The 2001 Motorola Cup series opener was held at Daytona International Speedway. The two-hour race would be the last with Motorola as the title sponsor. The Berman Motorsport Group had managed the series for the previous six-years but when Motorola did not renew their contract Grand-Am took control. Until a new sponsor was found the series it would be called the Grand-Am Cup.

The 2001 edition of the Grand-Am Cup consisted of 10-events (Daytona (season opener and finale), Homestead-Miami, Phoenix International Raceway, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, Mosport, Virginia International Raceway, Road America and Trois-Rivieres) for showroom stock cars. With a few exceptions the races were primarily 3-hours in length. The cars were relatively unchanged from their road going versions – modifications were 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 were divided into four groups:

  • SGS - Super Grand Sport: The quickest of all groups, this class was introduced in 2000 for the fastest mass produced vehicles. Cars competing in this group included the Chevrolet Corvette C5, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Dodge Viper, Saleen Mustang SR, Porsche 911 Turbo, Porsche 996, etc.
  • GS - Grand Sport: This class included cars such as Pontiac Firebird, BMW M3, Acura NSX, Ford Mustang Cobra R, Porsche 993, etc.
  • ST - Sports Touring: Another new class for the 2000 season was Sports Touring. Popular vehicles found in this group were the BMW Z3 Coupe, Acura Integra Type R, BMW 328, Lexus GS 400, Lexus IS 300, Porsche Boxster, etc.
  • C2K – Compact 2000: It included the Honda Civic Si, Acura Integra GSR, Hyundai Tiburon, Mazda Miata, Mazda Protégé, Mazda 6, etc.

Close competitive racing with cars that fans could relate to contributed to the popularity of the series. It also provided an environment for automotive manufacturers to test and showcase their products.

The two-hour race for street stock cars took place Friday afternoon and was a support event for the Rolex 24-Hour. Seventy-seven qualifiers (12 – SGS, 35 – GS, 17 - ST and 13 – C2K) take the green flag. The two-hour race would be the last with Motorola as the title sponsor. The remaining nine rounds would be called the Grand-Am Cup.
Doug Goad and Devan Powell kicked off the Grand-Am Cup season by taking the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway in the Powell Motorsport Chevrolet Corvette. They started from the pole and although the team suffered various mechanical problems (high oil temperatures and low oil pressure), they never fell out of the top three during the two-hour event.
The Power Team Racing Acura Integra Type R completed 49-laps and won the Sports Touring class. The car was driven by Jason Potter and Mike Keravich III started from the forty-third position on the grid and was the quickest Sport Touring team.
The No. 71 Grand Sport class BMW M3 of Steve Pfeifer and Mike Helton returns to the track after spinning at the West Horseshoe. The team only completed 11-laps and were the second team to retire from the event.
Sharing the No. 43 Planet Earth Motorsport Chevrolet Corvette were endurance racing veterans Joe Nonnamaker and Bill Pate. The pair started eighth and after 51-laps of racing finished second overall and in the SGS class. They contributed to an all Corvette podium.
Peter Halsmer and Bryan Johnson drove the class winning Honda Civic Si which started second in C2K. The car was prepared by the Honda America Racing Team (HART) which was a group of employees from the Honda’s manufacturing facility in Marysville, Ohio.
The No. 46 Ford Mustang Cobra R driven by Chuck Snipes and Peter Sachs started sixteenth overall and fourth in the Grand Sport class. The duo was able to improve upon their starting position and finish second in class and ninth overall.
The second Planet Earth Motorsports Acura Integra GSR was shared by Mike Fitzgerald and Neal Sapp. These two drivers were TC Kline Racing teammates during the 2000 World Challenge season. They both scored victories in the series and Sapp won the World Challenge Touring Car Rookie title. At the Daytona opener in 2001 they finished second in the C2K class.
Finishing 14-seconds behind the Sports Touring class winning Power Team Acura was the No. 0 Lexus GS400. This car was driven by Terry Borcheller and Chuck Goldsborough. At the third race of the year, in Phoenix, the team would debut the new Lexus IS300. Although the IS300 did not win in its first year it started to show promise by mid-season as the team regularly achieving podium finishes.
GM Engineer John Heinricy was the fastest qualifier in the No. 37 Chevrolet Corvette. According to the rules, the driver qualifying the car starts the race. A decision was made by the team to have co-driver Bill Lester start the event which meant the car would take the green flag from the back of the grid. Despite starting last and an accident late in the race Lester and Heinricy finished third overall and in the SGS class.
Starting from the twenty-fifth position and twelfth in the Grand Sport class was Robert Julien and Steven Goodbody. At the checkered flag, they had moved their Porsche 993 up to a tenth place finish which resulted in a third in class.
The Nonnamaker brothers finished third in the C2K class behind their teammates (Mike Fitzgerald and Neal Sapp) and the Honda America Racing Team (HART). It was about to be a long season as the rivalry between the Nonnamaker's Planet Earth Motorsport team and HART would last the entire year.

1SGSPowell/GoadChevrolet Corvette Z06Powell Motorsport51
2SGSJ Nonnamaker/PateChevrolet Corvette Z06Planet Earth Motorsport51
3SGSLester/Hayner/HeinricyChevrolet Corvette Z06Phoenix American Motorsports51
4SGSGoolsby/RussellPorsche 996MST51
5SGSWortzman/LawPorsche TTMical Motorsports51
6SGSJames/SteinerPorsche TTMotorsport Technologies50
7SGSGilbert/HoltChevrolet Corvette Z06Gilbert Racing50
8GSMeindl/ShreinerFord Mustang Cobra R DG Racing50
9GSSnipes/SachsFord Mustang Cobra RSnipes Ford Motorsport50
10GSGoodbody/JulienPorsche 993Fiorano Racing50
11GSCamp/GabelFord Mustang Cobra RAlegra Motorsports50
12GSB Shanaman/S ShanamanPontiac FirebirdWind River Racing49
13GSLevitas/BavavoPorsche 993Turbo Performance Center49
14GSBriody/MeindlFord Mustang Cobra RDG Racing49
15GSMaxwell/MillerPontiac FirebirdMostly Motorsports49
16GSHouk/KohlerFord Mustang Cobra RTF Racing49
17GSLiebengood/LloydBMW M3 CoupeCompetition Preparation49
18STKeravich III/Potter/LallyAcura Integra RPower Team Racing49
19STBorcheller/GoldsboroughLexus IS300Team Lexus49
20SGSHornkohl/McAndrewDodge ViperTeam Matthew48
21C2KJohnson/HalsmerHonda Civic SiHonda of America Racing Team48
22C2KWi Nonnamaker/Sapp/FitzgeraldAcura Integra GSRPlanet Earth Motorsport48
23GSMears Jr/ShepPorsche 911Speedsource48
24GSTheetge/HebertAcura NSXTheetge/Hebert48
25C2KWa Nonnamaker/Wi Nonnamaker/FitzgeraldAcura Integra GSRPlanet Earth Motorsport48
26GSBlack/DanaherPontiac FirebirdBill Black Autosports47
27STSafina/LowmanPorsche 944 S2Alegra Motorsports47
28STGaughran/PiscelliAcura Integra RThe Spirit of Miami47
29GSZiegelman/ArgetsingerPontiac FirebirdPhoenix American Motorsports47
30C2KFenton/BeedeHonda Civic SiBill Fenton Motorsports47
31STRatcliff/EllingerMercedes-Benz 190ERC Imports47
32GSC Thompson/J Thompson/LynchMazda RX-7Deleon Motorsports47
33GSWeickardtFord Mustang Cobra RGilbert Racing47
34STMatz/Linder/KeravichAcura Integra RPower Team Racing47
35STTauty/UnderwoodPorsche BoxsterSpeedsource47
36STLorriman/MandevilleNissan MaximaNissan Competition46
37STSchlesinger/GelfandPorsche BoxsterSpeedsource46
38C2KSchmitt/AdamsHonda Civic SiHonda of America Racing Team46
39C2KKowalski/LassallyAcura Integra GSRMotorsport Technologies46
40C2KBaglier/LuffyMazda MX6Baglieracing46
41C2KStarita/DubinskyAcura Integra GSRPCI Racing46
42STCarter/PrasatthongBMW 328iCarter Motorsports45
43GSHilliar/Webb/DelvecchioFord Mustang Cobra RJacobs Motorsports45
44STFairbanks/GueLexus IS300Team Lexus45
45C2KCoyle/MazziottiAcura Integra GSRLucas Motorsports45
46C2KStewart/HimesHonda Civic SiRed Line Motors45
47STBunting/RoccaAcura Integra RThe Spirit of Miami44
48GSSolomon/ByeFord Mustang Cobra RTF Racing44
49STVan Sicklen/EndicottAcura Integra RKing Motorsports44
50GSYarosz/Masessa/AquilantePontiac FirebirdPhoenix American Motorsports42
51GSIstook/Rutherford IVAudi S4Istook/Aines Motorsport41
52C2KMagner/Del VecchioChevrolet Cavalier Z24WTF Engineering41
53GSBaughman/EspenlaubPontiac FirebirdMike Baughman Racing40
54GSDuke/SchulerFord Mustang Cobra RTF Racing40
55SGSBrown/DeFontesSaleen Mustang SRTF Racing38
56GSPappas/MacLean/FosterBMW M3Franz Blam Racing38
57GSWeinberg/HaynerPontiac FirebirdPhoenix American Motorsports37
58STGleason/GauthierAcura Integra RThe Spirit of Miami35
59SGSBourassa/StewartPorsche TurboTeam Hurricane Racing34
60GSTremblay/HaskellPorsche 911Speedsource29
61STTrask/PatchBMW Z3 CoupeVillaconn International27
62GSJacobs/Langhorne/DelvecchioFord Mustang Cobra RJacobs Motorsports27
63GSHyberg/AndersonBMW M3Jonak Brothers Racing26
64GSSherk/BaxterAcura NSXJcomp26
65SGSLacey/WilkinsFord Mustang Cobra RDoncaster/Multimatic26
66GSMartin/McDougallAudi S4R.A.C.E. Team25
67GSEngland/Mitchell IIPontiac FirebirdKent Motorsports25
68C2KRoediger/KaneHonda Del SolLucas Motorsports24
69SGSKohler/SmithSaleen Mustang SRTF Racing21
70GSMountain/CregerAudi S4 TurboTeam Hurricane Racing20
71SGSCox/ParkChevrolet CorvetteMallett/MTI Racing19
72STWhite/ShafferBMW Z3 CoupeVillaconn International19
73STPawley/HendersonToyota SupraJ Pawley Motorsports16
74GSAssentato/LonghiFord Mustang Cobra RD.M.A. Racing12
75GSHelton/PfeiferBMW M3RTG Ltd11
76GSSamis/ReynoldsPontiac FirebirdCentury Racing9
77GSMa Dillard/Mi DillardPontiac FirebirdCentury Racing4

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