Trois-Rivieres event preview

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec (July 24, 2000) -- Many of the top Grand American Road Racing Association teams will be thinking championship when they continue America's oldest street race, headlining Sunday's Player's Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. ...

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec (July 24, 2000) -- Many of the top Grand American Road Racing Association teams will be thinking championship when they continue America's oldest street race, headlining Sunday's Player's Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.

The Grand-Am competitors will tackle the demanding 1.521-mile downtown circuit, which has been hosting the Grand Prix since 1974.

Doran Lista Racing has enlisted Canadian standout Ross Bentley to co-drive with two-time winner Didier Theys in an effort to keep the team at the top of the SportsRacer Team Owner Points. Dyson Racing, in an effort to close the eight-point margin, has brought back Butch Leitzinger to co-drive with SportsRacer points leader James Weaver. The Weaver-Leitzinger combination romped at the tight circuit in Lime Rock, Conn., one of three triumphs for Weaver this season.

"Our last street race together was at Minneapolis, and James and I won," Leitzinger recalled. "Before that, we raced in the streets of New Orleans, and James and I finished one-two.

"I think we'll be really well set up for the race," Leitzinger continued. "The Riley & Scott chassis is excellent for street courses. It's very well suited for absorbing the bumps you encounter on temporary circuits."

Two other teams are within striking distance of the TOP SportsRacer points lead, with Risi Competizione only 11 points out of the lead and two points ahead of fourth place Robinson Racing. Risi, coming off a runnerup showing at Road America, will reunite Ralf Kelleners with Mimmo Schiattarella in their Ferrari 333SP. Robinson Racing will have two-time 2000 winner Jack Baldwin sharing the Informix Riley & Scott Judd with car owner George Robinson.

At least three other teams will be in the hunt for the overall victory in the Grand-Am's lone street race of its inaugural season. Owner/driver Rob Dyson joins veterans Elliott Forbes-Robinson and John Paul Jr. in the team's second Riley & Scott Ford. A pair of the new impressive Lola B2K10s are entered, a Ford-powered entry for Scott Schubot of Creighton Motorsports and a Judd-powered car for InterSport's Jon Field. Both teams are expected to nominate top-flight co-drivers.

Archangel Motorsports will be looking for its sixth SportsRacer Lights victory for series' co-leaders Larry Oberto and Ryan Hampton, with challenges coming from the Nissan Lola of Andy Lally and Paul Macey, and the Mazda Kudzu of Dennis Spencer and Rich Grupp.

GTO co-leaders Terry Borcheller and Ron Johnson are seeking their fifth victory in a Saleen SR, challenged by the G&W Porsche of Steve and Danny Marshall, and the new Broadfoot Corvette of Mark Montgomery.

Mike Fitzgerald and Darren Law lead the GTU competition in a G&W Porsche, seeking their fourth straight triumph and fifth of the year. Their main competition is the Genesis BMW M-3 of two-time winners Rick Fairbanks and Bill Auberlen, the Racer's Group Porsche of Kevin Buckler and Philip Collin, and the second G&W Porsche of John Morton and Michael Schrom. The Trois-Rivieres round will feature three Porsches with Canadian lineups, with Stephan Roye and John Francois Dumoulin in the second Racer's Group entry; Fernand LeBlanc and Renald Hamelin in the RPM entry; and Robert Juhien and Stephane Veilleux in the Porsche Haus Racing 993.

Points leader Andy McNeil in the Comer Racing Camaro leads the American GT field. Top AGT challengers include the Spirit of Daytona Camaro of four-time winners Craig Conway and Doug Goad, the Dura "The Fitted Garage" Camaro of points runner-up Doug Mills and Jerry Thompson, and the Orion Motorsports Team Chicago Ford Mustang of Paul Jenkins and Bruce Nesbitt.

Practice for the Player's Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, with qualifying set for Saturday at 1:45 p.m. The weekend also includes Toyota Atlantic, U.S. F2000 National Championship and Formula Ford races.

The inaugural Grand-Am campaign will conclude with the Bosch Sports Car Summerfest August 25-27, the traditional six-hour race at Watkins Glen International in the New York Finger Lakes.

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers James Weaver , Ralf Kelleners , Didier Theys , Bill Auberlen , Rob Dyson , Jon Field , Elliott Forbes-Robinson , Kevin Buckler , Doug Goad , Andy Lally , Craig Conway , Jack Baldwin , Terry Borcheller , Darren Law , George Robinson , Stéphane Veilleux , Ryan Hampton , Ross Bentley , John Morton , Dennis Spencer , Larry Oberto , Doug Mills , Paul Jenkins , John Paul , Mark Montgomery , Paul Mace , Stéphan Roy , Rich Grupp , Ron Johnson
Teams Risi Competizione , Dyson Racing