The Grand Am series was established in 1999 after the demise of the United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC). The original USRRC was created by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in 1962 and ran until 1968 when it was replaced by the Can Am series. In 1998 the SCCA revived the championship as an alternative to the IMSA series, however, it lasted only two seasons. It had moderate success the first year but in 1999 there was very little interest among competitors and the final two rounds were cancelled.

Like the USRRC concept, Grand Am was seen as an alternative to IMSA. With NASCAR support the Grand Am model differed from the IMSA series on a number of points:

  • cost control
  • allow private teams to be competitive
  • avoid being dependent on manufacturers
  • stable rules

The rules for the 2000 Grand Am season were similar to those used the previous year in the USRRC. The series had two major categories: Sports Racer (SportsRacer and SportsRacer II) and Grand Touring (GTO, GTU and American GT).

The inaugural season kicked off with the series premier event the 24-Hours of Daytona. It was followed by races at Phoenix International Raceway, Homestead-Miami, Lime Rock, Mid-Ohio, Daytona, Road America, Trois Rivieres and ending mid-August at Watkins Glen.

Daytona opened the 2000 season with 102-entries and 79-starters. The best-subscribed class was GTU with 34-cars and the least – 6 in American GT. After 24-hours 30-cars were classified as finishers.

One of the top stories at the 2000 24-Hours of Daytona was high attrition in the Sports Racer class and the impact it had on the outcome of the event. At approximately the 22-hour mark the No. 91 Dodge Viper GTS-R driven by Olivier Beretta, Karl Wendlinger and Dominique Dupuy took the overall lead when the Dyson entry faltered. They wouldn't relinquish the position and captured the overall and GTO class win.
It appeared that James Weaver, Rob Dyson, Max Papis and Elliott Forbes-Robinson had the race under control. However, Sunday morning would bring heartbreak as they lost a cylinder with Papis behind the wheel. Engine problems worsened for the Lincoln powered Riley & Scott Mark III removing the team from the lead and relegated them to a fourth place finish.
Three wide racing at Daytona is not exclusive to NASCAR. This is demonstrated on the corner three backing early Saturday evening by the GTU Porsches of Alex Job Racing, P.K. Sports and L.R. Organisation.
Mike Fitzgerald, Gregory Merril, Danny Marshall, Chris MacAllister, Steve Marshall and Darren Law shared this Porsche RSR. The team completed 651-laps and finished third in GTU and twelfth overall. Using the older model Porsche may have been to their advantage as a lot of the new GT3Rs retired with engine failures.
During the race, Corvette Racing discovered a problem with the refueling rig for the No. 3 car but only after Ron Fellows ran out of gas during his stint. The issue prevented the car from getting a full fuel load during each pit-stop. The team fought hard for the remainder of the event to overcome this setback. The trio of Ron Fellows, Justin Bell and Chris Kneifel finished just 30.879-seconds behind the race winning Viper – to date the closest margin of victory.
The Cadillac Northstar LMP Prototypes made their race debut at the Daytona 24-Hour event. The No. 6 car finished second in the Sports Racer class, thirteenth overall, with drivers Andy Wallace, Butch Leitzinger and Frank Lagorce. The sister car, driven by Wayne Taylor, Eric van de Poele, finished third in class and fourteenth overall.
Winning the GTU category and finishing eighth overall was the No. 56 Porsche 911 GT3R entered by Haberthur Racing. The driving team of Gabrio Rosa, Fabio Rosa, Fabio Babini and Luca Drudi completed 658-laps, 65-laps behind the winning Viper but only 1-lap ahead of the second place GTU car.
The colourful Chevrolet-powered Riley & Scott Mk III of George Robinson, Jack Baldwin and Irv Hoerr completed 495-laps. The car stalled in the Horseshoe turn on lap-109 and required a tow to the garage. After numerous pit-stops, the team finished thirty-fifth overall and sixth in the Sports Racer class.
Three Ferrari 333 SPs were entered and considered pre-race favourites. However, they were all out of the race by the seventh hour. The No. 27 Doran entry was driven by Didier Theys, Fredy Lienhard, Ross Bentley and Mauro Baldi. An air box fire in the engine bay caused it to be the first Ferrari to retire.
The Viper Team Oreca came well prepared for the 2000 Rolex 24 - they entered three Dodge Viper GTS-Rs to increase their odds of winning the GTO class. The No. 93 car was shared by David Donohue, Ni Amorim, Jean-Philippe Belloc and Tommy Archer. The team started eighteenth and finished third overall and in class.
American GT was a race of attrition – the team that could last the longest would win the class. That honour went the Comer Racing Chevrolet Camaro which was driven by John Finger, Doug Mills, Richard Maugeri, Andy McNeil and Ron Zitza. They finished twenty-seventh overall and 149-laps clear of the second place American GT class car.
Representing the Porsche factory effort in North America was Dick Barbour Racing. Barbour’s team had one of the new Porsche 911 GT3Rs and a driver line-up that included veteran Bob Wollek and members of Porsche’s junior team – Dirk Muller and Lucas Luhr. Muller was the fastest qualifier in GTU but as was the case with many of the GT3R teams they retired with an engine failure.
The Risi Competizione Ferrari 333 SP included an experienced group of drivers – Alex Caffi, Allan McNish, Ralf Kelleners and Mimmo Schiattarella. The driver line-up and a second place starting position made this team one of the odds-on favourites to take the overall win. Caffi started the race and spun the car twice during his stint. An engine failure led to the Ferrari’s retirement of 162-laps.
GTO class cars finished in the top three positions overall, with all three Oreca Vipers placing in the top five. The No. 92 Oreca entered Viper was shared by Tommy Archer, Marc Duez, Vincent Vosse and Jean-Philippe Belloc. Late Sunday morning they were forced to make an extended stop with driveline issues but returned to the race after repairs and finished 32-laps behind the winner.
The Porsche 911 GT3R of Alex Job Racing led the GTU class and ran eighth overall late Sunday morning. Unfortunately, a serious oil leak led to their downfall but the team had completed a sufficient number of laps at the end of 24-hours to be classified fifth in the GTU class. The car was driven by Randy Pobst, Bruno Lambert and Mike Conte.
There were twenty-three of the new Porsche 911 GT3Rs entered at the 2000 Daytona 24-Hour. As the race wore on it was becoming apparent that these cars had serious engine problems. In all, nine of these cars retired with engine related issues. The No. 2 Porsche was entered by MCR/Aspen Knolls and driven Shane Lewis, Cort Wagner, Bob Mazzuoccola and Mike Bavaro. They retired with a motor issue after 540-laps.
Champion Racing entered Porsche 911 GT3R for Mike Brockman, Paul Newman, Michael Lauer and Gunnar Jeannette. The driver line-up included the oldest (Paul Newman 75-years old) and youngest (Gunnar Jeannette 18-years old) drivers entered in the event. As was the case with many of the new Porsches an engine failure forced the team to retire early.
The No. 78 Norma M2000-01 Mader had the distinction of being the first car to retire from the 2000 event. This car was built by the French manufacturer Norma Auto Concept and powered by a Mader engine (BMW M5). Racing the car were Patrice Roussel, Edouard Sezionale and A.J. Smith. However, Roussel was the only driver to get behind the wheel as the car was withdrawn with electrical problems after only 13-laps.
Stefan Johansson and Jim Matthews combined their resources to form Johansson Matthews Racing and enter a new Reynard 2KQ powered by a 4-liter Judd GV4. The pair shared driving duties with Guy Smith and Memo Gidley. Although the car qualified a very credible fourth it was not one of Reynard's better designs – this model suffering from aerodynamic and chassis issues.
The German Freisinger Motorsport team entered two Porsche 911 GT2s in the GTO class. But the Porsches were no match for the Vipers and Corvettes. The quicker of the two Freisinger cars, No. 72, qualified seventh in GTO and twenty-fourth overall. After 24-hours of racing the team had a seventh and ninth in the GTO class.

1GTOBeretta / Wendlinger / DupuyDodge Viper723-
2GTOFellows / Bell / KneifelChevrolet Corvette723-
3GTODonohue / Amorim / Belloc / ArcherDodge Viper719-
4SRWeaver/Dyson/Papis/Forbes-RobinsonRiley & Scott717-
5GTOArcher / Duez / Vosse / BellocDodge Viper691-
6GTOWatson / Vann / Sangiuolo / DuncanDodge Viper665-
7GTOSeiler / Messley / BrunDodge Viper659-
8GTUDrudi / Babini / Rosa / RosaPorsche GT3R658-
9GTOKaufmann / Palmberger / StewartPorsche GT2657-
10GTUQuester/Peter/Willems/Hofer/RiccitelliPorsche GT3R657-
11GTOSnow / O'Steen / Hayner / SchumacherPorsche GT2654-
12GTUFitzgerald/Merril/MacAllister/Marshall/LawPorsche Carrera651-
13SRLeitzinger / Wallace / LagorceCadillac LMP637Transmission
14SRAngelelli / Taylor / van de PoeleCadillac LMP637-
15GTUGaughran/Collin/White/Buckler/PetersenPorsche GT3R623-
16GTUPobst / Lambert / ContePorsche GT3R620Oil Leak
17GTUKitch / Miller / Takahashi / GaylordPorsche GT3R617-
18GTUHardman/Favre/DeSadeleer/SpringerPorsche GT3R606-
19GTOGallade / Lintott / Jurasz / HornPorsche GT2604-
20GTUBouchut / Ahrlé / Chéreau / GoueslardPorsche GT3R597Engine
21GTUPlumb/Hillstead/DeQuesada/Bluestein/SafinaBMW M3597-
22GTUSchmidt / Conkel / Woodman / SchmidtPorsche Carrera594-
23SRJohansson / Smith / Matthews / GidleyReynard 2KQ576-
24GTOPilgrim / Collins / FréonChevrolet Corvette573Clutch
25GTUMorini/De Castro/Cattaneo/Bicciato/FrigerioPorsche GT3R570-
26GTUPumpelly/Assentato/Steinmetz/FiskenPorsche Carrera549-
27AGTFinger / Mills / Maugeri / McNeil / ZitzaChevrolet Camaro546Accident
28GTURichter / Kern / Rohr / AlzenPorsche GT3R542Engine
29GTUChambers/Fuller/Youles/Fothergill/SimmonsPorsche GT3R542Engine
30GTULewis / Mazzuoccola / Bavaro / WagnerPorsche GT3R540Engine
31GTUAlzen / Huisman / Huisman / LawPorsche GT3R525Engine
32GTUWillingham/Pennington/Reiser/Sobrero/StantonPorsche GT3R523Drive Shaft
33SRMcDill/Vallancourt/Thomas/Vallarano/StiverSpice SE90522-
34GTUMaury-Laribiére/Fabre/Chauvin/Cruchet /RaelPorsche GT3R519Accident
35SRRobinson / Baldwin / Haywood / HoerrRiley & Scott495-
36GTUBaron/Buitoni/Kester/Hindery/BorkowskiPorsche GT3R470Engine
37GTUMatthewson/Burgess/Rapetti/NeugartenPorsche GT3R443Engine
38GTORied/Felbermayr/Felbermayr, Jr/RiedPorsche GT2405-
39GTUMurry / Hawkins / Skea / MowlemPorsche GT3R400Accident
40AGTConway / Flis / Flis / GoadChevrolet Camaro397Engine
41SRWaddell / Boss / Valentine / VolkRiley & Scott380-
42GTUHerrerias / Smith / McGlynn / ManfrediPorsche Carrera373Engine
43SRBingham / Said / Simo / SutherlandRiley & Scott352Engine
44GTUSchoonbroodt/Tamburini/Bugané/Thiel/BonuomoPorsche GT3R321Accident
45GTUBarth / Bervillé / Ligonnet / de LessepsPorsche GT3R314Engine
46GTUMüller / Wollek / LuhrPorsche GT3R312Engine
47GTUAuberlen / Fairbanks / Ham / GleasonBMW M3312Engine
48SRKatz / Ronson / Pelke / DowningKudzu DLY303Accident
49AGTScheuren/Curran/Dilorio/Snyder/SmithChevrolet Camaro303Accident
50SRBrown / Goldrich / LenzSpice HC94292Engine
51AGTShuster / Montgomery / PuleoChevrolet Camaro289Engine
52GTOCasadei/Bucci/Garbagnati/MastropietroPorsche GT2279Engine
53SRLynn / Snowdon / Algrin / Geck / Jacobs / Del VecchioKudzu DLM-4277-
54GTOSmith / Nowicki / Lester / HeinricyChevrolet Corvette261Drive Shaft
55GTOHürtgen / Haupt / Wada / Nearn / Smith / EarlePorsche GT2259Engine
56GTOvon Gartzen / Slater / Kitchak / Lockie / KonradPorsche GT2248Accident
57AGTRankin / Foyil / Lassally / Scott / JamesChevrolet Camaro240Clutch
58GTOAguirre / Watkins / Urrutia / VilleneuveChevrolet Corvette239Engine
59GTUFinlay / Goldin / GoldinMazda RX-7239Differential
60GTUMasselli / Scapini / Prinoth / CapelliFerrari F355228Electrics
61GTURutherford / Hajducky / Geremia / Oneglia / Fengler / CarradinePorsche Carrera227Electrics
62GTUBrockman / Newman / Lauer / JeannettePorsche GT3R225Engine
63SRLammers / Maassen / KonradLola B98/10209Engine
64SRCalderari / Zadra / Zadra / Rosenblad / BrynerFerrari 333 SP203Transmission
65GTUMcCormick / Crowder / Robertson / BaumannPorsche GT3R192Accident
66SRPetery / Carter / Green / MirroRiley & Scott175Transmission
67SRField / Whittington / WhittingtonLola B2K/10164Engine
68GTUSuzuki / Olofsson / Takahashi / HansonFerrari F355164Fuel System
69SRCaffi / McNish / Kelleners / SchiattarellaFerrari 333 SP162Transmission
70GTURezk / Malnik / Crowley / MillerBMW M3133Engine
71SRTheys / Lienhard / BentleyFerrari 333 SP132Engine Fire
72GTOBrown / Warnock / TreneryPorsche GT2113Accident
73SRMaxwell / Toivonen / GrahamLola B98/10110Engine Fire
74GTUBell / Sugden / Day / O'RourkePorsche GT3R75Accident
75SRWilson / Henderson / Konig / UlrichPilbeam MP8451Transmission
76GTOVuillaume / Colombo / FallerPorsche GT249Engine
77SRSchubot / Camferdam / Dayton / BurtonRiley & Scott45Engine
78AGTJenkins / Lisa / Arpin / Beilharz / ReedChevrolet Camaro40Transmission
79SRRoussel / Sezionale / SmithNorma M200013Electrical

Copyright Notice:
All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © 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 and 2017

Return to home page.