Speedvision World Challenge GT and Touring Car Championships Round One Grand Prix of Charlotte Lowe's Motor Speedway Concord, N.C. March 30 - April 1, 2000 Circuit: Lowe's Motor Speedway - 2.25-mile, 10-turn road course Green...
Speedvision World Challenge GT and Touring Car Championships
Grand Prix of Charlotte
Lowe's Motor Speedway
March 30 - April 1, 2000
Lowe's Motor Speedway - 2.25-mile, 10-turn road course
Speedvision GT: Friday, March 31, 4:30 p.m. (EST)
Speedvision Touring Car: Saturday, April 1, 9:25 a.m. (EST)
Each race will be approximately 60 minutes.
Television (Speedvision Network):
Touring Car, Race One: Saturday, April 22, 9:00 p.m. (EST)
GT Championship: Saturday, April 22, 8:00 p.m. (EST)
A PLAN COMING TOGETHER
When Speedvision joined forces with SCCA Pro Racing in 1999 to elevate the World Challenge Championships into one of the premier racing series in North America, a five-year plan for the series was established, with some of the initial goals to split the series into two, unique Championships, encourage manufacturer support for privateers and provide race fans with quality competition with big fields and tight racing. In just one year, the series is already realizing several of its goals, with factories getting behind their competitors (Including Acura, Audi, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Porsche, Saleen and Toyota) and over 80 cars entered (over 40 per class) for the first race weekend.
AUDI DIVES IN
Audi has certainly upped its motorsports program in 2000, running its two-car ALMS and Le Mans Prototype team as well as constructing its Speedvision GT customer car, run for the first time at LMS with Speedvision in-car commentator Derek Bell driving the No. 8 Legend of Motorsport/Champion Audi S4 Competition. A second car had been entered for three-time Speedvision Touring Car Champion Michael Galati, but the car was not completed in time, and will debut at Mosport in May.
CUNNINGHAM TO COMPETE AGAINST OWN TEAM IN TOURING
Two-time World Challenge Champion Peter Cunningham will compete against his own team and drivers in select races in 2000, beginning with LMS. Cunningham, who is a factory BMW driver in the American Le Mans Series, will compete in an ex-ICY Racing BMW 328is in in the Speedvision Touring Car Championship -- running head-to-head with his RealTime Racing Team drivers Pierre Kleinubing, Hugh Plumb, Kevin Schrantz, Fred Meyer and Bob Nagel.
Elliott Forbes-Robinson has had the most experience and success at the Lowe's Motor Speedway, winning the 1974 Super Vee race, the 1978 Can-Am race and finishing second in the 1979 Can-Am race. He also recorded the GTU pole in the 1984 IMSA race, but the car retired on the first lap of the race. Derek Bell is the only other driver in the field to score a win at LMS, taking the IMSA GTP win in 1985 with Al Holbert. Other drivers with experience at LMS include Bobby Archer (three IMSA International Sedan races with a best finish of second, in 1983), Charlie Downes (two IMSA Renault Cup races, best finish of sixth after starting 47th in 1983) and Peter Schwartzott (four SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Cup races, best finish of second, in 1979).
EFR AND BUTCH - TOGETHER AGAIN
Teammates at Dyson Racing until this season, Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Butch Leitzinger are teammates once again at Move-It Motorsports. The two won the 1997 and 1999 Rolex 24 At Daytona events at Dyson Racing, but were split up when Leitzinger left the Dyson team to drive a factory Cadillac LMP.
RULES CHANGES ADD FLAIR TO 2000 SEASON
The 2000 Speedvision World Challenge is abounding in in newness, including new cars, drivers and rules. New cars include the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Audi S4 Competition, Ferrari 355 Challenge, Saleen SR and Toyota Celica GTS. New drivers include the return of Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Peter Schwartzott and Peter Cunningham and the World Challenge debut of Paul Alderman, Matt Drendel, Mike Fitzgerald, Butch Leitzinger, Phil Lasco, Shauna Marinus, Neal Sapp and Jorge Trejos. New rules include the allowance of larger wheels and tires in both classes as well as aftermarket bodywork and wings in the Speedvision Touring Car division -- creating better recognition for fans of the aftermarket, sports compact craze. Also new for 2000 are standing starts -- meaning big smokey burnouts and big action at the start of each race.