2009 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series

Schedule Boasts Eleven Races from Atlantic to Pacific Coast

Seven races will be contested in conjunction with Rolex Series, including January’s opener at Daytona International Speedway

 Eleven races, spanning from coast to coast and across two countries, will make up the 2009 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series schedule, which Grand-Am Road Racing officials announced today. Seven of those races will be held in conjunction with Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, while the other four races will be headliners for the KONI Challenge Series.

The three-hour race at Daytona International Speedway, which traditionally attracts more than 100 cars from the Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) classes, will once again kick off the campaign on Jan. 23. Newly-crowned GS champions Joe Foster and Scott Maxwell and ST titlist Jamie Holtom will use the race to begin defense of their 2008 crowns.

The returns of Homestead-Miami Speedway (March 13-15) in Homestead, Fla., and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (May 15-17) in Monterey, Calif., are highlights on the early portion of the schedule. The series last competed on both tracks in 2007. The event at Homestead-Miami Speedway features the first split-class races of the season, and will be the first of four headliners for the KONI Challenge Series. The classes will race together at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in conjunction with the Rolex Series.

New dates for New Jersey Motorsports Park (May 1-3) in Millville, N.J., and Watkins Glen International (June 5-7) in Watkins Glen, N.Y., will also see the KONI Challenge Series team up with the Rolex Series. The annual Memorial Day weekend races (May 23-25) at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., sandwiched between New Jersey and Watkins Glen, end an action-packed month of May for the series.

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (June 19-21) in Lexington, Ohio, and Barber Motorsports Park (July 17-19) in Birmingham, Ala., will host both KONI Challenge Series classes in 2009 after hosting only one class in 2008. Races at both facilities are scheduled to be contested as split-class events. The annual Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres (Aug. 14-16) in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, will also feature a split-class format, and the event is the only race this season in Canada.

The final two races of the season remain untouched from 2008. Teams will again trek to Miller Motorsports Park (Sept. 18-20) in Tooele, Utah, before returning for the season-ending twin six-hour races at Virginia International Raceway (Oct. 2-4) in Danville, Va.

The 2009 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series' television package is to be announced at a later date.

Grand-Am Road Racing, which operates and sanctions the Rolex Sports Car Series and the KONI Challenge Series, is the premier road racing organization in North America. The 13-race Rolex Series 2009 schedule and the 11-race KONI Challenge Series 2009 calendar delivers 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. Learn more about Grand-Am at grand-am.com.