TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec (Sunday, August 5, 2001) - Englishman James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger, of State College, Pa., beat out Dyson Racing teammates Dorsey Schroeder, of Osage Beach, Mo., and Elliott Forbes-Robinson, of Sherrill's Ford, N.C., to...
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec (Sunday, August 5, 2001) - Englishman James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger, of State College, Pa., beat out Dyson Racing teammates Dorsey Schroeder, of Osage Beach, Mo., and Elliott Forbes-Robinson, of Sherrill's Ford, N.C., to earn the SportsRacing Prototype and overall wins in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Prototype/GTS race today at Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.
It was the third win of the season for the #16 Norcold/Thetford/Goodyear-sponsored Ford-powered Riley & Scott, that led for most of the race after fighting its way past a determined Schroeder in the first half.
"Dorsey, no longer driving with Champion, came here to prove how quick he is," explained Weaver, who currently leads the SRP driver championship points race. "It's great that he's on our team, but on the other hand we don't need our championship getting messed up. In the pits they know the rule - it's everyone for themselves - so they are not going to change strategy."
EFR brought the #20 Dyson car home in second place at the end, but it is the #16 car that is carrying the team's championship hopes. This weekend's win followed a disastrous race for Weaver and Leitzinger at Road America last month, when their car broke down after just a few laps.
"It's good that we finally won again. It's aggravating breaking down. It's good to be back," remarked Weaver.
Stephane Veilleux, of Montreal, and Jean Francois Dumouline, of Trois-Rivieres, teamed to earn the SportsRacing Prototype II class victory in the #88 Dicom Express Porschehaus Racing Nissan Lola. The hometown team was handed the victory when Scott Maxwell, of Toronto, who had been driving solo and had a full lap lead in his #25 Quikblade/Mutlimatic/Venture Steel Nissan Lola, ran out of gas as it was trying to make it around to the pits for a splash-and-dash.
" I am really happy that Porschehaus let me drive in place of Peter Overing, who is having back problems," hometown-hero Domouline said. "This was my seventh race here, and I got my first podium finish this morning in the Grand-Am Cup race with Team Lexus. And this is my first win here. It feels like a relief."
Chris Bingham, of Kirkland, Wash., and Ron Johnson, of Laguna Beach, Calif., drove their #5 BASF/HCI/Yokohama/Park Place Ltd.-sponsored Fordahl Motorsports/Park Place Racing Saleen S7R to their sixth win in eight races in the GTS class.
"I was really looking forward to running against Darren (Law in the #07 Porsche GT2) in the second stint, because he showed yesterday that car can really be quick," said Johnson after the G&W Motorsports' GTS entry retired due to mechanical problems. "It ended up being to our advantage, since we were having problems, but it was still disappointing. The throttle stuck pretty bad my whole stint. The car was shifting really badly because of it."
Ross Bentley, of White Rock, B.C., teamed with Didier Theys, of Phoenix, in the LISTA/Yokohama-sponsored #27 Lista Doran Racing Judd Ferrari to take home third place in the SRP class and overall. While the Ferrari never challenged for the lead, they did have a race with the #74 Robinson Racing Judd Riley & Scott driven by Jack Baldwin, of Marietta, Ga., and team owner George Robinson, of Houston for the final podium spot.
One of the Dyson team's primary foes, the Banana Joe's Judd-powered Lola of Intersport Racing, put a quick end to its hopes when starting driver Jon Field, of Dublin, Ohio, coasted to a stop just as the green flag waved to start the race. Sidelined by a broken drive shaft, the car was brought out later in the race so Field and co-driver Oliver Gavin, of England, could put in a few laps and preserve any slim chance they have remaining to stay in the team and driver's championship chase.
"Normally you take pleasure in others' problems, and there might have been a little bit of that here. I am normally in the car with Oliver Gavin, and we have had some great races this season. It took a bit out of the race to have them go out so early," said Leitzinger of his rival's early exit. "It's disappointing."
The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series moves to Watkins Glen International next weekend as it heads off a weekend of racing that also includes the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.