The Grand American Road Racing Association has revealed the 2004 rules for the GT and SGS classes, giving each a separate class complete with its own championship.

As announced earlier this year, the GT class in 2004 will include a mix of cars that include the current 2003 GT and GTS-legal cars and other cars that will become the new standard for the class. The rules list 28 different car models from 19 manufacturers including Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Corvette, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes, Maserati, Nissan, Pontiac, Porsche, and Toyota.

"We announced last July that we were going to take a fresh look at the GT class for next year," director of competition Mark Raffauf noted, "We've spent the summer visiting manufacturers around the country and talking to them about our concept and gathering input. Now we've put those ideas on paper so people can start building cars."

The 2004 GT rules are established to let more brands compete by allowing some modifications to the basic production models that were not allowed in the older GT format.

"If there is a car that does not come with a powerful enough engine, we are going to allow the owner to use a different one from the same manufacturer," Raffauf explained, "We are also going to allow front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive conversions and some other things so that our race fans will get to see a lot of different cars running fender to fender on the track."

The SGS class will debut in the Rolex Series next year, having run the last couple of years in the Grand-Am Cup Series.

"SGS is essentially the same class as the current GS1 class in Grand-Am Cup," Grand-Am Cup technical director Scott Spencer said, "SGS will run as a separate championship in 2004, as we get ready to meld it into the GT class for 2005."

Raffauf noted that Grand American has been approached by a number of teams that are already working on new GT cars for next season.

"We've got a lot of cars listed in the new rules and I don't expect to see all of them on the race track next year," he said, "But, from what we're hearing, there will be quite a bit more variety in 2004 than fans have seen for many years."

 

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