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).

In 2001, there were ten-races - beginning with 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.

Daytona opened the 2001 season with 120-entries and 79-starters. The best-subscribed class was GT with 34-cars and the least – 8 in American GT. At the finish 41-cars were classified as finishers.

Despite mechanical problems, poor weather and more powerful Sports Racing Prototypes - Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell, Franck Freon and Chris Kneifel were able to capture the overall victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona. The No. 2 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R moved into the lead with the retirement of the Dyson Riley & Scott MK III.
It was heartbreak again for the Dyson team. The No. 16 Ford-powered Riley & Scott driven by James Weaver, Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger qualified on the pole. Unfortunately, history repeated itself and with a comfortable lead, at 9:30-a.m. Sunday morning, the team lost an engine and retired with less than three hours remaining in the race. It would take over an hour for the No. 2 Corvette to take the lead.
The winners of the American GT class were Kenny Bupp, Doug Mills, Dick Greer and Simon Gregg driving a Chevrolet Camaro. Although the team finished twenty-eighth overall and over 100-laps behind the overall winner, they won their class by a large margin. Twenty-laps clear of the second place American GT class car.
Looking for an advantage, Kevin Doran replaced the team's Judd-powered Ferrari 333 SP with a new Crawford SSC2K. The Andy Scriven designed car was equipped with a Judd V10. The Crawford driven by Didier Theys, Freddy Lienhard, Ross Bentley and Mauro Baldi retired after 181-laps with transmission issues. After three races Doran abandoned the Crawford in favour of the team's Ferrari.
The biggest pre-event news was the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R entry driven by Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr. The pair shared the car with Andy Pilgrim and Kelly Collins. Just after midnight, the team replaced the transmission only to discover the half shaft was the problem. Thirty-one minutes later the car was back on track. The team was able to make up the deficit and finish fourth overall and second in GTS.
JET Motorsports entered a V8 powered BMW M3 E46. Team owner Tony Jennings hired a talented line-up to share the driving duties – Terry Borcheller, Boris Said and Hans Stuck. The car qualified second in the GT class and Stuck recorded the fastest GT race lap. But the BMW retired after 490-laps with an oil leak – twenty-first in class.
Finishing second overall and just 8-laps behind the No. 2 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R was the White Lightning Porsche GT3RS. The GT class winning car was driven by Mike Fitzgerald, Christian Menzel, Lucas Luhr and Randy Pobst. Qualifying fourth in the GT category the team was never out of contention although they faced stiff competition from the JET BMW and Morrison Mosler.
Klaus Bytzek entered two Porsche 911 GT1 EVOs. Bytzek shared the No. 0 with Scott Maxwell, David Empringham and Richard Spenard. A second entry, No. 01, was driven by Larry Schumacher, Harry Bytzek and CGTCC series regulars - John Brenner and James Holtom. Maxwell was the fastest GTS qualifier but the car suffered transmission problems - the 01 car fared much better finishing third in GTS.
Joao Barbosa had the fastest lap time for the GT class in the No. 02 Morrison/Mosler Racing Mosler at 1:52.346. The Mosler MT900R was a mid-engine sports car powered by Chevrolet Corvette motor. Sharing the driving duties was Scott Deware and GM engineer John Heinricy. They retired on lap-61 following an accident.
Another team to benefit the most from the No. 16 Dyson Riley & Scott retirement was the Downing Atlanta team. It took the Mazda Kudzu driven by Howard Katz, Jim Downing, A.J. Smith and Chris Ronson nearly three hours to complete enough laps to take the Sports Racer Prototype lead. They won the class and finished eleventh overall.
The Archangel Motorsports team entered two Lola B2K/40s in the Sports Racing Prototype II class. The No. 21 car was driven by Andy Lally, Paul Macey, Peter Seldon and Martin Henderson. They won the category - finishing thirteenth overall and a comfortable 23-laps in front of the second place Sports Racing Prototype II Mazda Kudzu of Team Spencer.
A pre-race favourite for the over-all win was the No. 12 Risi Competizione Ferrari 333 SP. The driver line-up included sports car veterans - Ralf Kelleners, David Brabham, Allan McNish and Eric van de Poele. The car started third behind the No. 16 Dyson entry and the Robinson Racing Riley & Scott. The Risi car raced hard with the lead Dyson car which may have led to their downfall as they retired with engine problems.
There were three Porsche GT1s entered at Daytona. Canadian Klaus Bytzek entered two cars one of which finished sixth overall and third in GTS. Gunnar Jeannette, Paul Newman, Wayne Jackson and Michael Brockman drove the No. 76. Unfortunately, they only completed 37-laps and were the second car to retire from the race.
Thed Bjork picked up a Grand-Am class track record in the Sports Racing Prototype II division driving the No. 79 Lola B2K/40. Although mostly unknown to most North American sports cars fan he had won a number of Scandinavian Touring titles. He shared the car with Niklas Loven, Larry Oberto and Stanley Dickens but the car retired after 415-laps with transmission issues.
Finishing 4-laps behind the class winning GT car was the Porsche GT3RS entry of Freisinger Motorsport. Founded by Manfred Freisinger the company had been preparing and racing Porsches since 1967. The Freisinger car driven by Wolfgang Kaufmann, Lance Stewart and Ciril Chateau qualified fifty-seventh overall but moved up to a third place finish.
One of the surprises in the GTS class was the Marcos Mantara. The car was powered by a 6.2-liter Chevrolet engine and had a well-developed chassis as the result of competing in the FIA GT series. By late Saturday evening the No. 24 entry driven by Cor Euser, Calum Lockie and Herman Buurman split the two factory Corvettes. However, a number of problems caused the entries to finish fourth and fifth in the GTS class.
Two cars were able to set new Grand-Am class track records during qualifying. One of these was the No. 44 Team Amick Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette recording a lap time of 1:51.295 at a speed of 115.154-mph. This was 2.781-seconds under the previous American GT track record. The car was driven by Joe Varde, David Amick, Lyndon Amick and Bill Lester – they finished third in class.
The Japanese team of Toshio Suzuki, Shinichi Yamaji, Tsuyoshi Takahashi and Shogo Mitsuyama drove the Club Yellow Magic Ferrari F355. They finished thirtieth overall and seventeenth in the GT category. A second Ferrari F355 entry competed in the GTS category finishing thirty-six overall and seventh in class.
The Saleen S7R entered by Paul Gentilozzi's Rocketsports team was plagued with engine problems during practice and qualifying. The car driven by Johnny Miller, Scott Pruett, Anthony Lazarro and Gentilozzi started fifth in GTS. Unfortunately, they retired after only 50-laps with suspension damage caused by an accident.
Proving that a 24-hour race is a test of perseverance are the entries of the Flis Team and No. 96 Tropic Zone Racing. The Flis Camaro was shared by Craig Conway, Doug Goad, Rick Maugeri and Erik Messley - they finished second in American GT. The Tropic Zone Oldsmobile Cutlass took fourth with drivers - Dave Bacher, Anthony Puleo, Hans Hauser and Robert Dubler.

1GTSO'Connell / Fellows / Kneifel / FréonChevrolet Corvette656-
2GTMenzel / Pobst / Fitzgerald / LuhrPorsche GT3RS648-
3GTKaufmann / Stewart / ChateauPorsche GT3RS644-
4GTSPilgrim / Earnhardt / Collins / Earnhardt, Jr.Chevrolet Corvette642-
5GTRosa / Babini / Caffi / RosaPorsche GT3RS637-
6GTSSchumacher / Bytzek / Brenner / HoltomPorsche GT1632-
7GTBaron / Petty / Buitoni / Hindery / KesterPorsche GT3RS630-
8GTLaw / Drendel / Murry / WagnerPorsche GT3R629-
9GTAuberlen / Gleason / Fairbanks / MillerBMW M3627-
10GTPlumb / Hiskey / CulverPorsche GT3R627-
11SRPKatz / Ronson / Smith / DowningKudzu DLY Mazda624-
12GTStanton / Hajducky / SuzukiPorsche GT3R618-
13SR IILally / Macey / Henderson / SeldonLola B2K/40600Transmission
14SRPWeaver / Leitzinger / WallaceRiley & Scott Mk III598Engine
15GTPumpelly / Ivankovich / Pumpelly / DilorioPorsche GT3R595-
16GTDe Castro / Cattaneo / Bicciato / BuganéPorsche GT3R593-
17GTButtiero / Collin / Bagnall / BurgessPorsche GT3R590-
18GTHane / Thiel / Horn / JuraszPorsche GT3R585-
19SRPForbes-Robinson / Dyson / Papis / JönssonRiley & Scott Mk III584-
20SRP IIGrupp / Hampton / SpencerKudzu DLM Mazda577-
21SRPField / Rosenblad / Field / FieldLola B2K/10566-
22SRPBaldwin / Robinson / Hoerr / LazierRiley & Scott Mk III563Engine
23GTFriedman / Merzon / Demeroutis / WilsonPorsche Carrera563-
24GTSEuser / Lockie / BuurmanMarcos Mantara562-
25GTMancini / Collini / Rapetti / NeugartenPorsche GT3RS561-
26GTKitch / Parker / Gaylord / OberholtzerPorsche GT3R560-
27GTSde Castro / Van der Kolk / LassallyMarcos Mantara557-
28AGTBupp / Greer / Mills / GreggChevrolet Camaro553-
29GTGaughran / Marks / Miller / TakahashiPorsche GT3R547-
30GTSuzuki / Takahashi / Mitsuyama / YamajiFerrari F355543-
31GTSZonca / Sangiuolo / Duno / GoodingDodge Viper530-
32GTGabel / Safina / Lowman / DeQuesadaBMW M3530-
33AGTConway / Messley / Goad / MaugeriChevrolet Camaro528-
34GTBunting / Assentato / Schearer / AhlgrimBMW M3510-
35GTGutiérrez / Smith / Vuillaume / CartierPorsche GT3R505Oil Leak
36GTSPeroni / Ring / Sergey / MonterminiFerrari F355505-
37SRP IIWhitehead / Zacharias / Giangrande / HallLola B2K/40498Transmission
38GTSFelbermayr, Jr. / Felbermayr / Ried / RiedPorsche GT2495-
39GTJennings / Borcheller / Said / StuckBMW M3490Oil Leak
40AGTVarde / Amick / Amick / LesterChevrolet Corvette488Accident
41GTSMaxwell / Empringham / Spenard / BytzekPorsche GT1479-
42GTHürtgen / Orcutt / Lorenz / LangfermannPorsche GT3R477-
43SRP IIPootmans / St. Jacques / Julien / WoodmanLola B2K/40473Engine
44GTLister / Youles / Moss / TurnerPorsche GT3R471Accident
45GTSMarshall / Marshall / Van Overbeek / HoltPorsche GT2470Accident
46SRPKelleners / Brabham / McNish / van de PoeleFerrari 333 SP462Engine
47SRP IIDavis / Dudek / Durand / ClintonLola B2K/40460Accident
48AGTBacher / Puleo / Hauser / DublerOldsmobile Cutlass407-
49GTBuckler / Michaelian / Earle / MalagamuwaPorsche GT3RS354-
50GTGoldin / Finlay / Rankin / GoldinMazda RX-7351-
51SRPDayton / Burton / SutherlandLola B2K/10347Engine
52GTRichter / Calderari / Bryner / AlzenPorsche GT3R315Accident
53GTRiccitelli / Quester / Duez / HoferPorsche GT3R310Engine
54SRP IIBjörk / Loven / Oberto / DickensLola B2K/40241Transmission
55AGTWilles / McNeil / LeavyChevrolet Corvette238Accident
56GTFoster / Schultheis / Neuman / BleusteinPorsche GT3RS233Accident
57GTDiez de Villarroel / Orti / Warner / ZitzaPorsche GT3R222Engine
58SRP IILewis / Lambert / SeilerPilbeam MP84216Accident
59SRPSchroeder / Wollek / Haywood / MaassenLola B2K/10209Engine
60GTMorton / Schrom / Mazzuoccola / HaynerPorsche GT3R185Accident
61SRPTheys / Lienhard / Bentley / BaldiCrawford SSC2K181Transmission
62SRPRoussel / Macaluso / Sezionale / ForgeoisNorma M2000-01179Engine
63SRP IIBucknum / Sherman / DuderLola B2K/40138Accident
64AGTCurran / Smith / Snyder / ScheurenChevrolet Camaro125Accident
65AGTHitt / Thompson / Nagle / BoguszChevrolet Corvette117-
66SRPSnyder / Argetsinger / LonghiRiley & Scott Mk III112Engine
67GTHaupt / Kumpen / RicePorsche GT3R108Engine
68GTZadra / Couceiro / Gallade / HuismanPorsche GT3RS106Engine
69SRPKonrad / Heath / Slater / SallesLola B2K/1096Electrical
70SRPSimon / Simo / DeVriesRiley & Scott Mk III92Engine
71AGTMontgomery / PentonChevrolet Camaro67-
72SRPTrenery / Emmett / Trenery / van SchooteRiley & Scott Mk III62Transmission
73GTBarbosa / Deware / HeinricyMosler MT900R61Accident
74GTSGentilozzi / Pruett / Miller / LazzaroSaleen S7-R50Suspension
75GTSWarnock / Colombo / Sá Nogueira / D'AgostinPorsche GT248Accident
76GTSVann / Bingham / Ara / NearnDodge Viper45Accident
77GTByrne / Millman / Kester / CollucciPorsche GT3RS37Engine
78GTSJeannette / Jackson / Newman / BrockmanPorsche GT137Oil Leak
79SRPSchroeder / Volk / Mirro / WaddellRiley & Scott Mk III3Engine

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