AMERICA 3 September, 1997 TAMPA, Fla. -- Professional SportsCar Racing, Inc. (SportsCar) Chairman Andrew Evans attended the FIA GT and Sports Car ...
Subject: FIA GT CHAMPIONSHIP HEADING TO NORTH AMERICA
FIA GT CHAMPIONSHIP HEADING TO NORTH AMERICA
3 September, 1997
TAMPA, Fla. -- Professional SportsCar Racing, Inc. (SportsCar) Chairman Andrew Evans attended the FIA GT and Sports Car commission meetings in Paris, France this week to finalize the details regarding the final two rounds of the 1997 FIA GT Championship at Sebring (October 18) and Laguna Seca (October 26).
The manufacturers attending the meeting - Mercedes Benz, BMW, Chrysler and Porsche - expressed enthusiasm and excitement about coming to America for the conclusion of the series' inaugural championship. Stephane Ratel, joint FIA series organizer, reiterated that everything is organized and that his group is in weekly contact with SportsCar regarding logistics. Further, Ratel anticipates 40 entries making the voyage to North America for the final two rounds.
"The opportunity for SportsCar to present the top marques and drivers in sports-car racing to American motorsports enthusiasts on both the East and West Coast is terrific," said Evans.
"This is an important crossroads for sports-car racing throughout the world," continued Evans. "To have the premier road racing sanctioning body in North America working with the FIA bodes well for the future of world class sports-car racing."
Each of the two North American rounds will be a three-hour race and will air on the FOX Sports Net.
Through seven of 11 rounds in the 1997 FIA GT Championship, Team BMW Motorsports drivers J.J. Lehto and Steve Soper lead the drivers championship by three points over AMG Mercedes driver Bernd Schneider. The series races at Donnington (England) on September 14 and Mugello (Italy) on September 28, before heading to North America for the final two races in the Championship.
The FIA GT Championship rounds at Sebring and Laguna Seca mark the first FIA races in North America since the U.S. Grand Prix was held in Phoenix in 1991.