The 2001 Grand American Road Racing Championship (Grand Am) was the series second season.
A business model which controlled costs, had stable rules and avoided being on dependent of automotive manufacturers attracted private teams.
Based on the failure of the United States Road Racing Championship in 1999 critics suggested that the Grand Am would suffer a similar fate –
races cancelled and the season cut short. However, that was not the case and all nine events were held as scheduled.
As in 2000, there were five classes: Sports Racing Prototype I and II (SRP-I and SRP-II), Grand Touring Sport (GTS – the former GTO class), Grand Touring (GT – the former GTU class), and American GT (AGT).
The 2001 season consisted of ten races starting at Daytona in February and ending in November at the same track. The series visited the same venues as 2000. Watkins Glen International gained a second date - running as a support event to NASCAR.
In early August the Grand Am series made their second visit to Trois-Rivieres - it was the season's eighth event. As the circuit was a very tight ten-turn 1.506-mile street layout, the decision was made to split the classes and hold two races. This was the second time Grand-Am divided the classes into two race groups – the first was at Lime Rock. The first race group included American GT, GT and, from the Grand-Am Cup division, the Super Grand Sport (SGS) class. As only eleven GT cars were entered the decision was made to include the SGS class in the race – a first for the Grand-Am series. The second event, the following day, featured SRP I, SRP II and GTS.
Saturday’s race was 82-laps with an entry of sixteen cars – (3 – American GT, 8 – GT and 5 – SGS).
|The first lap and the field of sixteen cars follow the pole-sitter, Kerry Hitt, into the very tight corner eight hairpin named the Ryan turn after the late Peter Ryan. Following Hitt’s American GT class Chevrolet Corvette are Spencer Pumpelly and Tom Papadopoulos in the GT class leading Porsche 911 GT3Rs.|
|Spencer Pumpelly did not plan to drive the event solo but when a late race caution never materialized the team decided he should stay in the car. Near the end of the race during a green flag period, Pumpelly took a ‘splash of gas' – there was not enough time to replace him with co-driver – Steve Ivankovich. With Darren Law closing fast, Pumpelly captured the overall and GT class win by 7.6-seconds.|
|At the beginning of the race, pole-sitter, Kerry Hitt battled for the lead with eventual race winner Spencer Pumpelly. The two pulled away from the field but the Chevrolet Corvette driver was passed by Pumpelly on lap-9. Like Pumpelly, Hitt drove the race solo but unlike Pumpelly he had no plans to use a co-driver. He finished eleventh overall and second in the American GT category.|
|After starting fourth Tom Papadopoulos moved up to third overall and second in GT. Papadopoulos was able to maintain this position for much of the event. With the race winding down he was losing ground to the Doug Goad in an American GT Corvette. Goad was able to power by Papadopoulos on the back-straight. He tried to retake the position on the final lap but spun in the last turn.|
|Devon Powel and Doug Goad entered the Trois-Rivieres event with five-straight SGS victories. The No. 11 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 was the fastest SGS car in qualifying and started tenth overall. Goad was leading the class when he handed the car over to Powell. But the SpeedSource Porsche was too quick and Powell was unable to maintain the lead – Goad and Powell finished second in SGS.|
|Doug Goad shared the No. 09 American GT class Chevrolet Corvette with Craig Conway. Goad also raced the SGS Powell Corvette and faced quite a predicament when the two classes were combined at Trois-Rivieres. He started the race in the SGS car and did the second stint in the American GT Corvette. For his efforts, he earned a win in American GT (his sixth AGT win of the season) and a second in SGS.|
|The No. 65 Porsche 911 Supercup was too quick for the Corvettes and cruised to it’s first-ever victory in SGS competition. Drivers David Haskell and Shelby Wellman started second last in the sixteen car field. During the second stint, they passed the class-leading Corvette of Powell Motorsport and were never challenged.|
|The G&W Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R was shared by Darren Law and Matt Drendel. Drendel started from the sixth position with Law taking the final stint. When leader Pumpelly pitted for gas on lap-74, he held a twenty-second lead over Law. With fresher tires, Law was catching the leader by as much as a 1.5-seconds a lap but he ran out of time and finished second in the GT class and overall.|
|The No. 02 Mosler MT900R was driven by Ian James and Scott Deware. They qualified the car eighth overall and in the GT class. The mid-engined sports car powered by Chevrolet Corvette motor was quick and finished third at Homestead but usually suffered from reliability issues. Unfortunately, they were they first to retire at Trois-Rivieres with transmission problems.|
|American GT competitors Kenny Bupp and Jon Leavy were classified third in class despite some damage to their Chevrolet Camaro. The pair started second but were passed before the end of the first lap by the GT class Porsches of Spencer Pumpelly and Tom Papadopoulos.|
|The colourful No. 47 TF Racing Saleen Mustang SR was driven by Gary Smith and John Kohler. Starting last in SGS and overall they were able to run a steady race and finish ninth overall and take the final spot on the podium.|
|1||GT||Spencer Pumpelly||Porsche 911 GT3R||Zip/Pumpelly Racing||82||-|
|2||GT||Drendel / Law||Porsche 911 GT3R||G&W Motorsports||82||-|
|3||AGT||Conway / Goad||Chevrolet Corvette||Team X-1R||81||-|
|4||GT||Tom Papadopoulos||Porsche 911 GT3R||Autosport Race Team||81||-|
|5||GT||Merzon / Murry||Porsche 911 GT3RS||Case It Racing||81||-|
|6||SGS||Wellman / Haskell||Porsche 996 Supercup||SpeedSource||78||-|
|7||SGS||Goad / Powell||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||Powell Motorsport||78||-|
|8||GT||Wilkins / Wilden||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||Powell Motorsport||78||-|
|9||SGS||Smith / Kohler||Saleen Mustang SR||TF Racing||77||-|
|10||GT||Warner / Nuzzo||Porsche 911 GT3R||Broadfoot Racing||76||-|
|11||AGT||Kerry Hitt||Chevrolet Corvette||ACP Motorsports||73||-|
|12||GT||Jennings / Borcheller||BMW M3 E46 V8||JET Motorsports||71||-|
|13||SGS||DeFontes / Brown||Saleen Mustang SR||TF Racing||58||-|
|14||AGT||Kenny Bupp||Chevrolet Camaro||Hamilton Safe Motorsports||26||-|
|15||SGS||Steiner / James||Porsche 993 TT||Motorsport Technologies||16||Engine|
|16||GT||James / Deware||Mosler MT900R||Morrison/Mosler Racing||2||Transmission|
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