DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 27, 2012) – VISITFLORIDA.com has been named the presenting sponsor of the inaugural North American Endurance Championship, a special competition encompassing major GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series races at three of the continent's iconic race tracks: Daytona International Speedway, Watkins Glen International and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.com begins with this weekend's Rolex 24 At Daytona, followed by the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen on July 1 and the Super Weekend at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27.
To determine the championship winners in both the Rolex Series' Daytona Prototype and GT classes, points will be awarded on a 5-4-3-2 basis for drivers and teams. First place earns five points, with four for second, three for third and two for fourth and each following position.
The three events will each be scored uniquely, enabling drivers and teams to earn a possible maximum of 20 points at each. For the Rolex 24 At Daytona, points will be awarded based on standings in each class at six hours, 12 hours, 18 hours and the finish. At Watkins Glen International, points will be awarded at the three-hour mark and finish, with points multiplied by two. At Indianapolis, points will be awarded at the finish of the three-hour race, which will be multiplied by four.
The endurance championship winners will be crowned on the Victory Podium at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, following the historic GRAND-AM debut on the 2.605-mile road course. The DP champion team will receive $100,000, with the GT champion team getting $50,000.
"This inaugural championship is an exciting new addition to the Rolex Series season and now we have a great presenting sponsor partner to support it as well," said GRAND-AM CEO Ed Bennett. "Champions will no doubt cherish the moment when they are presented their trophies, at a legendary setting – Indianapolis.
"We obviously have a nice fit here, with VISITFLORIDA.com. The state of Florida is home to the Rolex 24, Daytona Beach is the birthplace of GRAND-AM and our corporate headquarters – and Florida is a great tourism destination. People who visit Florida usually have one thing in common: they fall in love with it and keep coming back. The same thing applies for people who check out GRAND-AM."
VISIT FLORIDA is the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida. Headquartered in Tallahassee, it was created by the Florida legislature in 1996 as a public/private partnership, and has numerous programs to help the state's many tourism businesses and destinations market themselves more effectively and affordably. VISITFLORIDA.com is the state's official source for travel planning and the No. 1 trafficked state destination marketing organization web site in the country.
"Partnering with GRAND-AM as presenting sponsor of this new championship is a terrific way to share our passion for Florida fun with race fans around the country," said Chris Thompson, VISIT FLORIDA president and CEO. "And I can't think of a better way to kick it off than here at the famed World Center of Racing for the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona."
2013 CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS
2012 FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS
Grand-Am Champion Pruett Eager To Return To Indy In Different Ride
Super Weekend Included In New GRAND-AM Championship