Due to the majority of my time being spent on gay rights movement research, I thought I would devote my favorite links page to my second passion in life, motorsports. Since my 4+ years (I will be starting my 5th season in March) involvement with the Sports Car Club of America as a corner worker and starter, I have had the fortunate pleasure to flag various sports car races including the 2004, 2005 and 2006 VIR 400 for the Rolex Sports Car Series as well as various SCCA National and Regional races at VIR, Carolina Motorsports Park and Roebling Road Raceway. Here are 10 links to various motorsports series that I have close following for during the racing season:

 

A1GP: The World Cup of Motorsport. A1GP has been around since Fall 2005 with its promotion of being the World Cup of Motorsport that pits countries against each other in a unique racing format. Up to 30 countries including the United States, Canada, Germany, France and Great Britain who have great motorsport-enriched history have competed in the series along with newcomers Pakistan, India, China and Indonesia. The site is very user friendly when it comes to updated news and other information along with various multimedia features including video and photo reviews of the previous races. During the race weekends, there are current live timing and video feeds for people to check how their home nations are doing in competition.

Grade for website: A: The access to the live timing and video feeds are really awesome for people on wireless or cable internet access yet can be extremely difficult for those who have dialup connections.

Carolina Motorsports Park: Carolina Motorsports Park is a 2.25-mile road course facility located in Kershaw, S.C. and has been host to various SCCA regional events along with various other car club activities and test days. The website includes various photos and diagrams of the track layout and previous events. Also, the website includes information about the Palmetto Motorsports Club that allow for its members to use the track on designated "member-only" days.

Grade for website: B. The only real lacking element of the website are actual in-car videos of laps around the facility so that prospective drivers, workers and spectators can get a firsthand look of the facility from a driver's eye.

FIA GT Championship: The FIA GT Championship has been around since 1998 that has promoted a production-based championship for cars similar that what you may find on the roads today. The championship has seen a wide array of manufacturers including Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Saleen and Lamborghini compete in the two classes (GT1 and GT2). Today, the championship has visited such picturesque circuits as Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Silverstone (Great Britain), Monza (Italy) and new venues at Bucharest (Romania) and Potrero de los Funes (Argentina). The website for the championship includes up-to-date information about the championship including schedules, video reviews of previous events and current standings. Also, there are links for other production-based championships including the FIA GT3 and FIA GT4 championships as well as national championships found in Germany, France, Belgium and Great Britain.

Grade for website: A. The website can be accessed via an array of browsers as the video highlights are concise in summarizing the 2-hour races that occur as part of the championship.

FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC): The FIA WTCC is an evolution of the previous European Touring Car Championship that has seen such manufacturers as BMW, Chevrolet, Alfa Romeo, Honda and Seat compete in this sedan-based championship. Famous drivers such as Alessandro (Alex) Zanardi, Jorg Muller, Jordi Gene and Andy Priaulx have competed in this championship. The championship has visited such famous racing venues as Valencia (Spain), Oschersleben (Germany), Imola (Italy), Monza (Italy) and Macau and new venues such as Puebla (Mexico), Porto (Portugal) and Marrakech (Morocco). The website has a wealth of multimedia features including video highlights of previous races, updated driver's and team standings along with photos from the exciting racing action.

Grade for website: B, the video highlights can only be accessed by viewers using Internet Explorer and RealPlayer as the bandwidth can vary on download and viewing times.

Grand-American Road Racing Association: The Grand American Road Racing Association (GARRA) has been around since the 2002 season and includes its two most popular racing series: the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Koni Challenge Series (formerly known as the Motorola Cup). The website is JAVA and multimedia-based with various news and updates about the Rolex Sports Car Series as well as links to the other GARRA-sanctioned series such as Ferrari Challenge, SunTrust Moto-ST Series, Ford Racing Mustang Challenge and the Skip Barber Series.

Grade for website: B. The website is of great use only if you have Java and other plug-ins on your computer to access the enhanced content. If you are on a dialup connection, go brew a pot of coffee and drink it because it will take exactly that amount of time to load if you are on a dialup or slow connection.

International Motor Sport Association (IMSA): The International Motor Sport Association is the official sanctioning body for six of North America's popular motor racing series that include the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), IMSA Lites, IMSA GT3 Challenge, Star Mazda, Formula BMW and IMSA Atlantic championship. The website is simple in design that has links to all six series' websites as well as the 2009 schedules for each series.

Grade for website: A+. The website can be accessed by people of various Internet capabilities since all of the information can be accessed in a small amount of time. The only requirement needed is having a version of Adobe Reader to read the PDF files.

IndyCar Series (ICS): The IndyCar Series has been in existence since 1997 and is the exclusive major open-wheel series in North America. Sanctioned by the Indy Racing League out of Indianapolis, Indiana, the ICS races at various racing facilities including short ovals such as Richmond International Raceway and Iowa Speedway, mid-sized ovals such as Chicagoland Speedway and Kansas Speedway to permanent road courses such as Watkins Glen and Infineon Raceway to street circuit venues in St. Petersburg, FL, Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan and Toronto, Canada along with the superspeedway Indianapolis Motor Speedway that hosts the annual Indy 500 in May. The multimedia-based website has a wealth of information including video highlights of previous racing events as well as links to the IMS Radio Network and Indy Lights Series.

Grade for website: B. The website is very user friendly for people on wireless and broadband connections, but don't try to access the site if you are on dialup. Also, if you plan to access the live video, timing and radio feeds on race weekends, get online at least 15 minutes early to make sure you can gain all relevant information.

Roebling Road Raceway: Roebling Road Raceway is a 2.02-mile road course facility located in Bloomingdale, Ga.that is 40 minutes northwest of downtown Savannah. The venue is privately owned by the Southeast Division of the Sports Car Club of America and hosts various motorcycle and car club activites including the SCCA Tom Nehl National in March, SCCA Jim Stark Double SARRC in April, the SCCA Lou Ella Cook Double National in July and the Southeast Division SARRC Invitational Challenge in the fall. The website has several images and diagrams of the facility including the layout and its location along with area information surrounding the track.

Grade for website: B+: A great website regardless of internet connection but the only thing lacking is in-car videos from laps around the facility.

Sports Car Club of America (SCCA): The Sports Car Club of America has been in existence since the late-1940s with its initial founding in Boston, Mass. Now located in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA sanctions over 30 classes of cars in its club racing competitions at the Regional and National level along with 20 classes in its Solo I (Autocross) program. In addition to its amateur racing sanctions, the SCCA also sanctions such pro series as the SPEED World Challenge, Mazda MX-5 Cup, VW Jetta TDI Cup and the Formula 2000 Championship Series. The website is JAVA-based and has a wealth of information for those who may pursue involvement with this organization including various regions and divisions that participate in SCCA-sanctioned activities.

Grade for website: B+. The website is advanced for its purpose since the information is very simple in nature. When SCCA had an older version of the website, it was much more user friendly due to not having JAVA or other advanced multimedia features.

Virginia International Raceway (VIR): Virginia International Raceway is a 3.27-mile road course facility located just 30 minutes east of Danville, Va. and right across the N.C./Va. State Line from Milton, N.C. VIR has seen its fair share of history from its first period of racing in 1957-1975 with the likes of Carroll Shelby, Roger Penske, Mark Donohue, Parnelli Jones and Dan Gurney competing at the historic facility. Between 1975 and 1999, the facility laid dormant as funding issues closed the facility and had turned into a cow pasture. In 2000, the facility was revamped with a total restoration of the famous road course that has seen construction of two paddock buildings, race garages and in 2008, the construction of villa homes overlooking the famous South Bend turn. Today, the multimedia-based website has a wealth of information including a complete 2009 schedule that will see the likes of the Rolex Sports Car Series, Koni Challenge Series and AMA Superbike Championship along with traditional events in the SCCA Oak Tree Double National, Gold Cup Races and the SCCA Charge of the Headlight Brigade 13-hour endurance race. Also, you can find photos and videos of previous events held at this historic racing facility.

Grade for website: A+. The website is very user friendly when it comes to accessing information regarding the facility itself along with an updated calendar of racing activities. Also, the multimedia features have photo galleries of racing events from as far back as 2005 along with in-car videos of laps around the historic track.

 

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