The 2003 Grand American Road Racing Championship (Grand Am) was the fourth season for the series. A business model which controlled costs, had stable rules and avoided being on dependent of automotive manufacturers attracted many private teams. The previous year, Grand Am announced that the Sportsracing Prototype I cars (expensive and technologically advanced) would not be eligible to compete in the 2003 series and would be replaced by a new sports prototype racer class called a Daytona Prototype.

In the 2003 season of Grand Am competition there were four categories:

  • Daytona Prototype (DP): This class was introduced to replace the two existing Sports Racing Prototype groups. To control costs, the cars used a tube frame chassis rather than the expensive composites used to construct most prototype race cars. Also, expenses were contained by limiting modifications and implementing rules that would be in place for five years. Approved to produce the first generation of Daytona Prototypes - for a cost of approximately $400,000 were: Riley Technologies, Doran Designs, Crawford Race Cars, Fabcar Engineering, Chase Competition Engineering, Picchio and Multimatic. Costs were also controlled by restricting the engines to production based motors supplied by Pontiac, Lexus, BMW, Porsche, Ford and Infiniti. Engine displacement was used to determine the weight of a car and whether a five or six-speed transmission could be utilized.
  • Sportsracing Prototype II (SRP II): These are purpose built open cockpit race cars from manufacturers such as Lola, Kudzu, Pilbeam and Piccio. The engines used in SRP II cannot be turbocharged and are limited to a displacement of three-litres. The maximum weight for cars in the class it 1,750-pounds.
  • Grand Touring Super (GTS): In 2003, the class was expanded to include cars that formally competed in American GT. As a result, there were two sets of rules to accommodate Unibody and Tube-Frame vehicles. Overall the production based Unibody cars were lighter than their Tube-Frame counterparts. Normally aspirated and turbocharged engines were permitted for the Unibody vehicles were as the Tubeframe cars were limited to an iron or aluminum V8 engine with a maximum displacement of
  • Grand Touring (GT): This category is for production based vehicles such as the BMW M3, Chevrolet Corvette, Ferrari 360GT and Porsche GT3RS. Turbocharging is not allowed and maximum engine displacement is 6.0-liters.

As in the past, the season opened in February with the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway and ended at the same track in November. In between these two weekends, there were events at Homestead-Miami, Phoenix International Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park, California Speedway, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Mont-Tremblant and Virginia International Raceway. There was a total of twelve events with the series competing at Watkins Glen twice and Daytona three times.

The 41st Rolex 24 at Daytona took place on the weekend of February 2 and 3. There was a total of 44-starters (6-Daytona Prototypes, 5-Sportsracing Prototype II, 14-Grand Touring Super and 19-Grand Touring) which was down from previous years. Drivers would compete for 24-hours on the 12-turn, 3.56-mile track which utilized an infield road course and almost the entire tri-oval.

In one of sports car racing’s greatest upsets, The Racer’s Group Porsche GT3R was the overall winner of the Rolex 24. This was accomplished while competing in the series slowest class. The Porsche driven by Buckler, Michael Schrom, and factory drivers – Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister started fifth in the GT class but were in the overall lead by the sixth hour. They swapped the lead a number of times with the quicker Daytona Prototypes but won by a margin of nine laps.
Quickest among the Daytona Prototypes and starting on the pole was the No. 88 Multimatic MDP1 Ford Focus. The Multimatic entry was driven by Scott Maxwell, David Brabham and David Empingham. With over an hour completed in the event, the car broke a throttle cable and required a lengthy stop. For the remainder of the race, the team played ‘catch-up.’ Their efforts paid off as they scored the first Daytona Prototype victory and finished fourth overall.
The Perspective Racing Mosler MT900R started fourth in the GTS category but moved into the class lead when the faster GTS qualifiers encounter difficulties. With two-hours left in the event, it was their turn to face problems. Transmission troubles resulted in a length stop allowing the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Corvette to take the lead. However, the Corvette was slowed by an issue and the Perspective team finished first in GTS.
Finishing second in the Daytona Prototype category (18-laps behind the class winning Multimatic) was the No. 59 Brumos Fabcar FDSC/03. This car was raced by Hurley Haywood, J.C. France, Scott Goodyear and Scott Sharp and led a total of seventy-six laps. The team dueled with the winning TRG Porsche until an off track excursion required a number of pit-stops to remove debris from the radiator.
Outpacing all entries in qualifying was the No. 40 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. In fact, the GTS class entries of Derhaag and Heritage Motorsports were faster than the new Daytona Prototypes. However, a decision was made by the sanctioning body to start the six Daytona Prototypes at the front of the grid. The Corvette was shared by Kenny Wilden, Derek Bell, Justin Bell and Simon Gregg. The car was quick but retired with a blown engine.
The No. 5 Team Seattle/Essex Racing effort was the top SRP II qualifier. The Nissan-powered Lola B2K/40 was driven by Ross Bentley, Don Kitch, Joe Pruskowski and Joel Pruskowski. The first problem encountered by the team was contact with the Konrad Saleen. After the incident, the team had a relatively trouble free run and finished seventh overall and first in class.
The Perspective Racing Mosler built up a comfortable lead when they had transmission problems. This allowed the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Corvette to inherit first in GTS with two hours remaining. However, the gear shift lever broke with Rob Morgan behind the wheel and he had to drive around in fourth gear. At the checkered flag, Morgan and his co-drivers Lance Norick, Jim Pace and Charles Morgan finished second in class.
Earning the runner-up position overall and in the GT category was Risi Competizione Ferrari 360GT. As the quicker Daytona Prototypes encountered problems, the Ferrari advanced. At the end of twenty-four hours, drivers Ralf Kelleners, Anthony Lazzaro and Johnny Mowlem were nine laps behind the winning Racer’s Group Porsche.
Teammates to the class winning SRP II entry was the No. 15 Team Seattle/Essex Racing Lola B2K/40. The driving duties were shared by Wade Gaughran, Peter MacLeod, David Gaylord and Steven Gorriaran. Running a steady, relatively trouble free race they finished second in class and eighth overall – four laps behind the category winners.
Overheating issues during the race forced the G&W Motorsports Picchio DP2 to make a number of visits to the garage. The BMW-powered Picchio started from the fifth grid position after failing to post a qualifying time. The car driven by Boris Said, Darren Law, Luca Riccitelli and veteran Dieter Quester was running at the checkered flag and finished twenty-fourth overall and third in Daytona Prototype.
The Archangel Motorsport Services Lola B2K/40 was having a relatively trouble free run until the sixth hour. On a restart, Larry Oberto spun the car and stopped facing traffic at the exit of turn one. With nowhere to go, the No. 67 Racer’s Group Porsche hit the Lola. The Archangel car was repaired and Oberto along with co-drivers – Derrike Cope, Chris Bingham and Brian DeVries continued until the engine expired on lap-589.
The Rollcentre Racing Mosler MT900R lost a lot of time early in the race when the team had a wheel bearing issue. The team that started twentieth overall and seventh in GTS. Their strategy was to run at a conservative pace which earned them the final spot on the podium. The Mosler was driven by Ron Barff, Andy Britnell, Richard Stanton and Rick Sutherland.
In the center are the Daytona Prototype class winners of the 41st Rolex 24 at Daytona – Scott Maxwell, David Brabham and David Empringham. To their left, are the second-place finishers from Brumos Racing – J.C. France, Hurley Haywood, Scott Goodyear and Scott Sharp. Taking the final position on the podium are Dieter Quester, Darren Law, Boris Said and Luca Riccitelli.
Another GT team taking advantage of the problems encountered by the quicker Prototype and GTS cars was the No. 83 Porsche GT3RS was driven by Johannes van Overbeek, Richard Steranka, Dave Standridge and David Murry. This group ran in the top-five for much of the race but were never a threat to the class winning TRG Porsche. They completed 684 laps finishing third overall and in the GT category.
Marc Lieb driving the Orbit Racing Porsche GT3RS set the quickest time in GT qualifying. Some problems early in the race caused the team to drop down the order but after they were resolved the Orbit Porsche was back on pace running in the top-10 for most of the contest. At the checkered flag, Lieb and his teammates Peter Baron, Kyle Petty and Leo Hindery were fourth in class and sixth overall.
Sharing the driving duties on the No. 58 Brumos Racing entered Fabcar FDSC/03 Daytona Prototype was David Donohue, Mike Borkowski, Randy Pobst and Chris Bye. After qualifying, the Porsche powered car was the second quickest and started on the outside of the front row. The team was leading the race but retired when the engine failed at about the six-hour mark.
Despite the success of the winning TRG Porsche the teams two other entries were less fortunate. On a restart, the No. 67 TRG Porsche almost went over the top of the SRP II of Larry Oberto. Andrew Davis was at the wheel of the car and retired while trying to return to the pits. Davis and his teammates – Robert Julien, David Lacey and Tom Nastasi finished thirty-fifth.
On the podium is the class winning Sportsracing Prototype II team. The Team Seattle/Essex Lola B2K/40 was shared by Ross Bentley, Don Kitch, Joe Pruskowski and Joel Pruskowski. The drivers were racing for the Seattle Children’s Hospital. They were collecting donations for each lap completed - $188 per lap. At the end of twenty-four hours, their efforts had earned the hospital $125,000.

1GTBuckler / Schrom / Bernhard / BergmeisterPorsche GT3RS695-
2GTKelleners / Lazzaro / MowlemFerrari 360GT686-
3GTMurry / Standridge / Van Overbeek / SterankaPorsche GT3RS684-
4DPMaxwell / Brabham / EmpringhamMultimatic MDP1 Ford Focus679-
5DPFrance / Haywood / Goodyear / SharpFabcar FDSC/03 Porsche661-
6GTBaron / Hindery / Lieb / PettyPorsche GT3RS656-
7SRP IIBentley / Kitch / Pruskowski / PruskowskiLola B2K/40652-
8SRP IIGaughran / Gorriaran / MacLeod / GaylordLola B2K/40648-
9GTSPolicand / Barbosa / Neugarten / WallaceMosler MT900R641-
10GTSMorgan / Norick / Pace / MorganChevrolet Corvette639-
11GTBaldi / Keen / van de Poele / HamptonFerrari 360GT638-
12GTSStanton / Barff / Britnell / SutherlandMosler MT900R635-
13GTCunningham / Plumb / Friedman / StantonBMW M3633-
14GTFarfus / Collard / Papis / GarbagnatiFerrari 360GT621-
15GTSShort / Herridge / Burton / ShepMosler MT900R601-
16GTSKonrad / Seiler / Dare / YvonSaleen S7-R600-
17GTOrlandi / Merendino / Clark / AtapattuPorsche GT3RS595-
18SRP IIOberto / Bingham / Cope / DeVriesLola B2K/40589Engine
19GTFitzgerald / Matos / Policastro / Policastro, Jr.Porsche GT3RS566-
20SRP IISavoldi / Peroni / FrancioniLucchini SR2002548Oil Pressure
21GTSGoad / Menard / Mears, Jr. / BriodyChevrolet Corvette542-
22GTMichaelian / Valentine / Hessert, III / HessertPorsche GT3RS501Accident
23GTEuser / Knook / Crevels / Van der KolkMarcos Mantis465Wheel
24DPQuester / Said / Law / RiccitelliPicchio DP2 BMW451-
25DPGrala / Negri / Rehm / CosmoFabcar FDSC/03 Toyota403Fire
26GTSPuleo / Hitt / Dubler / KennedyChevrolet Corvette391Steering
27GTSConway / Metcalf / Carelli / LinigerChevrolet Corvette378Steering
28GTSVasiliev / Tanaka / Fomenko / Lechner, Jr.Porsche 996361Accident
29GTHamblin / Brensinger / Nelson / GreenbergPorsche GT3RS316Accident
30GTSBell / Wilden / Bell / GreggChevrolet Corvette260Engine
31GTWagner / Martini / Tremblay / WellmanFerrari 360GT214Accident
32GTWilson / Newton / Gooding / KonigPorsche GT3RS211Engine
33GTTerrien / de Lorenzi / Delalande / SaviozziPorsche GT3RS206Engine
34DPDonohue / Borkowski / Pobst / ByeFabcar FDSC/03 Porsche160Engine
35GTDavis / Julien / Nastasi / LaceyPorsche GT3RS151Accident
36GTMaassen / Snow / Luhr / SchumacherPorsche GT3RS135Suspension
37SRP IIBayliff / Marshall / PrilikaPicchio BMW121Transmission
38GTCaffi / Rosa / Chiesa / RosaPorsche GT3RS101Engine
39DPTheys / Barber / Borcheller / FittipaldiDoran JE4 Chevrolet67Engine
40GTEarle / Shearer / Manfredi / GregoikeFerrari 360GT54Fire
41GTSRiggins / Machavern / Lepage / LagasseFord Mustang49Engine
42GTSStiver / Deware / Bell / KlineMosler MT900R14Transmission
43GTSJeannette / Dayton / Kitchak / ZitaPorsche 911 GT19Engine
44GTSCasadei / Ried / Juraz / RiedPorsche 911 GT22Engine

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 and 2016

Return to home page.