Mont Tremblant: Race summary

Doran Lista returns to victory lane at Mont-Tremblant; Ferrari of Washington makes it five-in-a-row in GT MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec (September 15, 2002) -- Doran Lista Racing picked up its fourth Rolex Sports Car Series victory of the season today...

Doran Lista returns to victory lane at Mont-Tremblant; Ferrari of Washington makes it five-in-a-row in GT

MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec (September 15, 2002) -- Doran Lista Racing picked up its fourth Rolex Sports Car Series victory of the season today by winning the inaugural 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant. Didier Theys started the #27 Judd-powered Dallara in the pole position, and Fredy Lienhard Sr. captured the checkered flag six hours later for a belated birthday present to the driver who celebrated his 55th birthday last night.

"You cannot get a better birthday present. There is no way; this is just fantastic," said Lienhard Sr. "I'm so happy, not only for myself, but for the whole team who did an absolutely great job"

Theys built a large lead over the Dyson Racing Team #16 Judd-engined Crawford early in the race, before handing the reigns of the Dallara over to Fredy Lienhard Sr. However, when rookie Chris Dyson slid behind the wheel of the Crawford he caught the leader and overtook him to move in front.

The Dallara was later clipped by a Porsche, sending it into the pits for bodywork repairs and increasing the Crawford's lead to nearly a lap. But on lap 97, Dyson lost control of the Crawford as he came down a hill and into a turn, spinning the car into a tire wall. The car suffered substantial damage that kept it in the pits for repairs for 28 laps.

Twenty-two-year-old Fredy Lienhard Jr. next took control of the #27 Dallara and posted the fastest lap time of the race - a 1:24.201 lap - en route to the largest margin of victory in Rolex Sports Car Series history - 13 laps. The win increased the team's points lead in the SportsRacing Prototype standings from two points to five, and improved Didier Theys' lead in the driver standings to nine points over Dyson.

"Finally we put a race together. We missed the win on the last one when we should have won (VIR 500). Now we have this one and it's for real, and that gives us a nine-point lead," remarked Theys. "The lead is now a little bit bigger, but we still have to finish in the top three at Daytona."

Scuderia Ferrari of Washington extended its GT winning streak to five-in-a-row and earned its first-ever overall podium finish. Bill Auberlen battled for the class lead early with Joao Barbosa in the Perspective Motorsports #24 Mosler MT900R. However, the Mosler fell victim to suspension trouble that caused it pit to replace both rear axles and eventually resulted in the retirement of the GT entry from the race.

"Second overall is great, but I'm looking for the victory in our class that's where the battle was," noted Auberlen. "We won it because our car just banged its way along lap after lap, full tank or empty tank it drove the same. This is because our team prepared such a great car, and our engineer is so good."

The most hotly contested position was for the final spot on the overall podium. The ACEMCO Motorsports #26 Porsche GT3 R and Falcon Racing #86 Ferrari 360 GT exchanged the third-place overall (second-place GT) position several times in the closing hours, running within a second of each other for more than half the race.

In the final hour the ACEMCO Porsche began to finally pull away from the rivaling Ferrari to take the overall podium finish.

"Who would have thought in a six-hour race that a Porsche could be up here at the front? We had a great battle with the Ferrari. I battled for an hour and a half with David Empringham in the silver Ferrari, and then B.J. Zacharias battled for an hour and a half with Nick Longhi in the same car. We had a three-hour long nose-to-tail battle," commented ACEMCO driver Cass Whitehead.

The Sky Blue Racing #29 Mustang won the American GT class. Eric Curran posted the quickest AGT time in the Mustang during qualifying, but it took a little bit of luck to help move the car into Victory Circle. The Sky Blue entry trailed the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports #46 Corvette early, but an on-track incident between the Corvette and G&W Motorsports #70 SportsRacing Prototype II entry sent the Corvette into the pits for repairs.

It was enough to put the Mustang back in front of the class, where it stayed for the remainder of the race.

The Racer's Group #67 Porsche GT3 R earned the GTS win, with Christine Perot, who shared driving duties with Michael Schrom and John Morton, becoming only the second woman in series history to post a class victory.

Grand American Road Racing Association included a Grand Sport Invitational class in the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant, open to GS I and GS II teams in Grand-Am Cup. The Team Turbo Performance #23 Porsche GT3 Cup finished first in the invitational class.

The Rolex Sports Car Series will hold its final race of the season - the Grand American Finale - at Daytona International Speedway in November. Additional information on the Rolex Sports Car Series is available online at www.grand-am.com.

Rolex Series Driver Quotes

Fredy Lienhard, Sr., Doran Lista Racing #27 Judd Dallara @First place overall

"You cannot get a better birthday present. There is no way; this is just fantastic. I'm so happy, not only for myself, but for the whole team who did an absolutely great job"

Fredy Lienhard, Jr., Doran Lista Racing #27 Judd Dallara, @First place overall

"Everything was perfect and I'm very happy. I'm happy for him (Fredy Sr.), for me, for the team and for everybody. I didn't know when I was driving that I turned the fastest lap, but everyone told me when I got out of the car. I think I made them nervous."

Didier Theys, Doran Lista Racing #27 Judd Dallara @First place overall

"Finally we put a race together. We missed the win on the last one when we should have won (VIR 500). Now we have this one and it's for real, and that gives us a nine-point lead. The lead is now a little bit bigger, but we still have to finish in the top three at Daytona. I'm quite confident that our car will do well at the Finale."

Cort Wagner, Scuderia Ferrari of Washington #33 Ferrari @Second overall and GT winner

"Five in a row, just incredible. Ferrari of Washington put together an incredible car. We are always worried because it's such a long race, but the knowledge and preparation of this team is just incredible."

Bill Auberlen, Scuderia Ferrari of Washington #33 Ferrari @Second overall and GT winner

"Second overall is great, but I'm looking for the victory in our class that's where the battle was. We won it because our car just banged its way along lap after lap, full tank or empty tank it drove the same. This is because our team prepared such a great car, and our engineer is so good."

Cass Whitehead, ACEMCO Motorsports #26 Porsche @Third place overall and second GT

"It's amazing. Who would have thought in a six-hour race that a Porsche could be up here at the front? We had a great battle with the Ferrari. I battled for an hour and a half with David Empringham in the silver Ferrari, and then B.J. Zacharias battled for an hour and a half with Nick Longhi in the same car. We had a three-hour long nose-to-tail battle."

B.J Zacharias, ACEMCO Motorsports #26 Porsche @Third place overall and second GT

"The crew did an awesome pit stop at the end. It really came down to that. We work so hard all weekend on the car, and we found a great setup. I just can't say enough about the ACEMCO Motorsports team. It's just great. We are a new team and now we are third overall."

-grand am-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Didier Theys , Fredy Lienhard , Bill Auberlen , Nick Longhi , David Empringham , Michael Schrom , Joao Barbosa , Eric Curran , John Morton , Cass Whitehead , Chris Dyson , Cort Wagner
Teams Dyson Racing