Rolex Sports Car Series


Rolex Sports Car Series

Infobox Sports Car Championship
current_season = 2008 Rolex Sports Car Series season

pixels =
caption =
country/region = North America
inaugural = 2000
folded =
LMP classes = Daytona Prototype (DP)
GT classes = Grand Touring (GT)
races = 15 (2008)
champion driver = DP: Memo Rojas, Scott Pruett
GT:Paul Edwards, Kelly Collins
champion team = DP: Chip Ganassi Racing
GT:Banner Racing
manufacturer = DP: Pontiac/Riley
GT: Pontiac
website = http://www.grand-am.com
The Rolex Sports Car Series is the premiere series run by the Grand American Road Racing Association. It is a North American-based sports car series that was founded in 2000 under the name Grand American Road Racing Championship to replace the failed United States Road Racing Championship. Rolex took over as series sponsor in 2002.

It has run with a mixture of classes of Sports Racing Prototypes and Grand Touring-style cars over the years. In 2003, the series debuted their custom prototype chassis, known as Daytona Prototypes, named after their premiere event, the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

History

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 around 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 This series was seen as an alternative to the former IMSA GT Championship, which had since been replaced by the American Le Mans Series in 1999.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. GTO and GTU would be renamed GTS and GT for 2001 to better match the classes used by the similar American Le Mans Series.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 allow 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. 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 series. This was further streamlined in 2005 with all Grand Touring-style cars being in a single GT class. The Rolex Sports Car Series currently uses these two classes today: DP and GT.This formula has led to the Rolex Sports Car Series have 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 has been 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 does 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 are combined, the two classes 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 will take the green flag first, followed, usually 20-30 seconds later (depending on track length) the GT cars. By starting the cars separately, the organisers hope for safer starts by having the two classes of cars race separately.

eries champions

ee also

* 2008 Rolex Sports Car Series season
* Daytona Prototype

External links

* [http://www.grand-am.com/rolex/ Official Homepage]
* [http://wsrp.ic.cz/grandam.html World Sports Racing Prototype] - Rolex Series history and results


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