Grand-Am adds race in New Jersey to '08 schedule
Reinforcing its position as the only sports car series to race in major markets throughout North America, Grand-Am officials announced a 2008 race schedule for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series that will once again see the series visit premier road courses in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The 2008 Rolex Series schedule includes a total of 15 events with 14 races for the Daytona Prototype category and 13 events for the GT division. Like 2007, the Daytona Prototypes will be featured in two stand-alone feature races at Watkins Glen (August 8) and Infineon Raceway (August 23) while the GT class takes center stage for the third consecutive year with its own headliner at Lime Rock Park on Memorial Day (May 26). The remaining dozen races will see the Rolex Series run combined events with the Daytona Prototypes and GT classes racing at the same time.
It all begins with the 46th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona (January 26-27). The twice-around-the-clock spectacle waves the green flag on the international racing schedule as the world's best sports car drivers and teams combine with the stars from NASCAR and open-wheel racing for a race like no other. The Rolex 24 is one of three endurance races on the 2008 schedule, including the Sahlen's Six Hours Of The Glen (June 7) and the season-ending Sunchaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park (September 20). The Sunchaser and Sahlen's Six Hours are two of the seven races following the Rolex 24 that will be Saturday feature events in 2008.
After the Daytona opener, Grand-Am will run its first sprint race of the season with the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway (March 29) in a Saturday doubleheader with the IndyCar Series. The majority of the sprint races in the 2008 Rolex Series will be 250 miles (400km) in length with a 2-hour, 45 minute time limit.
A Saturday return to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City (April 19) with NASCAR marks the fourth consecutive trip south of the border for the Rolex Series. One week later, the series reappears on the east coast at Virginia International Raceway for the VIR 400 (April 27).
The month of May features the Monterey Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (May 17), with the Rolex Series running on Saturday and co-headlining the weekend with the Champ Car World Series. The GT teams will follow with their traditional Memorial Day Monday feature race at Lime Rock Park.
Watkins Glen then hosts its mid-season six hour classic before the season reaches the midway point at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (June 21) with a Saturday evening race two weeks later. The series makes its annual holiday stop for the Brumos Porsche 250 under the lights at Daytona International Speedway (July 3) to kick off the traditional Independence Day weekend of NASCAR racing at Daytona. Rolex Series competitors then get a two week break before returning to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham (July 20).
August will be the busiest month of the season for the Daytona Prototype teams. Both Rolex Series classes visit Montreal and the historic Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (August 1), again with NASCAR, for a combined 200 mile Friday night feature race. The Daytona Prototype class then runs its pair of feature races, a Friday night event at Watkins Glen and a Saturday show at Infineon Raceway. Both prototype-only races are 200 mile contests.
The season then concludes for the third consecutive year with the Sunchaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City in late September.
Additionally, Grand-Am officials are currently in talks with the under-construction New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey about a late summer race, pending the completion of the facility's construction.
The 14-race Daytona Prototype and 13-race GT schedule get underway following the traditional Daytona Test Days January 4-6 at Daytona International Speedway.
Jan. 4-6 Daytona Test Days *
Jan. 26-27 Daytona International Speedway - Daytona Beach, Fla. 24 hours
March 29 Homestead-Miami Speedway - Homestead, Fla. 250 miles
April 19 Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez - Mexico City, Mexico 250 miles
April 27 Virginia International Raceway - Alton, Va. 250 miles
May 17 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca - Monterey, Calif. 250 miles
May 26 Lime Rock Park - Lakeville, Conn. # 250 miles
June 7 Watkins Glen International - Watkins Glen, N.Y. 6 hours
June 21 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - Lexington, Ohio 250 miles
July 3 Daytona International Speedway - Daytona Beach, Fla. 250 miles
July 20 Barber Motorsports Park - Birmingham, Ala. 250 miles
Aug. 1 Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve - Montreal, Quebec, Canada 200 miles
Aug. 8 Watkins Glen International - Watkins Glen, N.Y. + 200 miles
Aug. 23 Infineon Raceway - Sonoma, Calif. + 200 miles
Sept. 20 Miller Motorsports Park - Tooele, Utah 1,000 km
TBA New Jersey Motorsports Park - Millville, N.J.
* - Test event only
# - GT class only
+ - Daytona Prototype class only