Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Thirty-two years ago at Watkins Glen, two Group 5 Lancia Beta Montecarlos held off 11 of Porsche's all-conquering 935s for an epic 1-2 victory. It was a classic moment in sports racing history, echoed in last weekend's six hours of Grand-Am road racing.

Grand-Am is made up of two series, each split into two categories. The junior varsity Continental Tire series is production-based with GS and ST cars. The top Rolex series has Daytona Prototypes shadowed by GT cars from manufacturers we've been dying to see competing in regular US road racing: Audi, Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette, BMW, Camaro, and rotary-powered Mazda. The schedule is filled with legendary tracks, as it should be in America, where we have more road course access than anywhere else in the world. Still, something's not quite right with the series.

The Daytona Prototypes aren't the prettiest cars, and the GT cars aren't exactly relevant to their street car counterparts, as Bill Caswell pointed out today. The racing is not all that close. Every time we go to watch Grand-Am, we wish it will be like the epic Porsche/Ferrari/Corvette battles at Sebring. And we want it in every race. We don't quite get that.

The Six Hours of the Glen was not bad. Four prototypes swapped the lead twelve times in the race, and eight different GT cars changed first place in class no less than eighteen times. The Magnus Porsche caught fire for the second time in two races, and a Camaro won something. This was all happening at the beautiful Watkins Glen, where we used to hold the US Formula One Grand Prix before it became a shit show.

So where does this race stand in history, and why do I mention a weird 32-year-old car from a brand that isn't on sale in America anymore? Well, the Group 5 GT racing that was going on in the late ‘70s and very early ‘80s was packed with some of the most legendary cars of all time: 800 horsepower Porsches, BMW M1s and 320is, Ford Capris and Escorts with custom bodywork and high-strung engines that would put RWB to shame. The cars toured the greatest racetracks in the world and competed in a unified world championship.

And still the racing was dull. Porsches won most of every race and the division between the small and big-engined cars wasn't clear at all, leaving weaker Lancias to win their two championships on points.

So if people can idolize and love those fundamentally boring races of Group 5, they can certainly love Grand-Am today. Click through the excellent pictures of Trevor Andrusko and Halston Pitman of MotorSportMedia and you'll see what we mean. There's also some in-car action from the #31 Corvette with none other than Boris Said at the wheel, just so you can enjoy some racing V8 noise.

You should also be clicking "Expand" in the lower right of each picture to see them in full size.

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Video Credit:MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia

Grand-Am At Watkins Glen: The Über Gallery

Photo Credit: Trevor Andrusko/Halston Pitman MotorSportMedia