Denver, CO: The Sports Car Club of America's ProRally Championship, finishing yet another successful season, with significant growth in entries and sponsor investment, announced today its expanded 2001 schedule. The 2001 schedule includes ten ...
Denver, CO: The Sports Car Club of America's ProRally Championship, finishing yet another successful season, with significant growth in entries and sponsor investment, announced today its expanded 2001 schedule. The 2001 schedule includes ten full-points championship events. As is traditional for the SCCA ProRally program, the schedule includes a broad array of terrain and climate, including eastern and western forests, high desert and mountainous settings. The season kicks off with a winter rally in late January, takes a brief hiatus for February, then resumes in March, with one event each month through October, which has two. In deference to TV programming needs and transport factors, more than 50% of the events are scheduled on the first weekend of the month.
The Championship features well-established SCCA events, many with histories of more than 20 years of operation, including the popular Susquehannock Trail event in Pennsylvania, and the season culminating Lake Superior rally in the upper peninsula of Michigan.
The popularity of the FIA Group N category in its 2000 debut season took many by surprise, with indications for 2001 that the trend towards these globally recognized performance rally cars will continue. The FIA rules phasing-in process is a long-term project, therefore all current SCCA ProRally classes will be returning for 2001.
Manufacturer interest in the program has grown significantly over the past season, with Mitsubishi readying a supported team to vie for Open class and Overall honors. That class has become marketplace competitor Hyundai's roost for five consecutive seasons; the longest string of back-to-back overall manufacturer championships in the history of the SCCA ProRally Championship. Rejoining the Championship after a long absence is Mazda, last winning an overall championship in the series in 1989, at that time under the tutelage of racing legend Rod Millen, with a highly-modified RX-7. This time the company will be fielding a production based 2001 Protege, in the SCCA's Group 2 (two-wheel drive, 2 litre nominal displacement) category.
All ten events are full points Manufacturers Championship events, for participating automakers, and are full points events for Drivers and Co-Drivers. The full series is slated for North American television broadcast on Speedvision.