The G-99 Story
November 11, 2003

In the beginning...the Champion GT-1 993-005 was prepared in the Gunnar Racing facility, circa 1997-1999. While the car was at Gunnar Racing, we built a fixture so that we could repair the chassis, rather than send it back to Porsche. Because I had the fixture, I thought it would be a great idea to build the GT-1 as a spyder. The rules for ALMS at this time said that if the car was built in 1999, it would be grandfathered into the 2000 season without having to be crash tested. So, we built an open cockpit
GT-1 and called it the G-99 (G=Gunnar, 99 was the year of the project). I had hoped that Champion would want to race the G-99, but instead, they bought the Lola B2K-10. The G-99 sat idle until 2002, when Grand Am said we could finish the car as a spyder and as long as it ran in 2002, it would be grandfathered for the 2003 season. The problem is...they changed their minds. We didn't find this out until we showed up to the 2002 Daytona Finale, after working our behinds off to get the car ready for the last race of the 2002 season. The good news, they said, was that we could run it as a coupe in 2003. So, $75,000. later, our G-99 was converted into a coupe and ready to run the 2003 season.

The photo on the left is our completed spyder which tested at Moroso Motorsports Park on November 12, 2002, after Grand Am wouldn't let us run at the Finale. After all of our hard work to get the car ready, we just had to get it on the track to see how it ran. The photo on the right was taken at the 2003 Daytona Test after we converted it to a coupe.

The photo on the left is the Daytona 24 Swap Shop sponsored car. I pulled the car from the race after the 9th lap because it only ever seem to run on 5 cylinders. The spare engine had the same problem (nightmare!). The photo on the right is the car at Homestead. We wanted to honor the Florida Mako fighter squadron. I pulled the car after one stint because we didn't have a sponsor and it was just going to wear the car out.

The photo on the left is the G-99 in "My Favorites" livery at the Barber 250 in Birmingham. Again, having Gunnar as the only driver and no sponsor, I pulled the car after one stint (we were running in the top 3 at the time). The photo on the right was taken at the Paul Revere 250 with "Caution, don't go to" livery. Peter Baron, Kyle Petty, and Shane Lewis finished 2nd in GTS.

The photo on the left was taken at the Watkins Glen Bully Hill race. Paul Newman, Kyle Petty, and Gunnar finished 2nd in GTS. We wanted to make everyone aware of the Hole in the Wall Camps started by Paul Newman and continued by good people like Kyle and Pattie Petty. We donated all of our winnings to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The photo on the right is the car as it just raced at the Daytona Finale with Autosports Marketing as sponsor.
Milt Minter, Chad Mc Queen, and Gunnar finished 5th in class.

What the G-99 is built from:
Gunnar Racing built an identical GT-1 chassis, with the exception of the front end. We used chomemoly tubing for the suspension pickups in the front (the original GT-1 used a C-2 speedster tub from the A-pillars forward). The cockpit, including the floor and the whole rear structure, is identical to the GT-1. The suspension is completely GT-1. The transmission and rear suspension are also GT-1. The engine is from the 3.6 liter GT3-RS. The wiring harness is also GT3-RS. The body panels are GT-1 with the exception of the roof, in which I made a smaller inlet opening because the big opening was not needed to cool the innercoolers. The tail is from the Champion car that caught fire at the Minnesota street race. The doors are also from the Champion car. The front hood is factory new. We make our own original noses and side pods.

Hope this answers some of the questions you readers might have had about our G-99.

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