2006 was the sixth 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 GT, Nissan 350Z, Porsche 996 and 997 models.
  • 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, Acura TSX, Mazda RX-8, BMW Z4, 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 2006 season consists of ten race weekends and starts in January at Daytona International Speedway. Teams do not compete again until April for the first of two events at Virginia International Raceway. In early May, the series competes at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and stays on the West Coast for races at Phoenix International Raceway. Then the series returns to the eastern United States for weekends at Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Barber Motorsports Park. On the first weekend of August, the championship heads north of the border to compete at the Le Circuit Trois-Rivieres. The penultimate round takes place at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, with the finale being contested at Virginia International Raceway.

Separate races for the Grand Sport and Street Tuner categories will be held at Phoenix, Lime Rock Park, Trois-Rivieres and the second race weekend at Virginia International Raceway.

Round six of the 2006 Grand Am Cup championship was held at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Seventy-five Grand Sport and Street Tuner teams would compete on the thirteen-turn 2.258-mile road course.

Seventy-five Grand Am Cup driver’s line-up on Mid-Ohio’s front straight ready to roll-off for the start of the race on the backstretch. On the pole for his first time in Grand Am Cup competition is Jeff Segal. Segal is driving the No. 90 Automatic Racing prepared BMW M3. Beside Segal is the Porsche 996 of the second-fastest qualifier, Dwain Dement. Behind the second row are the BMWs of Anders Hainer and Emil Assentato.
The first lap through the ‘Carousel’ for round six at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Leading the field is the BMW M3 of the pole-sitter, Jeff Segal. Immediately, behind Segal is the Bernheim Law Offices sponsored Porsche 996 of the second-fastest qualifier, Dwain Dement. Trailing the front runners and up from the sixth starting position is BGB Motorsports Porsche 966, shared by Mark Plummer and Craig Stanton.
Posting the tenth fastest time in the Grand Sport qualifying session was Chris Gleason driving the No 96 BMW M3. Gleason and his co-driver scored a victory in the previous round at Lime Rock Park. Another great effort saw Auberlen pass the race leader, Craig Stanton, with just fifteen laps remaining in the event. Three circuits later, ‘the deal was sealed’ for the Gleason and Auberlen when the contest ended with a full-course caution.
Capturing the Street Tuner pole position at Mid-Ohio was the class points leader, Jamie Holtom. Holtom and his co-driver, Eric Curran, had three victories in five races and led the standings. Curran drove the final stint of the event and inherited the lead from Holtom during the driver change. He came under pressure from Sylvain Tremblay, but the race ended under caution, allowing Holtom and Curran to secure the victory.
With their Daytona disqualification behind them, Mark Plummer and Cort Wagner entered round six with three top-ten finishes. Co-driving the No. 38 Porsche Carrera, they started in the sixth grid position. Plummer moved into contention on the first lap. Wagner was leading with fifteen laps remaining when he was passed by a hard-charging Bill Auberlen. A race-ending caution resulted in a second-place finish.
Last year’s Street Tuner champion’s, David Haskell and Sylvain Tremblay started second in class. It has been a difficult season thus far for the drivers of the No. 70 Mazda RX-8. They are yet to find the podium. The two drivers were in contention during the race. Tremblay drove the final stint and challenged the leader, Eric Curran. The contest ended with a full course caution leaving the Mazda drivers in second place.
Co-driving the No. 90 Engine Studios / Land Air BMW M3 for Automatic Racing were Jeff Segal and Joao Barbosa. To date, their best result was a third-place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Segal handled the qualifying and scored his first Grand Am Cup pole position. Unfortunately, the glory was shorted lived. Segal was the race’s second retiree, completing only six-laps and was classified thirty-seventh in Grand Sport.
Automatic Racing entered three BMW M3s at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. In addition to the Segal/Barbosa BMW, there was the No. 91 driven by fourth-place starters, Emil Assentato and Nick Longhi. Sharing the No. 09 M3 was David Russell and Kris Wilson, who qualified ninth fastest. A great pit-strategy and a steady performance netted the pair their best result of the season – a third-place finish.
The Plumb brothers, Hugh and Matt had three podium finishes (Daytona International Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Lime Rock Park) to date driving the No. 27 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX-S. They started eighth in the Street Tuner category for the Grand Am Cup 200 at Mid-Ohio. During the contest, the brothers moved up the race order. At the checkered flag, they were third place in class.
After a one-year absence, Brent Martini returned to Grand Am competition. Martini entered the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but his main focus in 2006 was the Grand Am Cup series. He shared the No. 81 Synergy Racing prepared Porsche 997 with factory driver, Pat Long. They were gridded a disappointing twenty-fourth for the start of the contest. The pair maneuvered their way through the field and managed to finish fourth overall.
Qualifying third overall and in the Grand Sport category was Anders Hainer. This weekend, Joey Hand was filling in the Hainer’s regular co-driver, Boris Said, who was competing in a NASCAR event at Sonoma. Unfortunately, Hand went for a wild ride during Saturday’s EMCO Gears Classic and was replaced by Nic Jonsson. Hainer and Jonsson finished fourth overall, which moved Hainer into the Grand Sport points lead.

1GSGleason / AuberlenBMW M3Turner Motorsport77
2GSPlummer / StantonPorsche 996BGB Motorsports77
3GSRussell / WilsonBMW M3Automatic Racing77
4GSMartini / LongPorsche 997Synergy Racing77
5GSHainer / JonssonBMW M3Turner Motorsport77
6STNonnamaker / NonnamakerPorsche 996Team Sahlen77
7GSGoodbody / Krueger / VongPorsche 997Group 88 Motorsports77
8GSTraver / MillerPorsche 996BGB Motorsports77
9GSPumpelly / LallyPorsche 997Marcus Motorsports77
10GSBavaro / PricePorsche 997Bodymotion Racing77
11GSCamirand / GoadPontiac GTOSpirit of Daytona Racing77
12GSMason / MartinMustang Cobra SVTRehagen Racing77
13GSMartinelli / McMillenBMW M3Martinelli Motorsports77
14GSOlson / LacyMustang GTChampion Motorsports77
15GSWellon / EllisPorsche 996Knobel Racing77
16GSGrand / BrownPorsche 996Grand Motorsport Racing77
17GSGrigsby Jr / HeathPorsche 997International Auto Sport77
18GSSeafuse / Seafuse / SterenbergMustang GTJBS Motorsports77
19GSAssentato / LonghiBMW M3Automatic Racing77
20GSZavodsky / RehagenMustang Cobra SVTRehagen Racing77
21GSRossi / SabolPorsche 996Knobel Racing77
22STCurran / HoltomChevrolet CobaltGeorgian Bay Motorsports77
23STHaskell / TremblayMazda RX-8SpeedSource77
24STPlumb / PlumbAcura RSX-SBill Fenton Motorsports77
25STTurner / SalamaBMW 330iTurner Motorsport77
26STThomson / PovoledoAcura RSX-SKensai Racing77
27GSConstantine / BorkowskiNissan 350ZPlayboy Racing76
28GSBuckler / ValentineBMW M3Fall-Line Motorsports76
29STEndicott / GalatiAcura RSX-SDavis Motorsports76
30STPotter / TuatyBMW Z4Performance Motorsports76
31STStoddart / Buisson / SchultzBMW 330ciFountain Motorsports76
32STSkavnes / RosenblumSubaru LegacyICY Phoenix76
33STMalgren / LepperChevrolet CobaltPowell Motorsport76
34STHoltom / ColembieChevrolet CobaltGeorgian Bay Motorsports76
35STTheetge / CunninghamAcura TSXTheetge Motorsport76
36STBonaccorsi / MirzayanChevrolet CobaltTeam Cobalt California76
37STSchlesinger / DobsonMazda RX-8SpeedSource76
38STThilenius / LambChevrolet CobaltPowell Motorsport75
39GSBambach/ Brent / BrentPorsche 996Team Sahlen75
40GSBaker / FrostPorsche 996Team Sahlen75
41STThornley / SchwartzottAcura TSXSchwartzott / Thornley Racing75
42STSchmitt / RoushHonda AccordHART75
43STBocchino / FooAcura TSXi-MOTO Racing75
44STSpeck / O'TooleDodge SRT-4Team Sahlen75
45STSerra / AdamskiAcura RSX-SDavis Motorsports75
46STLock / Lock / SheehanSubura LegacyGOTO Racing75
47STMitchell III / RobinsonMazda RX-8Play Therapy Racing75
48STLeverone / Long / CussighAcura RSX-SDavis Motorsports75
49STBilodeau / BorgeatHyundai TiburonGT Racing74
50STPattee / ToussaintMini Cooper SNuzzo Motorsports74
51STGilio / NiffeneggerAcura TSXi-MOTO Racing74
52STAddison / PiperBMW 330iCraftsman Motorsport74
53STStoddart / Fonte / SchultzBMW 330ciFountain Motorsports74
54STRoach / MagnerChevrolet CobaltWTF Engineering73
55GSKohler / Smith / SnyderMustang GTTF Racing73
56GSBoden / Ham / JenkinsBMW M3Fall-Line Motorsports73
57GSWeinberg / CampPontiac GTOSpirit of Daytona Racing73
58STHimes / BriodyBMW 330iCraftsman Motorsport73
59STEllis / CollettiAcura RSX-SColletti Motorsports73
60GSSeafuse / Seafuse / GueMustang GTJBS Motorsports70
61STNuzzo / HopwoodMini Cooper SNuzzo Motorsports68
62GSHayner / Miller / HalsmerMustang GTStealth Racing63
63STWalker / HarveyAcura RSX-SKensai Racing46
64GSNastasi / JamesMustang GTBlackforest Motorsport46
65STLiebl / BeedeAcura RSX-SBill Fenton Motorsports45
66STHebert / HamelinHonda Civic Si89 Racing Team44
67GSSahlen / NonnamakerPorsche 996Team Sahlen33
68STJohnson / BrumbaughMazda RX-8Roar Racing26
69GSLimoges / CosmoMustang GTBlackforest Motorsports21
70STOrtiz / Gonzalez JrChevrolet CobaltTeam Cobalt California18
71GSLaw / BorchellerMustang GTBlackforest Motorsport13
72GSScattolin / WorkmanMustang GTBlackforest Motorsports12
73GSFinlay / McDowellMustang GTPlayboy Racing8
74GSSegal / BarbosaBMW M3Automatic Racing6
75GSBernheim / DementPorsche 996Bernheim Racing5

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