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The Info List - Rolex Grand Am Series


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The Rolex
Rolex
Sports Car Series was the premier series run by the Grand American Road Racing Association. It was a North American-based sports car series founded in 2000 under the name Grand American Road Racing Championship to replace the failed United States
United States
Road Racing Championship. Rolex
Rolex
took over as series sponsor in 2002. It ran a mixture of classes of sports prototypes and Grand Touring-style cars. In 2003, the series debuted their custom prototype chassis, known as Daytona Prototypes, named after their premiere event, the Rolex
Rolex
24 at Daytona. The series staged the North American Endurance Championship, featuring three of its premier races at Daytona, Watkins Glen, and Indianapolis.[1] On September 5, 2012, Grand-Am announced that it would be merging the Rolex
Rolex
Sports Car Series with the American Le Mans Series
American Le Mans Series
to form a unified road racing championship[2] to be known as United SportsCar Racing,[3] later retitled as the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship. The final Rolex
Rolex
Sports Car Series race was held on September 28, 2013 at Lime Rock Park.[4]

Contents

1 History 2 Series champions 3 Television 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

History[edit] Following the failure of the United States Road Racing Championship in 1999, the new Grand American Road Racing Association announced their intentions to adopt a format similar to the one used in the USRRC, centering on the 24 Hours of Daytona. This series was seen as an alternative to the former IMSA GT Championship, which had since been replaced by the American Le Mans Series
American Le Mans Series
in 1999. The new series would run two classes of Sports Racing Prototypes identical to the rules used in the new FIA Sportscar Championship in Europe, while Grand Touring-style cars would consist of three classes: GTO for larger production-based race cars, GTU for smaller production-based race cars, and AGT for American tube frame cars. The league would also acquire the Six Hours of Watkins Glen, giving the league a second endurance race alongside the Rolex
Rolex
24 at Daytona to compete with the ALMS' 12 Hours of Sebring
12 Hours of Sebring
and Petit Le Mans. GTO and GTU would be renamed GTS and GT for 2001 to better match the classes used by the similar American Le Mans Series.

A GT-class Porsche spinning out after navigating a curve at the 2005 Grand-Am Road & Track 250 at Laguna Seca

2003 would see the series go through a radical change, as Daytona Prototypes debuted for the first time to replace both of the Sports Racing Prototype classes. Although SRPs would be allowed to continue until the end of 2003, few were seen while the Daytona Prototypes took over the series. The American GT class was also dissolved with the cars being placed into the similar GTS class. In 2004, the faster GTS class was abandoned in order to provide a larger gap between the Daytona Prototypes and GT cars. The GTS cars were as fast (if not faster) than the Daytona Prototypes. This meant that the GT class was now the top tier, being joined by the Super Grand Sport (SGS) class moved up from the Grand Am Cup
Grand Am Cup
series. This was further streamlined in 2005 with all Grand Touring-style cars being in a single GT class.

A 2007 Riley MkXI Daytona Prototype
Daytona Prototype
seen as the 2007 Rolex
Rolex
24 At Daytona.

This formula led to the Rolex
Rolex
Sports Car Series having a large number of competitors at most events, mostly due to the ease of use and low cost of the cars in either class while the Grand American Road Racing Association was able to keep the competition equalized. With such high car counts, Grand-Am has had to split GT and DP races at shorter tracks where it is not feasible to put 50 cars on the track at one instance. In each case, the GT cars race on Saturday, and the DP cars race on Sunday. This split format allows drivers to run both races. Each race is the same distance, as it would be if the two classes were running together. This did however make GT races slightly longer than combined events, since GT cars would likely finish several laps behind the winning prototype and thus not cover the full distance. When the GT and DP races were combined, the two classes would use a motorcycle racing-style "wave start," a concept from Roger Edmonson, who had been in motorcycle racing before organising the Grand American series with the France family. In this case, the DP cars would take the green flag first, followed, usually 20–30 seconds later (depending on track length) by the GT cars. By starting the cars separately, the organisers hoped for safer starts by having the two classes of cars race separately. Due to the series' affiliation with NASCAR, many Sprint Cup Series drivers occasionally participated in Rolex
Rolex
Series races, particularly the 24 Hours of Daytona.

Pruett/Rojas at Road America, champions in 2012

Series champions[edit]

Season Classes

2000 SR SRII GTO GTU AGT

James Weaver Larry Oberto Terry Borcheller Mike Fitzgerald Doug Mills

2001 SRP SRPII GTS GT AGT

James Weaver Andy Lally Chris Bingham Darren Law Craig Conway

2002 Didier Theys Terry Borcheller Chris Bingham Bill Auberlen Cort Wagner Kerry Hitt

2003 DP SRPII GTS GT

Terry Borcheller Steve Marshall Tommy Riggins Dave Machavern Cort Wagner Brent Martini

2004 DP GT SGS

Max Papis Scott Pruett Bill Auberlen Boris Said Andy Lally Marc Bunting

2005 DP GT

Max Angelelli Wayne Taylor Craig Stanton

2006 Jörg Bergmeister Andy Lally Marc Bunting

2007 Alex Gurney Jon Fogarty Dirk Werner

2008 Scott Pruett Memo Rojas Paul Edwards Kelly Collins

2009 Alex Gurney Jon Fogarty Leh Keen Dirk Werner

2010 Scott Pruett Memo Rojas Emil Assentato Jeff Segal

2011 Scott Pruett Memo Rojas Leh Keen Andrew Davis

2012 Scott Pruett Memo Rojas Emil Assentato Jeff Segal

2013 DP GT GX

Max Angelelli Jordan Taylor Alessandro Balzan Jim Norman

Television[edit] Speed Channel
Speed Channel
was the near-exclusive broadcaster of the Rolex
Rolex
Sports Car Series and included coverage of the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen
6 Hours of Watkins Glen
and the 24 Hours of Daytona. On August 17, 2013, Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 1
became the new near-exclusive broadcaster for the Rolex
Rolex
Sports Car Series until 2014 when both Rolex
Rolex
Sports Car Series and American Le Mans Series form United Sports Car Racing. See also[edit]

Daytona Prototype- the sports prototypes used in the league Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge- the league's support series

References[edit]

^ "Grand-Am confirms North American Endurance Championship for 2012". Autoweek. Crain Communications. Retrieved 17 March 2012.  ^ "Welcome to the Future of Sports Car Racing!". American Le Mans Series. Retrieved 27 January 2013.  ^ "Grand-Am, ALMS to become 'United SportsCar Racing' series in 2014". Autoweek. Retrieved 2013-04-22.  ^ http://www.racer.com/angelelli-taylor-storm-lime-rock-to-wrap-up-the-grand-am-rolex-series/article/313864/

External links[edit]

Official Homepage World Sports Racing Prototype – Rolex
Rolex
Series history and results

v t e

United States Road Racing Championship / Rolex
Rolex
Sports Car Series

1998 (USRRC) 1999 (USRRC) 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2

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