The 2005 Grand American Road Racing Championship (Grand Am) was the sixth season of the series. A business model which controlled costs, had stable rules and avoided being on dependent on 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 Tires 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.

The Sahlenís Six Hours of the Glen was the Grand Amís first of three visits to Watkins Glen International in 2005. Their next event would be a support race to the NASCAR series in August. They would return for the final time in September with the Indy Racing League.

Forty-five teams started the six-hour race on Watkins Glen Internationalís eleven-turn 3.337-mile road course.

The front row of the starting grid for the Sahlenís Six Hours of the Glen. The SunTrust and Chip Ganassi entries shared the front row at the 6 Heures du Mont-Tremblant. This time the order was reversed with the No. 10 Riley Mk XI of Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor on the pole. Scott Pruett of Chip Ganassi Racing fell short of securing the top spot for the fourth time this season by just 0.272-seconds.
In qualifying the No. 67 Krohn Racing/TRG Riley Mk XI shared by Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson was seventeenth quickest in a field of twenty DPs. During the race, the pair worked themselves into contention. Off and on-again rain eliminated some of the contenders and with less than 30-minutes left in the event, Jonsson was second. A daring late-race pass on his teammate, Christian Fittipaldi gave him and Krohn the victory.
The No. 14 Autometrics Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup had their best result in round two at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The teamís drivers, Leh Keen and Cory Friedman finished fifth in GT. At Watkins Glen International, they were joined by the very quick, Wolf Henzler. They started twenty-fifth overall and fifth in class. On the final restart, Henzler was behind the wheel and in the lead. After battling with Andy Lally, he grabbed the win.
Randy Pobst was the fastest qualifier in the abbreviated session but during the technical inspection, officials discovered the ride height of his Porsche was too low. Pobst and his co-driver, Michael Levitas would be starting from the rear of the field. It only got worse for the pair during the race. Contact and the time required to replace a damaged radiator ended their chances of winning. They finished last, completing only thirty-seven-laps.
Just to create some excitement, Max Angelelli waited until the last lap of qualifying to set the fastest time. The team had come close on other occasions, but this was their first pole of the season. Angelelli shared the SunTrust Riley with team principal, Wayne Taylor. Late in the race, Angelelli was leading but a spin during a period of rain and an unscheduled pit-stop dropped the team out of contention, they finished sixth.
Michael McDowell opened the qualifying session with the quickest time. Each lap, he would go faster but his times were eclipsed by Scott Pruett and Max Angelelli. McDowell and his teammate, Memo Gidley would start third in the Finlay Motorsports Riley. Heavy rain towards the end of the race resulted in a caution period and on the restart McDowell found himself in the lead. Unfortunately, he lost some positions and finished fourth.
Andy Lally, driving The Racers Group prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was second fastest during qualifying. However, Lally inherited the class pole when the Porsche of Randy Pobst did not meet the ride height requirements. He and his co-driver, Marc Bunting, traded first place with the class leaders throughout the race. In the final minutes of the contest, it was a Ďshootoutí between Wolf Henzler and Lally with Henzler capturing first place.
Scott Pruett had the pole until the final lap of qualifying. Pruett had the top until Max Angelelli recorded the quickest time in the final minutes of the session. He would share the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley Mk XI with Luis Diaz. The pair ran with the leaders until late in the contest when it started raining. Diaz spun and damaged the car but was able to continue. Pruett drove the final stint and charged to a third-place finish.
Driving the second Krohn Racing/TRG entry were Jorg Bergmeister and Christian Fittipaldi. The duo started the six-hour contest in the eighth position. During the race, they maintained contact with the leaders. With less than 30-minutes to go in the event, Fittipaldi was in first place. He was being pressed by his teammate, Nic Jonsson who was able to pass Fittipaldi for the win. Fittipaldi and Bergmeister took the runner-up spot.
Sharing the No. 16 Prototype Technology Group BMW M3 this weekend were Tommy Milner, Justin Marks and R.J. Valentine. The BMW was twenty-fourth fastest overall and started fourth in the GT category. During the race, the other two BMW entries from the Prototype Technology Group encountered issues and fell off the pace. The trio maintained contact with the leaders and survived the wet conditions to finish third.
The Southard Motorsports Riley Mk XI shortcuts the ĎInner Loopí with something obviously wrong. The No. 3 Riley Mk XI was driven by Darius Grala and Shane Lewis started the Sahlenís six-hour event from fifteenth on the grid. With repairs made Grala and Lewis continued. At the checkered flag, they were in eleventh position - two-laps behind the winning Krohn Racing/TRG entry of Nic Jonsson and Tracy Krohn.
Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis joined team owner, Jim Tafel in the Tafel Racing Porsche GT3 Cup. The Porsche was gridded twenty-sixth overall and sixth in GT for the start of the six-hour event. Liddell was in the lead when he pitted for fuel and a driver change. Tafel took over and had contact with another Porsche resulting in a stop and go penalty. Despite this setback and the rain, they finished fourth.

1DPKrohn / JonssonRiley Mk XI150-
2DPBergmeister / FittipaldiRiley Mk XI150-
3DPDiaz / PruettRiley Mk XI150-
4DPMcDowell / GidleyRiley Mk XI150-
5DPWagner / JohanssonRiley Mk XI150-
6DPTaylor / AngelelliRiley Mk XI150-
7DPForbes-Robinson / LeitzingerCrawford DP03150-
8DPMatthews / Smith / TiemannRiley Mk XI150-
9DPFrisselle / FrisselleDoran JE4150-
10DPMoreno / Ward / ZogaibCrawford DP03148-
11DPGrala / LewisRiley Mk XI148-
12DPDuno / Wallace / LammersCrawford DP03148-
13DPDyson / Brix / DysonCrawford DP03147-
14DPBobbi / GollinDoran JE4146-
15GTKeen / Friedman / HenzlerPorsche GT3 Cup145-
16GTBunting / LallyPontiac GTO.R145-
17GTMarks / Milner / ValentineBMW M3145-
18DPGoad / GregoireCrawford DP03144-
19GTDavis / Tafel / LiddellPorsche GT3 Cup144-
20GTWilden / Lacey / WilkinsPorsche GT3 Cup143-
21GTMurry / StantonPorsche GT3 Cup142-
22DPFrance / Haywood / BernhardFabcar FDSC/03140-
23GTNonnamaker / NonnamakerPorsche GT3 Cup140-
24GTJames / Gleason / SaidBMW M3139-
25GTNonnamaker / FisherPorsche GT3 Cup138-
26GTNearn / JohnsonPorsche GT3 Cup134-
27GTCollins / Hand / AuberlenBMW M3134-
28DPKelleners / BorchellerDoran JE4131Body Damage
29DPBingham / Guenette / GuenetteRiley Mk XI129-
30DPDayton / Borkowski / Mears, Jr.Riley Mk XI127Accident
31GTPatch / Soriano / BrownPorsche GT3 Cup122-
32GTAlhadeff / SigalPorsche GT3 Cup115Throttle
33DPGoeters / Cicero II / NastasiCrawford DP03114Wheel
34GTMiller / Workman / ArnoldChevrolet Corvette107-
35GTPumpelly / LittlechildPorsche GT3 Cup106Accident
36GTMaster / McCrackinPorsche GT3 Cup106Accident
37GTSegal / BarbosaMaserati Trofeo97Accident
38GTFitzgerald / MatosPorsche GT3 Cup94Accident
39DPLaw / Donohue / LuhrFabcar FDSC/0382Accident
40GTRiggins / Baughman / Rice / StevensonChevrolet Corvette79Engine
29GTCobb / Van WijkPorsche GT3 Cup65Accident
30GTWeinberg / Espenlaub / SzekeresPontiac GTO62Accident
16GTPlumb / de Quesada / JonesPorsche GT3 Cup50Electrical
20GTLonghi / Assentato / PlumbPorsche GT3 Cup44Axle
16GTPobst / LevitasPorsche GT3 Cup37-
36GTGreenberg / Sellers / DalzielPorsche GT3 Cup0Did Not Start

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, 2016, 2017 and 2018

Return to home page.