The Grand American Road Racing (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 USRRC as an alternative to the International Motor Sports Association (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 basically the same as 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.

In early June, Mid-Ohio hosted the U.S. Road Racing Classic which was the fifth round of the 2000 Grand-American Road Racing Series. The 250-mile endurance race had forty-one starters with thirty cars being classified as finishers.

The No. 16 Dyson Racing Riley & Scott was set to dominate the Mid-Ohio event when misfortune struck. Following on the heels of the previous weekendís success at Lime Rock James Weaver captured the pole position at the Mid-Ohio. He and co-driver Butch Leitzinger led much of the race until lap-86. A bolt in the suspension backed out which required Weaver to pit. He lost 4-laps for repairs which dropped them to eighth in SRP I.
Taking advantage of James Weaverís misfortune and with some excellent driving by Jack Baldwin the Robinson Racing Riley & Scott Mk III moved from fourth to first in the final 30-laps of the race. The win was particularly gratifying for team owner George Robinson as it was his first race back after a bout of malaria.
Sharing the front row for the start of the race was the Creighton Motorsports Lola B2K/10. This should have been no surprise to the competition as the car was qualified by Andy Wallace, who shared the driving duties with former IMSA Lights Champion Scott Schubot. The duo ran a very competitive race in the new car and finished third.
One of the best-looking cars at Mid-Ohio was the No. 82 McCann Racing Dodge Viper GTS-R. This car was built the French Oreca Racing team. It was raced by team owner Jim McCann and Tommy Archer. The car proved competitive but only completed 40-laps Ė the result of Archer spinning the car into a gravel trap.
In the SPR II class, the Archangel Motorsport Lola B2K/40 of Ryan Hampton and Larry Oberto took the win and finished an impressive seventh overall. The duo was having a tremendous season in the Grand Am series as they had captured four SRP II victories in four starts.
The battle for class honours in GTU was between the No. 81 G&W Motorsports entry and the Fordahl Motorsports Porsche RSR. Mike Fitzgerald and Darren Law in the G&W car not only took the class win but finished ahead of the quicker American GT and GTO competitors.
Elliot Forbes-Robinson and John Paul Jr. shared the No. 20 Dyson Racing Riley & Scott. On lap-91 of 111 Jack Baldwin passed Forbes-Robinson for the lead relegating the Dyson pair to a second place finish. Forbes-Robinson finished just under 10-seconds behind Baldwin.
The GTO class was expected to be a battle between the points leading Saleen Mustang and the Dodge Vipers of Team Viper West and McCann Racing. But problems delayed all three teams allowing the Doncaster Porsche 911 Turbo driven by Greg Wilkins and David Lacey to take the class victory.
Terry Borcheller and Ron Johnson finished second in the GTO class. The Saleen-Allen Speedlab Mustang drivers were in a race long battle with the Dodge Vipers of Team Viper West and McCann Racing. But electrical problems hindered their progress and under the circumstances, the team had to be satisfied with their results.
The Team Spencer Motorsports Kudzu DLM suffered accident damage a week earlier at Lime Rock and their attendance at the Mid-Ohio round was in question. But the team made repairs and the car was able to qualify albeit last in SRP II. During the race, drivers Richard Grupp and Dennis Spencer made good process and finished second in class and tenth overall.
Erik Messley and Stu Hayner shared the Team Viper West Dodge Viper. A week earlier at Lime Rock was the teamís first foray into the Grand Am series. An axle issue resulted in a fourth place finish. At Mid-Ohio, the team was leading the GTO class when the differential failed but they completed enough laps to classified third.
Finishing 3-laps up on their competition and taking the American GT class win was the Spirit of Daytona Chevrolet Camaro driven by Craig Conway and Doug Goad. This team was dominating the class in 2000 but at Mid-Ohio they were threatened when the Ford Mustang of Orion Motorsports qualified first. During the race, the Mustang threat did not materialize.
The No. 12 Risi Competizione Ferrari 333 SP was driven by Mimmo Schiattarella and Ralf Kelleners. The Ferrari drivers started fifth and led briefly. But the carís poor fuel mileage contributed to a fourth-place finish - the last car to finish on the lead lap.
The No. 18 Fordahl Motorsports Porsche 911 Carrera RSR was shared by Randy Pobst and the only female in the field Kim Hiskey. It was a busy day for Pobst who had competed in Sunday morningís 3-hour Motorola Cup race. The pair started second in GTU and finished third in class.
Qualifying third in SRP II were Larry Schumacher and Martin Snow in a Lola B2K/40. Schumacher and Snow had a lot of success competing at the GT level in Porsches. However, they were being challenged by reliability issues in the Sports Racing class. At Mid-Ohio, they finished a season-high third.
The only non-Chevrolet entered in the American GT class was the ex-Roush Racing Ford Mustang of Orion Motorsports which was driven by Paul Jenkins and Bruce Nesbitt. They started first in class but finished third - 7-laps behind the American GT winners.
Jon Field spun the No. 37 Intersport Lola B2K/10 early in the race. The car driven by Field and Oliver Gavin started sixth but retired after just 9-laps with gearbox problems. As a result, Field switched cars and joined his twin brother Joel in the teamís Riley & Scott. The pair finished sixth the SRP I class and overall.
Finishing second in GTU but 1-lap behind the class winner was the Racer's Group Porsche 911 GT3R driven by Kevin Buckler and Philip Collin.

174Baldwin / RobinsonRiley & Scott Mk IIIRobinson Racing111-1SR
220Forbes-Robinson / Paul, Jr.Riley & Scott Mk IIIDyson Racing Team111-2SR
38Wallace / SchubotLola B2K/10 FordPhilip Creighton Motorsports111-3SR
412Schiattarella / KellenersFerrari 333 SP Risi Competizione111-4SR
527Theys / BaldiDoran Special JuddDoran Lista Racing110-5SR
629Field / FieldRiley & Scott Mk IIIIntersport Racing110-6SR
722Oberto / HamptonLola B2K/40 NissanArchangel Motorsport Services109-1SR II
895Schroeder / VolkRiley & Scott Mk IIITRV Motorsport109-7SR
916Weaver / LeitzingerRiley & Scott Mk IIIDyson Racing Team109-8SR
1062Grupp / SpencerKudzu DLM MazdaTeam Spencer Motorsports106-2SR II
1163Smith / DowningKudzu DLY MazdaDowning Atlanta106-9SR
1299Snow / SchumacherLola B2K/40 NissanSnow/Schumacher Racing106-3SR II
1381Fitzgerald / LawPorsche GT3RG&W Motorsports105-1GTU
146Gibson / TillerLola B2K/40 NissanTRP Racing104-4SR II
1509Conway / GoadChevrolet CamaroThe Spirit of Daytona104-1AGT
160Lacey / WilkinsPorsche 911 GT2Doncaster Racing104-1GTO
1766Collin / BucklerPorsche GT3RThe Racer's Group104-2GTU
1818Pobst / HiskeyPorsche CarreraFordahl Motorsports104-3GTU
195Johnson / BorchellerSaleen MustangSaleen-Allen Speedlab103-2GTO
2061Brunk / FisherPorsche 964Paragon Motorsports102-4GTU
2155Goldsborough / PilgrimBMW M3Genesis Racing102-5GTU
2246Messley / HaynerDodge Viper GTSTeam Viper West101Differential3GTO
23118Cohen / LeavyChevrolet CamaroLeavy Racing101-2AGT
2434Pumpelly / AssentatoPorsche CarreraPumpelly Racing101-6GTU
2593McGlynn / RaskPorsche GT3RProTechnik Racing100-7GTU
2680Morton / SchromPorsche GT3RG&W Motorsports99-8GTU
272Brown / DickensFerrari 333 SPBrown Motorsports99-10SR
2858Knollenberg/Shalala/BouchierPorsche 911ProTechnik Racing98-9GTU
2907Cook / MarshallPorsche 911 GT2G&W Motorsports97Turbocharger4GTO
3000Nesbitt / JenkinsFord MustangOrion Motorsports97-3AGT
3138Ave / FahlgrenMazda RX-7Swedish Racing96-10GTU
3267Tumminelli / NagelPorsche GT3RThe Racers Group92-11GTU
3384McNeil / DewareChevrolet CamaroComer Racing Inc89Oil belt4AGT
3471Mills / Thompson / DeFontesChevrolet CamaroDura Motorsport66Differential5AGT
3582Archer / McCannDodge ViperMichael McCann40Spin5GTO
3650Fairbanks / AuberlenBMW M3Genesis Racing29Accident12GTU
3773Worth / SchardtMazda RX-7Pettit Racing24Overheating13GTU
3825Montgomery/Rodenroth/BovePorsche 968Broadfoot/Press Racing17DQ: too slow6GTO
3937Field / GavinLola B98/10 FordIntersport Racing11Gearbox11SR
4010Gleason / BuntingBMW M3Genesis Racing9Drive shaft14GTU
4148Moyer / BarnardChevrolet CorvetteMotech Motorsports7Clutch7GTO

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