SCC: VIR: Race notes

TPC Racing Edges Powell Motorsports for 3 Hours of VIR Victory ALTON, Va. (October 4, 2003) -- Although it was billed as a three-hour Grand-Am Cup Series endurance race, it came down to an 11-minute sprint race to the checkered in the 3 Hours of...

TPC Racing Edges Powell Motorsports for 3 Hours of VIR Victory

ALTON, Va. (October 4, 2003) -- Although it was billed as a three-hour Grand-Am Cup Series endurance race, it came down to an 11-minute sprint race to the checkered in the 3 Hours of VIR at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday evening. A late race caution, brought out shortly after the leading Doncaster Racing No. 119 Porsche hit oil and spun into the tire wall, set up a shootout between the Powell Motorsports No. 11 Corvette and the TPC Racing No. 18 Porsche for the win.

Doug Goad in the No. 11 Corvette and Randy Pobst in the No. 18 Porsche ran nose-to-tail and side-by-side until Pobst was able to edge the Porsche past Goad to take the lead with only two laps remaining. Goad, who used up most of his tires battling for the lead with the No. 119 Porsche earlier in the race, had little left in the Corvette and finished 3.599 seconds behind the winning No. 18 Porsche.

Although the points-leading No. 119 Porsche sustained some suspension damage and lost its wing during its slide into the tire wall, driver Jean-Francois Dumoulin was able to bring the car into the pits for fresh tires and quick adjustments before returning to the track in a battle for third-place overall. Dumoulin caught up to the third-place Glenn Yee Motorsports No. 64 Porsche, and the two battled nonstop for the final place on the podium for the last 11 minutes of the race. But it was Hugh Plumb in the No. 64 Porsche edging out Dumoulin at the checkered flag by only 0.152 seconds.

In post-race technical inspections, the No. 64 Porsche was found to be 41 pounds too light and will have its prize money and points penalized, however Grand American officials stated that the race results would stand.

Planet Earth Motorsports reclaimed the points lead in the Grand Sport II class with its class win on Saturday. The father-son duo of Joe and Wayne Nonnamaker got lucky when a full course caution split the No. 41 Porsche 911 from the remainder for the GS II field, giving it a one-lap lead in the class that it held for the remainder of the race.

The Schuitemaker Motorsports No. 35 Nissan 350Z of Michiel Schuitemaker and BJ Zacharias took second-place in the GS II class, while locally based G&W Motorsports finished third with Darren Law and Vinnie Faraci in the No. 01 Porsche.

Duane Neyer Motorsports picked up its second-straight Sport Touring I victory, this time with the No. 83 BMW Z3 of Mark Plummer and Guy Cosmos. Cosmos was able to pilot the No. 83 BMW into the lead when the class-leading TC Kline Racing No. 92 BMW Z4 lost its engine, leaving oil on the track that caused the No. 119 Porsche to spin.

TC Kline Racing's other entry, the No. 12 BMW Z4 of Steve Pfeffer and Don Salama, finished second in ST I. The Honda of America Racing Team (HART) No. 69 Acura RSX-S of John Schmitt and Michael Galati took third-place honors, securing the ST I driver points lead solely for Schmitt.

Bill Fenton Motorsports grabbed a one-two finish in the Sport Touring II class and clinched the team owner championship, as well as the driver champion for Bob Beede. Eric Curran and Beede won the ST I class in the team's No. 27 Acura Integra LS, while team owner Bill Fenton and Howard Liebengood Sr. took second place in the No. 29 Acura. The Nuzzo Motorsports No. 98 Mazda Miata finished third in the ST II class.

The Grand-Am Cup Series will wrap up the season in Daytona at the Grand American Champions Weekend presented by Brumos Porsche, October 30 - November 1. For ticket information, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

The 3 Hours of VIR will be broadcast on SPEED Channel on Saturday, October 11 at 1 p.m. ET.

Post-Race Driver Quotes

RANDY POBST, TPC Racing No. 18 Porsche GT3 Cup - Overall Winner
"After the last yellow, the Team Turbo Performance Porsche was a faster car. The clouds came out, the track temp cooled and the tires cooled off. All of a sudden, the handling really came back to us. We were quicker on handling. The Corvette had us on the straight, but we were just too much for him in the braking and the cornering. I thought I'd have a shot at him, and the door was open on the second to the last lap, and I just dove in there. We also got side-by-side at the end of the straight up in 14, and I out-braked him around the outside and didn't quite make it. He hung around me on the outside of the next corner, we were side by side -- never touched. We had a very drama-filled race. We ran out of gas at the end of the first stint. It was supposed to switch to reserve, but for some reason it didn't -- the car just died. We thought it was over. But Michael Levitas got it running again and brought it in. We did not go down a lap. A couple yellows, and we were back in it. On that long run, we were slower than the Corvette and J.F. Dumoulin. I couldn't run with them. Then when we cooled off, it was a whole new ballgame."

MICHAEL LEVITAS, TPC Racing No. 18 Porsche GT3 Cup - Overall Winner
"I'm not sure where we are in the points now, but I'm sure we'll come up a few points. This really puts us in a solid position in the points."

DOUG GOAD, Powell Motorsports No. 11 Corvette - Second-Place Overall
"I had to do a lot of racing today, and that was good. I think we probably had to use the car a bit too hard racing against the 119. When Randy came up, it was as if his car was brand new. He had real good power coming off Oak Tree Corner, coming off that straightaway. He flat outran us down that straightaway, which surprised the heck out of me. We drove a good race, and did everything we could. Too bad, we worked really hard to win. It would have been nice if that yellow hadn't come out. We haven't gotten a yellow all year when we needed it. On the last restart, I was under the impression Randy was way back, but I looked in my mirror and he was right there. That shocked the heck out of me. Too bad. I'm not sure we had a whole lot left. The car was running flat. It was over-steering too much at the end, the track didn't quite cool off enough for us. "

WAYNE NONNAMAKER, Planet Earth Motorsports No. 41 Porsche - GS II Winner
"I didn't do anything out there, hardly. My dad drove an amazing race, probably the best race he's ever driven. He gave me the lead, and I kept it. Sylvain Tremblay and SpeedSource did a great job getting us to this point."

JOE NONNAMAKER, Planet Earth Motorsports No. 41 Porsche - GS II Winner
"This probably is (the best race I've driven). I even got to lead. Wayne told me as I was getting out of the car that this was the best win of my career, and he's been keeping track of it. It doesn't getting much better than this -- winning the race, winning with my son, and leading the championship. I think we might also be leading the manufacturer's championship."

GUY COSMO, Duane Neyer Motorsports No. 83 BMW Z3 - ST I Winner
"We were catching Bill Auberlen a little bit. Unfortunately for him and his team, they had some trouble with the engine, and that was that. I had some hustling to do to get up for second, and I was enjoying every minute of it. This is my second Grand-Am Cup win in two starts -- I won at Mont-Tremblant in the team's sister car. It was also the first win for my teammate, Mark Plummer."

ERIC CURRAN, Bill Fenton Motorsports No. 27 Acura Integra LS - ST II Winner
"Bob handed over the car in second place, and it was great. We continued with consistent laps, and stayed on top of it. I saw the 48 (Ed Magner) pull off, and from there on, I was just along for the ride."

HUGH PLUMB, Glenn Yee Motorsport No. 64 Porsche GT3 Cup - Third-Place Overall
"I tried to run consistent times. Our tires went off a little quicker than we expected. But under the yellow, they cooled off. We were lucky that we didn't have to come in for a splash of gas. I was able to keep the 119 behind me, and that was a fete in itself. This was the first podium for Glenn Yee Motorsports, in only their third professional start."

-garra-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Guy Cosmo , Randy Pobst , Bob Beede , Doug Goad , Darren Law , Michael Galati , Sylvain Tremblay , Eric Curran , Steve Pfeffer , Michael Levitas , John Schmitt , Hugh Plumb , Michiel Schuitemaker , BJ Zacharias , Bill Fenton , Mark Plummer , Vinnie Faraci
Teams HART , SpeedSource