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 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 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.

The 2007 Grand American Road Racing Championship ended in Utah at the Miller Motorsports Park facility. Class titles were on the line for both groups – Grand Touring and Daytona Prototype. The Prototype category was the most contentious with just three points separating the top-four championship contenders.

The race titled the Sunchaser 1000 would be a 1000-kilometer event (139-laps) or 7.5-hours whichever came first. Forty-five teams competed on the 4.5-mile twenty-five-turn road course.

The contenders for the Daytona Prototype title pose for a photo op. Kneeling in front of the trophy are the championship leaders by a single point, Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty. Standing from left to right are Terry Borcheller of Red Bull Racing, Krohn Racing’s Max Papis, Scott Pruett – second in the standings, teammates, Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli and from Alex Job Racing, Jorg Bergmeister.
Regular drivers, Jim Matthews and Marc Goossens, were joined by IndyCar rookie, Ryan Hunter-Reay for the Grand Am finale. Earlier in the season, Hunter-Reay joined the team for events at Daytona, Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio. The No. 91 Riley Mk XI started nineteenth overall and in class but by the final hour of the race moved into contention. Marc Goossens drove the final stint and won by a margin of 1.280-seconds.
Winning the GT class was the Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R shared by Paul Edwards, Kelly Collins and added to the line-up for this event, Andy Pilgrim. Edwards and Collins were tied for fourth in the driver standings and it would take a miracle for them to take the title considering they had a fifteen point deficit. The victory was not enough but it ‘leap-frogged’ them to second in the final standings.
Finishing second overall and in the Daytona Prototype category was the No. 11 Pontiac powered Riley Mk XI. Driving Peter Baron’s entry were Kris Szekeres, Ryan Dalziel and Tomas Enge. The Riley was gridded eighteenth overall and in class for the start. The team slowly moved up the race order and when the early leaders encountered problems, they found themselves in contention and inherited a runner-up finish.
The No. 85 Farnbacher Loles entry was co-driven by Dominik Farnbacher, Leh Keen and Ian Baas. The trio started third and contested first in class for the duration of the event. Farnbacher drove the final stint and took the lead from the Pontiac of Paul Edwards. Unfortunately, he made contact with a slower GT car. The Porsche suffered damage and lost first place to Edwards – Farnbacher and his teammates finished second.
The 2004 Daytona Prototype class champion, Scott Pruett was a mere one-point behind the Bob Stallings duo of Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney in the title chase. Joining Pruett in the finale were Memo Rojas and Salvador Duran. The team qualified on the pole but a series of issues during the race resulted in a ninth place finish - one position behind the Stallings’ entry. Pruett missed the championship by three points.
Showing the ‘scars of battle’ is the No. 75 Krohn Racing Riley Mk XI. The team shuffled the driver line-up in the finale and Colin Braun was joined by Nic Jonsson who drives the No. 76 entry. The pair started the race in eleventh but quickly joined the leaders. In the final thirty-minutes, Braun was leading but lost positions to Marc Goossens and Tomas Enge. The team finished third and completed a sweep of the DP podium for Pontiac.
The GT point’s leader, Dirk Werner shared the driving duties with Wolf Henzler and Bryce Miller. In twelve events, Werner had only one victory (VIR) but he had ten top-five finishes and only two outside of the top-ten. The team qualified fifth for the Sunchaser 1000. A steady pace in the Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3 Cup netted a third-place finish for the team – enough for Werner to secure the title.
Starting and finishing fourth in the GT category was the No. 69 SpeedSource prepared Mazda RX-8. The team had the largest roster of drivers on the entry list. Joining the car’s regular line-up, Nick Longhi and Emil Assentato were David Haskell, Jose Amengol and Jeff Segal. However, only Haskell, Longhi and Amengol drove the Mazda in the Discount Tire Sunchaser 1000.
The top-three finishers in Daytona Prototype category meet the press in the media room. In the center are the overall and class winners from Riley-Matthews Motorsports – Jim Matthews, Marc Goossens and Ryan Hunter-Reay. To the right are the runner-ups – Kris Szekeres, Ryan Dalziel and Tomas Enge. And, on the left are Krohn Racing drivers – Colin Braun and Nic Jonsson joined by team owner, Tracy Krohn.
The GT starting grid for the 2007 season finale at Miller Motorsports Park. On the pole is the No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R shared by Paul Edwards, Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim. Starting on the outside of the front row is the SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 driven by Nick Ham, David Haskell and Sylvain Tremblay. Starting third and fourth – was the No. 85 Farnbacher Loles Porsche and the second SpeedSource Mazda.
Entering the finale the Bob Stallings team was on a roll - drivers, Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney had won the previous two rounds – Watkins Glen and Sonoma. Their mission was to finish in front of Scott Pruett and secure the title. The pair started second and were in contention for the win until contact in the final hour damaged the car. Gurney slipped down the order but was able to finish eighth one position ahead of Pruett.
It was a short day for the No. 70 SpeedSource prepared Mazda RX-8. Drivers Nick Ham, David Haskell and Sylvain Tremblay, were gridded second for the start. Unfortunately, the Mazda did not complete the pace lap. The No. 31 Daytona Prototype Chase lost control in turn-eighteen as the GT field approached. The Prototype hit the RX-8 and caused it barrel-roll. Drivers Seth Ingram and Nick Ham were not injured.
Wayne Taylor Racing won the 2005 Grand Am Daytona Prototype championship. Lead driver, Max Angelelli entered the final round of 2007 just three-points behind the class leaders, Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney. Joining Angelelli for the Discount Tire Sunchaser event were Jan Magnussen and team principal, Wayne Taylor. The trio started eighth but their race came to an end on lap-116 when the car caught fire and retired.
The Sunchaser 1000 Grand Touring podium at Miller Motorsports Park. On the right are the runner-ups from Farnbacher Loles Racing – Dominik Farnbacher, Leh Keen and Ian Baas. And, on the left side of the rostrum also from Farnbacher Loles are Bryce Miller, Wolf Henzler and the 2007 GT champion, Dirk Werner. In the center are the winners – Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards – drivers of the Banner Racing Pontiac.

1DPMatthews / Goossens / Hunter-ReayRiley Mk XI Pontiac139-
2DPDalziel / Szekeres / EngeRiley Mk XI Pontiac139-
3DPBraun / JonssonRiley Mk XI Pontiac139-
4DPLewis / LuxRiley Mk XI Lexus139-
5DPBergmeister / Long / RockenfellerCrawford DP03 Porsche139-
6DPFrance / Haywood / BorchellerRiley Mk XI Porsche139-
7DPJames / Pew / ZogaibRiley Mk XI Lexus139-
8DPGurney / Fogarty / VasserRiley Mk XI Pontiac139-
9DPPruett / Rojas / DuranRiley Mk XI Lexus139-
10DPPatterson / Negri / WilsonRiley Mk XI Lexus139-
11DPFrisselle / Wilkins / FrisselleRiley Mk XI Lexus139-
12DPKrohn / PapisRiley Mk XI Pontiac138-
13DPFittipaldi / Brix / AntinucciFabcar FDSC/03 Porsche136-
14DPGidley / JaegerDoran JE4 Ford136-
15DPGoad / Camirand / CosmoFabcar FDSC/03 Porsche135-
16DPAuberlen / Alhadeff / HandRiley Mk XI BMW134-
17DPCameron / ValianteRiley Mk XI Lexus131-
18GTEdwards / Collins / PilgrimPontiac GXP.R131-
19GTFarnbacher / Keen / BaasPorsche GT3 Cup131-
20GTMiller / Werner / HenzlerPorsche GT3 Cup130-
21GTAssentato / Longhi / Segal / HaskellMazda RX-8130-
22GTWilkins / Lacey / PapadopoulosPorsche GT3 Cup128-
23GTde Quesada / Dumoulin / WilsonPorsche GT3 Cup128-
24GTJohnson / Davis / WagnerPorsche GT3 Cup127-
25GTO'Connell / Speakman / RoushPorsche GT3 Cup127-
26GTNonnamaker / Nonnamaker / NonnamakerChevrolet Corvette127-
27GTFoster / Espenlaub / DempseyMazda RX-8126-
28GTStaveley / Nearn / Dobson / RileyPontiac GXP.R126-
29GTLowe / Pace / PotterPorsche GT3 Cup126-
30GTFitzgerald / McClure / BeachmanChevrolet Corvette123-
31GTde Quesada / Dumoulin / Gabel / StantonPorsche GT3 Cup122-
32GTBunting / Gue / Cicero IIChevrolet Corvette121-
33GTReese / Lewis, Jr. / O'ConnellPontiac GXP.R119-
34DPTaylor / Angelelli / MagnussenRiley Mk XI Pontiac116Fire
35GTMayes / Wahl / LudwigPorsche GT3 Cup115Did Not Finish
36GTTallman / Rossberg / KozarovPontiac GTO.R114-
37GTDiMeo / Doane / St. AmourPontiac GTO.R111Did Not Finish
38DPSchramm / Bell / LesterRiley Mk XI Pontiac102-
39DPDonohue / Law / RiceRiley Mk XI Porsche97Did Not Finish
40GTPruitt / Aguas / Jeannette / BurkeFerrari F430 Challenge81Electrical
41GTSmith / DiLeo / SellersPorsche GT3 Cup63Did Not Finish
42GTSahlen / NonnamakerChevrolet Corvette40Did Not Finish
43GTLally / Valentine / PumpellyPorsche GT3 Cup27Engine
44DPConnolly / Ingham / Ballou / RossbergChase Pontiac0Accident
45GTHam / Haskell / TremblayMazda RX-80Accident

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