Empringham Leads Grand-Am Cup Series Back Across the Border to Trois-Rivieres DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 3, 2005) -- Grand-Am Cup Series Grand Sport (GS) points leader David Empringham returns to familiar territory this weekend as he...
Empringham Leads Grand-Am Cup Series Back Across the Border to Trois-Rivieres
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 3, 2005) -- Grand-Am Cup Series Grand Sport (GS) points leader David Empringham returns to familiar territory this weekend as he looks to extend his lead in Sunday's Trois-Rivieres Grand Sport 150, the featured event of the annual Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in the racing-hungry Quebec city.
Empringham--a Toronto native who shares the No. 05 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT with fellow Torontonian Scott Maxwell--currently leads Maxwell and No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 driver Justin Marks by 35 points (207-172) as the series makes its way to Empringham's home country for the final time in 2005. Empringham has had past success at the challenging circuit on Trois-Rivieres' city streets, as he claimed back-to-back victories in Toyota Atlantic competition in 1994 and 1995.
This year, Empringham scored a Grand-Am Cup victory with Maxwell at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and already has a Canadian win with a triumph in June's Mosport 200 co-driving with Gunnar Jeannette. He has finished inside the top three in each of his past four Grand-Am Cup Series starts, and will need to use his past experience to his advantage if he is to win this weekend against a field of tough competitors.
One needs look no further than Marks and his No. 96 BMW co-driver Bill Auberlen when searching for driver pairings with the potential to keep Empringham and Maxwell out of victory circle. Marks has qualified on the pole position four times thus far, and he and Auberlen combined for victories in March's Miller Grand-Am Cup 200 in the Dominican Republic and the Chemung Canal Trust 200 at Watkins Glen in June. A victory for the No. 96 team coupled with a bad outing for Empringham and Maxwell would also tighten up the points race considerably.
While Marks and Auberlen have been the only winners thus far in 2005 to use the BMW M3, there are a host of other competitors using the German rocket ship that have been plenty fast and are hungry to break through with a victory. Boris Said and Anders Hainer, who narrowly missed a victory at Mosport in their No. 99 Anchor Racing BMW M3 immediately come to mind, as do No. 7 Power Racing Team M3 co-drivers Mike Keravich III and Owen Trinkler, the No. 09 Automatic Racing duo of Jep Thornton and David Russell, the No. 16 Zoom Motorsports BMW M3 pairing of Canadians Alan Wortzman and Kenny Wilden, the No. 60 Finlay Motorsports combination of Rob Finlay and Michael McDowell, No. 90 Automatic Racing teammates David Riddle and Kris Wilson, the No. 92 Anchor Racing BMW M3 pairing of John Munson and James Sofronas and the No. 93 Anchor Racing combination of Rick Skelton and Joe Foster.
Empringham, Maxwell and Jeannette aren't the only drivers to have won races this season in Ford's brand-new Mustang GT. Tom Nastasi and Ian James opened the 2005 season with a victory in their No. 5 Blackforest Motorsports Mustang at Daytona, and would love to taste the victory champagne again this weekend. Likewise, Jeannette will be looking for a second-straight Canadian victory of his own this weekend as he reunites with James Gue--with whom he also won at California Speedway in April--in the No. 55 Multimatic Motorsports Mustang. The previous-generation Mustang will also have a strong presence with talented co-drivers Romeo Kapudija and Adam Pecorari sharing the No. 58 SpeedQuest/Rehagen Racing Mustang Cobra SVT.
The Nissan 350Z has also been known to visit victory lane in the Grand-Am Cup Series, including last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park when David Murry and Blake Rosser took the win in the team's No. 13 machine after Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson were disqualified for using an illegal engine in their No. 69 Krohn Racing/TRG Porsche 996. Murry and Rosser will be looking to make it two-in-a-row this weekend in Trois-Rivieres, while Steve Gorriaran and Peter MacLeod will be looking for a breakthrough win in the No. 84 DWW/GorillaRacing.com Nissan 350Z.
One car sure to attract a lot of attention will be the No. 89 LNS Motorsports/Knobel Racing Porsche 996 that will be shared by Trois-Rivieres' own Jean-Francois Dumoulin and his brother, Loius-Philippe Dumoulin. The Dumoulin brothers are part of a strong contingent of Porsche drivers that also includes Krohn and Jonsson, as well as Canadians Mike McCalmont and Darren Law in the No. 6 Zoom Motorsports/Brumos Porsche 996, Toronto-area natives Dave Lacey and Greg Wilkins in the No. 17 Doncaster Racing 996, Michael Ellis and Michael Bavaro in the No. 21 Bodymotion Racing Porsche 997, the No. 28 Race Prep Motorsports Porsche 996 of Spencer Pumpelly, Tim Gaffney and Mike Pickett, the four-car Porsche entry of Team Sahlen with drivers Joe, Will and Wayne Nonnamaker and Joe Sahlen, and Frank Rossi and Barry Ellis in the No. 88 Knobel Racing Porsche 996.
The Canadian fans will also be rooting for the two-car Powell Motorsport team based in Port Perry, Ontario. Co-driving the team's No. 07 Cadillac CTS-V will be Canadian drivers Normand Guindon and Marc-Antoine Camirand, while Devon Powell will share the No. 11 Cadillac CTS-V with American Don Knowles.
While the Grand Sport race will be Sunday's featured event, the Grand-Am Cup Series Sport Touring (ST) class will have the spotlight to itself on Saturday in a stand-alone 150-miler in Trois-Rivieres. When looking for ST favorites, one must not overlook the powerful pairing of David Haskell and Sylvain Tremblay in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8.
Haskell currently leads the ST driver standings by two points over Tremblay, 167-165, but the duo--which shared the ST driver's championship last year--has three class victories in six starts this season. Haskell and Tremblay took class honors at California Speedway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in April, as well as last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. Last weekend's victory moved Tremblay into a tie with Wayne Nonnamaker for most career class victories in Grand-Am Cup competition, and the Quebec native looks to break the tie this weekend in front of his countrymen.
Haskell and Tremblay will have their hands full with the potent Chevrolet Cobalts of Jamie Holtom and Andy Lally (No. 00 Georgian Bay Motorsports), Jim Holtom and Ed Magner (No. 01 Georgian Bay Motorsports), and the No. 32 Franklin American Mortgage Cobalt of Bo Roach and Tom Lepper. Jim Holtom and Lally combined to take the ST class victory at Watkins Glen in June, and Jim Holtom took his second-straight ST victory one week later alongside his son, Jamie, in the Mosport 200 near their hometown of Carp, Ontario.
Others to watch in the ST class include the two-car attack from Bill Fenton Motorsports, with Eric Curran and Bob Endicott sharing the team's No. 27 Acura RSX-S and Bill Fenton and Bob Beede in the team's No. 29 Acura RSX-S, as well as the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i combination of Will Turner and Don Salama.
The Grand-Am Cup Series weekend schedule gets underway on Friday, August 5 with a 40-minute practice session for the ST machines beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET, followed by GS practice from 10:20 to 11:00 a.m. The ST machines will return to the circuit for a second practice session from 2:40 to 3:20 p.m., with a second GS practice from 3:30 to 4:10 p.m. to close out the day.
On Saturday, August 6, the ST machines will take to the track for a 20-minute qualifying session beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET, followed by GS qualifying from 9:30 to 9:50 a.m. Saturday's schedule concludes with Round 7 of the 10-race Grand-Am Cup ST championship, the Trois-Rivieres Sport Touring 150, beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET. The race's scheduled distance will be 150 miles (99 laps) and is subject to a two-hour time limit.
Sunday's Round 8 of the 11-race 2005 Grand-Am Cup Series GS championship, the Trois-Rivieres Grand Sport 150, takes the green flag at 3:00 p.m. The race will also be 150 miles (99 laps) and is also subject to a two-hour time limit. Live coverage from throughout the weekend will be available on the official web site of the Grand American Road Racing Association, www.grandamerican.com.
WHO: Grand American Grand-Am Cup Series
WHAT: Grand-Am Cup Series Trois-Rivieres Twin 150s
WHERE: Le Circuit Trois-Rivieres; Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada (1.506-mile, 10-turn street course)
WHEN: Friday-Sunday, August 5-7
Grand-Am Cup Trois Rivieres Grand Sport 150 (Round 8 of 11)
Sunday, August 7, 3 p.m. ET
Grand-Am Cup Trois Rivieres Sport Touring 150 (Round 7 of 10)
Saturday, August 6, 2 p.m. ET
LENGTH: 150-miles/99-laps/2 hour time limit
<pre> WEEKEND EVENT SCHEDULE
Friday, August 5 7:30 a.m.-8:00 a.m. Practice GT/GTO/GTU 8:10 a.m.-8:40 a.m. Practice Toyota Echo 8:50 a.m.-9:20 a.m. Practice Formula 1600 9:30 a.m.-10:10 a.m. Practice Grand-Am Cup ST 10:20 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Practice Grand-Am Cup GS 11:10 a.m.-11:40 a.m. Practice Star Mazda 11:50 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Practice Quebec Touring 1:20 p.m.-1:50 p.m. Practice Honda Challenge 2:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Practice Invitational Formula Atlantic 2:40 p.m.-3:20 p.m. Practice Grand-Am Cup ST 3:30 p.m.-4:10 p.m. Practice Grand-Am Cup GS 4:20 p.m.-4:50 p.m. Practice Star Mazda 5:00 p.m.-5:20 p.m. Qualifying GT/GTO/GTU
Saturday, August 6 7:30 a.m.-7:50 a.m. Qualifying Toyota Echo 8:00 a.m.-8:20 a.m. Qualifying Quebec Touring 8:30 a.m.-8:50 a.m. Qualifying Formula 1600 9:00 a.m.-9:20 a.m. Qualifying Grand-Am Cup ST 9:30 a.m.-9:50 a.m. Qualifying Grand-Am Cup GS 10:00 a.m.-10:20 a.m. Qualifying Invitational Formula Atlantic 10:30 a.m.-10:50 a.m. Qualifying Honda Challenge 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Qualifying Star Mazda 11:55 a.m. Race Toyota Echo (20-laps/30-min.) 2:00 p.m. START Grand-Am Cup ST race (150-miles/99-laps/ 2-hour time limit) 4:20 p.m. Race GT/GTO/GTU (40-min.)
Sunday, August 7 8:00 a.m.-8:15 a.m. Warm up Star Mazda 8:30 a.m. Race Honda Challenge (20-laps/30-min.) 9:25 a.m. Race Quebec Touring (20-laps/30-min.) 10:20 a.m. Race Formula 1600 (25-laps/35-min.) 11:20 a.m. Race Formula Atlantic Special (25-laps/35-min.) 1:10 p.m. Race Star Mazda 3:00 p.m. START Grand-Am Cup GS race (150-miles/99-laps/2-hour time limit)
*All Times Subject To Change
TICKET INFORMATION For ticket sales, call 1-866-416-9797 or buy online at www.gp3r.com.
EVENT WEBSITES Live Timing & Scoring is available for all practice and qualifying sessions and races at www.grandamerican.com. Information about Le Circuit Trois-Rivieres can be found at www.gp3r.com.