SCC: Birmingham: Grand Sport race notes

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 17, 2003) -- Doncaster Racing picked up its second Grand-Am Cup Series victory of the season today with a last-lap pass at the Barber Park 200 Grand Sport race. Jean-Francois Dumoulin was able to maneuver Doncaster's ...

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 17, 2003) -- Doncaster Racing picked up its second Grand-Am Cup Series victory of the season today with a last-lap pass at the Barber Park 200 Grand Sport race. Jean-Francois Dumoulin was able to maneuver Doncaster's #119 Porsche GT3 Cup around his former teammate Andy Lally in the Powell Motorsports #02 Corvette in turn six of the final lap to take the win.

"All of the race was a sprint race," said Dumoulin, who currently leads the Grand Sport I points with his co-driver Robert Julien. "With the traffic it was really hard to pass here. With Andy at the end I was just waiting and waiting and on that last lap I just pulled that good move on him."

Lally and Dumoulin had been battling it out with Chris Hall in the Silverstone Racing #39 Corvette for second place during most of the final half hour of the race, while Darren Law led the field in the G&W Motorsports #6 Porsche. However, the #6 Porsche ran out of gas with only three laps remaining in the race, opening up the race for an exciting battle between Lally and Dumoulin for the checkered flag.

"That was a great race and it was made even better because I was out there running against one of my good friends," said Lally, who was teammates with Dumoulin on Team Lexus last year. "I had passed JF on that very same corner what seemed like 1,000 laps earlier, and he just got a good run on me on the last lap to get by me."

This weekend was Lally's first-ever run in the #02 Corvette, as he was subbing in for Mike Weinberg's usual co-driver Jeff Altenberg, who had a prior commitment. Weinberg was quite pleased with his new co-driver for the weekend, as it produced his first podium finish in three years.

Hall and co-driver Lally Huang earned their first podium finish in the series with third-place honors.

Good luck graced the Planet Earth Motorsports team as the father-son duo of Joe and Wayne Nonnamaker took home their third Grand Sport II victory of the season. Joe Nonnamaker was at the wheel of the #41 Porsche 911 when it was struck by the #45 Firebird on lap 12.

"When I got hit, I thought we were done because it was a hard hit. The Fikse wheels were fantastic. They took a hard, hard hit. The Hoosier tire has a huge chunk out of the side of the tire, but it held air. We were really lucky. I even ran long enough to catch up before we pitted. We're lucky to be here today," said the elder Nonnamaker.

But it took a little more luck to put the Planet Earth Porsche in Victory Lane, which meant bad luck for the Bell Motorsports team. The #54 BMW M3 had not only taken the GS II lead, but moved into the overall lead during the second caution of the race when all the other teams ducked into the pits for driver changes. The Bell Motorsports car pitted during the first caution for its driver change, allowing the BMW to build a substantial lead in the class.

However, when the team brought the #54 BMW into the pits for fuel on lap 65 it suffered transmission trouble as it exited the pits that sent it behind the wall for repairs. The Michael Baughman Racing #46 Firebird took second place honors in the GS II class, finishing one lap behind the Planet Earth Porsche. The Automatic Racing #09 BMW M3 passed its sister car, the #90 BMW, to take third place in GS II on the final lap of the race.

The second of the Grand-Am Cup Series Barber Park Twin 200s will get underway at Barber Motorsports Park at 8:15 a.m. Sunday morning. Tickets are currently on sale for the Rolex Series Barber 250 at The Park and second of the Barber Park Twin 200s and can be purchased at the gate or by calling 800-240-2300 or 205-327-RACE. Tickets are also available online at www.southtix.com.

Additional information on Barber Motorsports Park can be found online at www.barbermotorsports.com. For more information on the Grand-Am Cup Series, visit www.grandamerican.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Chris Hall , Wayne Nonnamaker , Joe Nonnamaker , Darren Law , Jean-Francois Dumoulin , Robert Julien , Michael Baughman
Teams Automatic Racing