Rockingham 'Ryder Cup' plan

As part of its attempt to strengthen ties with the American Speed Association (ASA), the Days of Thunder series will now be called Stock Car Speed Association racing from 2005.

Rockingham 'Ryder Cup' plan

The top three in next year's SCSA championship will receive assistance to compete in an ASA event at the end of 2005. Rockingham will sponsor the champion and also support the runners-up.

"The plan is pretty clear-cut," said Rockingham CEO Joe Dickinson. "Our top drivers would be going over there on behalf of our series, and that will be the start of a Ryder Cup-style Trans-Atlantic challenge in 2006.

"We want to establish a challenge whereby US drivers will come over to Europe and vice-versa."

"It's now recognised that ASA is a feeder for NASCAR. We're trying to make a professional series and clearly our ladder must go towards the United States. The first step to is to get our guys to compete there, and ensure that people can see there is a stepping stone to America."

SCSA will experiment with different race formats next year. Rockingham will run longer races that will include refuelling stops.

"We will do longer, single races at about two of next year's meetings," said Dickinson. "Race strategy will come into it more, similar to the US way of doing it.
"We will probably try it at our second meeting. The race should last about two hours and around 120 laps."

In addition to the name change, SCSA's US links have also grown with the appointment of American Mark Claussner as race director. South Carolina native Claussner competed in Days of Thunder in 2001 and '02. There is also a new technical director in Sonny Howard, who has been responsible for the Pickup Truck Championship until now.

Meanwhile former Rockingham CEO Ashley Pover has joined the KR Racing team on a consultancy basis.

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