SCC: announces 2003 awards Recognizes Outstanding Talents in Grand Am Cup Series North Canton, OH -- At the end of the 2003 season we asked journalists, participants, and officials to vote for various awards in the Grand Am Cup season. The 2003 awards mark... Recognizes Outstanding Talents in Grand Am Cup Series

North Canton, OH -- At the end of the 2003 season we asked journalists, participants, and officials to vote for various awards in the Grand Am Cup season. The 2003 awards mark the third consecutive year that has awarded these trophies.

There were four different categories which were voted on: Rising Star of the Year, Crew Chief of the Year, Best Looking Paint Scheme, and Most Professional Paddock.

The Rising Star honor is for the driver that showed the most potential for a bright future in sports car racing. Past Driver Champions (in a pro series) and past Rising Stars were excluded from the ballot.

Past winners of this award include current Daytona Prototype drivers Forrest Barber, as well as John Schmitt (2003 STI Champion) and David Haskell (top five in all-time Grand Am Cup wins).

This season the awards went to three Porsche drivers and an Acura driver. In the Grand Sport I class Michael Levitas, driver and team owner of TPC Racing, was awarded the distinction based on his four wins and six podium finishes driving the TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup.

Grand Sport II saw Joe Nonnamaker take home the award. Joe scored four wins and his first Professional Championship. Nonnamaker, owner of the Planet Earth Motorsports team, co-drove with his son, Wayne, in the team's #41 Porsche 996.

In Sport Touring I Scott Schlesinger's three wins and one pole position driving the SpeedSource Porsche Boxster nabbed him the title. Sport Touring II saw Eric Curran score the award. After his debut in front wheel drive in the 2002 season, Eric Curran caught on to the new driving style in 2003 to score two wins and five podiums.

The Crew Chief of the Year honor is bestowed upon the Crew Chief that not necessarily had the best on track results, but achieved the best results with the equipment and resources provided to him.

Once again it was a trio of Porsche technicians and a lone Acura Technicians that took home the awards in the four class series. In Grand Sport I, Gianni Panico scored the most votes as the Crew Chief behind the Doncaster Racing Championship effort in the 2003 season. Grand Sport II. Mike Thomas of Planet Earth Motorsports scored the Crew Chief of the Year award. Planet Earth Motorsports, which is campaigned by the Phoenix ProMotions (the team also responsible for the Acuras).

In Sport Touring I, SpeedSource had a pair of Crew Chiefs working on their Porsche Boxster. John Beitz and Wade Williams took home SpeedSource's second consecutive Crew Chief of the Year Award in Sport Touring I. Sport Touring II saw Thomas' co-worker, Trevor Whipple, take home the title. Whipple spearheaded the Acura Integra effort that took home five wins and fifteen podiums.

The Most Professional Paddock Award should be renamed the SpeedSource award. For the third consecutive season the SpeedSource effort wrapped up the award. The team is always campaigning a fleet of vehicles, but still finds time to make their area the most presentable in the paddock.

The Best Paint Scheme Award went to the Planet Earth Motorsports team for the first time in the three year history of Awards. Planet Earth Motorsports has a unique paint scheme that incorporates the world into the car.

Past winners of the Awards include:

2001 Rising Stars
GSI - Dino Steiner and Ian James (Steiner Motorsports)
GSII - Dave Haskell (SpeedSource)
STI - Jeff Trask (Villaconn International)
STII - John Schmitt (HART)

2002 Rising Stars
GSI - Paul Mears (SpeedSource)
GSII - John Sturm (SpeedSource) and Forrest Barber (Bell Motorsports)
STI - Ken Dobson (Villaconn)
STII - Tony Nuzzo ( Racing)

2001 Crew Chiefs of the Year
GSI -Dave Stevenson (Powell Motorsport)
GSII - Dave Haskell (SpeedSource)
STI - Scott Zellner (King Motorsports)
STII - Mike Thomas (Planet Earth Motorsports)

2002 Crew Chiefs of the Year
GSI - Dave Stevenson (Powell Motorsport)
GSII - Dave Fredericks (Shreiner Racing)
STI John Beitz (SpeedSource) and Scott Zellner (King Motorsports)
STII - Steve Wheeler (Bill Fenton Motorsports)

Best Looking Paint Scheme:
2001 - SpeedSource
2002 - SpeedSource and TF Racing

Most Professional Paddock:
2001 - SpeedSource and Team Lexus
2002 - SpeedSource


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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mike Thomas , Joe Nonnamaker , Dino Steiner , Ian James , Steve Wheeler , Ken Dobson , Eric Curran , Michael Levitas , John Schmitt , Tony Nuzzo , Scott Schlesinger , John Sturm , Bill Fenton
Teams Williams , HART , SpeedSource