MORETTI FINISHES CAREER WITH THRILLING WIN AT FIRST UNION SIX HOURS AT THE GLEN
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. Italian Gianpiero Moretti, Belgium's Didier Theys and Mauro Baldi, of Monaco, won the United States Road Racing Championship First Union Six Hours of the Glen in thrilling fashion, topping England's James Weaver, Butch Leitzinger, of State College, Pa., and Elliott Forbes-Robinson, of Sherrils Ford, N.C., by 0.656-second at Watkins Glen International. The win will serve as Moretti's finale, as he retired in Victory Circle.
Driving the No. 30 MOKART/Yokohama Ferrari 333 SP, the trio came back from falling one lap behind the leader early in the race to take the lead from the No. 38 Champion/STP/Michelin Porsche 911 GT1 of Belgian Thierry Boutsen and Germany's Ralf Kelleners with one hour, eight minutes remaining. Theys drove the final stint and held off a furious charge by Weaver in the No. 16 Goodyear/Safety Glow/300 Below Zero Riley & Scott Ford by the closest of margins. The No. 30 Ferrari averaged 98.129 mph, covering 589.95 miles in 171 laps.
"In the beginning, we had some problems with the setup, but as the race went on the car was handling very well," said Baldi.
"At the end we really had some pressure for sure," said Theys. "The blue and white car was very big in my mirrors. The team did a great job to get the lap back. I want to dedicate this race to Gianpiero."
"It's nice to finish my career the winner the winner of Daytona (Rolex 24), the 12 Hours (Sebring) and the six hours (Watkins Glen) in the same season," said Moretti. "I couldn't ask for more than this."
"We always appreciate racing against Mauro, Didier and Gianpiero," said Rob Dyson, team owner of the No. 16 car. "When were out there, the racing is always close."
The No. 38 Porsche won the GT1 class in third overall, marking a the first win for the Champion team, and a break in the dominance of the Visteon/Elan Natural Waters Panoz GTR race team, which had won three-straight races.
"The Watkins Glen circuit really suited our car it is really well balanced and has a lot of downforce to handle the high-speed corners," said Boutsen. "It was an interesting race, we were leading and I thought we could go for the full win, but the long yellow really helped the Can-Am cars with fuel."
The No. 5 Panoz entry of Brazilian Raul Boesel, Great Britian's Andy Wallace and Eric Bernard, of France, finished second in GT1, fourth overall and one lap down. Jim Matthews, of Warsaw, N.C., Barry Waddell, of Evansville, Ind., and Tom Kendall, of Santa Monica, Calif., finished fifth overall, third in Can-Am.
Angelo Cilli, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., Dale White, of Las Vegas, and Trip Goolsby, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., won the GT2 class in the No. 25 Westward Ho Casino Porsche 911 after the No. 99 Schumacher Racing Porsche 911 GT2 crashed out of the lead on lap 159. Driver John O'Steen, of Cincinnati, Ohio, sustained minor injuries, and was taken to Skyler Hospital for routine observation.
Terry Borcheller, of Phoenix, and Randy Pobst, of Ormond Beach, Fla., drove the No. 22 AJR/Aerofab Porsche 911 RSR to the GT3 class-win over teammates Darryl Havens, of Seattle, Cort Wagner, of Santa Monica, Calif., and Kelly Collins, of Corona Delmar, Calif., breaking the four-race win streak of the Prototype Technology Group BMW M3s.
"It's been a long time since anybody beat the BMWs," said Pobst. "The level of competition always makes the win that much sweeter and the BMW team is very strong. This is a great win for Darryl Havens' team, Alex Job Racing and Porsche."
Season Drivers', Teams' and Manufacturers' Championships were not decided because of the possibility of a final race being added at Laguna Seca, October 24-25.
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. Results from Sunday's First Union Six Hours of the Glen USRRC Can-Am and GT Championship race at Watkins Glen International, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver(s), class, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).
1. (3), Gianpiero Moretti, Italy, Didier Theys, Belgium, Mauro Baldi, Monte Carlo, Monaco, CA, Ferrari 333SP, 171.
2. (2), James Weaver, Wiltshire, England, Butch Leitzinger, State College, Pa., Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Sherrils Ford, N.C., CA, R&S Mk.III Ford, 171.
3. (7), Thierry Boutsen, Belgium, Ralf Kelleners, Germany, GT1, Porsche 911 GT1, 171.
4. (9), Raul Boesel, Brazil, Eric Bernard, Paris, Andy Wallace, G.B., GT1, Panoz GTR, 170.
5. (10), Jim Matthews, Warsaw, N.C., Barry Waddell, Evansville, Ind., Tom Kendall, Santa Monica, Calif., CA, R&S Mk.III Ford, 169.
6. (5), David Murry, Atlanta, Ga., Stephan Johansson, Sweden, Hurley Haywood, Jacksonville, Fla., CA, R&S Mk.III Ford, 169.
7. (11), Scott Schubot, West Palm Beach, Fla., Henry Camferdam, Indianapolis, Ind., David Besnard, Australia, CA, R&S Mk.III Ford, 166.
8. (6), Jon B. Field, Dublin, Ohio, Rick Sutherland, San Jose, Calif., CA, R&S Mk.III Ford, 163.
9. (15), Jim Downing, Atlanta, Ga., Howard Katz, New York, N.Y., Rich Grupp, Atlanta, Ga., CA, Kudzu Mazda, 162.
10. (8), Bill Dollahite, Austin, Texas, Mike Davies, Deland, Fla., Claude Bourbonnais, Montreal, Canada, CA, Ferrari 333SP, 161.
11. (1), Dorsey Schroeder, Little Torch Key, Fla., Rob Dyson, Pleasant Valley, N.Y., John Paul Jr., W. Palm Beach, Fla., CA, R&S Mk.III Ford, 160.
12. (16), A.J. Smith, Vorhees, N.J., Joaquin DeSoto, Miami, Fla., CA, Kudzu Buick, 155.
13. (21), Randy Pobst, Ormond Beach, Fla., Terry Borcheller, Phoenix, Ariz., Calif., GT3, Porsche 911 RSR, 155.
14. (20), Darryl Havens, Seattle, Wash., Cort Wagner, Santa Monica, Calif., Kelly Collins, Corona Delmar, Calif., GT3, Porsche 911 RSR, 154.
15. (22), Mark Duez, Belgium, Ross Bentley, Canada, Peter Cunningham, W. Bend, Wis., GT3, BMW M3, 152.
16. (28), Angelo Cilli, Steamboat Springs, Colo., Dale White, Las Vegas, Nev., Trip Goolsby, Murfreesboro, Tenn., GT2, Porsche 911 RSR, 149.
17. (14), Stuart Hayner, Yorba Linda, Calif., Roger Schramm, Rockford, Ill., GT1, Chevrolet Camaro, 148.
18. (29), Spencer Pumpelly, Springfield, Va., David Kicak, Syracuse, N.Y., Oma Kimbrough, Tyrone, Pa., GT3, Porsche 911, 147.
19. (17), Shane Lewis, Jupiter, Fla., Vic Rice, San Rafael, Calif., GT1, Mosler Raptor, 144.
20. (19), Larry Schumacher, Cincinnati, Ohio, John O' Steen, Cincinnati, Ohio, GT2, Porsche 911 GT2, 142, Mech.
21. (30), Reed Kryder, Canal Fulton, Ohio, Alistair Oag, Jamestown, N.Y., Steve Ahlgrim, Elmhurst, Ill., GT3, Nissan 240SX, 108, Mech.
22. (26), Cameron Worth, Lighthouse Pt., Fla., Scott Sansone, Coconut Creek, Fla., GT2, Mazda RX7, 108.
23. (33), Brian Richards, Pleasant Hills, Calif., Michael De Fontes, Baltimore, Md., GT2, Mazda RX7, 102.
24. (25), Steve Marshall, Christianburg, Va., Sylvain Tremblay, Pompano Beach, Fla., GT3, Porsche 911 RSR, 72, Mech.
25. (32), Tom Scheuren, Bedford, N.Y., Bob Jones, Pine Grove, Pa., Gerry Green, Somerset, N.J., GT1, Chevy Camaro, 71.
26. (18), Bill Auberlen, Redondo Beach, Fla., Mark Simo, Carlsbad, Calif., Andy Pilgrim, Cooper City, Fla., GT3, BMW M3, 49, Mech.
27. (23), Danny Marshall, Danville, Va., Darren Law, Phoenix, Ariz., GT3, Porsche 911 RSR, 39, Mech.
28. (13), John Mirro, Bath, Pa., Sam Brown, Fairfield, Conn., Jacek Mucha, Canada, CA, R&S Mark III, 22, Crash.
29. (27), Jim Loftis, Arlington, Va., Bob Strange, Chaska, Minn., John Finger, Greenville, S.C., GT2, Porsche 968, 8, Mech.
30. (4), David Brabham, Australia, GT1, Panoz GTR, 7, Crash.
31. (24), Peter Argetsinger, Weston, Fla., Richard Polldoria, Newington, Conn., Scott Peeler, Sandy, Utah, GT3, Porsche 911 RSR, 6, Mech.
32. (12), Tom Volk, Blissfield, Mich., Jeret Schroeder, Vineland, N.J., Lyn St. James, Indianapolis, Ind., CA, Kudzu Chevy, 1, Mech.
33. (31), Mike Weinberg, Nanuet, N.Y., Jim Machaelian, Long Beach, Calif., Steve McNeely, Hollywood, Calif., GT3, Pont. Firebird, 0, D.N.S.
Overall time of race: 6 hours, 43.072 seconds. Overall/Can-Am average speed: 98.129 miles-per-hour Overall/Can-Am margin of victory: .656 seconds Overall/Can-Am fastest race lap: Weaver, 1:40.872 (123.126 mph) Overall lap leaders: laps 1-10, Weaver; laps 11-17, Schroeder; laps 18-26, Weaver; laps 27-29, Davies; lap 30, Boutsen; laps 31-50, Weaver; laps 51-56, Boutsen; laps 57-75, Forbes-Robinson; laps 76-80, Kelleners; laps 81-126, Leitzinger; laps 127-137, Boutsen; laps 138-171, Theys. Cautions: six for 38 laps.
GT1 time of race: 6 hours, 1 minute, 37.742 seconds. GT1 average speed: 97.882 miles-per-hour GT1 margin of victory: greater than one lap GT1 fastest race lap: Boutsen, 1:43.580 (119.907 mph) GT1 lap leaders: laps 1-7, Brabham; laps 8-11, Boutsen; laps 12-25, Bernard; laps 26-57, Boutsen; laps 58-62, Boesel; laps 63-104, Kelleners; laps 105-122, Bernard; laps 123-171, Boutsen.
GT2 time of race: 6 hours, 2 minutes, 27.981 seconds. GT2 average speed: 85.092 miles-per-hour GT2 margin of victory: greater than one lap GT2 fastest race lap: Schumacher, 1:56.915 (106.231 mph) GT2 lap leaders: laps 1-23, O' Steen; laps 24-52, Schumacher; laps 53-88, O'Steen; laps 89-113, Schumacher; laps 114-142, O' Steen; laps 143-149, Cilli
GT3 time of race: 6 hours, 3 minutes, 53.870 seconds. GT3 average speed: 88.170 miles-per-hour GT3 margin of victory: greater than one lap GT3 fastest race lap: Auberlen, 1:56.286 (106.80 mph) GT3 lap leaders: laps 1-24, Auberlen; lap 25, Collins; laps 26-36, Simo; laps 37-88, Pobst; laps 89-154, Borcheller.