Franz Blam Racing To Campaign Lexus IS300S In 2002 Speedvision Touring Car Championship CENTENNIAL, Colo. (October 26, 2001) -- Franz Blam Racing (FBR) and Trans Sport Racing Transportation Services announced today plans for a three or four car...
Franz Blam Racing To Campaign Lexus IS300S In 2002 Speedvision Touring Car Championship
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (October 26, 2001) -- Franz Blam Racing (FBR) and Trans Sport Racing Transportation Services announced today plans for a three or four car Lexus IS300 team for the 2002 SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car Championship with series veteran Mike Fitzgerald as the lead driver.
"We are extremely excited about the prospect of running such a great car in World Challenge," said Tim Pappas, Trans Sport Co-Owner and driver. "The fact that Toyota Racing Development (TRD) has offered technical support, including a purpose-built 2.8-liter I-6 motor derived [utilizing existing parts from a Japanese model] from its 3.0-liter street motor, makes next season look even more promising. Of course, we couldn't ask for a better partner than FBR."
Fitzgerald, who is the only driver to ever win both the Speedvision Touring Car and GT races on a race weekend (Road Atlanta, 2000), will be paired with Pappas and Mark MacLean in the new cars, with a possible fourth entry before the season-opener at Sebring in March. Fitzgerald (Phoenix, Ariz.) earned his first-ever Drivers' Championship in the old Speedvision Cup series with FBR in 1998, and followed it up with the 2000 Grand-Am GTU Drivers' Championship and the prestigious 2000 worldwide Porsche Cup. Fitzgerald began racing in the Speedvision World Challenge in 2000, winning three-straight GT races with Petersen Motorsports and one Touring Car race with TC Kline Racing. In 2001, Fitzgerald finished an amazing second overall at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in a GT-class Porsche. He also ran the full Speedvision GT and Touring Car seasons with Petersen Motorsports and RealTime Racing, respectively, finishing fourth in the GT Drivers' Championship.
Pappas and MacLean competed together in the Grand-Am Cup series in 2001, where they were plagued with some difficulties arising from their newcomer status as well as competing in an older car. They still managed a second place finish at Road America, as well as several top 10s over the course of their rookie year, and stand 14th and 11th, respectively, in points leading up to the November 2-4 finale.
Team FBR / Trans Sport represents a partnership involving one of the most reknowned names in American sports car racing together with a promising new company. FBR has been supporting winning race teams for over 35 years, and has recently won two drivers' championships and four manufacturers' championships from 1997-2000. Only one year old, Trans Sport has quickly built a reputation for providing premiere professional support services, including transportation and hospitality, to privateers in major race series.
"A lot of the players on this team have worked together in the past - Mike and I go way back, and we ran the Trans Sport-sponsored effort in Grand Am Cup this year," said Thomas Blam, FBR Team Manager. "We're excited about getting back into Speedvision World Challenge racing in 2002. We've got some real talent in the drivers' seats and a team that gels nicely. We're excited about TRD's involvement, and I think we're going to have a lot to offer to the fans and our sponsors next year."
"Having worked with Toyota teams that competed against FBR, I am personally looking forward to us working together," said Tom O'Connor, TRD Competition Manager.
For more information about FBR and Trans Sport, please visit www.franzblamracing.com and www.transsportonline.com.