DETROIT, June 15 /CNW/ — Jaguar today announced that it will provide a contingency sponsorship for the Trans-Am Series. In conjunction with the Panoz/Sanchez Group, the announcement was made at the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit. This is the first time Jaguar has taken a sponsorship role in the series in which its XKR sports cars compete.
"Jaguar has a rich racing history and a tradition of supporting both factory and private teams," said Scott McKee, Event Marketing Manager, Jaguar North America. "With our strong historical links to Trans-Am we are particularly pleased to be able to recognize the teams and drivers running Jaguar-bodied cars this year. Our contingency program is also about supporting the Trans-Am series as a whole and all those who take part." The company's support of the series will focus on the qualifying session, rewarding each weekend's fastest qualifier. The pole winners from all 11 Trans-Am events will each be given a key that will potentially start a new 2002 Jaguar X-TYPE sport sedan. The owner of the "lucky key" (as determined during an awards ceremony following qualifying at the Trans-Am season finale in Houston, Texas) will win the X-TYPE. All six drivers of Jaguar-bodied cars will automatically be eligible to win the X-TYPE, and, as a further reward, anyone winning a pole position in an XKR will receive a check for $2,500. "We're thrilled to have Jaguar join the Trans-Am Series as a sponsor," said John Claggett, executive director of the series. "Jaguar has had a wonderful history in Trans-Am, with Bob Tullius winning the championship in 1977 and 1978 driving a Jaguar XJ-S. With six Jaguar XKR race cars in the series this year, this sponsorship gives a little back to those who have been waving the company's corporate banner." The Trans-Am Series is the premier form of professional closed-roof performance coupe and sedan road racing in North America. At 36 years old, it is also the longest running road racing series in North America. The Series runs many of its races in conjunction with the CART FedEx Series, including this weekend's Detroit Grand Prix.