The 2007 Grand American Road Racing Championship (Grand Am) was in its eighth season. A business model which controlled costs, had stable rules and avoided being dependent on automotive manufacturers attracted many private teams. Based on the failure, of its predecessor, the United States Road Racing Championship in 1999 critics suggested that the Grand Am would suffer a similar fate. This was proving not to be the case as entries were continuing to grow with each year.

In the first season of Grand Am competition there were five classes but in 2005 the series had reduced the number to two categories:

  • Daytona Prototype (DP): This class was introduced in 2003 and was established to replace the two existing Sports Racing Prototype groups. To control costs, the cars used a tube frame chassis rather than the expensive composites used to construct most prototype race cars. Also, expenses were contained by limiting modifications and implementing rules that would be in place for five years. Approved to produce the first generation of Daytona Prototypes - for a cost of approximately $400,000 were: Riley Technologies, Doran Designs, Crawford Race Cars, Fabcar Engineering, Chase Competition Engineering, Picchio and Multimatic. Costs were also controlled by restricting the engines to production based motors supplied by Pontiac, Lexus, BMW, Porsche, Ford and Infiniti. Engine displacement was used to determine the weight of a car and whether a five or six-speed transmission could be utilized.
  • Grand Touring (GT): In 2004, there were two production-based classes: Grand Touring and Super Grand Sport which initially competed in the Grand Am Cup division. These two categories were combined into a single class in 2005. Participating in this group are manufacturers such as Porsche, BMW, Chevrolet, Mazda, Ferrari and Pontiac. As with the Daytona Prototypes, engine displacement was used to establish the weight of different makes and models.

As in the past, the season opened in January with the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway and ended in Utah at Miller Motorsports Park. In between these two venues, there were events held at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Lime Rock Park, Watkins Glen, Barber Motorsports Park, Mid-Ohio, Virginia International Raceway, Montreal, Iowa and Infineon Raceway. New for this season were Montreal and Iowa and gone from the schedule was Long Beach and Phoenix International Raceway. There was a total of fifteen events with the series competing at Daytona and Watkins Glen twice.

The 2007 edition of the Sahlenís Six Hours of the Glen saw forty-five entries compete on Watkins Glen Internationalís eleven-turn 3.337-mile road course. Unfortunately, the race was slowed by nine caution periods for a total forty-eight-laps.

Twenty Daytona Prototype competitors are lined-up nicely for the start of the Sahlenís Six Hours of the Glen. On the pole is the Gainsco Auto Insurance Riley Mk XI driven by Alex Gurney. On the outside of the front row is the pointís leader Scott Pruett in the TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Riley Mk IX. Behind Gurney and Pruett are the Ruby Tuesday Crawford and the SunTrust Riley of a title contender, Max Angelelli.
In the first five races of this season, the Gainsco team started on the front row Ė the Sahlenís Six Hours of the Glen would be no exception. Alex Gurney handled the qualifying duties and put the No. 99 Riley Mk XI on the pole. Despite an off-course excursion early in the contest, Gurney and his teammate Jon Fogarty would dominate the race. They led 91 of the 167-laps and won by a margin of 7.069-seconds.
Andy Lally and R.J. Valentine were joined by Spencer Pumpelly for the six-hour contest. The No. 66 Porsche GT3 Cup was victorious in round six at Laguna Seca. The trio started forty-second overall and twenty-second in the Grand Touring class. Despite being gridded at the back of the field, they worked their way to the front. Towards the end of the event, Lally caught and passed the race leader, Richard Westbrook for the victory.
Memo Gidley and the pointís leader, Scott Pruett started on the front row thanks to Pruettís driving during the qualifying session. Pruett shared the winning car at the Rolex 24 with Salvador Duran and Juan Pablo Montoya. Along with his driving partner, Gidley they had never finished lower than eighth. At Watkins Glen International, the pair chased the Gainsco Riley but could not maintain their pace and captured the runner-up position.
Jon Fogarty on the left and Alex Gurney were all smiles in the post-race press conference. And, with good reason the duo had dominated the weekend Ė started from the pole, led the most race laps and won by a comfortable margin. If not for a twenty-second place finish in the season opener at the Rolex 24, they may have been in the points lead. Their recent performance would be of concern for the Ganassi and SunTrust teams.
Under overcast skies, the Grand Touring competitors wait for the command to start their engines and follow the pace car. On the class pole is the No. 07 Banner Engineering sponsored Pontiac GXP.R which was driven by Andy Pilgrim along with series regulars, Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins. On the outside of the front row is the No. 74 Porsche GT3 Cup prepared by Tafel Racing and piloted by Eric Lux and Wolf Henzler.
This weekend Dirk Werner and Bryce Miller were joined by Craig Stanton in the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3 Cup. The Porsche was third quickest during the Grand Touring qualifying session and started twenty-third overall. The year did not get off to a great start for Werner and Miller but by round three they were back on form and took a win in race four at VIR. At Watkins Glen, they captured the runner-up spot.
Former Prost and Renault Formula One test driver, Jonathan Cochet joined Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor for the six-hour contest. Angelelli put the SunTrust Racing sponsored Riley Mk XI fourth on the grid. In the race, the trio were in the hunt but miscues on the restarts by Angelelli resulted in two penalties. This poor judgement caused the team to finish third and allowed Scott Pruett to widen the points gap.
Paul Edwards put the Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R on the Grand Touring pole. Although the GXP.R was victorious at Lime Rock Park, this was the first time the car started in the top spot. Edwards and his teammates, Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim were in contention when an electrical issue caused them to lose two laps. They made up the deficit and were rewarded with the final spot on the class podium.
There was a third Pontiac GXP.R entered in the Grand Touring class. This Pontiac was prepared by Racers Edge Motorsports and driven by Drew Staveley, Lawson Aschenbach and Mark Pavan. The season did not start well for the team but in round six at Laguna Seca they were fifth and earned another fifth place at Lime Rock Park. Aschenbach qualified the Pontiac fourth fastest but crashed and retired the car on lap-19.
Quicker of the two Crawford DP03 entered in the six-hour event was the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday entry maintained by Alex Job Racing. The honour of qualifying the Crawford went to Patrick Long who was third quickest in the Daytona Prototype session. Co-piloting the car was Jorg Bergmeister. The pair scored their first victory of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. At Watkins Glen, they would never be a factor and finished eighth.
Tafel Racing entered two Porsche GT3 Cup at the Sahlenís Six Hours of the Glen. Quicker of the pair was the No. 74 shared by Eric Lux and Porsche specialist, Wolf Henzler. Henzler qualified the car on the outside of the front row. During the race, Lux and Henzler were not able to match the pace of the Grand Touring leaders. At the checkered flag, they were on the same lap as the class winner in fifth place.
The Grand Touring winners in round nine of the 2007 Grand Am Rolex Sports Car series at Watkins Glen International. From left to right are Spencer Pumpelly who joined teammates Andy Lally and R.J. Valentine in The Racers Group prepared Porsche GT3 Cup. For Lally and Valentine, this was their second victory of the season; the first came in race six at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

POS.CLASSDRIVERSCARLAPSRETIREMENTS
1DPGurney / FogartyRiley Mk XI Pontiac167-
2DPPruett / Rojas / FestaRiley Mk XI Lexus167-
3DPTaylor / Angelelli / CochetRiley Mk XI Pontiac167-
4DPJames / PewRiley Mk XI Lexus167-
5DPKrohn / Jonsson / BraunRiley Mk XI Pontiac167-
6DPMatthews / Goossens / Hunter-ReayRiley Mk XI Pontiac167-
7DPFindlay / Valiante / FestaRiley Mk XI Lexus167-
8DPBergmeister / LongCrawford DP03 Porsche167-
9DPDonohue / LawRiley Mk XI Porsche167-
10DPGidley / CosmoDoran JE4 Ford167-
11DPPatterson / NegriRiley Mk XI Lexus167-
12DPPapis / Jonsson / BraunRiley Mk XI Pontiac167-
13DPLewis / RuhlmanRiley Mk XI Lexus167-
14DPFrisselle / Wilkins / FrisselleRiley Mk XI Lexus167-
15DPAuberlen / Alhadeff / HandRiley Mk XI BMW165-
16DPFrance / Haywood / BarbosaRiley Mk XI Porsche165-
17DPSchramm / BellRiley Mk XI Pontiac161-
18DPFittipaldi / Brix / GarciaFabcar FDSC/03 Porsche160-
19GTLally / Valentine / PumpellyPorsche GT3 Cup160-
20GTMiller / Werner / StantonPorsche GT3 Cup160-
21GTEdwards / Collins / PilgrimPontiac GXP.R160-
22GTJohnson / WestbrookPorsche GT3 Cup160-
23GTde Quesada / Dumoulin / GabelPorsche GT3 Cup160-
24DPDyson / Dyson / LeitzingerCrawford DP03 Porsche160-
24GTLux / HenzlerPorsche GT3 Cup160-
26GTReese / Lewis, Jr. / PilgrimPontiac GXP.R159-
27GTAssentato / Longhi / Segal / SnyderMazda RX-8159-
28GTWilkins / Lacey / PapadopoulosPorsche GT3 Cup159-
29GTFriedman / Skea / SmithPorsche GT3 Cup157-
30GTO'Connell / SpeakmanPorsche GT3 Cup156-
31GTBunting / Cicero IIChevrolet Corvette150-
32GTFarnbacher / Keen / StantonPorsche GT3 Cup145Did Not Finish
33GTBaas / White / MillerPorsche GT3 Cup143Did Not Finish
34GTSmith / DiLeo / SellersPorsche GT3 Cup134Did Not Finish
35GTRiggins / Rice / GueChevrolet Corvette132Did Not Finish
36GTNonnamaker / NonnamakerChevrolet Corvette129-
37GTMarden / Milner / PotterPorsche GT3 Cup122-
38GTSwartzbaugh / Liddell / TafelPorsche GT3 Cup96Did Not Finish
39GTLowe / PacePorsche GT3 Cup90Transmission
40GTSahlen / NonnamakerChevrolet Corvette71Did Not Finish
41GTHam / Haskell / TremblayMazda RX-845Accident
42GTConnolly / Pruett / PricePontiac GTO.R44Did Not Finish
43GTStaveley / Pavan / AschenbachPontiac GXP.R19Accident
44DPCarpentier / Bessette / EngeRiley Mk XI Pontiac14Engine
45GTMichaelian / Workman / George, Jr.BMW M31Did Not Finish


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