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The new Porsche 997 has hit the Grand Am Cup series in 2005 Ocean, N.J., April 4 - A new team has hit the Grand Am Cup Series with a new car driven by two familiar drivers. Team owner Michael Bavaro and co- driver Michael Ellis have returned...

The new Porsche 997 has hit the Grand Am Cup series in 2005

Ocean, N.J., April 4 - A new team has hit the Grand Am Cup Series with a new car driven by two familiar drivers. Team owner Michael Bavaro and co- driver Michael Ellis have returned for the 2005 season with a brand new Porsche 997 straight from the factory in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Now this is not a normal Porsche that you may see at the track, no this Porsche can also be driven on the street. That was the case back in November when the Bodymotion Racing Team took delivery of this car. After many hours of preparing this Porsche for the track, the team was off to the Daytona Motor Speedway and the first of an eleven race season, a season that would see races all across the Americas.

The season began in January with the Daytona test days. This was not a new adventure for Bavaro and Ellis as they both had been part of new teams in the past. This new Porsche 997 needed some of the same developmental work that went into the Mini Cooper S project that had raced the prior year. When the team arrived back in Daytona the 1st of February, they knew that the competition was going to be present in the form of great drivers and teams.

However, Bavaro knew that this once street legal Porsche 997 was up to the task of racing on the famed Daytona banking. After a 22nd qualifying effort in a field of over 70 entries, the team was ready for the first race on February 4th. The team's result turned out to be a success right out of the box with a top 15 finish and a 7th place finish among the other Porsche teams.

The next event was not only going to be a challenging race but also a challenging trip getting all of the cars and equipment to Santo Domingo. The Bodymotion Racing Team hit this new venue with a mission of getting their name out to the fans. "I do not know of a race where I signed so many autographs and saw fans being so supportive of this race series", said Bavaro. After qualifying in 27th position the tiger-striped 997 fought its way to finish in 12th position and 3rd among the Porsche teams.

This past weekend at the California Speedway all of the efforts of the team started to come together. At this event the Bodymotion Racing Team showed that they are on the leading edge of development for the new 997. The team qualified in an excellent 8th place and early in the race was running as high as 4th. Despite some fueling issues during a pit stop, the #21 Porsche 997 battled back. However on the last lap Bavaro was punted off track and this caused the team to finish 19th in the field of 65 entries. The team's strong effort in this race leads them to great expectations in 2005.

Make sure that you follow all of the Grand Am Cup events LIVE on the web at www.grand-am.com or visit www.bodymotion.com . Also catch all of the television coverage for this past weekend's event on SPEED Saturday April 16th at noon eastern or Monday April 18th at 1pm eastern.

The Bodymotion Racing Team's next event will be the U.S. Sports Car Invitational at the Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca California on April 30th.

-bmr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Michael Ellis
Teams Bodymotion Racing