Grand-Am Now Sanctions the Skip Barber National
Monday, January 28, 2008 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Skip Barber Racing and the Grand American Road Racing Association (Grand-Am) today announced a comprehensive agreement that not only provides sanction of the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, but makes the Skip Barber organization the Official Racing & Driving School of Grand-Am.
Among other benefits, Grand-Am’s sanction of the Skip Barber National (heretofore, self-sanctioned) secures the entry level pro series featured support-series status at the top line venues and dates of many of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and/or KONI Challenge race weekends.
As part of the agreement, all cars competing in any Grand-Am championship – Daytona Prototypes, GT, KONI, etc. – will sport the Skip Barber logo. Likewise, Skip Barber Racing’s fleet of nearly 175 race cars (Formula Skip Barber, Skip Barber Formula 2000 and Skip Barber MX-5 Cup cars) will carry Grand-Am identification.
Skip Barber National competitors will be licensed by Grand-Am. Additionally, the hundreds of drivers Skip Barber graduates from its advanced racing schools, as well as driver in its five amateur Regional Race Series, will enjoy special benefits exclusive to them.
Todd Snyder, the Skip Barber vice president of competition who led the initial talks, says, ‘‘Aligning with Grand-Am is a natural, as we’ve been developing top racers – many of whom are now in the Rolex Series – for many years. I’m really proud of what we do, that we remain the most cost-effective development system for young drivers. I have no doubt that Skip Barber National competitors get more seat time, in front of more fans – even more, thanks to this terrific Grand-Am sanction – than any other school-related racing championship.’’
‘‘The Skip Barber Racing program has been an integral part of our series and our drivers for a number of years, developing not only drivers but mechanics for our teams through their various programs,’’ Grand-Am President Roger Edmondson said. ‘‘Because of that, completing an official partnership was a logical move for the Grand-Am Series, allowing us to offer our support back to the Skip Barber program and to continue to grow both the Grand-Am and the Skip Barber programs.’’
Now in its 10th year, the 2008 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda is a 14-race championship that awards its annual champion one of the largest title bonuses in all of junior-formula racing: a paid season in the following year’s Star Mazda Series, worth approximately $350,000.
This is the series that launched the auto racing careers of Marco Andretti, Scott Speed, A.J. Allmendinger, Raphael Matos, Salvador Duran, Gerardo Bonilla, Jonathan Goring and Joel Miller, plus dozens of other drivers succeeding in Grand-Am, the IRL, Champ Car, NASCAR and the SCCA as well as overseas in series such as A1GP. The typical 25-car starting grid is filled with young drivers graduating from Snap-On Stars of Karting, the WKA and other karting championships. A Masters Division recognizes a separate champion for those drivers over the age of 40.
The Grand American Road Racing Association, which operates and sanctions the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 and the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series, is the premier road racing organization in North America. The 15-race 2008 Rolex Series and the 11-race KONI Challenge Series calendars deliver professional sports car racing to key markets throughout North America in addition to being televised in the United States and Canada on SPEED and distributed globally through ESPN International. Learn more about Grand-Am at www.grand-am.com.