U.S. Road Racing Seeks Common Ground
24 April 1998BRASELTON, Ga. -- At Chateau Elan today, Panoz Motor Sports hosted a conference involving the principles and track owners from both the USRRC and Professional Sports Car Racing series. The meeting was held to address the concerns of all of the parties and to promote a unified road racing series in the U.S.
All sports car track owners and representatives of the two sanctioning bodies were invited. Attendees included president Michael Gu (Professional Sports Car Racing) and chairman Robert Snodgrass (USRRC), plus track principles Jim Haynes (Road America), Mike Rand (Lime Rock), John Stornetta (Laguna Seca), Bob Barnard and James Selwa (Road Atlanta, Sebring and Mosport), Peter Yanowitch (representing promoter Ralph Sanchez) and Panoz Motor Sports founder Don Panoz.
"Our mission was to find a way to advance sports car racing in the United States," says Panoz. "Everyone who attended was in agreement that we need a unified sanctioning body, and that sports car racing in the States should be inclusionary not exclusionary -- as it has been in the past."
The two sanctioning body representatives indicated they were willing to talk and proceed toward unification and left the meeting saying that they will sit down and work on the details within the next two weeks.
"I think we need to have a unified sanctioning body if we want road racing in the U.S. to grow and become a viable product for track promoters," says Selwa. "There are not enough teams or fans to split between two series. And without large fields, no one has a good show."
Road America representative Jim Haynes agrees: "Unless we get the current dissension resolved, we don't have a product that is viable to the public and professional road racing in the U.S. will cease to exist."