GT-1 Driver Development Program changes announced

Trans-Am Rule Changes Benefit GT-1 Driver Development Program Participants INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 15, 2005) -- The Trans-Am Series has made several rule changes designed to further attract GT-1 competitors to the Series. The rule changes will...

Trans-Am Rule Changes Benefit GT-1 Driver Development Program Participants

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 15, 2005) -- The Trans-Am Series has made several rule changes designed to further attract GT-1 competitors to the Series. The rule changes will continue to enhance the GT-1 Driver Development Program introduced last season.

GT-1 cars will be allowed to run 358-cubic-inch engines with a 13.0:1 compression ratio, provided the driver hasn't finished in the top five in a professional race in the last five years, and has not finished in the top five in a Trans-Am Series race prior to the beginning of 2005. GT-1 cars that don't meet all engine specifications can apply for an exemption on an individual basis this season. GT-1 competitors will also receive a two-race exemption from using the Series' spec MSD ignition system.

"Our GT-1 competitors are the key to developing the Trans-Am field of the future," said Trans-Am Executive Director John Clagett. "We built the GT-1 Driver Development Program as a way to recognize the importance of GT-1 competitors and their symbiotic relationship with the Series.

"We promised last year to take a clean-slate approach to those rules governing GT-1 participation," added Clagett. "We are delivering on that promise with hopes of attracting a wider GT-1 field in 2005. Twelve GT-1 competitors competed part time in 2004. These rule changes will only make it easier for even more GT-1 drivers and teams to come out and compete with North AmericaÕs top professional sports car racers."

The GT-1 Development Program will continue to recognize the highest-finishing GT-1 competitor at each 2005 event during winnerÕs circle festivities. The top-finishing GT-1 driver will also be invited to take part in post-race media interviews, and, when possible, will participate in television interviews. A separate press release will also be distributed, announcing the GT-1 winner. As in years past, the highest finishing GT-1 competitor in final driver points will also be honored as the GT-1 Champion.

GT-1 competitors will continue to be eligible for regular Trans-Am championship points, contingency monies and race awards. Special GT-1 contingency awards are also being planned for this season.

The Trans-Am Series features closed-fendered, production-based, V-8-powered sports cars, competing on permanent road courses, and temporary street and airport circuits throughout North America. The Trans-Am Series is AmericaÕs oldest continuously running road racing series and celebrates its 40th consecutive year of competition in 2005.

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Series Trans-Am