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 Ė modifications are mandated mainly for safety Ė 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 Ė 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.

Just one week after competing the Sunoco 94 3-Hour event, teams traveled to Quebec for the Mont-Tremblant 250. Drivers would compete on the fifteen-turn 2.65-mile road course.

The pole-sitter, Devon Powell, driving the No. 11 Powell Motorsport Chevrolet Corvette Z06 leads the field of forty-nine starters into corner one for the first lap of the Mont-Tremblant 250. Behind Powell is the other front row starter, Bill Adam, in a TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup. Trailing Adam is his teammate, Michael Levitas, driving the No. 18 Porsche GT3 Cup and the GS I points leading Doncaster Porsche driven by Robert Julien.
Doncaster Racingís Robert Julien and Jean-Francois Dumoulin entered round nine at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant with a comfortable twenty-five-point lead in the Grand Sport I standings. As usual, Julien was responsible for qualifying the No. 119 Porsche GT3 Cup and was fourth quickest. With five laps remaining, Dumoulin was second but when the Powell Corvette spun, he inherited the lead and won for the fifth time this year.
It was not a very good qualifying effort for Forest Barber driving the Bell Motorsports BMW M3. When the session ended, he was tenth quickest in GS II and would start nineteenth overall. During the race, Barber and his teammate, Terry Borchellerís performance improved. At the end of the Mont-Tremblant 250, they were tenth overall and first in class. This result moved the duo to the top of the GS II driver standings.
Bob Beede and Eric Curran crossed the finish line second in ST II but after the post-race technical inspection, they claimed first in class. The pointís leader, Beede, drove the No. 27 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura Integra LS and was fourth fastest in the ST II qualifying session. He and Curran battled their way to the front but did not catch and pass the HRPworld.com Acura until the post-race technical inspection.
Entering the Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant weekend, the Planet Earth Motorsports drivers, Joe and Wayne Nonnamaker, were tied at the top of the GS II standings with Forest Barber and Terry Borcheller of Bell Motorsports. Joe Nonnamaker out qualified Barber and would start the No. 41 Porsche fifteenth overall and sixth in GS II. In the race, the Bell drivers outperformed the Nonnamakers who finished second in their division.
The Grand Sport I podium for round nine of the Grand Am Cup series at Le Circuit Mont Tremblant. In the center are the winners and class points leaders, Robert Julien and Jean-Francois Dumoulin. This was the third consecutive victory for the duo and their fifth of the season. On the right side of the rostrum from TPC Racing are the runner-ups, Michael Levitas and Randy Pobst. Completing the podium are Devon Powell and Doug Goad.
The third quickest in the qualifying session was Michael Levitas piloting the TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup. During the race, Levitas and his teammate, Randy Pobst, ran in third place Ė chasing the Powell Motorsportsí Corvette and the Doncaster Racing Porsche. When the Corvette encountered brake issues and spun with five laps to go, the TPC team was another beneficiary and finished in the runner-up position.
A week after Mosport, Devon Powell put the No. 11 Chevrolet Corvette on the GS I and overall pole. Again, he did it in style, breaking the existing lap record by 1.424-seconds. Powell and his teammate, Doug Goad, dominated the race and were in an excellent position to capture their first victory of the season. Unfortunately, the brake issue they experienced at Mosport returned. Goad spun the car and lost two places.
Driving duties for the No. 29 Bill Fenton Motorsports prepared Acura Integra LS were split between Mike Liebl and the team principal, Bill Fenton. Performing the qualifying duties was Fenton, who would be gridded forty-second overall for the start and third in the ST II group. When the HRPworld.com Acuras were disqualified, the duo moved from fourth to second in class which gave the team a one-two finish.
The ST II class podium before the post-race technical inspection. First across the finish line were Belinda Endress and Mike Fitzgerald driving the No. 44 HRPworld.com Acura. Upon examination of the car, series officials discovered illegal engine parts which led to their disqualification as well as the second entry shared by Will Nonnamaker and Howie Liebengood. Second place finishers, Bob Beede and Eric Currin, were declared the winners.
Sharing the No. 38 Duane Neyer Motorsports BMW Z3 was Jim Hamblin and Guy Cosmo. Hamblin only participated in the series on a part-time basis and his best result to date was a sixth in ST I at Daytona International Speedway. The Mont-Tremblant 250 would be Cosmoís first Grand Am Cup event. The pair proved to be competitive. Hamblin was second quickest in class and the duo scored their first ST I victory.
Unitech Racing replaced the engine in the No. 33 Nissan before qualifying and the effort paid off. Mike Cronin not only earned the teamís first GS II pole position but also the first for Nissanís 350Z model. Cronin was partnered with sportscar veteran, Stu Hayner. The pair had a good race but could not manage the pace set by the Bell Motorsports and Planet Earth Motorsports drivers and finished third in their category.
Another team having their best result of the season was Villaconn International. Drivers, Matt Connelly and Jason Potter, were quick, but their best result to date was a fourth place in ST I at Mid-Ohio. At Mont-Tremblant, Connolly qualified the teamís BMW Z3 and was sixth fastest in class and would start twenty-ninth overall. During the event, the pair turn-in their best performance of the season and finished second in class.
With their third-place finish in ST I drivers, Steve Lisa and David Rosenblum gave BMW a clean sweep of the class podium. Lisa and Rosenblum were driving a BMW Z3 entered by ICY / SL Motorsports. Lisa drove the BMW in the qualifying session and was tenth quickest in class. During the race, the pair benefitted when their competition encountered issues. They finished twentieth overall and earned the final spot on the rostrum.
In the center of the Grand Sport II celebrations are the winners from Bell Motorsports, Terry Borcheller and Forest Barber. This was the teamís fourth victory of the season and the third in a row. Their results broke a tie for the lead in the driverís title chase. For Borcheller, this was his fiftieth professional win. Standing on the right and finishing second were Joe and Will Nonnamaker. In third place were Mike Cronin and Stu Hayner.

POS.CLASSDRIVERSCARENTRANTLAPS
1GS IJulien / DumoulinPorsche GT3 CupDoncaster Racing91
2GS ILevitas / PobstPorsche GT3 CupTPC Racing91
3GS IPowell / GoadChevrolet CorvettePowell Motorsport91
4GS IDyson / LawPorsche GT3 CupG&W Motorsports91
5GS ILacey / WilkinsPorsche GT3 CupDoncaster Racing91
6GS ICawley / DavisPorsche GT3 CupFoxhill Racing91
7GS IJackson / AdamPorsche GT3 CupTPC Racing91
8GS IFrance / Lynn / HeathPorsche GT3 Cupdds Racing91
9GS IMorgan / PlumbPorsche GT3 CupGlenn Yee Motorsports91
10GS IIBarber / BorchellerBMW M3Bell Motorsports90
11GS IINonnamaker / NonnamakerPorsche 911Planet Earth Motorsport89
12GS IICronin / HaynerNissan 350ZUnitech Racing89
13GS IIRudl / BrownMustang Cobra RFrederick Motorsports89
14GS IIBaughman / Del VecchioPontiac FirebirdBaughman Racing88
15GS IIThornton / RussellBMW M3Automatic Racing88
16GS IISchuitemaker / ZachariasNissan 350ZSchuitemaker Motorpsorts88
17ST IHamblin / CosmoBMW Z3Duane Neyer Motorsports88
18GS IIKopperl / CampMustang Cobra RFrederick Motorsports88
19ST IPotter / ConnollyBMW Z3Villaconn International88
20ST ILisa / RosenblumBMW Z3ICY / SL Motorsports88
21ST IGalati / SchmittAcura RSX-SHonda of America Racing Team87
22GS IIMacAlpine / MasonPontiac FirebirdBaughman Racing87
23ST ISchlesinger / TremblayPorsche BoxsterSpeedSource87
24ST IPfeffer / SalamaBMW Z4TC Kline Racing86
25ST IGuenette / LallyLexus IS300Team Lexus86
26ST IJames / GoldsboroughLexus IS300Team Lexus86
27ST ILegg / EllingerAudi A4LM Racing85
28ST IILiebengood / Fitzgerald / EndressAcura Integra LSHRPworld.com85
29ST IIFenton / Beede / CurranAcura Integra LSBill Fenton Motorsports85
30ST IILiebengood / NonnamakerAcura Integra LSHRPworld.com85
31ST IOlsen / ChenowethBMW 330iCSL Racing83
32GS IISchlesinger / ShepPorsche 911SpeedSource83
33GS IIAssentato / LonghiMustang Cobra SVTTF Racing83
34ST IIAlderman / Hemmingson Mazda ProtegeICY / SL Motorsports83
35GS IITrentini / Van Der DysPorsche 993G&W Motorsports83
36ST IHimes / MoorconesAcura Integra RCraftsman Motorsports81
37ST IKeravich / TrinklerAcura Integra RPower Racing Team80
38GS IIIstook / ZubeAudi S4Istook / Aines Motorsport78
39GS IIHebert / VincentChevrolet Camaro89 Racing Team76
40ST IIFenton / Beede / LiehlAcura Integra LSBill Fenton Motorsports73
41GS IIHilliar / JonesChevrolet CamaroPrecision Motor Werks72
42ST IHalsmer / SchmittAcura RSX-SHonda of America Racing Team70
43GS IIYeakle / WardPontiac FirebirdBaughman Racing67
44ST IIJacobs / EllisMazda MiataNuzzo Motorsports55
45ST IIBaglier / LuffyMazda ProtegeBaglieracing52
46ST IBuisson / PatchBMW Z4TC Kline Racing38
47GS IITheetge / WildenAcura NSXTheetge Motorsports31
48GS IKohler / SmithSaleen SRTF Racing8
49ST IRichardson / LinderAcura Integra RPower Racing Team5


Copyright Notice:
All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of ? www.zoompics.com and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.

? Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019

Return to home page.