The Grand American Road Racing Association
is an auto racing
sanctioning body that was established in 1999 to organize road racing
competitions in North America
. It currently sanctions six auto racing series.
The Grand American Road Racing Association was established in 1999 and is located in Daytona Beach, Florida
, near the homes to NASCAR
, International Speedway Corporation
(ISC), and Daytona International Speedway
. Although originated by some members of the NASCAR community, Grand-Am centers on different styles of racing including sports car racing
, touring car racing
, and motorcycle racing
on road racing circuits throughout North America.
On September 4, 2008, NASCAR Holdings announced their buyout of the Grand American Road Racing Association in an attempt to merge communications, research, and marketing resources into a single entity, while allowing each organisation to continue to control their own racing series.
Rolex Sports Car Series
The premiere series of Grand-Am is the Rolex Sports Car Series which originated in 2000 as a successor to the defunct United States Road Racing Championship. Combining classes of Sports Racing Prototypes and Grand Touring-style production-based cars, the series is centered around the 24 Hours of Daytona but includes a wide variety of American, Canadian, and Mexican tracks.
Since 2003 the series has replaced their Sports Racing Prototypes with new Daytona Prototypes, a custom-built class built specifically for the Rolex Series. These cost-effective race cars offer a relatively economical racing environment in which technology is carefully controlled to ensure close racing and approximate parity between different chassis and engines.
The GT classes have also been simplified over the years, allowing for a variety of American, European, and Japanese manufacturers to participate including Chevrolet, Pontiac, BMW, Porsche, and Mazda. Rules allow for tuned production cars or custom tube frame chassis to be used, letting participants save cost if necessary.
DPs and GTs usually share the track although do occasionally race separately, typically at shorter circuits.
KONI Challenge Series
Originally based on a Canadian series before being acquired by Grand-Am, the KONI Challenge Series
(originally known as Grand-Am Cup) is a production-based touring car
series. The series is split into two classes known as Grand Sport (GS), intended for large capacity GT-style cars, and Street Tuner (ST), consisting of smaller sedans and coupes, some of which are front-wheel drive
. The KONI Challenge supports some Rolex series races but also headlines some of its own dates.
Grand-Am is the sanctioning body behind the North American arm of the international Ferrari Challenge
series. Using identical race-tuned Ferraris
, the series originally ran the F355 then switched to the 360 Modenas
before switching to new F430s
Shell Historic Challenge
Tied together with the Ferrari Challenge series, the Shell Historic Challenge
is a series consisting of older Ferrari
, and Scuderia Ferrari
-run Alfa Romeo
models. Although a racing series, the competition is more of an exhibition of the classic machinery than a true race.
SunTrust Moto-ST Series
The only motorcycle
series run by Grand-Am, the SunTrust Moto-ST Series
launched in 2007 is an endurance racing
series for production-based motorcycles. Races range from three hours to eight hours. Motorcycles must be four-stroke, two cylinder models that are broken into classes depending on power and weight. Teams of riders are used to run an endurance event.
Ford Racing Mustang Challenge
The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup
is a new series which is being added in 2008. A one-make series similar to the Ferrari Challenge, this series will use identical Ford Mustang
FR500Ss co-developed by Ford Racing
and Larry H. Miller
, owner of Miller Motorsports Park
. The series features amateur drivers in 45 minute sprint events.
Formula Renault 2000
Grand-Am initially sanctioned the North American arm of the Formula Renault
series under the 2.0 Litre formula. However the series was later reorganized and came under the control of the National Auto Sport Association
(NASA) where it currently runs under the Formula TR name.