On October 15, 2003, a significant restructuring of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand Am Cup classes was announced. Starting next year, the Grand Sport I (GS I) cars would be called Super Grand Sport (SGS) and compete in the Rolex Sports Car Series. Following this news, there were changes in the Grand Am Cup category. In 2004, there would be a single Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) class.

  • Grand Sport (GS): The quicker of the two classes - the group features the larger displacement engines as well as smaller four-cylinder motors with forced induction systems. The power-plants produce between 350 and 405-horsepower. Minimum weights range between 2,900 – 3,300-pounds, which is dependent on the motor configuration and displacement. This class includes cars such as the BMW M3, Pontiac Firebird, Ford Mustang, Nissan 350Z and Porsche 996.
  • Street Tuner (ST): The smaller displacement cars compete in this class in which engines typically produce between 170 and 240-horsepower. Popular vehicles found in this group are the Acura RSX, Mazda RX-8, BMW Z3, BMW 330i, Acura Integra Type R and Mini Cooper S.

While the classifications changed the rules remained the same. The cars 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 are placed in the Grand Sport or Street Tuner group.

The 2004 season consists of ten race weekends and starts in January at Daytona International Speedway, which is followed by a second event in Florida at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In April, the series will make a visit to Phoenix International Raceway for the Twin 200s. The Grand Sport and Street Tuner teams will compete in separate races. Then the series travels north of the border to compete at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant. After this event, race weekends will take place Watkins Glen International, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and a second visit to Homestead-Miami Speedway. The final three rounds will be conducted in October and start with Virginia International Raceway. The penultimate weekend is at Alabama’s, Barber Motorsport Park, with the finale taking place at California Speedway.

Round three of the 2004 Grand Am Cup season was held at Phoenix International Raceway. The series conducted separate races for the Grand Sport and Sport Touring classes. The Sport Touring teams would compete Saturday afternoon on Phoenix’s 1.51-mile roval in the Twin 200.

Pacing the field through the final turn at Phoenix International Raceway is the Sport Touring pole-sitter, Don Salama driving the Turner Motorsport BMW 330i. Sharing the front row with Salama is Chuck Goldsborough in the No. 2 Team Lexus Lexus IS300. Behind the leaders in third and fourth is David Haskell driving a Mazda RX-8 and the Acura RSX-S of Bob Beede. Nineteen teams would start the Phoenix Twin 200s.
SpeedSource drivers, David Haskell and team principal, Sylvain Tremblay, chased the pole-winning Turner Motorsport BMW throughout the Twin 200. During the final pit-stops, the Turner team changed four tires, whereas the SpeedSource crew elected to replace just two. The time saved, gave Haskell and Tremblay the lead. They were able to hold off the BMW and scored the first North American pro win for the Mazda RX-8.
Don Salama driving the Turner Motorsport BMW 330i, grabbed his first pole position of the season. Sharing the BMW with Salama was Will Turner. The two drivers dominated than race until the final pit-stop when the team decided to change four tires. The extra time in the pits gave the lead and victory to SpeedSource. There was some consolation, their runner-up finish allowed them to maintain their lead in the Driver’s standings.
Bill Fenton Motorsports’, Bob Beede qualified third fastest driving the No. 27 Acura RSX-S. Beede and his teammate, Eric Curran, started on the Sport Touring pole at Daytona but retired after thirty-seven-laps. In round two, at Homestead-Miami, they fared better starting and finishing in fifth place. At Phoenix International Raceway, the pair trailed the leaders and finished one lap down, but it was good for a third place.
Team Lexus brought two IS300 to Phoenix International Raceway. In qualifying the No. 2 entry driven by Chuck Goldsborough set the second-fastest time – just 0.447-seconds behind the pole-sitter, Don Salama in the Turner Motorsport BMW. In the previous round, Goldsborough and his teammate Ian James finished fourth in class. But this would not be their weekend. Issues during the race relegated them to a sixteenth place result.
Oval racer, Jason Bowles, joined Team Lexus at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he was paired with Andy Lally. The duo started eighth and finished third in Sport Touring. Bowles and Lally teamed up again at Phoenix International Raceway and were twelfth fastest during the qualifying session. They maneuvered the IS300 to the front of the field and at the checkered flag; Bowles and Lally were in fourth place.
SpeedSource drivers, David Haskell and Sylvain Tremblay celebrate the Sport Touring victory in round three at Phoenix International Raceway. The successful SpeedSource team won the 2001 Grand Am Cup Super Grand Sport championship. The win at Phoenix represented another first. The Mazda RX-8’s first North American professional race win.

1STHaskell / TremblayMazda RX-8SpeedSource125
2STTurner / SalamaBMW 330iTurner Motorsport125
3STBeede / CurranAcura RSX-SBill Fenton Motorsports124
4STBowles / LallyLexus IS300Team Lexus124
5STSchlesinger / TuatyMazda RX-8SpeedSource124
6STPappas / CrescentiniBMW 330iTurner Motorsport123
7STAbello / TheetgeMazda RX-8SpeedSource123
8STFanelli / WalkerMazda RX-8SpeedSource122
9STHimes / EllingerBMW Z3ICY / SL Motorsports121
10STBriedis / RigoliBMW 330Briedis Racing121
11STTecce / VickeryBMW Z4TC Kline Racing121
12STFenton / EndicottAcura RSX-SBill Fenton Motorsports120
13STBailey / ThomsonBMW Z3Matt Connolly Motorsports116
14STScott / SappBMW Z4TC Kline Racing114
15STRoach / KimballDodge Neon SRT4Roach Racing112
16STJames / GoldsboroughLexus IS300Team Lexus103
17STMatz / Sofronas / PotterBMW 328iDF Motorsports57
18STPonder / Green / EnglandDodge Neon SRT4The Fat And The Furious15
19STArnold / ConnollyBMW 330ciMatt Connolly Motorsports15

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