The 2003 Grand Am Cup season consisted of eleven race weekends. The championship kicked off in January at Daytona International Speedway, which was followed two months later by an event at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Beginning in May, the teams crisscrossed the United States, making a visit to Phoenix, Arizona and then back to the east coast for a stop at Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama. The championship made their final west coast swing of the year to Fontana, California. Round six was held at Watkins Glen International, which was followed by the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Next on the schedule was a visit to Canada for races at Mosport International Raceway and Le Circuit Mont Tremblant. The penultimate race weekend was held at Virginia International Raceway with the finale taking place at Daytona.

Most races were 3-hours in length and were scheduled as a support event for the Rolex Sports Car series. Mosport was the only weekend when the Grand Am Cup series competed without the Rolex championship.

The cars racing in the series are relatively unchanged from their road-going versions – modifications are mandated mainly for safety – roll cages, window nets, etc. They also used spec DOT-approved tires produced by Hoosier. Based on performance potential, the cars were divided into one of four groups:

  • Grand Sport (GS I and GS II): Grand Sport is the quicker of the two groups - this division features the larger displacement engines as well as smaller four-cylinder motors with forced induction systems. The power-plants produce between 400 and 500-horsepower. Minimum weights range between 2,900 – 3,300-pounds which, are dependent on the motor configuration and displacement. The GS I category includes cars such as the Porsche 993 Turbo, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Dodge Viper and Saleen Mustang SR. The Acura NSX, Audi S4, BMW M3, Nissan 350Z and Pontiac Firebird are examples of vehicles competing in GS II.
  • Street Tuner (ST I and ST II): The smaller displacement cars compete in the ST category. Engines in this group typically produce between 220 and 280-horsepower. Popular vehicles found the ST I class are the Acura RSX, Audi A4, Lexus IS300, Porsche Boxster, BMW Z3 Coupe and Acura Integra Type R. The ST II group includes the Mazda MX-5, Honda Civic EX, Chevrolet Cavalier Z24, Acura Integra LS, Dodge Neon and Mazda Protege.

With the exception of Phoenix, Barber, Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen, these four classes competed on the track at the same time.

Round eight of the 2003 Grand Am Cup season was held at Mosport International Raceway. Teams would compete in the third annual Sunoco 94 3-Hour event around the 2.459-mile road course.

Robert Julien started on the outside of the front row in the Doncaster Racing Porsche GT3 Cup. The Doncaster team realized they couldn’t match the speed of the pole-winning Corvette and chose a fuel strategy for the race. When the Powell Corvette suffered braking issues, it was ‘clear sailing’ for Julien and his co-driver, Jean Francois Dumoulin. Despite a late-race charge by Doug Goad, they scored the victory.
Local favourite, Devon Powell grabbed the pole, shattering his own lap record by 1.595-seconds. Powell’s driving partner, Doug Goad went even quicker in the morning warm-up. The pair dominated the race early but an issue with the ABS system, while Goad was behind the wheel, took them out of contention. They dropped to eleventh place before resolving the issue and rallied back to secure a runner-up finish.
At Mosport International Speedway, the points leader, Bob Beede topped the ST II qualifying sheet driving the No. 27 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura Integra LS. Beede’s usual driving partnered, Bill Fenton stepped aside, allowing Eric Curran to fill the vacant. This pairing proved to be successful and the duo captured Beede’s third victory of the season and increased his points margin over Will Nonnamaker and Howie Liebengood.
The Grand Sport I and overall podium for round eight at Mosport International Raceway. Standing in the center for the fourth time this season are the class points leader, Robert Julien and Jean Francois Dumoulin. On the left side of the rostrum are Powell Motorsports’, Devon Powell and Doug Goad. This was there second runner-up finish of 2003. Completing the podium are the Randy Pobst and Michael Levitas.
In GS II qualifying, championship contender, Forest Barber was second quickest. Sharing the Bell Motorsports BMW M3 with Barber was Terry Borcheller. After almost three hours of racing, there were two combatants vying for the top spot – Borcheller and Dean Martin in the Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang. On the final lap in the last corner, Borcheller slipped by Martin for the team’s third victory of the season.
Dean Martin and Larry Rehagen participated in the opening race at Daytona. They didn’t return to the series until round six at Watkins Glen International, where they finished sixteenth. The next event was at Mid-Ohio and the drivers of the No. 52 Ford Mustang SVT grabbed the runner-up spot in GS II. At Mosport, a slower Street Tuner car blocked Martin on the final lap and prevented him from capturing the team’s first win of 2003.
The Planet Earth Motorsports Porsche 911 attempts an aggressive pass in the last turn on the class winning Bell Motorsports BMW M3. Sharing the GS II Porsche were the father and son team of Joe and Wayne Nonnamaker. With three wins to their credit, they led the title chase entering Mosport. However, the Bell Motorsports victory and their third-place finish resulted in a tie at the top of the class standings.
The Grand Sport II podium for round eight at Mosport International Raceway. Occupying the center of the podium from Bell Motorsports are Forest Barber and Terry Borcheller. Their victory moved them into a tie for points lead with the Planet Earth Motorsports drivers. Standing on the left side of the rostrum are the runner-ups, Larry Rehagen and Dean Martin. Completing the podium are Joe and Wayne Nonnamaker.
Drivers of the TC Kline Racing prepared BMW Z4, Don Salama and Steve Pfeffer were on a roll and looking to complete the ‘hattrick’ at Mosport International Raceway. They won the Street Tuner category in the previous two rounds at Watkins Glen International and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Unfortunately, for the pair that did not occur as they captured their second runner-up finish of the season.
TPC Racing’s Michael Levitas and Randy Pobst were having a good season. To date, they had victories at Miami-Homestead, California Speedway and Watkins Glen International. Unfortunately, Pobst did not participate in round four at Barber Motorsports Park and Levitas finished ninth. At Mid-Ohio, the pair missed the rostrum by one position. At Mosport, a third-place finish gave them their fourth podium result of the year.
Transmission issues prevented the No. 43 HRPworld.com sponsored Acura Integra LS from participating in the qualifying session. Title contenders, Will Nonnamaker and Howie Liebengood, started from the rear of the grid. The pair charged through the field but fell short of the victory but approximately five seconds. Despite their best efforts, the championship leader, Bob Beede captured the win which increased the points gap.
The Street Tuner I podium for round eight at Mosport International Raceway. In the center are the winners, Mike Keravich and Owen Trinkler. Their victory provided some redemption for the Power Racing team as they lost two engines in last year’s event. Standing to their right and finishing second are the winners of the previous two rounds, Don Salama and Steve Pfeffer. In third place were, Pete Halsmer and John Schmitt.
The Street Tuner I points leaders were Peter Halsmer and John Schmitt. After six rounds, the Honda of America Racing Team had five podium finishes and their worst result was a fourth-place at California Speedway. The No. 00 Acura RSX-S was unable to match the speed of Team Lexus in qualifying but a consistent pace allowed them to finish third in the three-hour event. The performance extended their points lead.
The second HRPworld.com sponsored Acura Integra LS was driven by Belinda Endress and David Haskell. Previously, Endress had some success participating in the Women’s Global GT Series. Haskell was a member of the SpeedSource racing team but without a ride this week, he was available to share the Acura. They proved to be a good pairing – finishing third in their first outing. In fact, Endress recorded the fastest race lap.
The Street Tuner II podium for round eight at Mosport International Raceway. In the center are the class winners from Bill Fenton Motorsports, Eric Curran and the point’s leader, Bob Beede. To their left are the second-place finishers and other title contenders, Will Nonnamaker and Howie Liebengood. Rounding out the rostrum from HRPworld.com is Belinda Endress and guest driver, David Haskell.

POS.CLASSDRIVERSCARENTRANTLAPS
1GS IJulien / DumoulinPorsche GT3 CupDoncaster Racing99
2GS IPowell / GoadChevrolet CorvettePowell Motorsport99
3GS ILevitas / PobstPorsche GT3 CupTPC Racing99
4GS IEscalette / PlumbPorsche GT3 CupGlenn Yee Motorsports99
5GS ILittlechild / AdamPorsche GT3 CupTPC Racing99
6GS ILacey / WilkinsPorsche GT3 CupDoncaster Racing99
7GS IWeinberg / AltenburgChevrolet CorvettePowell Motorsport98
8GS IIBarber / BorchellerBMW M3Bell Motorsports98
9GS IIRehagen / MartinMustang Cobra SVTRehagen Racing98
10GS IINonnamaker / NonnamakerPorsche 911Planet Earth Motorsport98
11GS IITheetge / WildenAcura NSXTheetge Motorsports97
12GS IIThornton / RussellBMW M3Automatic Racing97
13GS IISchuitemaker / ZachariasNissan 350ZSchuitemaker Motorpsorts97
14GS IDyson / LawPorsche GT3 CupG&W Motorsports97
15GS IILapcevich / BrownMustang Cobra RFrederick Motorsports97
16GS IISpencer / McCalmontPorsche 996Zoom Motorsports97
17ST IKeravich / TrinklerAcura Integra RPower Racing Team96
18ST IPfeffer / SalamaBMW Z4TC Kline Racing96
19GS IISchlesinger / ShepPorsche 911SpeedSource96
20GS IICronin / HaynerNissan 350ZUnitech Racing96
21GS IIBaughman / Del VecchioPontiac FirebirdBaughman Racing96
22GS IIHebert / VincentChevrolet Camaro89 Racing Team95
23ST IHalsmer / SchmittAcura RSX-SHonda of America Racing Team95
24ST ISchlesinger / TremblayPorsche BoxsterSpeedSource95
25ST IBuisson / PatchBMW Z4TC Kline Racing95
26ST IPotter / ConnollyBMW Z3Villaconn International95
27ST IGuenette / GoldsboroughLexus IS300Team Lexus95
28ST IHamblin / TetreaultBMW 328Duane Neyer Motorsports94
29ST IGorriaran / Gaughran / ChenowethBMW 330iCSL Racing94
30ST IHimes / MoorconesAcura Integra RCraftsman Motorsports93
31ST ILegg / EllingerAudi A4LM Racing93
32ST IIFenton / Beede / CurranAcura Integra LSBill Fenton Motorsports92
33ST IILiebengood / NonnamakerAcura Integra LSHRPworld.com92
34ST IILiebengood / Haskell / EndressAcura Integra LSHRPworld.com92
35GS IIMacAlpine / MasonPontiac FirebirdBaughman Racing92
36ST IIFenton / Beede / LiehlAcura Integra LSBill Fenton Motorsports91
37ST IRichardson / LinderAcura Integra RPower Racing Team90
38ST IColletti / LinvilleAcura Integra RColletti Motorsports90
39ST IIEllis / JacobsMazda MiataNuzzo Motorsports89
40ST IIGates / ChanMazda ProtegeRotary Rocket Racing Team89
41ST INuzzo / LewisMini Cooper SNuzzo Motorsports88
42GS IIAssentato / LonghiMustang Cobra SVTTF Racing83
43GS IIIstook / ThomsonAudi S4Istook / Aines Motorsport75
44GS IISeafuse / SeafuseMustang Cobra RJBS Motorsports70
45ST IIMagner / MaehlingChevrolet Cavalier Z-24WTF Engineering64
46ST IBavaro / McGillycuddy / LewisMini Cooper SNuzzo Motorsports51
47GS IITrentini / Van Der DysPorsche 993G&W Motorsports50
48ST IJames / LallyLexus IS300Team Lexus46
49GS IIYeakle / WardPontiac FirebirdBaughman Racing33
50GS IIBeaver / SmithPorsche 996TPC Racing8
51GS IKohler / SmithSaleen SRTF Racing4


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