One of the most successful marques in GT racing history is returning to motorsports with the introduction of a new single make series designed to showcase the world’s newest turbocharged mid-engine sports car.
California-based Saleen Automotive, led by legendary racing driver and high-performance vehicle pioneer Steve Saleen, announced it will host the Saleen Cup, a five-event, “arrive-and-drive” race series designed to demonstrate the capabilities of its recently announced Saleen 1 sports car.
The Saleen Cup, which was announced today during a press conference at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, is being presented via a partnership with SRO Motorsports Group, and will run concurrently with the Blancpain GT World Challenge America. The single-make series invites drivers to be among the first in the world to experience the Saleen 1 on five iconic race tracks throughout the U.S. As the first-ever professional quality “arrive-and-drive” series, the five events will be supported by 20 track-ready cars maintained, prepped and transported to race venues by Saleen – offering prospective drivers and enthusiasts a turnkey, once-in-a-lifetime racing opportunity – plus a chance to win a factory seat in Saleen’s GT4 entry throughout the 2020 season.
“I am very pleased to welcome the Saleen 1 Cup Series to the Blancpain GT World Challenge America schedule for the 2019 season.,” said Stephane Ratel, founder and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group. “The Saleen name is instantly recognizable to every race fan and I have fond memories of the wonderful S7-R competing in the FIA GT Championship more than a decade ago. The new Saleen 1 is an exciting new project for the brand and the “arrive-and-drive” concept is the ideal way to showcase it at some of the most iconic circuits in the United States. I look forward to the inaugural event at Sonoma Raceway in June.”
“The Saleen Cup is the next chapter in our company’s return to motorsports,” said Steve Saleen, CEO and founder of Saleen Automotive. “Racing is in the DNA of everything we do at Saleen. The technology and design of the new Saleen 1 model is a direct result of extensive track-testing and development, so it’s only natural that the new model makes its debut on some of the most iconic racetracks in America.”
“Racing one of our cars on these legendary tracks will change your life – not to mention the way you look at driving – forever,” added Saleen. “The Saleen Cup Series gives racers and mainstream enthusiasts this unforgettable experience and serves as the ultimate proving ground for the Saleen 1.”
Gabriele Cadringher recently joined Saleen as director of motorsports and will lead the Saleen Cup. The former technical director and consultant for FIA and Grand-Am will use the five-race events to further hone the track capabilities of the Saleen 1.
Uniquely, the Saleen Cup is open to standard “D” licensed drivers, and offers a distinct professional-level racing experience, in which each car is equally prepared and maintained in-house, including back-up cars, plus transported to each race event. The Saleen Cup also features two racer teams, which can split the cost for participants and offer more affordable racing opportunities. At the conclusion of the five-race series, category champions in the Saleen Cup will secure a factory seat driving in Saleen’s GT4 entry for the entire 2020 season.
The Saleen Cup will consist of five racings scheduled for the second half of the Blancpain GT World Challenge America, and kicks-off at Sonoma Raceway in California Wine Country in June. Drivers who are able to compete in the five races through October 20 are now being actively recruited. Information on the Saleen Cup is available at www.SaleenCup.com:
- Sonoma Raceway (Calif.)– June 7-9, 2019
- Portland International Raceway (Ore.) – July 12-14, 2019
- Watkins Glen (NY) – August 30 – Sept.1, 2019
- Road America(Wis.)– Sept. 20-22, 2019
- Grand Finale (Las Vegas) – Oct 18-20, 2019
Saleen’s innovative Saleen 1 model was recently unveiled as a major breakthrough for the venerated high-performance vehicle manufacturer, headquartered in Corona, Calif. Boasting innovative chassis design and performance influenced by Saleen’s legendary S7 supercar, the 450hp turbocharged 2.2-liter, four-cylinderSaleen 1marks the latest in the company’s Saleen Original line.
For more information on the Saleen Cup, visit www.SaleenCup.com.For more information on the Saleen 1 model, visit www.Saleen.com, or follow Saleen on social by using on Facebook at Facebook.com/Saleen, or by using @Saleenon Twitter and and @Saleenon Instagram.
About Saleen Automotive, Inc.
Saleen is dedicated to transforming the transportation experience. For over 35 years, the California-based automotive manufacturer has redefined driving through high-performing vehicles that combine championship-winning racing pedigree with innovative technology and distinctive styling.
From the first Saleen Mustang in 1984 to the legendary S7 in 2000 and the groundbreaking new Saleen 1, founder Steve Saleen has continually set the bar for vehicle design and performance engineering on streets and racetracks worldwide. In addition to its distinctive Saleen Signatureand Saleen Originalvehicle lines, Saleen offers a wide variety of technical parts, lifestyle accessories and apparel for those with a passion for performance. Learn more at www.saleen.com.
About SRO Motorsports Group
The global leader in GT racing. With more than 25 years’ experience at the forefront of a continuously evolving industry, SRO Motorsports Group is the established international leader in GT racing.
Best known for the development and implementation of the GT3 and GT4 regulations, SRO promotes and organizes championships that embrace professional and amateur competitors. Its portfolio of highly regarded series spans Europe, America and Asia, while its flagship Intercontinental GT Challenge features events on five different continents.
The 2019 season will see more than 100 races run under the SRO Motorsports Group banner, highlighted by the prestigious Total 24 Hours of Spa. In addition to promotion and organization, the company operates SRO Race Centre by MMC – a high-level technical centre at Circuit Paul Ricard – and provides the ultimate driving opportunities at world-renowned facilities through Curbstone Track Events.
SRO Motorsports Group is chaired by company founder and CEO Stephane Ratel. With offices in London, Paris, Liège, Austin, and Hong Kong, its work is facilitated by a dedicated global team of full-time and freelance staff.
Combining a passion for performance with industry-leading experience, SRO is ready to play a key role in shaping the future of international GT racing.
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