2003 schedule announced

Trans-Am Series confirms 11 Races for 2003. LANSING, Mich. -- The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup has confirmed an 11-race schedule for the 2003 season. Negotiations are ongoing for a 12th race, which will be announced at a later ...

Trans-Am Series confirms 11 Races for 2003.

LANSING, Mich. -- The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup has confirmed an 11-race schedule for the 2003 season. Negotiations are ongoing for a 12th race, which will be announced at a later date.

All events will be carried either live or tape-delayed by the SPEED Channel.

"I'm pleased with the schedule we've put together for our competitors, sponsors and fans," said Trans-Am Series Executive Director John Clagett. "It's a solid program for America's longest running road racing series. It includes traditional dates and circuits and also brings some exciting new venues online. It will deliver tremendous value for our marketing partners and teams.

"The schedule offers geographic diversity and taps key markets, which provides our growing fan base the opportunity to participate in the Trans-Am Series." Clagett added. "It offers a blend of the best road courses and temporary circuits, as well as opportunities to race with NASCAR, the Champ Car World Series and the American Le Mans Series."

The series kicks off Feb. 23 with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida. That race marks a homecoming for the Trans-Am Series, which has raced eight times in downtown St. Petersburg between 1985-1997. The Series will race on the temporary circuit with the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, one of four joint dates.

The other races with The Champ Car Series include the history-rich Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach near Los Angeles (Apr. 13), the always-exciting Grand Prix of Cleveland at the Burke Lakefront Airport (July 4), and the Shell Grand Prix of Denver (Aug. 31), which came roaring out of gates with an outstanding inaugural event in 2002.

The Trans-Am Series will take on a feature role at two repeat venues Mosport Int'l Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario and Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. and has added an exciting Caribbean race date, the Grand Prix of Puerto Rico, a popular tourist destination that will make for a perfect season finale. The Mosport and Lime Rock races remain on their traditional dates Canada's Victoria Day weekend (May 18) and Memorial Day weekend (May 26), respectively, while the Grand Prix of Puerto Rico will be run Oct. 26.

The Series will race three times with ALMS, including at the National Grand Prix of Washington D.C. (June 28), which during its 2002 inaugural race was applauded as one of the best temporary circuits on the tour; at the exhilarating Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in Quebec; and at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. (Aug. 24), where the Trans-Am Series has raced every year since 1970, marking one of the longest partnerships in motorsports.

The Trans-Am Series will race with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, June 20-22 at Infineon Raceway (formerly Sears Point Raceway) in Sonoma, Calif. The Infineon race marks a reunion of sorts as, for a number of years, the Trans-Am Series ran in conjunction with Winston Cup at Watkins Glen Int'l in upstate New York.

"The addition of Sears Point race gives the Trans-Am Series a second West Coast appearance and proudly, the Series will be racing at the two of the biggest motorsports weekends in California," said Clagett. "The three-day attendance at each venue will be in the 250,000-plus range, delivering Trans-Am Series sponsors the opportunity to reach a half million fans in just two dates."

In all, the Trans-Am Series will race on five permanent road courses and six temporary street or airport courses.

The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup features closed-fendered, production-based, V-8-powered sports cars. The Trans-Am Series is America's oldest continuously running sports car racing series and celebrates its 38th anniversary in 2003.

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