2005 was the fifth consecutive year of the Grand American Road Racing’s Grand Am Cup Series for American and Foreign sports cars and sedans.

There was a significant restructuring of the classes in 2004. The season debuted with a single Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (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 2,730 – 3,250-pounds, which is dependent on the motor configuration and displacement. The top speed for a Grand Sport car is approximately 160-mph. This class includes cars such as the Acura NSX, Cadillac CTS-V, BMW M3, Pontiac Firebird, Ford Mustang, Nissan 350Z and Porsche 996.
  • Street Tuner (ST): The smaller displacement cars compete in this class in which engines typically produce between 170 and 240-horsepower. The top speed of a Sport Touring car is approximately 135-mph. Popular vehicles found in this group are the Acura RSX-S, Mazda RX-8, BMW Z3, BMW 330i, Chevrolet Cobalt SS and Mini Cooper S.

The cars competing in the series 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 2005 season consists of eleven race weekends and starts in February at Daytona International Speedway. New for this year is a Grand Sport only race in Santo Domingo. Returning to the United States, teams travel to California Speedway in early April. At the end of the month, the series competes at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Then there is a trip to the East Coast for race weekends at Watkins Glen International, Mosport International Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park, Trois-Rivieres and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The penultimate rounds take place at Phoenix International Raceway with the Twin 200s. The Grand Sport and Street Tuner teams will compete in separate races. The finale is held in early October at Virginia International Raceway.

Seventy-five Grand Am Cup competitors were entered in the Grand Am Cup 200 and sixty-eight started the contest. Drivers would compete on the twelve-turn 3.56-mile roval in round one of the 2005 championship.

For the fifth consecutive season, the Grand Am Cup series opened as a support event for the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Leading the field into corner one is the pole-sitter, Justin Marks driving the Turner Motorsport BMW M3. Beside Marks is another M3 that is piloted by Jeb Thornton of Automatic Racing. The second row includes the Ford Mustang of Ian James and yet another BMW, which is driven by Jordan Sandridge.
Sharing the No. 12 BMW Z4 was David Tuaty and Daniel Colembie. Colembie made his series debut last season with Ken Dobson at California Speedway, where the pair finished second in Sport Touring. At Daytona, Colembie qualified the BMW and was the fifth quickest in class. The Z4 was first across the finish line in Sport Touring but was later disqualified after it was discovered the fuel tank exceeded the maximum allowed size.
Starting on the overall and Grand Sport pole was the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3. Justin Marks qualified the BMW and attributed his pole position to a well-timed drafting strategy. Sharing the M3 with Marks was sports car veteran, Bill Auberlen. On lap-2 of the race, Marks lost first place to the Mustang of David Empringham. During the contest, the BMW developed an issue and finished fifteen-laps behind the leaders.
Blackforest Motorsports was one of the teams debuting the 2005 Ford Mustang. Qualifying the Mustang and third fastest was Ian James. For the contest, he would be joined by Tom Nastasi. James started the race and led five-laps before the driver change. Nastasi drove the final stint and was in contention for the victory. The Blackforest team decided not to change tires during the last stop which gave James and Nastasi the win.
Bill Fenton Motorsports, which helped Acura secure the 2004 Manufacturers’ title, was back for another season. Acura RSX-S were entered for Eric Curran, Bob Endicott, Mike Liebl, Chip Herr and team principal, Bill Fenton. Sharing the No. 27 Acura was Curran and Endicott. Curran was the third fastest in the qualifying session. With the disqualification of the TC Kline Racing BMW Z4, Curran and Endicott were declared the winners.
This is the Sport Touring podium before the post-race technical inspection. In the center are David Tuaty and Daniel Colembie. The fuel tank capacity on their BMW Z4 exceeded the maximum specifications. They were stripped of points and prize money. Standing on the left are Bob Endicott and Eric Curran, who would be awarded the win. Completing the rostrum are Tim Pappas and Steve Pfeffer, who were classified second.
David Empringham and Scott Maxwell co-drove the No. 55 Ford Mustang. The new Mustang was gridded sixth overall for the Grand Am Cup 200. Empringham started the race and moved into first place on the second lap. During his stint, the hood came off, but the team lost a minimal amount of time. Maxwell drove the last part of the race and led but a decision to change tires resulted in a second-place finish.
Findlay Motorsports drivers, Robert Findlay and Michael McDowell, didn’t start their 2004 campaign until round four at Watkins Glen International. They would capture an eighth-place finish which would be their best result of the year. At Daytona International Speedway, Findlay was fourteenth fastest during qualifying. The pair had a good race and maneuvered their way through the field to grab the final position on the podium.
The defending Sport Touring champions, Sylvain Tremblay and David Haskell returned in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8. In Sport Touring qualifying, at Daytona International Speedway, Haskell set the fastest time in class and would start thirty-seventh overall. They lost first place during the race but rallied back to finish fourth. After the disqualification of the TC Kline Racing BMW Z4, they were classified as third-place finishers.
The second quickest in Sport Touring qualifying was Tim Pappas – just 0.196-seconds slower than the class pole-sitter, David Haskell. Pappas shared the Turner Motorsport BMW 330i with last season’s co-driver, Steve Pfeffer. Pappas and Pfeffer were third in class at the conclusion of the Grand Am Cup 200. However, they were another team to benefit from the disqualification of the TC Kline Racing and were awarded second place.
Starting on the outside of the front row was the N. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3. Credit for the qualifying effort went to Jeb Thornton. Thornton was sharing the BMW with last year’s driving partner, David Russell. During the Grand Am Cup 200, the pair was able to maintain contact with the leaders but could not challenge for the lead. At the checkered flag, they were in fourth place.
The round one Grand Am Cup podium for the Grand Sport category at Daytona. Standing in the center are the winners, Ian James and Tom Nastasi. On the left side of the rostrum is one of the runner-ups, David Empringham – his driving partner, Scott Maxwell, left to fulfill Rolex 24 obligations. It was the same situation for the third-place finisher, Rob Findlay – his co-driver, Michael McDowell, had Rolex 24 commitments.

1GSJames / NastasiFord Mustang GTBlackforest Motorsports57
2GSEmpringham / MaxwellFord Mustang GTMultimatic Motorsports57
3GSFinlay / McDowellBMW M3Finlay Motorsports57
4GSThornton / RussellBMW M3Automatic Racing57
5GSPlummer / CosmoPorsche 996BGB Motorsports57
6GSStanton / PumpellyPorsche 996Race Prep Motorsports57
7GSGuindon / CamirandCadillac CTS-VPowell Motorsport57
8GSWilkins / LaceyPorsche 996Doncaster Racing57
9GSGue / JeannetteFord Mustang GTMultimatic Motorsports57
10GSMcCalmont / LawPorsche 996Zoom Motorsports57
11GSSeafuse / SeafuseFord Mustang CobraJBS Motorsports57
12GSWortzman / WildenBMW M3Zoom Motorsports57
13GSGaffney / LallyPorsche 996Race Prep Motorsports57
14GSWhite / LuxPorsche 996Team Sahlen56
15GSEllis / BavaroPorsche 997Bodymotion Racing56
16GSFriedman / BaileyPorsche 996Autometrics Motorsports56
17GSKrohn / JonssonPorsche 996Krohn Racing56
18GSRosser / MurryPorsche 997Synergy Racing56
19GSWellon / Ellis / RossiPorsche 996Knobel Racing56
20GSMartini / CollinsPorsche 997Synergy Racing56
21GSNonnamaker / NonnamakerPorsche 996Team Sahlen56
22GSLehmann / ZachariasFord MustangChampion Motorsports55
23GSRiddle / WilsonBMW M3Automatic Racing55
24STCurran / EndicottAcura RSX-SBill Fenton Motorsports55
25STPappas / PfefferBMW 330iTurner Motorsport55
26GSRidgway / TetreaultPorsche 996BGB Motorsports55
27GSAckley / Zavodsky / RehagenMustang Cobra SVTRehagen Racing55
28GSSkelton / FosterBMW M3Anchor Racing55
29STHaskell / TremblayMazda RX-8SpeedSource55
30STSalama / Turner/ ConnolleyBMW 330ciCSL Racing55
31STAbello / EspenlaubMazda RX-8SpeedSource55
32STHoltom / HoltomChevrolet CobaltGeorgian Bay Motorsports54
33GSShreiner / LapcevichFord Mustang CobraShreiner Racing54
34STMoorcones / PoscenteAcura Integra RRadial Motorsports54
35STMagner / SeilerChevrolet CobaltWTF Engineering54
36GSKonstant / Rakovchik / SigalPorsche 996Team Sahlen54
37STSchlesinger / AltenburgMazda RX-8SpeedSource54
38GSAuriemma / PickettPorsche 996Race Prep Motorsports53
39STCrowe / HalpinMazda RX-8Southpaw Racing53
40STLinville / HauraneyBMW Z3Compass360/Racing53
41GSNonnamaker / NonnamakerPorsche 996Team Sahlen52
42STArmengol / WalkerMazda RX-8SpeedSource52
43GSHam / Sandridge / SandridgeCadillac CTS-VTeam Salad Racing51
44GSRossi / Grande / FoxPorsche 996LNS Motorsports51
45STKimball / RoachChevrolet CobaltFranklin American Mortgage51
46GSMasessa / NonnamakerPorsche 996Team Sahlen50
47STEaton / HowardMazda RX-8Southpaw Racing50
48STFoo / BocchinoMazda RX-8SpeedSource46
49GSHainer / SaidBMW M3Anchor Racing46
50STLegg / EllingerAudi A4LM Racing46
51STLiebl / Herr / FentonAcura RSX-SBill Fenton Motorsports44
52GSMarks / AuberlenBMW M3Turner Motorsport42
53GSSandridge / Sandridge / VardeBMW M3Team Salad Racing41
54GSMunson / SofronasBMW M3Anchor Racing35
55GSKeravich III / Trinkler / LinderBMW M3Power Racing Team33
56STBaglier / Luffy / BarrackMazda 6Baglieracing25
57STThomson/ RosenblumBMW Z3Compass360/Racing24
58STO'Shaughnessy / O'ShaughnessyBMW Z4TC Kline Racing20
59GSDumoulin / WilkinsPorsche 996Fiorano Racing16
60GSPutman / Courtney / PickettPorsche 996Race Prep Motorsports15
61STBriody / HeffronBMW 330ciMatt Connolly Motorsports12
62STDiedrick / WongNissan Sentra SE-RDEI Racers Group4
63GSYeakle / CollyerPontiac FirebirdMichael Baughman Racing3
64GSKohler / SmithMustang SaleenTF Racing2
65GSPowell / KnowlesCadillac CTS-VPowell Motorsport1
66STThornley / SchwartzottAcura TSXKensai Racing1
67GSHimes / Linder / Keravich IIIBMW M3Power Racing Team1
68STGurucharri / Smellie / MayMazda RX-8HBAR Motorsports0
69GSKohler / SmithMustang SaleenTF Racing0
70GSTurner / Rehagen / MartinMustang Cobra SVTRehagen Racing0
71STPlummer / TecceBMW Z3BGB Motorsports0
72STTurner / SalamaBMW 330iTurner Motorsport0
73STStewart / HerrAcura TSXStewart Motorsports0
DSQSTColembie / TuatyBMW Z4TC Kline Racing55

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