Pontiac will continue it's GT class racing efforts with the new GXP.R, a car that replaces the successful GTO.R (pictured). The GXP.R is being tested today for the very first time in Florida. Pontiac is looking to rack up wins, so it's decided to continue its development partnership with Pratt & Miller Engineering who spent most of last season working on the new car. The GXP.R, photos of which GM has yet to release, is set to bow at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona carrying primary sponsorship from Leighton Reese's Banner Engineering. We're not sure on what production car the GXP.R will be based, if it will remain the GTO despite that car's last year of production being 2006, or if it will change to a new vehicle entirely.
The number 06 GXP.R is the result of Pontiac's GT class championship program evolving after campaigning the GTO.R in 2005 and 2006. Leighton Reese Racing will be campaigning a pair of GXP.R cars from track to track in an effort to bring home checkered flags for itself and GM. Reese has been loyal to GM since forming his racing enterprise in 1986, and will drive one of the two GXP.Rs, along wilth factory aces Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards.
Press release after the jump.
Pontiac And Banner Racing To Run Next-Gen Pontiac Car In 2007 Grand-Am GT Championship
New Pontiac Race Car Tests At Homestead-Miami Speedway Tomorrow
DETROIT – Pontiac and Leighton Reese's Banner Racing have joined forces to campaign the next generation of Pontiac's GT-class race car in the 2007 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. The new GXP.R will carry primary sponsorship from Reese's long time partner Banner Engineering. The No. 06 Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R will take to the track for the first time tomorrow at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"The GT class is looking to be even more competitive in '07 with at least two new brands entering the series, so we wanted to improve our championship-winning package and we believe we have accomplished that goal," said Steve Sitek, Pontiac brand promotion manager. "Leighton Reese and his team have been road racing for over 20 years. In the '90s Leighton raced a Pontiac Grand Prix body style in the Trans-Am series, so we are just uncovering his roots with our brand."
The Pontiac GXP.R is the next step in the evolution of Pontiac's GT class championship program that began with the GTO.R in 2005. Pontiac and GM Racing, together with Pratt & Miller Engineering, spent the latter part of the '06 season re-designing and fabricating the all new GXP.R, which will make its competitive debut in upcoming Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.
Leighton Reese Racing was formed in 1986 and Reese has raced GM products exclusively throughout his motorsports career. The Minnetonka, Minnesota-based team competed in the Trans-Am series with a Pontiac Grand Prix in the 1990s. Most recently his team has been running in the Rolex Series with a Corvette as well as the SPEED GT World Challenge series, also with a Corvette. The team will run the entire 2007 Rolex Series schedule with two Banner Engineering/Leighton Reese Racing Pontiac GXP.Rs. Reese will be a driver and GM factory drivers Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards will also be members of the team.
"The Rolex Series is obviously a very competitive arena and we have some pretty big shoes to fill," said Leighton Reese. "We're going to be compared to last year's championship GT team, TRG, which was extremely successful. I think the competition is going to be even tougher this year but we have good people and good equipment. We'll definitely put up a good fight. We're thrilled that Pontiac asked us to be a part of the Grand-Am deal. This is a world-class program and we're looking forward to the chance of making Pontiac and Banner Engineering proud. We have a lot of work in front of us in preparation for the Rolex 24."
2007 Rolex Series GT Schedule
Homestead, Florida test January 4-6
Daytona test December 5-6
Rolex 24 At Daytona January 27-28
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez March 3
Homestead-Miami Speedway March 24
Virginia International Raceway April 29
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca May 20
Lime Rock Park May 28*
Watkins Glen Six Hours June 9
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course June 23
Daytona International Speedway July 5
Iowa Speedway July 14
Barber Motorsports Park July 22
Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve August 3
Infineon Raceway August 25
Miller Motorsports Park September 15
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