On October 15, 2003, a significant restructuring of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand Am Cup classes was announced. Starting next year, the Grand Sport I (GS I) cars would be called Super Grand Sport (SGS) and compete in the Rolex Sports Car Series. Following this news, there were changes in the Grand Am Cup category. In 2004, there would be a single Grand Sport (GS) and Sport Touring (ST) class.

  • Grand Sport (GS): The quicker of the two classes - the group features the larger displacement engines as well as smaller four-cylinder motors with forced induction systems. The power-plants produce between 350 and 405-horsepower. Minimum weights range between 2,900 – 3,300-pounds, which is dependent on the motor configuration and displacement. This class includes cars such as the BMW M3, Pontiac Firebird, Ford Mustang, Nissan 350Z and Porsche 996.
  • Sport Touring (ST): The smaller displacement cars compete in this class in which engines typically produce between 170 and 240-horsepower. Popular vehicles found in this group are the Acura RSX, Mazda RX-8, BMW Z3, BMW 330i, Acura Integra Type R and Mini Cooper S.

While the classifications changed the rules remained the same. The cars are relatively unchanged from their road-going versions – modifications are 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 are placed in the Grand Sport or Sport Touring group.

The 2004 season consists of ten race weekends and starts in January at Daytona International Speedway, which is followed by a second event in Florida at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In April, the series will make a visit to Phoenix International Raceway for the Twin 200s. The Grand Sport and Sport Touring teams will compete in separate races. Then the series travels north of the border to compete at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant. After this event, race weekends will take place Watkins Glen International, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and a second visit to Homestead-Miami Speedway. The final three rounds will be conducted in October and start with Virginia International Raceway. The penultimate weekend is at Alabama’s, Barber Motorsport Park, with the finale taking place at California Speedway.

Round three of the 2004 Grand Am Cup season was held at Phoenix International Raceway. The series conducted separate races for the Grand Sport and Sport Touring classes. The Grand Sport teams would compete Friday evening on Phoenix’s 1.51-mile roval in the Twin 200.

The start of round three for the Grand Am Cup Grand Sport competitors at Phoenix International. On the pole is the No.33 Unitech Racing Nissan 350Z of Mike Cronin, Jr. Beside Cronin, Jr. is the point’s leader, Craig Stanton, in TheRaceSite.com sponsored Porsche 996. In the second row is Canadian, Greg Wilkins in the Doncaster Racing prepared Porsche 996 and the No. 35 Nissan 350Z driven by Michiel Schuitemaker.
Craig Stanton and Terry Borcheller won the first two rounds of the season driving, the No. 44 Porsche 996. The Grand Sport point’s leaders scored their third victory of the year at Phoenix. The pair topped the timesheets in the two practice sessions and Stanton qualified on the outside of the front row. Borcheller took the lead in the race and went on to grab the win when the Unitech Nissan encountered problems.
Last year’s Grand Sport I champions, Doncaster Racing, were having a difficult start to the season. In the first two races of the season, they only managed fifteenth and nineteenth place finishes. At Phoenix International Raceway, the team was back on form. Greg Wilkins was sharing the Porsche with the team’s primary driver, Robert Julien and was third quickest in qualifying. Julien was in second place at the end of the race.
It was an eventful weekend for the second Unitech Racing entry. Sharing the No. 23 Nissan 350Z was Blake Rosser and Kelly Collins. Rosser was to qualify the Nissan, but the session was cut short when he caused an incident. The pair started second last in the twenty-eight car field. They moved up the order and inherited a third-place finish when the Nonnamaker Porsche was penalized for an aggressive pass.
The second TheRaceSite.com Porsche 996 was shared by the father and son team of Joe and Wayne Nonnamaker. The senior Nonnamaker qualified the Porsche and was seventeenth fastest. Wayne was in fourth place with six-laps remaining in the event when he clipped the Istook / Aines Motorsport Audi S4, causing it to spin. Nonnamaker was penalized ten-seconds for the aggressive move and finished fourth.
The No. 33 Unitech Racing Nissan 350Z driven by Mike Cronin, Jr. and Stu Hayner finished third in the opening round at Daytona International Speedway. The team struggled in race two at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but at Phoenix, Cronin put the Nissan on the pole. They were competitive and led for more than half the contest before a half-shaft failed on lap-75. The crew repaired the car and they returned to finish twentieth.
The round three Grand Am Cup Grand Sport podium at Phoenix International Raceway. In the center are the winners from TheRaceSite.com, Craig Stanton and Terry Borcheller. The pair had a commanding lead in the Driver’s points after three victories and three races. Standing on the left and earning their first rostrum of the year are Greg Wilkins and Robert Julien. Completing the podium are Blake Rosser and Kelly Collins.

1GSStanton / BorchellerPorsche 996The Race Site.com128
2GSWilkins / JulienPorsche 996Doncaster Racing128
3GSRosser / CollinsNissan 350ZUnitech Racing127
4GSNonnamaker / NonnamakerPorsche 996The Race Site.com127
5GSCrescentini / PobstAudi S4LM Racing127
6GSPlummer / CosmoPorsche 996BGB Motorsports126
7GSPicket / PumpellyPorsche 996Race Prep Motorsports126
8GSThornton / RussellBMW M3Automatic Racing126
9GSSchuitemaker / ZachariasNissan 350ZSchuitemaker Motorsports125
10GSMacDonald / BrownFord Mustang CobraFrederick Motorsports125
11GSPowell / WeinbergCadillac CTS-VPowell Motorsport125
12GSShreiner / LapcevichFord Mustang CobraShreiner Racing125
13GSWortzman / McCalmontBMW M3Zoom Motorsports125
14GSSnipes / SachsCadillac CTS-VSnipes Motorsport123
15GSMacAlpine / RehagenFord Mustang CobraRehagen Racing123
16GSDuarta / BaileyAcura NSXDAL Motorsports122
17GSMasessa / NonnamakerPorsche 996The Race Site.com120
18GSStubbs / CampFord Mustang CobraFrederick Motorsports120
19GSZavodsky / MartinMustang Cobra SVTRehagen Racing118
20GSCronin / HaynerNissan 350ZUnitech Racing100
21GSKohler / SmithMustang SaleenTF Racing78
22GSSmith / LevitasPorsche 996Race Prep Motorsports69
23GSAssentato / EarlMustang SaleenTF Racing52
24GSYeakle / BaughmanPontiac FirebirdMichael Baughman Racing48
25GSDuarta / Bailey / MorrisonAcura NSXDAL Motorsports24
26GSKrohn / FoxPorsche 996G&W Motorsports21
27GSHainer / IstookAudi S4Istook / Aines Motorsport Group15
28GSSofronas / MunsonBMW M3Anchor Racing0

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