For those of you unfamiliar with the Grand-Am series, it is significant to know that it is NASCAR supported and its offices are located across the street from the famous Daytona oval track. You can find its web site at www.grand-am.com. Most professional race series are controlled by a primary sponsor or car manufacturer with short term self interest goals and lack stability over the long term. The NASCAR element is comforting to race teams who look at long term prospects before selecting a venue to participate in and making the expensive investment in cars and spare parts. NASCAR is well known for its dogged adherence to formulas and tradition, so one is inclined to believe that as soon as they find their formulas for Grand-Am, they will pursue them in similar fashion. The series' crown jewel is the annual Daytona 24 hour race, and the home track is Daytona. Organizers are currently into their fourth race season, and it would seem that they are having enough success to be optimistic about the series' future. As part of their vision, they foresee organizing events in Europe and in other foreign venues from South America to Asia. They are hopeful of developing a road race program which will eventually take on the proportions of the Winston Cup series with appeal to road racing enthusiasts world wide. The potential for this can be realized only through time and cleaver marketing along with much capital which could take the form of reliable sponsorship. With NASCAR support we may hopefully anticipate that this series will be one with more stability than what we have come to expect from most. The new Daytona prototype category which was unveiled in the January 2003 Daytona 24 hour race may add the sizzle needed for them to achieve success.

To draw in competitors to fill their grids, the organizers want cars that are not particularly complex nor are expensive to run but yet are appealing to spectators. They actually want tube frame "silhouette" cars such as ours which can be repaired rather easily and can be rebodied and thereby updated affordably. Their engine rules keep costs down by limiting internal modifications along with air restrictors which limit horsepower potential and equalize the different types of engines that are brought to the show. Light weight becomes the principal performance enhancement and tube chassis can always be made lighter and stronger than factory tub frames.

Our Grand-Am E46 version will incorporate our existing chassis, and be identical in appearance to the Schnitzer GTRs that won their ALMS category in 2001. The car is really the same as our SCCA GT2 car with a bespoke front clip that accepts the wider V8 engine. Priced at just about the same as our GT3 chassis indicated in the catalog section, this is around half of the used Schnitzer cars' price that BMW was asking for those cars last year. Cars running in Grand-Am are fitted with additional cost options such as headlights, larger fuel cells, on board refueling components along with various minor modifications to make them series legal and to be able to participate in the longer endurance events of which they have several. The endurance aspect is alone significant for team owners. It allows owners to advertise one or even two additional seats per race to paying drivers, thus generating travel and operating budget cash flows.

Almost any BMW engine can be run, but to be competitive, we will be designing the chassis to accept the S62 M5 V8. Our SCCA GT2 chassis is already strong enough to accommodate the additional power of the V8 as we incorporate a Ford 9" rear end and a Hewland ST transmission; however, the engine bay and front suspension must be specifically designed to accept the wider V8 engine. In Grand-Am, this engine must remain basically stock except for the solid tappet Motorsport cams and dry sump oiling. In spite of all the restrictions it still manages about 450 reliable horsepower making it competitive with the Porsches in its class.

As a BMW Club Racing performer, the Grand-Am car would be a popular chassis choice from the performance standpoint with either the M5 engine or any combination of the M50 based six cylinder engines. Remember that the prices quoted in the Cost Estimates section have a labor component that can be eliminated if you do your own work. Outside of being tedious, it is not particularly difficult to assemble one of these cars once parts are available for significantly less than $100k. Two competitors could build a single car and with the number of BMW Club Racing events combined with eligibility in other organizations such as NABR, the Florida Porsche/BMW group and NASA there are lots of opportunities to race individually at the amateur level and still run competitively at the professional level with the same car.