The 2005 Grand American Road Racing Championship (Grand Am) was the sixth second 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. Based on the failure, of its predecessor, the United States Road Racing Championship in 1999 critics suggested that the Grand Am would suffer a similar fate. This was proving not to be the case as entries were continuing to grow.

In the first season of Grand Am competition there were five classes but by 2005 the series had reduced the number to two categories:

  • Daytona Prototype (DP): This class was introduced in 2003 and was established 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.
  • Grand Touring (GT): In 2004, there were two production-based classes: Grand Touring and Super Grand Sport which initially competed in the Grand Am Cup division. These two categories were combined into a single class in 2005. Participating in this group were manufacturers such as: Porsche, BMW, Chevrolet, Mazda, Ferrari and Pontiac. As with the Daytona Prototypes, engine displacement was used to establish the weight of different makes and models.

One of the top stories in 2005 was that Hoosier Racing Tire became the exclusive tire supplier for the series. Also making news was the addition of two new race tracks on the schedule. For the first time, the Grand Am series would compete at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

As in the past, the season opened in February with the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway and ended in Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. In between these two venues, there were events at Homestead-Miami, California Speedway, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Mont-Tremblant, Watkins Glen, Barber Motorsports Park, Mid-Ohio, Phoenix International Raceway and Virginia International Raceway. There was a total of fourteen events with the series competing at Daytona twice and Watkins Glen three times.

Round four was held during the first week of May at the 2.238-mile eleven-turn Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course. The inaugural, Road & Track 250 was scheduled to be 250-miles (112-laps) subject to a 2-hour, 45-minute time limit.

At total of twenty-three Daytona Prototypes took the green flag for the Road & Track 250. Leading the field into Mazda Raceway’s corner two is pole-sitter Oswaldo Negri driving the Michael Shank Racing Lexus Riley. Immediately behind Negri, is second fastest qualifier Jorg Bergmeister in a Pontiac-powered Riley entered by Krohn Racing and The Racer’s Group.
Luis Diaz qualified third in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley. Diaz was in second place when he pitted during a full-course caution. During the stop, on lap-26, a driver change was made and Scott Pruett jumped into the car. Pruett left the pits in ninth place but worked his way through the field and into the lead on lap-70. He held first place to the checkered flag. This was the second win in a row for Pruett and Diaz.
In the final minutes of qualifying, Oswaldo Negri grabbed the overall and Daytona Prototype class pole position. This was the first time in his Grand Am career that Negri recorded the quickest qualifying lap. Sharing the car with him was newcomer Mark Patterson. Negri led the first six laps before surrendering first place to Jorg Bergmeister – the duo would finish on the lead lap in ninth place.
During the Saturday morning practice session, Joey Hand had an accident in the No. 21 PTG BMW M3 which resulted in it being withdrawn from the event. Hand’s co-driver, defending GT Champion, Bill Auberlen joined Tommy Milner and Justin Marks in the No. 16 entry. All three PTG BMWs led the class at some point during the race but the No. 16 was first in the GT class at the finish.
Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Butch Leitzinger shared the Howard Boss Motorsports Crawford. Forbes-Robinson drove the first stint and moved up the race order from his twelfth starting position. His teammate, Leitzinger took the lead on lap-45. Twenty-five laps later Leitzinger was passed by a hard-charging Pruett at the top of ‘The Corkscrew’. He kept the pressure on Pruett but a late race caution prevented Leitzinger from winning.
Entered in the No. 54 Pontiac Doran for Bell Motorsports was the inaugural Daytona Prototype Champion, Terry Borcheller. Borcheller shared the driving duties with car owner Forest Barber and German Ralf Kelleners. The car started in the sixth grid position and ran with the lead group during the race. Borchellar relieved Kelleners on lap-61 for the final stint. After a hard fought battle with Angelelli, he took the final spot on the podium.
GT pole-sitter, Kelly Collins, arrives at Mazda Raceway’s corner two first in the Prototype Technology Group prepared BMW M3. Tucked in behind Collins is his teammate Ian James in the No. 22 BMW. Alongside, Collins is the No. 88 Porsche GT3 Cup of second fastest qualifier Kevin Buckler. In all, twenty-eight GT competitors started the Road & Track 250.
At Mazda Raceway, Kelly Collins scored his first Rolex Series class pole position driving the F1 Air BMW M3. Collins shared the driving duties with R.J. Valentine. The Prototype Technology Group BMW’s dominated the race with each of the cars taking a turn leading the event. At the checkered flag, the No. 17 car was second in GT - 14.629-seconds behind the class winner.
Joey Hand’s accident Saturday morning and the withdrawal of the No. 21 BMW caused the PTG to adjust its driver line-up. Hand was moved to the No. 22 BMW M3 and shared the driving duties with Ian James and Chris Gleason. James was given the responsibility to qualify the car and secured the third grid position. Like their teammates, they took a turn at leading the race but were third at the checkered flag – completing a podium sweep for BMW.
Recording his best Grand Am Daytona Prototype qualifying performance to date was Jorg Bergmeister in the No. 66 Krohn Racing/TRG Pontiac Riley. Sharing the car was Max Papis who had a Champ Car victory at the Mazda Raceway in 2001. Bergmeister put the car second on the starting grid. During the race, he led thirty-eight laps which were the most among the four leaders. The pair wound up tenth.
Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli won the opening round of the 2005 Grand Am season at Daytona and entered Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with the points lead. The No. 10 Pontiac-powered Riley started from the tenth grid position. They finished on the lead lap in fourth place. The victory by Diaz and Pruett reduced their championship lead from seventeen to just ten-points with four of fourteen events completed.
The Racer’s Group No. 88 Porsche GT3 Cup was shared by team owner Kevin Buckler, Steve Johnson and Robert Nearn. Buckler handled the qualifying duties and was competing in his first event since the Rolex 24. He prevented the PTG BMWs from securing the top-three spots on the GT grid by starting second. During the race the team encountered problems and finished forty-seventh overall and twenty-fifth in class.

1DPDiaz/ PruettCompUSA Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates / Lexus Riley97
2DPForbes-Robinson/ LeitzingerHoward - Boss Motorsports / Pontiac Crawford97
3DPKelleners/ Borcheller/ BarberKodak - Bell Motorsports / Pontiac Doran97
4DPTaylor/ AngelelliSunTrust Racing / Pontiac Riley97
5DPWilden/ BorkowskiMichael Shank Racing / Pontiac Riley97
6DPStallings/ GurneyGainsco/ Blackhawk Racing / Pontiac Riley97
7DPGidley/ McDowellFinlay Motorsports / BMW Riley97
8DPGrala/ LewisSouthard Motorsports / BMW Riley97
9DPNegri Jr/ PattersonMichael Shank Racing / Lexus Riley97
10DPBergmeister/ PapisKrohn Racing/ TRG / Pontiac Riley97
11DPBobbi/ GollinDoran Racing / Lexus Doran96
12DPMatthews/ SmithOrbit Racing / Pontiac Riley96
13DPDuno/ WallaceCITGO - Howard - Boss Motorsports / Pontiac Crawford96
14DPLaw/ DonohueRed Bull/ Brumos Racing / Porsche Fabcar96
15DPR Morgan/ C MorganMargraf Racing / Pontiac Riley96
16DPKrohn/ JonssonKrohn Racing/ TRG / Pontiac Riley96
17DPJohansson/ WagnerNew Century Mtg/ Chip Ganassi w/Sabates / Lexus Riley96
18DPJu Pruskowski/ Jo PruskowskiEssex Racing / Ford Crawford96
19DPGregoire/ GoadSpirit of Daytona Racing / Pontiac Crawford96
20DPBingham/ GuenetteCB Motorsports / Lexus Riley96
21DPFrance/ HaywoodBrumos Racing / Porsche Fabcar95
22DPMMcQueen/ Cicero II/ BenderWesternesse Racing / Ford Crawford95
23GTMilner/ Marks/ AuberlenPrototype Technology Group / BMW M392
24GTCollins/ ValentinePrototype Technology Group / BMW M392
25GTJames/ Gleason/ HandPrototype Technology Group / BMW M391
26GTMurry/ StantonSynergy Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup91
27GTLevitas/ PobstTPC Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup91
28GTPlumb/ de QuesadaAlegra Motorsports / Porsche GT3 Cup91
29GTDavis/ Tafel JrTafel Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup91
30GTLittlechild/ PumpellyTPC Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup91
31GTKeen/ FriedmanAutometrics Motorsports / Porsche GT3 Cup91
32GTWa Nonnamaker/ Wi NonnamakerTeam Sahlen / Porsche GT3 Cup90
33GTMatos/ FitzgeraldTPC Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup90
34GTWilkins/ LaceyTRG East/ Doncaster Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup89
35GTEmory/ RidgwayEmory Motorsports/ BGB / Porsche GT3 Cup89
36GTMcKenzie/ BerardEurosport Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup89
37GTPlumb/ BertuzziJMB Racing USA / Ferrari 360 Challenge89
38GTJ Nonnamaker/ Wi NonnamakerTeam Sahlen / Porsche GT3 Cup89
39GTVan Wijk/ MurrySynergy Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup87
40GTBunting/ LallyAuto Gallery/ TRG / Porsche GT3 Cup85
41GTMaster/ PastoriniAuto Gallery/ TRG / Porsche GT3 Cup84
42GTGooding/ Jermoluk/ KennedyJMB Racing USA / Ferrari 360 Challenge84
43GTBeachman/ DiefenbachBeachman Racing / Corvette84
44GTPatch/ SorianoAutometrics Motorsports / Porsche GT3 Cup82
45GTAssentato/ LonghiTPC Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup80
46GTEspenlaub/ SzekeresHorizon Motorsports LLC / Pontiac GTO80
47GTBuckler/ Johnson/ NearnTRG / Porsche GT3 Cup78
48GTFlanagan/ LongAASCO Motorsports / Porsche GT3 Cup75
49GTSigal/ AlhadeffSigalsport / Porsche GT3 Cup75
50DPBr Frisselle/ Bu Synergy Racing / BMW Doran69
51GTArnold/ WorkmanASC Motorsports / Corvette27
52DPSkelton/ FosterHyper Sport / Infiniti Doran0

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.