TOPEKA, Kan. (May 11, 2007) — Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp. is partnering with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) to create the Toyo Cup, an awards program designed to recognize and reward part-time, grassroots racers competing in the SCCA's Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge.
The SCCA and Toyo will present the Toyo Cup at each of the SPEED World Challenge's 10 remaining races this season to the highest-finishing driver enrolled in the program, which is open to those competitors who don't make their living from racing. Eligibility is somewhat subjective, the SCCA acknowledges. Previous race and pole winners and rookies are not eligible.
The Toyo Cup carries a $250 credit toward the purchase of tires, the sponsors said, with one winner in each of the series' two classes, GT and Touring Cars, at each race. Toyo has been the series' official tire since 2001.
“The Toyo Cup is in place to recognize a group of drivers dedicated to the enrichment of our series,” SCCA Pro Racing President Bob Wildberger said. “We've created a competition inside a competition for those drivers who remain dedicated to SCCA Pro Racing while also pursuing other occupations, and who unselfishly contribute their time and resources every weekend, in the name of racing. These are the unsung heroes of our series.”
“As a longtime partner of SCCA SPEED World Challenge, Toyo Tires understands the sacrifices many racers make just to get to the track,” said Steve Hutchinson, Toyo senior director of marketing. “With the Toyo Cup, we show our appreciation for those drivers who may not make the headlines, but are crucial to a successful race weekend with their heartfelt performance on the track.”
The drivers who accumulate the most points throughout the season will be recognized with an award at the year-end awards ceremony, the SCCA said.
The SPEED World Challenge features race-prepared “showroom stock” cars competing in sprint races on road and street circuits of no more than 50 minutes. The GT Class features higher-performance cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette, Cadillac CTX-V, Dodge Viper and Ford Mustang, while the Touring Class comprises more sedan-like vehicles such as Acura RSX, BMW 325, Lexus IS3000 and Subaru WRX.
The first Toyo Cup awards will be handed out at the SPEED World Challenge event May 19 at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City.