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Chevrolet Racing Press Releases:

10-12-2006: Chevrolet Finishes Third in Grand-Am Cup Series Standings
Source: GM Media

WARREN, Mich. – Chevrolet finished third overall in the Grand-Am Cup Series Street Tuner class on Sunday after a Cobalt SS Supercharged from Team Cobalt California took the checkered flag in 12th place during the six-hour season finale at Virginia International Raceway (VIR).

This is the second third place finish in as many seasons for Chevrolet with a Cobalt SS Supercharged winning an unprecedented five races during 2006, four by the Georgian Bay Motorsports team and one by the Powell Motorsport team.

Team Cobalt California's entry was driven by Sean Hayes and VJ Mirzayan, and was followed two spots behind by Georgian Bay Motorsports teammates Jamie Holtom and Eric Curran – co-drivers for all four Georgian Bay wins in 2006.

“Heading into the season finale, Chevrolet and Team Cobalt were still in the hunt for both the Manufacturer’s and Driver’s Championships, and we only finished four points out of second,” said GM Performance Division’s Ken Wasmer, whose engineering team provides technical support for all Cobalt SS Supercharged entrants in the Grand-Am Cup Series. “We will use this successful second season as a stepping stone for 2007, and we’re hoping the third time will be the charm.”

Holtom and Curran’s four wins in the #01 Georgian Bay Motorsports/ClearSCADA Cobalt led the pack in 2006 for Team Cobalt, while Marc-Antoine Camirand and Dave Thilenius won at Trois-Rivières on Aug. 6 in a Powell Motorsport Cobalt SS Supercharged entry. Curran also finished in fifth place overall in the Driver’s Championship standings.

Throughout the season, ongoing competition adjustments by Grand-Am, including additional weight and muffler restrictions among others, provided numerous challenges to Team Cobalt and each race team met those challenges head on.

“We’re very proud of the dedication and desire displayed by all our teams, especially during the latter half of the season,” said Wasmer. “Every team’s attitude remained positive and they quickly adapted to the technical challenges imposed by Grand-Am.”

“Even in this race, with our engine rpm limit reduced by 200 rpm and another 125 pounds of ballast to carry, Eric Curran was able to keep up and run with many of the Top 10 finishers, but the additional weight eventually took its toll on the car’s acceleration and braking ability.”

Team Cobalt was also a little shorthanded for Sunday’s race as the #00 Georgian Bay Motorsports entry was damaged during practice. However, the second Team Cobalt California car driven by Jack Mardikian and Aaron Povoledo finished a strong 15th.

During the weekend, the Grand American Road Racing Association announced a 12-race schedule for 2007 – two races more than in any previous years.

“We’re very enthusiastic about next year’s schedule and about the venues where the Grand-Am Cup Series will be racing,” said Wasmer. “Now that the schedule is available, we’re confident even more teams will make the decision to race Chevrolet Cobalts in 2007 and we’ve already had a number of inquiries.”

The GM Performance Division offers all Cobalt SS Supercharged entrants a contingency program along with the engineering technical support currently provided at every Grand-Am Cup race. The program awards contingency money for every Top Five finish: $5,000 for a win, $3,000 for second, $2,000 for third, $1,000 for fourth and $500 for fifth place.

Engineered by GM Performance Division, the Cobalt SS Supercharged is the most powerful and agile of the model line, with a suspension developed on Germany’s famed Nurburgring race track and a 2.0-liter ECOTEC Supercharged engine named among the industry’s 10-Best Engines for 2006 by the editors of Ward’s Communications.

GM Performance Division develops compelling, low volume, high-performance production and specialty vehicles, including the 205 hp Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged, 395 hp Chevy Trailblazer SS and 400hp Chevy SSR; the 400 hp CTS-V, 469 hp STS-V and 443 hp XLR-V from the Cadillac V-Series; and the 205 hp Saturn ION Red Line.