Grand_American_Road_Racing_Association

Grand American Road Racing Association

The Grand American Road Racing Association or Grand-Am 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.

Overview

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.

Current 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.

Ferrari Challenge

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 in 2006.

Shell Historic Challenge

Tied together with the Ferrari Challenge series, the Shell Historic Challenge is a series consisting of older Ferrari, Maserati, 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.

Former series

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.

References

External links

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