KLAUS GRAF CLINCHES 2005 TRANS-AM ROOKIE-OF-THE-YEAR HONOR Elkhart Lake, Wis. (August 21, 2005) After the checkered flag fell on the Rumble at the Road Trans-Am event at Road America today, Klaus Graf was named winner and the 2005 Trans-Am ...
KLAUS GRAF CLINCHES 2005 TRANS-AM ROOKIE-OF-THE-YEAR HONOR
Elkhart Lake, Wis. (August 21, 2005) After the checkered flag fell on the Rumble at the Road Trans-Am event at Road America today, Klaus Graf was named winner and the 2005 Trans-Am series Rookie-of-the-Year. With three victories , including today's dominating win, five Fastest Qualifier awards, and four Fastest Race Lap awards, Graf led the rookie crop all year long. Graf secured the honor by leading second place challenger, Hima Mihar, by more than 36 points making it mathematically impossible to lose with only one event remaining.
This is the first time the International championship driver has earned the award of Rookie-Of-the-Year in the United States in his 15-year racing career. He does hold two International drivers championships in German and Austrian Formula Ford.
“In Europe we sometimes don't have the Rookie-of-the-Year competition by itself,” said the 34 year old rookie. “Over here I think it is the first time. It's good to clinch that title for Jaguar and Rocketsports. Obviously that is one goal, to win the rookie championship; the main goal is to win the overall championship. That is what we'll focus on in Montreal.”
The 34-year-old joins Tim McAdams (1994) and Price Cobb (1995) as Rocketsports drivers to earn the title of Rookie-of-the-Year. He is also the first German national to win the honor since its inception in 1982.
Currently sitting 12 points ahead of Randy Ruhlman for the championship, Graf is within reach of becoming only the second driver in series history to win the driver's championship and the Rookie-of-the-Year title in the same year. He would join Dorsey Schroeder who accomplished the feat in 1989. < /font>
Graf's professional driving career started in 1990 in the Suzuki Swift Cup and progressed to the German Formula Ford and Austrian Formula Ford where he won both drivers championships in 1993. More recently, the newly crowned Rookie-of-the-Year has participated in the American Le Mans Series, ARCA and NASCAR Nextel Cup.
The final chapter of the 2005 Trans-Am championship will be played out at the famed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada on August 28th at. Watch the excitement on SPEED Channel on Saturday, September 3rd at 1:00 pm Eastern Time.