As the Rolex Sports Car Series wrapped up an outstanding 2005 season in La Gran Final de la Serie Rolex Sports Car last weekend at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Darius Grala and Will Nonnamaker emerged from Grand American Road Racing's first trip south of the border as sports car racing's top sportsman drivers, claiming the inaugural Jim Trueman and Bob Akin Awards, respectively.
Grala, co-driving with Shane Lewis throughout the season, powered the No. 3 PAP-Parts/OZEXE BMW Riley for Southard Motorsports to a 13th-place finish during two separate stints in Mexico City to edge Doug Goad in the No. 09 Sprit of Daytona Pontiac Crawford by six points in the final Jim Trueman Award standings (3,707-3,701). JC France, who co-drove the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar with legendary sports car driver Hurley Haywood, finished third with 3,513 points.
Grala drove in all 14 Rolex Series races in 2005, finishing in the top-11 positions six times. His best finishes were a sixth-place run at Virginia International Raceway in October and an eighth-place result at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May. The eight laps he drove in his second stint in Mexico City gave him enough points to win the award.
Nonnamaker shared the No. 81 Synergy Racing Porsche GT3 Cup with eventual GT class champion Craig Stanton in Mexico City, and with 4,778 Bob Akin Award points, bested Marc Bunting-co-driver of the GT team champion No. 65 TRG Pontiac GTO.R-by 114 points. Nonnamaker finished seventh in class in the season finale, equaling his best result of the year.