An Introduction to Grand Am Racing
Earlier this week, we talked about the grand merger between American LeMans Series racing and Grand-Am racing for the 2014 season. It is going to be a major change for road-course style racing, which is very different from the NASCAR that many Americans may be familiar with. It is a different kind of racing, where about half the cars are closer to road cars than "stock" car racing could ever to hope to be. Trust us, we could argue the point ad nauseam, but it might make more sense to give you a crash course in Grand-Am racing. What is Grand AM? In short, it is an entity that presides over five different racing series. Depending on the race, two of these series may be competing during the same race, though each series within the race has its own race winners. So what are the five categories? The Rolex Sports Car Series (yeah, they spell sportscar wrong) is the top of the pile, and features prototype-style race cars. A prototype is likened to a style car that you would never see on the road, save for the most exotic supercars. The engine resides behind the driver, and the body is constructed out of lightweight material, with wild aerodynamic wings. [caption id="attachment_20853" align="aligncenter" width="593" caption="A prototype racer in the pits"]
The aforementioned series shares the track with the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series (once again, with the spelling). These are all cars based on road-going cars. The cars literally come from the factory like any other consumer car, but the interior is tripped out, and the teams insert race-spec brakes and shocks, as well as roll cages and other safety equipment.