'Finest on the Globe'
A Daytona Prototype costs approximately $400,000 and weighs between 2,000 and 2,075 pounds, depending on engine size.
GT Supers weigh from 2,400 to 2,700 pounds and include Saleen S7Rs, Dodge Vipers, Turbo Porches, Ferraris, Moslet MT900Rs and Marco Manteras.
The GTs weigh between 1,850 and 2,650 pounds and do not allow turbocharging. This series is home to BMW M3s, Ferraris, Corvettes and a variety of Porsches. The Grand-Am series runs the gamut of makes and models, from the Dodge Neon RT and Ford Focus to Acura RSX and Lexus IS300.
“We’ll also have an open-wheel element, which will be a proving ground for many young drivers moving up from go-carts,” Edmondson said.
In May, many of the top road course drivers converged on the country’s newest motorsports facility.
Last year series champions included the likes of Scott Maxwell, John Shreiner, Jeff Lapcevich, Jean-Francois Dumoulin and Will and Wayne Nonnamaker.
And while most pilots in Winston Cup and Busch call North Carolina home, those who race Grand American and Grand-Am live and work all over the world. Mauro Baldi, for example, hails from Monte Carlo, while Joao Barbosa was born in Valongo, Portugal, and Mark Craig calls Weir, Quebec, home.
Several two-wheel competitions will be on the schedule in 2003. But the best is likely yet to come.
“The quality of this facility will make it the destination of motorcycles worldwide,” predicts Edmondson. “This facility will eventually be the home of the greatest motorcycle races in the world, and I guarantee every motorcycle series is going to flock to the Barber Motorsports Park.”
The facility has already pulled off a coup of sorts by bringing the Porsche Driving Experience to Alabama after a two-year stint at Road Atlanta. This provides Porsche enthusiasts with the opportunity to enhance their driving skills under the guidance of an instructor.
The Porsche Driving Experience assigns roughly 20 drivers their own 911 Carrera Coupe for the entire program, but also allows them to get behind the wheel of other Porsche models.
Instructors include such racing legends as Hurley Haywood and Jack Baldwin.
The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum officially opened to the public in 1995 and now displays nearly 750 vintage and modern motorcycles as well as a substantial collection of Lotus and other race cars. The cycles represent 17 nations and 125 manufacturers.
Meet the Drivers
Hometown: Joplin, Mo.
Drives the Havoline Dodge for Chip Ganassi/Felix Sabates Racing.
McMurray, in line for Rookie of the Year honors in Winston Cup this season, is also running a full slate of NASCAR Busch Series events. Last year he took over for an injured Sterling Marlin and shocked the motorsports world by winning his first Winston Cup race in only his second start. Incredibly, he also won his first two Busch races in a span of four weeks. His Busch win last October gave him the distinction of becoming the 100th driver to win a race in that series.