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.

On Canada’s Victoria Day long weekend, the Grand Am Cup teams traveled to Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant for round four of the 2004 championship. Drivers would race around the fifteen-turn 2.65-mile road course in the Mont-Tremblant 250.

The pole-winning Istook / Aines Motorsport Group Audi S4, driven by Anders Hainer, leads the field into Mont-Tremblant’s corner four. Behind Hainer is the second place starter and his teammate, Gary Sheehan, in the No. 4 Audi S4. Following Sheehan, in the order which they qualified, is the Cadillac of Devin Powell, Mike Cronin, Jr. driving the No. 33 Nissan 350Z and the point leading, Porsche of Craig Stanton and David Murry.
The 2003 Super Grand Sport championship-winning team crossed the finish line in second place. But Doncaster Racing’s, Robert Julien and Greg Wilkins, were awarded the Grand Sport victory after the Powell Motorsport Cadillac CTS-V failed the post-race inspection. The successful Doncaster team had a difficult start to the season. It seemed only fitting that the Canadian team’s first victory of the year would come on home soil.
Another team benefitting the post-race Grand Sport disqualifications was the No. 19 Porsche 996 shared by Mike Pickett and Spencer Pumpelly. To date, the team’s best result was a seventh-place at Phoenix. Pickett started thirty-first in the forty-seven car field. Pumpelly drove the final stint and, despite contact, was fourth at the checker. The disqualification of the Powell and Rehagen teams gave them a runner-up finish.
After some good qualifying results, the No. 2 Team Lexus Lexus IS300 was rewarded with a Sport Touring victory. Chuck Goldsborough qualified second fastest at Phoenix International Raceway but he and his teammate, Ian James, retired early. At Mont-Tremblant, Goldsborough started thirtieth overall and sixth in class. A conservative pace, which meant only one stop during the contest, gave the pair their first victory of 2004.
The Sport Touring point’s leaders, Don Salama and Will Turner, were yet to find the top step of the podium. They topped the title chase as the result of a fourth-place and two runner-up finishes. For the first time the season, Turner qualified the BMW 330i and would start twenty-fourth overall and second in class. The BMW’s poor fuel mileage meant the team required a second pit-stop. They caught the winning Lexus but finished second.
This is how the Grand Sport podium at Mont-Tremblant looked before the post-race technical inspection. Standing in the center and first across the finish line were Terry Borcheller and Devon Powell. To the left are the second-place finishers, Robert Julien and Greg Wilkins, who would be declared the winners. The final spot on the rostrum is occupied by David Shep and Kenny Wilden, who would also be disqualified.
The SpeedSource team was fresh off their historic victory (the first North American professional race win for the Mazda RX-8) in the previous round at Phoenix International Raceway. Qualifying the Mazda at Mont-Tremblant was David Haskell and he captured the class pole. With just ten minutes left in the race, Haskell’s teammate, Sylvain Tremblay, was third but slowed when he ran low on fuel and finished fifth.
When the checkered flag fell for the Mont-Tremblant 250, it appeared that Terry Borcheller had sole possession of the Grand Sport points lead. But that changed when the Powell Motorsports Cadillac CTS-V failed the technical inspection. Craig Stanton, Borcheller’s former teammate, took the top spot in the title chase. Stanton was paired with David Murry in TheRaceSite.com, sponsored Porsche 996 and finished fifth.
The Istook / Aines Motorsport Group had reason to be optimistic, heading into 2004. During the pre-season testing at Daytona, they were the quickest Grand Am Cup team. However, that changed when the racing started. After three events, the team had three top-ten qualifying efforts – including a pole – but failed to finish a race. Mont-Tremblant included another pole but Anders Hainer crashed and retired on the first lap.
After a difficult start to the season (twenty-fifth in Sport Touring at Daytona International Speedway), Bob Beede and Eric Curran captured their second consecutive podium of the year. The No. 27 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX-S was gridded twenty-fifth overall and third in class thanks to Curran. They ran with the class leaders and were able to capture third in their category when the SpeedSource Mazda ran low on fuel.
In just its second race, the Powell Motorsport Cadillac CTS-V piloted by Devon Powell and Terry Borcheller scored a victory, or so it seemed. Borcheller joined the Powell group at Mont-Tremblant. Powell qualified the Cadillac third fastest and they finished first. In the post-race technical inspection, it was found that the fuel tank capacity exceeded specifications and they received twenty-eighth place points.
The No. 58 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang Cobra SVT driven by David Shep and Kenny Wilden also failed the post-race technical inspection. According to Grand-Am Cup Series Technical Director, Scott Spencer, the fuel capacity on the Mustang exceeded the legal limit. Drivers, Shep and Wilden, who were third at the checkered flag, received points for a twenty-ninth place finish.
The Grand Am Cup Sport Touring podium at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant. On the right are the second-place finishers from Turner Motorsport, Don Salama and Will Turner. And, on the opposite side and completing the podium are Bob Beede and Eric Curran. In the center, earning their first victory of the season are Team Lexus drivers, Chuck Goldsborough and Ian James.

1GSWilkins / JulienPorsche 996Doncaster Racing92
2GSPicket / PumpellyPorsche 996Race Prep Motorsports92
3GSStanton / MurryPorsche 996The Race Site.com92
4GSSchuitemaker / ZachariasNissan 350ZSchuitemaker Motorsports92
5GSPlummer / CosmoPorsche 996BGB Motorsports91
6GSBrumbaugh / McDowellPorsche 996BGB Motorsports91
7GSThornton / RussellBMW M3Automatic Racing91
8GSNonnamaker / NonnamakerPorsche 996The Race Site.com91
9STJames / GoldsboroughLexus IS300Team Lexus91
10STTurner / SalamaBMW 330iTurner Motorsport91
11STBeede / CurranAcura RSX-SBill Fenton Motorsports91
12STPappas / HamblinBMW 330iTurner Motorsport91
13STHaskell / TremblayMazda RX-8SpeedSource91
14GSSheehan / BaileyAudi S4Istook / Aines Motorsport Group90
15GSFox / KrohnPorsche 996G&W Motorsports90
16GSWeinberg / KnowlesCadillac CTS-VPowell Motorsport90
17GSSofronas / MunsonBMW M3Anchor Racing90
18GSShreiner / LapcevichFord Mustang CobraShreiner Racing90
19GSSnipes / SachsCadillac CTS-VSnipes Motorsport90
20GSWortzman / McCalmontBMW M3Zoom Motorsports90
21STFenton / Liebl / EndicottAcura RSX-SBill Fenton Motorsports90
22GSMacAlpine / Martin / RehagenFord Mustang CobraRehagen Racing89
23STFanelli / WalkerMazda RX-8SpeedSource88
24STThompson / RobinsonMazda RX-8Cairsea Racing88
25STProbert / OlsenBMW 330iQuickSilver Motorsports87
26STMatz / Gaughran / PotterBMW 328iDF Motorsports87
27STMarinus / Mears, Jr.Mazda RX-8SpeedSource87
28GSPowell / BorchellerCadillac CTS-VPowell Motorsport92
29GSShep / WildenMustang Cobra SVTRehagen Racing92
30STAbello / TheetgeMazda RX-8SpeedSource86
31STEaton / HowardMazda RX-8Southpaw Racing86
32STDeJager / ThomsonBMW Z3Compass360 Racing86
33GSMacDonald / BrownFord Mustang CobraFrederick Motorsports86
34STRoach / KimballDodge Neon SRT4Roach Racing86
35GSCronin / HaynerNissan 350ZUnitech Racing85
36STSchlesinger / TuatyMazda RX-8SpeedSource84
37STGoldsborough / Lally / MadyLexus IS300Team Lexus84
38STArnold / ConnollyBMW 330ciMatt Connolly Motorsports74
39STLally / DumoulinLexus IS300Team Lexus69
40GSRosser / CollinsNissan 350ZUnitech Racing61
41GSDel Vecchio / MartinPontiac FirebirdMichael Baughman Racing46
42GSRoy / CampFord Mustang CobraFrederick Motorsports41
43GSStubbs / MasessaPorsche 996The Race Site.com18
44GSDuarta / Morrison / HalsmerAcura NSXDAL Motorsports12
45STHimes / Ellinger / RosenblumBMW Z3ICY / SL Motorsports11
46GSPicket / Pumpelly / LevitasPorsche 996Race Prep Motorsports10
47GSHainer / IstookAudi S4Istook / Aines Motorsport Group1

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