The 2007 Grand American Road Racing Championship (Grand Am) was in its eighth season. 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 with each year.

In the first season of Grand Am competition there were five classes but in 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 are 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.

As in the past, the season opened in January with the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway and ended in Utah at Miller Motorsports Park. In between these two venues, there were events held at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Lime Rock Park, Watkins Glen, Barber Motorsports Park, Mid-Ohio, Virginia International Raceway, Montreal, Iowa and Infineon Raceway. New for this season were Montreal and Iowa and gone from the schedule was Long Beach and Phoenix International Raceway. There was a total of fifteen events with the series competing at Daytona and Watkins Glen twice.

Round four of the 2007 Grand American Road Racing Championship was conducted at Virginia International Raceway (VIR). Competitors in the Daytona Prototype and Grand Touring categories would compete in separate races. This was the first of five weekends in 2007 where the two classes would be not be combined. Each race was scheduled for seventy-seven laps (400-kilometers) around the eighteen-turn 3.270-mile road course. A time limit prevented the Grand Touring teams from completing the entire distance.

Pole-sitter, Wolf Henzler leads the twenty-seven Grand Touring entries through corner three on the first lap. Trailing Henzler are the second and third fastest qualifiers – Nick Ham in the No. 70 Mazda RX-8 and the Tafel Racing Porsche GT3 Cup driven by Andrew Davis. Henzler would lead the first nineteen laps but contact with Ham took him and his teammate, Eric Lux out of contention.
On his final lap of qualifying, Wolf Henzler recorded the fastest time. Henzler’s performance was particularly impressive as he was 1.151-seconds quicker than the second place Mazda RX-8. Sharing the car with him was Eric Lux. Henzler drove the first stint and led the first nineteen laps before he and Nick Ham made contact. The Porsche was severely damaged – the team repaired the car and the duo finished twenty-fourth.
Bryce Miller and Dirk Werner shared the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3 Cup. Miller qualified the Porsche in the eighth grid position and drove the first stint. By the three-quarter mark of the race, his teammate, Werner was in the lead. Werner battled for first with the second Franbacher Loles entry driven by Dominik Farnbacher. When Farnbacher’s Porsche develop an overheating problem and retired, Werner was able to cruise to the victory.
Heading into Virginia International Raceway – Sylvain Tremblay and Nick Ham led the championship by a comfortable seventeen points but it was still early in the season. Ham was second quickest in the qualifying session. On the twentieth lap, he had an incident with the race leader, Wolf Henzler but was able to continue. During the event, they a led a total of twenty-eight laps. At the finish, the Mazda was second – 5.501-seconds behind the winners.
Banner Engineering entered two Pontiac GXP.Rs. One for Tim Lewis, Jr. and team principal, Leighton Reese. The second car, No. 07, was driven by Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins. The Edwards/Collins Pontiac started in the fifth grid position. The two drivers delivered a solid performance and were in third place at the finish – earning their second podium of the 2007 season.
The second Tafel Racing entry was driven by Nathan Swartzbaugh and Andrew Davis with sponsorship from ANCA and North South Machinery. The No. 72 Porsche GT3 was the third fastest car in qualifying – thus far, their best starting position of the season. At the checkered flag, they were in fourth place which also topped their best results to date – which was a fifth at Mexico.
The contact between Wolf Henzler and Nick Ham and the subsequent round of pit stops allowed Patrick Huisman to jump into first place. Huisman had led a lap before Andrew Davis in a Tafel Racing Porsche took the position. Sharing the No. 81 Synergy Porsche GT3 Cup with Huisman was Steve Johnson. The pair had a good qualifying effort and started fourth – at the finish, they were in eighth place.
Another team scoring the best results of the season was the MineStar Solutions/Tim Hortons sponsored Porsche GT3 Cup. The No. 17 Porsche was prepared by Doncaster Racing and driven by Canadians, Greg Wilkins and David Lacey. The duo started mid-pack in the thirteenth position but they charged through the field and were in fifth place at the checkered flag.
Leh Keen and Dominik Farnbacher were unable to record a time during the qualifying session and started at the rear of the twenty-seven car grid. Keen drove the first stint in the Farnbacher Loles Porsche GT3 Cup. He made good progress during his stint and by the first round of pit-stops was in fifth place. Farnbacher moved the car into first on fifty-first circuit but his lead was short-lived as he retired ten laps later with radiator damage.

1GTMiller / WernerPorsche GT3 Cup76-
2GTTremblay / HamMazda RX-876-
3GTEdwards / CollinsPontiac GXP.R76-
4GTSwartzbaugh / DavisPorsche GT3 Cup75-
5GTWilkins / LaceyPorsche GT3 Cup75-
6GTde Quesada / DumoulinPorsche GT3 Cup75-
7GTRiggins / RiceChevrolet Corvette75-
8GTJohnson / HuismanPorsche GT3 Cup75-
9GTBunting / Cicero IIChevrolet Corvette75-
10GTLally / ValentinePorsche GT3 Cup75-
11GTAssentato / LonghiMazda RX-874Did Not Finish
12GTReese / Lewis, Jr.Pontiac GXP.R74-
13GTSmith / DiLeoPorsche GT3 Cup74-
14GTBaas / WhitePorsche GT3 Cup73-
15GTLowe / PacePorsche GT3 Cup73-
16GTNonnamaker / NonnamakerChevrolet Corvette73-
17GTHull / WagnerPorsche GT3 Cup72-
18GTGreenberg / PumpellyPorsche GT3 Cup70-
19GTGue / PavanPontiac GXP.R68-
20GTSahlen / NonnamakerChevrolet Corvette62-
21GTFarnbacher / KeenPorsche GT3 Cup61Did Not Finish
22GTNastasi / TaglianiFord Mustang Cobra GT61Did Not Finish
23GTConstantine / Borkowski / MurryNissan 350Z47Did Not Finish
24GTLux / HenzlerPorsche GT3 Cup46-
25GTConnolly / Cotter / HansonBMW M336Did Not Finish
26GTO'Connell / SpeakmanPorsche GT3 Cup34Did Not Finish
27GTFriedman / McGeheePorsche GT3 Cup33-

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 and 2017

Return to home page.