Immediate Rules Adjustment for Rolex Series GT Class to Ensure Competitive Balance
Pontiac GXP.R, GTO.R entries will compete with additional 100 pounds starting at Watkins Glen
In an attempt to maintain a competitive balance in the ACXIOM GT category of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, the sanctioning body announced Wednesday that Pontiac GXP.R and GTO.R entries will race with an additional 100 pounds of vehicle weight. In addition, the maximum rear weight percentage for these Pontiac entries will be 49 percent, meaning that 51 percent or more of the weight must be on the front tires.
The rule change will be in effect for the series’ next race, the June 7 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.
“Grand Am has an obligation to maintain competitive balance in the GT field to the best of our ability,” said David Spitzer, Grand-Am Vice President of Competition. “The biggest new variable that has been introduced for the 2008 race season is the Pirelli tire. While the tire has more grip for all cars, it allows greater durability on the Pontiac entries than for the Porsche and Mazda cars. This change will bring the competition into balance both in terms of outright lap time and tire durability over the race distance.
“Our analysis included consideration of all races this season, and analysis of all the tracks where we raced in 2007,” Spitzer said. “We understand that some tracks naturally favor some cars more than others – that is part of racing, just as teams and drivers have favorite tracks.”
Pontiac is riding a five-race winning streak in GT class. Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards won Monday’s race at Lime Rock Park for their third victory of the season in the Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R, while the Stevenson Motorsports Pontiac GXP.R of Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell has two victories. The lone non-Pontiac victory of 2008 was scored by the SpeedSource Castrol Mazda RX-8 of Sylvain Tremblay, Nick Ham, David Haskell and Raphael Matos in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Grand-Am does not expect to make any further adjustments for the duration of the 2008 season.
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.
With title sponsorship support from Rolex Watch USA and presenting sponsorship from Crown Royal Cask No. 16, the Rolex Series showcases emerging and legendary drivers from around the globe and thoroughbred racing machines from the industry's leading constructors and the world's top automobile manufacturers.