Grand Am Racing

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on the 2006 Grand Am and Rolex Series.

Grand Am Series
Rolex Watch USA Involvement
Rolex Sports Car Series Class Descriptions
Daytona Prototypes
GT Class
Grand-Am Cup Series Class Descriptions
Grand Sport (GS)
Street Tuner (ST)
Contact
Race Schedule: 
Grand Am, Rolex
Grand Am Race Results
Related Issue:
Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Notable Women

Grand Am Series


The Grand American Road Racing Association was established in 1999 to return stability to major league sports car road racing in North America. As the organization begins its sixth season of competition in 2005, Grand American is universally regarded as one of the world’s fastest-growing motorsports organizations.

Grand American is located in Daytona Beach, Florida, on the same corporate campus that is also home to NASCAR, ISC (International Speedway Corporation) and Daytona International Speedway, but operates as its own stand-alone corporation with a group of independent investors and its own board of advisors. Among the corporation’s investors are several of the key people behind NASCAR’s success, but Grand American offers an entirely different product that features world-class sports car racing on historic road racing circuits and in major market speedways throughout North America.

Sports car racing in North America endured tough and uncertain times for the majority of the 1990s, a far cry from the successful IMSA series of the 1970s and ‘80s. As is often the case in motor racing, sports car racing’s decline during that period could basically be traced to uncontrolled technology and its related costs. Grand American has addressed this with sensible and affordable rules that are competition driven but grounded in common sense and stability with a firm commitment to a level playing field.

Grand American’s top-tier Rolex Sports Car Series – which also begins its sixth season of competition in 2005 – has established itself as the most competitive professional road racing championship in North America. The Rolex Series Daytona Prototype category has attracted the attention of world class drivers and teams through its extremely raceable and relatively affordable format, and has revolutionized sports car racing with plentiful battles at the front of the field and close finishes in virtually every race. The result has been a rush to participate in the class since last year and demand for Daytona Prototypes continues to exceed supply as 2005 gets underway.

Like the Daytona Prototype class that has redefined prototype sports car racing, the new-for-2017 Rolex Series GT class is likely to do the same for high-performance, production-based sports car racing. With an eye toward the cost-containment and close competition that has propelled the popularity of the Daytona Prototype class, the reconfigured GT category will provide a stable battleground for the world’s top automobile manufacturers. Perhaps best of all, the Rolex Series’ two-class format will allow race fans watching from the grandstands or on television and the media covering the sport to follow the action with just two easy-to-distinguish classes of race cars – Daytona Prototypes and GT. The Grand-Am Cup Series for straight-from-the-showroom American muscle cars and the hottest imports is also back in 2005 for its fifth season of competition under the Grand American banner.

Grand American races at some of the world’s most prestigious venues – Daytona, Laguna Seca and Watkins Glen – and has taken the role of a top annual attraction at some of the newest venues in the industry such as Barber Motorsports Park and Virginia International Raceway. Grand American is also making a standard out of the newest form of circuit racing – “Stadium Road Racing” – on the road course layouts at tracks like Homestead-Miami Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and California Speedway.

Rolex Watch USA Involvement

Long known as the benchmark for quality, durability and reliability, Rolex is one of the world’s most recognizable names. For four years, Rolex Watch USA has been the entitlement sponsor of Grand American Road Racing’s premier series. Anchored by their support of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Rolex is synonymous with legendary events throughout the world that test the endurance of their participants.

"Grand American is thrilled to have the prestigious company like Rolex as the title sponsor of our series," Grand American President Roger Edmondson said. "We firmly believe that working with Rolex will prove extremely prosperous for the growth of sports car racing in this country. We are thrilled with their continued support."

Each year, Rolex Series drivers compete for the highly coveted, specially engraved, steel and gold Daytona Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Rolex watch. Rolex Watch USA continues to expand its support of Grand American and has renewed their commitment to sports car racing with a multi-year extension of their series entitlement.

Rolex Sports Car Series Class Descriptions

Entering its sixth season of competition in 2005, the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series is leading a resurgence of major-league road racing in North America. At the foundation of this success is the exotic Daytona Prototype division that is the fastest growing auto racing class in the world. Introduced just two years ago, Daytona Prototype fields have grown seven times over since debuting in the 2003 Rolex 24 At Daytona. At least two dozen Daytona Prototypes are expected at every race this year and nearly 30 are expected to be on the grid for this year’s Rolex 24 opener.

Similar success can be expected for the revamped GT class that makes up the other half of the Rolex Series racing line-up. The GT division is for race-prepared versions of today’s popular international and American-made high-performance sports cars and coupes, which makes for an easily identifiable and competitive product for race fans. After running a variety of GT-based classes in Grand American’s first five years of competition, the new rules package has consolidated GT into just one class beginning with the 2005 season. For the first time, the Rolex Series now features just two classes of easily discernable race cars – Daytona Prototype and GT – which should prove popular with both race fans and the media covering the sport.

The 14-race Rolex Sports Car Series schedule features a challenging mix of endurance and sprint races, including the 24-hour opener, a pair of six-hour races and several 400K and 250 miles sprints. New events include Grand American’s first visit to the famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the season ending event in Mexico City that will be from 400-1000K in length.

Holding to sports car tradition, the Daytona Prototype and GT classes race together while competing for both class honors and the overall victory. The lone exception will be a pair of split 250-mile races at Phoenix International Raceway in September where each class will run its own race.

Although solo runs are permitted in sprint races, teams of drivers are commonplace in the Rolex Sports Car Series. The shorter events usually feature two drivers per car, three-driver teams are common in the six-hour events and four and five driver squads are the norm for the Rolex 24. Driver changes during pits stops always factor into the action and strategy at each race.

For the first time in 2005, Hoosier Racing Tire is the exclusive tire supplier in the Rolex Sports Car Series for both the Daytona Prototype and GT classes. The new, multi-year relationship builds on Hoosier’s past and continuing support of the Grand-Am Cup Series.

Daytona Prototypes

The top category in Grand American Road Racing and the undisputed stars of the Rolex Sports Car Series, Daytona Prototypes are exotic, mid-engine machines that are purpose-built strictly for competition on the track. Low to the ground and capable of speeds in excess of 185 mph, Daytona Prototypes also feature the latest in safety technology, including carbon fiber side impact panels and a multi-point roll cage with a unique center post at mid-windshield.

Daytona Prototypes are produced to similar specifications by seven approved constructors – Riley Technologies, Doran Designs, Crawford Race Cars, Fabcar Engineering, Chase Competition Engineering, Picchio and Multimatic. Although each chassis is independently designed and manufactured, competitor modifications are highly limited by Grand American rules and certain parts – including series-standard rear wings – are mandated by the series. A Daytona Prototype chassis costs about $400,000 but the cars can be raced in their current configuration for several years within Grand American’s stable rules package.

Manufacturers are welcome to submit any production-based engine for approval in the series but turbos and superchargers are not permitted. Engines that are currently approved for competition include powerplants from Pontiac (5-liter V-8), Lexus (4.3 liter V-8), BMW (5-liter V-8), Porsche (3.9 liter flat six), Ford (5-liter V-8) and Infiniti (4.3 liter V-8). All engines are tuned to produce around 500 horsepower and each is capable of being mated to any of the approved Daytona Prototype chassis which creates an interesting variety of chassis/engine combinations. Five or six-speed sequential gearboxes from EMCO and XTrac are the series standard in Daytona Prototype. Smaller engined Daytona Prototypes under 4.5 liters are allowed the advantage of the six-speed gearboxes while all race cars with larger engines must run the five speeds.

In addition to official and approved chassis designs and engines tuned to Grand American specifications, Daytona Prototype competition is further equalized through minimum race car weight. Daytona Prototypes with smaller engines can run at lighter minimum weight than their counterparts with more power. Race cars fitted with engines under 4-liters can weigh in at 2,125 lbs. Engines in the 4-4.5 liter range require a minimum weight of 2,175 lbs. and Daytona Prototypes with engines over 4.5-liter and up to the maximum 5-liters must weigh in at a minimum 2,200 lbs.

GT Class

The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series GT division is home to production-based race cars that are similar in appearance to the latest high-performance sports cars and coupes that you see on the street everyday. Underneath their skin, however, GT race cars are all business and use some of the same technology found in the more exotic Daytona Prototype class.

The rules for GT – short for Grand Touring – employ several methods of equalization including race car weight, tire size and engine rpm limits to provide an even playing field for a variety of international and American-made cars. Only in GT can you see nimble, flat-six Porsche GT3s take on big-bore V-8 Corvettes and Pontiac GTOs while also mixing it up with three-rotor Mazda RX-8s, mid-engine Ferrari 360s and Maserati and BMW M3 coupes.

Engines in GT machines produce between 390 and 450 horsepower depending on the car, and minimum weights range from 2,500 lbs. to 2,800 lbs. The popular Porsche GT3s and BMW M3s – two championship winning models in GT over the years – weigh-in at 2,600 lbs. while the bigger Corvettes tip the scales at the maximum 2,800 lbs. Top speed for GT race cars is 170 mph.

Grand-Am Cup Series Class Descriptions

The Grand-Am Cup Series is Grand American’s showcase for the latest in international and American-made high-performance sports cars, coupes and sedans straight from the dealer showroom floor. With major modifications permitted only in the area of safety, the Grand-Am Cup Series is home to the same cars seen on streets and highways around the world every day.

The starting fields for Grand-Am Cup races typically feature more than 50 of today’s hottest import and domestic production cars that usually race together while competing for both class honors and the overall victory. Series races – which average about 200 miles in length with a three-hour time limit – are primarily run as the featured support events for the Rolex Sports Car Series, although Grand-Am Cup will step into the spotlight with a few feature races of its own in 2005. Among the showcase events is an all-new race in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the GS (Grand Sport) class.

Like the Rolex Series, Grand-Am Cup is made up of two classes of race cars. The big-bore GS class features a rules package that allows exotic international machines like the Porsche 966, Nissan 350Z, BMW M3 and others to go head to head with American iron such as the Pontiac GTO, Cadillac CTS-V, Ford Mustang Cobra and GT and more. The smaller ST (Street Tuner) class is Grand American’s offering to the import and compact car crowd with the Mazda RX-8, Chevy Cobalt SS, Dodge SRT4, Mini Cooper S, Lexus IS 300, Acura RSX and TSX, a variety of BMWs and other models eligible.

All Grand-Am Cup classes run on Hoosier tires and at least two drivers must drive in each competing race car under green flag conditions, making at least one driver change mandatory.

GRAND SPORT (GS)

The GS (Grand Sport) class is made up of several factory sports and muscle cars from around the world with minimal performance modifications but full safety systems. Minimum weights range from 2,730 lbs for the Acura NSX to 3,250 lbs for the big Cadillac CTS-V.

Engines are tuned to produce between 350 and 405 horsepower depending on the car, and the competition is further equalized by a variety of fuel tank capacities that range from 16.5 gallons for the Porsche 966 to 20 gallons for the Acura NSX, Audi S4, Cadillac CTS-V, Lotus Esprit, Chevy Camaro, Pontiac Firebird and all Ford Mustangs. Top speed for most GS cars is 160 mph.

STREET TUNER (ST)

The ST (Street Tuner) class features a variety of sports cars and high-performance compacts that are as equally popular with Grand-Am Cup competitors as they are with today’s consumers. Unlike the bigger GS class where V-8s are allowed, ST is limited to four and six cylinder engines although turbochargers and superchargers are permitted.

Engines produce between 170 and 240 horsepower depending on the car while minimum weights range from 2,200 lbs. on the low side for the Mini Cooper S up to 2,925 lbs. for the BMW 330. Fuel tank capacities range from 16.9 gallons for the Porsche Boxster and Mazda 6 up to a high of 17.9 gallons for the Lexus IS 300 and Mazda RX-8, two models that both won races in the last few seasons of Grand-Am Cup competition. Most competing ST cars have 17-gallon fuel tanks including 2004 race winners such as the Acura RSX and BMW 328 and 330. Like the GS class, the only major modifications allowed in ST are in the area of safety. Top speed for ST race cars is about 135 mph.

Contact
Grand American Road Racing Association
1801 West International Speedway Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114-1243
386.947.6681 Phone
386.947.6695 Fax
E-mail
Web Site: Grand Am Racing
Sr. Director of Communications & Marketing Adam Saal
Director of Marketing Ollie Dean
Public Relations Manager Nate Siebens
Public Relations Coordinator Tom O'Connor

2009 Grand Am/Rolex Series
Jan 24-25 - Daytona International Speedway , Daytona Beach, Florida
TBD - Mexico City
April 26 - Virginia Int'l Raceway , Alton, Virginia
May 3 - Millville, NJ
May 17 - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca , Monterey
June 6 - Watkins Glen Int'l , Watkins Glen, New York
June 20 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , Lexington, Ohio
July 3 - Daytona International Speedway , Daytona Beach, Florida
July 19 - Leeds, Alabama
Aug 8 - Watkins Glen Int'l , Watkins Glen, New York
Aug 30 - Montreal, Quebec, Canada
September 20 - Miller Motorsport Park , Tooele, Utah
October 10 - Homestead-Miami Speedway , Homestead, Florida

2007 Grand-Am Cup Schedule

January 26 - Daytona International Speedway , Daytona Beach, Florida
April 15 - Homestead-Miami Speedway , Homestead, Florida
April 21 - Iowa Speedway , Newton, Iowa
May 19 - 20 - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca , Monterey
May 26 - 28 - Lime Rock Park , Lakeville, CT
June 16 - 17 - Mosport International Raceway, Bowmanville, Ontario
June 23 - 24 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , Lexington, Ohio
July 7 - Watkins Glen Int'l , Watkins Glen, New York
July 21 - Barber Motorsports Park , Birmingham, Alabama
August 17 - Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres , Le Circuit du Trois-Rivieres, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec
September 14 - 15 - d Prix de Trois-Rivieres , Quebec TBA
Aug. 31 - Sept. 2 Miller Motorsport Park , Tooele, Utah
October 6 - 7 - Virginia Int'l Raceway , Alton, Virginia

2007 Rolex Series

January 25-28 Daytona International Speedway , Daytona Beach, Florida
March 1 - 3 Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City
March 22 - 24 Homestead-Miami Speedway , Homestead, Florida
April 26 - 29 Virginia Int'l Raceway , Alton, Virginia
May 17 - 20 U.S. Sports Can Invitational, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca , Monterey
June 8 - 9 Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen, Watkins Glen Int'l , Watkins Glen, New York
June 21 - 24 Emco Gears Classic, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , Lexington, Ohio
July 5 - Brumos Porsche 250, Daytona International Speedway , Daytona Beach, Florida
July 11 - 14 Iowa Speedway , Newton, Iowa
July 19 - 22 Porsche 250, Barber Motorsports Park , Birmingham, Alabama
August 3 - 5 Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, Montreal, Quebec
August 9 - 10 Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen Int'l , Watkins Glen, New York
August 23 - 25 Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, CA
September 12 - 15 1000K Miller Motorsport Park , Tooele, Utah

2006 Grand Am Calendar
April 22 - 23 Virginia Int'l Raceway , VA - April 23 - 1:00PM
May 5 - 7 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca , CA - TBA
May 12 - 13 Phoenix Int'l Raceway , AZ - May 14 - 3:00PM
May 27 - 29 Lime Rock Park , CT TBA
June 23 - 24 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , OH TBA
July 28 - 30 Barber Motorsports Park , AL - July 30 - 3:00PM
August 4 - 6 Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres , Quebec TBA
Aug. 31 - Sept. 2 Miller Motorsport Park , UT - Sept 2 - 2:00PM & 6:00PM
October 6 - 8 Virginia Int'l Raceway , VA TBA

2006 Rolex Series Calendar
April 8 Long Beach Road Course , CA - 9:00pm
April 22 - 23 Virginia Int'l Raceway , VA - April 23 - 1:00PM
May 5 - 7 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca , CA TBA
May 12 - 13 Phoenix Int'l Raceway , AZ - May 14 - 3:00PM
June 2 - 3 Watkins Glen Int'l , NY - June 3 - 2:30PM
June 23 - 24 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , OH TBA
June 29 Daytona International Speedway , FL - June 29 - 7:00PM
July 28 - 30 Barber Motorsports Park , AL - July 30 - 3:00PM
August 10 - 11 Watkins Glen Int'l , NY - Aug 11 - 8:00PM
August 24 - 26 Infineon Raceway , CA - Aug 27 - 3:00PM
Aug. 31 - Sept. 2 Miller Motorsport Park , UT - Sept 2 - 2:00PM & 6:00PM
October 6 - 8 Virginia Int'l Raceway , VA TBA

Related Issues: Women Racing, Women in Racing, Other Racing Calendar
Speed Channel -

Source: www.grandamerican.com , Results

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