MOTOROLA CUP NOVICES TAKE WATKINS GLEN WIN
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Mark Ackley, in only his fourth Motorola Cup professional road race, and co-driver Todd Snyder, making his second start in the series, drove the T-F Racing/Zippo Motorsports Ford Mustang Cobra R to a close win in the three-hour Motorola Cup race at Watkins Glen International on Saturday.
Their win was a definite boost for the "home town" interests. Ackley lives only 20 minutes from the famed upstate New York circuit in Horseheads, N.Y., and Snyder is best known as a star of the Barber Dodge Pro Series, where he is sponsored by Zippo, a company long-associated with the race track. Their car, throughout the season, had been sponsored by the tracks Oktoberfest race weekend.
"For us to win here at Watkins Glen, is a great boost to the track, to Zippo, and to the whole T-F Racing team," said Ackley, "and it now has Ford tied with Pontiac for the Manufacturers Championship points lead."
Ackley and Snyder averaged 80.192 miles per hour for 241.4 miles, and won by: 00.289 sec. over Jeff McMillin, Erie, Pa., and Michael Culver, Fairfield, Conn., in the Bombardier Aerospace BMW M3.
Another New Yorker, 23-year old Andy Lally, of Northport L.I., drove the Team Spartanburg BMW Z3 Coupe to a win in the Sports class, sharing the ride with new co-driver Howie Liebengood, Vienna, Va. Lally is now tied for the class points lead with veteran Lance Stewart Jupiter, Fla.
Yet another New Yorker, Peter Schwartzott of Freeville, shared his fourth win of the season with co-driver Bob Endicott, San Pedro, Calif., driving Schwartzott's BBS Wheels Acura Integra R. "I haven't driven at Watkins Glen in four years, although I've been racing here since 1962, so it took me about a half-hour in practice to become re-acquainted with 'an old friend'," he smiled.
In the Compact class, Peter Tonelli, Northboro, Mass., and John Phillips III, Houston, Tex., drove owner Matt Whitaker's Mazda Miata to a slim : 12.73 sec. victory in their class. It was the second consecutive win for Whitaker's Houston-based team, in only their fourth Motorola Cup series start.
The next Motorola Cup race, the ninth of ten on the season, will be Oct 16 on Florida's famed Sebring International Raceway. Associate sponsors of the Motorola Cup series are Hoosier, Sunoco, Deringer, Sony, STP, Castrol and Speed Stick.
In addition to the race purses, $181,750 in contingency monies is posted at each Motorola Cup race from BMW, Audi, Honda/Acura, Mazda, Toyota, Ford, and General Motors, plus the Hoosier Pole Position program from Hoosier Tire.
UPCOMING RACES: SEBRING, FL 3 HOUR October 16 DAYTONA BEACH, FL 3 hour November 7