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 five of the 2004 Grand Am Cup series was conducted at Watkins Glen International. Teams would compete in The Glen 250 around the eleven-turn 3.337-mile road course.

A field of fifty-seven Grand Am Cup competitors heads in to turn one for The Glen 250 at Watkins Glen International. Side-by-side entering the first corner is the pole-winning Porsche 966 of Doncaster Racing and the Frederick Ford Mustang Cobra, which started second. Immediately behind the fastest qualifiers are the Shreinder Racing Ford Mustang, the Unitech Racing Nissan 350Z and the BGB Motorsports Porsche 996.
The Grand Sport point’s leader, Craig Stanton and his driving partner, David Murry, qualified forty-seventh overall and twenty-third in class. That seemed of little consequence as the pair maneuvered their way through the field and were in second place with less than fifteen minutes left on the clock. Murry passed the race leader, B.J. Zacharias just before a full-course caution with four laps remaining and held on for the win.
Turner Motorsport finally found the top step of the Sport Touring podium. The No. 97 entry, driven by Tim Pappas and Bill Auberlen, started fourth in class. Near the end of the contest, the duo was leading when they were passed by Lexus of Chuck Goldsborough and Ian James. The Turner BMW crossed the finish line in second place, but the Lexus had passed under a yellow and Papps and Auberlen were awarded the victory.
Doncaster Racing’s principal driver, Robert Julien, was again paired with fellow Canadian, Greg Wilkins. The No. 91 Porsche 966 started on the pole with Wilkins behind the wheel. He led much of the race until the pit-stop for fuel and a driver change. Julien moved up the race order and into the lead. He was unable to match the pace set by the Nissan of B.J. Zacharias and David Murry driving a Porsche. Julien finished third.
A surprise for the series regulars was the qualifying performance of the No. 15 Frederick Motorsports Ford Mustang Cobra shared by Corey Rudl and David Brown. The Ruhl/Brown Mustang was gridded on the outside of the front row. To date, the team’s best qualifying result was a tenth place at Mont-Tremblant. At Watkins Glen International, the team fell off the pace and finished thirteenth.
The Grand Am Cup Grand Sport podium for round five of the series at Watkins Glen International. In the center are the winners from TheRaceSite.com, David Murry and Craig Stanton. This was Stanton’s fourth victory of the season and extended his points lead. On the right are the runner-ups, Michiel Schuitemaker and B.J. Zacharias, who delivered their best result to date. Completing the rostrum is Greg Wilkins and Robert Julien.
Sharing the No. 2 Lexus IS300 was Ian James and the team principal, Chuck Goldsborough. They started The Glen 250 twenty-fourth overall and sixth in class. The Lexus moved past the race leading Turner Motorsport BMW during the second last caution period and held to position to the finish. However, the officials determined that the pass was under a yellow condition and Goldsborough and James were classified as the runner-ups.
Recording their best performance of the season was Schuitemaker Motorsports. Drivers, B.J. Zacharias and Michiel Schuitemaker captured a season-high fourth-place finish at Mont-Tremblant but outdid this result at Watkins Glen. Piloting the No. 35 Nissan, the pair started twelfth and moved into contention during the event. A late-race pass, by David Murry, just before the final caution period, dropped Zacharias to second place.
At Phoenix International Raceway, Bob Beede began starting to ‘rack up’ podium finishes. At Phoenix, he was third in Sport Touring, followed by the same result at Mont-Tremblant. In round five, at Watkins Glen International, Beede was back on the rostrum. This weekend, he was shared the No 29 Acura RSX-S with the team owner, Bill Fenton. The pair started second in class and were in third place at the checkered flag.
The No. 27 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX-S was remarkably fast in qualifying. At the end of the session, the Acura was quickest in the Sport Touring category and would start an incredible ninth overall in a field of fifty-seven starters. Driving the Acura were Bob Endicott and Eric Curran. The team dominated early in the event but after contact with the No. 3 Lexus, they fell off the pace and finished eighteenth in class.
The Grand Sport podium did not reflect the final results at Mont-Tremblant and the same could be said about the Sport Touring rostrum at Watkins Glen. Occupying the winner’s spot are Ian James and Chuck Goldsborough. An error during the contest caused series officials to give the victory to Tim Pappas and Bill Auberlen – Will Turner stood in for Auberlen. Goldsborough and James were demoted to second while Beede and Fenton finished third.

1GSStanton / MurryPorsche 996The Race Site.com64
2GSSchuitemaker / ZachariasNissan 350ZSchuitemaker Motorsports64
3GSWilkins / JulienPorsche 996Doncaster Racing64
4GSNonnamaker / NonnamakerPorsche 996The Race Site.com64
5GSPowell / BorchellerCadillac CTS-VPowell Motorsport64
6GSRosser / Collins / SaidNissan 350ZUnitech Racing64
7GSFox / KrohnPorsche 996G&W Motorsports64
8GSFinlay / McDowellPorsche 996BGB Motorsports64
9GSShanaman / ShanamanPorsche 996The Race Site.com64
10GSMacAlpine / RehagenFord Mustang CobraRehagen Racing64
11GSEllis / FeroPontiac FirebirdRehagen Racing64
12GSPicket / Pumpelly / LevitasPorsche 996Race Prep Motorsports64
13GSRudl / BrownFord Mustang CobraFrederick Motorsports64
14GSCronin / HaynerNissan 350ZUnitech Racing64
15STPappas / AuberlenBMW 330iTurner Motorsport64
16STJames / GoldsboroughLexus IS300Team Lexus64
17GSAckley / MartinMustang Cobra SVTRehagen Racing64
18GSPew / PattersonPontiac FirebirdMichael Baughman Racing64
19STFenton / BeedAcura RSX-SBill Fenton Motorsports64
20STTurner / Salama / AuberlenBMW 330iTurner Motorsport64
21STHaskell / TremblayMazda RX-8SpeedSource64
22STSchlesinger / TuatyMazda RX-8SpeedSource64
23STHimes / EllingerBMW Z3ICY / SL Motorsports64
24STAbello / TheetgeMazda RX-8SpeedSource64
25STFanelli / WellmanMazda RX-8SpeedSource64
26STWalker / WollersheimMazda RX-8SpeedSource64
27GSDuarta / Morrison / HalsmerAcura NSXDAL Motorsports64
28STProbert / Olsen / MunsonBMW 330iQuickSilver Motorsports64
29STHenderson / HerrToyota SupraRoad Runner Racing64
30STTrudeau / ThomsonBMW Z3Compass360 Racing64
31STEaton / HowardMazda RX-8Southpaw Racing64
32GSStubbs / MasessaPorsche 996The Race Site.com64
33STMoorcones / PiperAcura Integra RCraftsman Motorsports64
34STShep / LewisMini Cooper SNuzzo Motorsports64
35GSPlummer / CosmoPorsche 996BGB Motorsports64
36GSLinville / HeathNissan 350ZSchuitemaker Motorsports63
37STNiemeyer / ColettiAcura Integra RColletti Motorsports62
38GSPicket / Pumpelly / LevitasPorsche 996Race Prep Motorsports61
39GSShreiner / WildenFord Mustang CobraShreiner Racing60
40STCurran / EndicottAcura RSX-SBill Fenton Motorsports60
41STRoach / KimballDodge Neon SRT4Roach Racing59
42STMady / BrumbaughLexus IS300Team Lexus59
43GSAssentato / LonghiMustang SaleenTF Racing57
44STLally / DumoulinLexus IS300Team Lexus54
45STPawley / PeeleToyota SupraJ Pauley Motorsports54
46STBriody / ConnollyBMW 330ciMatt Connolly Motorsports50
47GSIstook / BaileyAudi S4LSCI Motorsports50
48GSGrala / Yeakle / LudwigPontiac FirebirdMichael Baughman Racing48
49GSNyberg / Skelton / JonssonLotus EspritHyper Sport Engineering46
50STNuzzo / PatteeMini Cooper SNuzzo Motorsports31
51GSKeravich III / Trinkler / LinderBMW M3Power Racing Team22
52GSKopperl / CampFord Mustang CobraFrederick Motorsports22
53GSSofronas / MunsonBMW M3Anchor Racing22
54STPotts / Potter / AllenAudi S4LM Racing14
55GSSheehan / Hainer / IstookAudi S4Istook / Aines Motorsport Group13
56GSThornton / RussellBMW M3Automatic Racing13
57GSKohler / SmithMustang SaleenTF Racing6

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