Press Notes 14 - 36 , Saturday 24 May, 1997 14. Good morning! Saturday's weather is partly cloudy and about 60 degrees...GREEN FLAG drops to open Exxon GTS-1, GTS-2 and GTS-3 practice session at 8:57AM with 29 cars on track (6 GTS-1, 6 GTS-2...
Press Notes 14 - 36 , Saturday
24 May, 1997
14. Good morning! Saturday's weather is partly cloudy and about 60 degrees...GREEN FLAG drops to open Exxon GTS-1, GTS-2 and GTS-3 practice session at 8:57AM with 29 cars on track (6 GTS-1, 6 GTS-2 and 17 GTS-3 cars)...Canadian Scott Maxwell, in a Ford Mustang, was the fastest in Friday's sessions...many teams practicing driver changes in preparation for Monday race...Bundy/Newman GTS-1 Ford Panoz GTR1 fastest car of session with 55.122 lap 100.57 mph, almost a full second under Friday's best time of 55.969 set by Scott Maxwell/Jason Priestly Ford Mustang (GTS-1)...Bill Auberlen/Boris Said second fastest in BMW M3 with time of 56.462 97.870 mph... checkered flag at 9:27 am.
15. ENTRY LIST CHANGES
EXXON SUPREME GT SERIES PRESENTED BY VIRGIN INTERACTIVE
CAR CLASS CHANGE
41 GTS-3 DELETE Mark Anderson
93 GTS-3 ADD Rob Wilson/Auckland, New Zealand
EXXON WORLD SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP
CAR CLASS CHANGE
33 WSC ADD Shane Lewis/Jupiter, Florida; DELETE John Mirro
16. 9:30AM... GREEN FLAG drops to open Exxon World SportsCar Championship practice session...9:36AM session stopped while tow truck retrieves car off track at Turn 3...session resumes at
9:39AM...cars in and out of pits for driver change practice...session ends at 10AM...Montermini/Hermann Ferrari 333SP fastest car of session with best lap of 49.258 112.55 mph, followed by Dyson/Weaver Ford R&S MK III with best lap of 49.615 111.74 mph...only 14 of 15 cars entered on track...Davin/Montgomery BMW Argo-P car didn't record time.
17. SCOTT MAXWELL (#27 GTS-1 Multimatic Ford Mustang) -- The track is a little rougher than we anticipated. The car was too stiff, so now we're softening it up to try to find the right setup. We're getting there. It should be a pretty good race. This track is short, a mile and a half, so 25-26 cars will really pack it. The competition will be tough with the Panoz -- which has to be the favorite -- the Camaro with (Stu) Hayner, and the Rohr Porsche with (Andy) Pilgrim.
18. JASON PRIESTLEY (#27 GTS-1 Multimatic Ford Mustang) -- The car's coming together real nice. We made a lot of changes last night after the last session, and the car's starting to handle a lot better. It took us a couple sessions to figure out what to do with the car, but it's handling real nice now. The GTS-1 car and the Speedvision Cup car (which Priestley co-drives with Andy Pilgrim)are pretty similar in your braking points and your turn-in points. The biggest difference is everything happens a lot faster in the GTS-1 car. You have so much more horsepower and you can go so much faster, everything comes up on you a whole lot quicker.
I'll probably start the race. How long we go just depends on how the yellows falls. You can make all kinds of plans, but as soon as the green flag falls, everything changes because of what happens on the track. Hopefully, we'll be up in the top three. Next weekend (at Watkins Glen) I'll be doing double duty again (he will join Andy Pilgrim in the Speedvision Cup race). I kind of like doing that. It makes the weekends go by a lot faster. You have a lot more racing to do. I've been having a good time running this car. The weekend at Road Atlanta where I drove both cars was a lot of fun. Andy and I got a lot to do in the
Speedvision Cup to stay where we are in the points, there's a lot of tough
competition. This (GTS-1) is a relatively new program, and I'm learning a lot from these guys. This is a pretty advanced outfit, and I'm having a good time. I'll be tired at the end of next weekend.
19. DOC BUNDY (#66 Ford Panoz GTR-1) -- We were second in both sessions yesterday, and quickest in this morning's session. Paul (Newman) spent most of the time in the car yesterday. He's doing great. This is his first race since Daytona (he won the Rolex 24 two years ago). It's amazing. He's quick. When we tested at Atlanta his biggest concern was his endurance, but I assured him it wouldn't be a problem here. He's very comfortable in the car now. He does a great job. He's smooth with the car, drives it well, and keeps lowering his lap time. We talk a lot, sharing information. He's in St. Louis today, seeing how Michael (Andretti, driving the Newman-Haas Indy car) is doing.
I raced here last year in the Lotus (World Challenge), and broke a half-shaft about halfway through the race. Our biggest concern now is a problem with the alternator. We're doing all our running on the battery -- and the battery won't last through the hour and 45 minute race. We're flying in someone from England to cure that problem, and we'll be OK. Jack Roush told us this is an endurance engine, and we'll be OK -- it's the same engine we used in LeMans pre-qualifying. Paul will do the morning warmup Monday and start the race. We'd like to see him stay in at least 45 minutes.
At the Glen it will be Andy Wallace and I, and I believe we'll add David Brabham. We're looking forward to it. That's the last test before LeMans, and all the Panoz teams are looking to see what we do at the Glen, it will give us a good indication. LeMans is the main focus of the Panoz program. Even here at Lime Rock, we're trying different pieces and gathering data for LeMans.
20. DEREK HILL (#6 BMW M3 GTS-3, also in the Barber Dodge Pro Series) -- Practice is going really, really well. We're finally getting down to a real comfortable setup on the car, and now we've got to get the car to go faster through these high-speed turns. We're going to add a little wing and go with a bigger Gurney lip for the next session.
Running both cars is not a problem. It only helps to take what you learn from one car and take it to the other. The cars look a lot different, but they're actually similar in many ways. The Barber Dodge still rolls a lot. It's not like an Indy Lights or Toyota Atlantic, where it's really stiff. So you get the same rolling feeling. The gearboxes are the same, and you're shifting in the same places. So going back and forth is not that difficult to do.
21. RAEL and BRIAN HORNKOHL will co-drive in the new #19 GTS-1 Chevy-Mosler Raptor. This is the first time for both of us in the new Raptor. It's also the first time for me at Lime Rock, so there's a lot of firsts. We expected to be here with a 6.9 litre engine with 600 horsepower, but we're running a GTS-2 engine, 6.3 litres and 475 horsepower. This is a new car, the Raptor, the first American road car with an all-carbon fibre body. It's also got a Corvette engine, so it's an all-American package. Mosler first built the Consulier, then the Intruder. The Raptor is much wider and lighter. The car is prepared by Team Mathews, which won the 24 Hours of Moroso.
22. STU HAYNER (#91 Rock Valley Oil Camaro) -- I think we're going to be real competitive. We're on pace. We won the first practice yesterday, and we tried some different things in the second session and were still only two-tenths off the fastest time. I think we're going to be fine. It looks like the Panoz is running pretty quick, but I think we will be able to match that. I'm really looking forward to Watkins Glen. I love Watkins Glen, I think it's a good track for us. It's a longer race, and it will give us a better advantage, because it seems the car stays together really good. Of course, we have the Porsches to contend with, and they always last, but I think we're going to do fine.
23. 1:01PM GREEN FLAG drops to start the final practice session for the Exxon World SportsCar Championship cars...#16 Ford R&S Mk III car of Dyson/Weaver showing smoke at back end, into pits, three minutes into session...only 13 cars on track -- Davin/Montgomery BMW Argo-P not out...#20 Leitzinger/Elliott-Forbes Robinson/Andy Wallace Ford R&S MK III not running, working on qualifying session setup...CHECKERED FLAG ends practice session at 1:25PM.
24. 1:28PM GREEN FLAG drops to start the final practice session for the Exxon Supreme GTS-1, GTS-2, GTS-3 cars...Priestly/Maxwell Ford Mustang (GTS-1) fastest car in first five minutes with lap of 56.035 98.938 mph...21 cars on the track at nine-minute mark...GTS-3 BMW M3 of Quiros/Hill getting quicker...was eighth in morning session, moves up to second at 13-minute mark of this session at 56.920 97.400 mph...Priestly/Maxwell into pits after fast lap...Porsche
911 TRB of Schumacher/OSteen fastest GTS-2 car at 58.868 94.177 mph, good enough for only 10th place...#56 Porsche 911 with Martin Snow at wheel goes off track, no damage, back on track...#93 Nissan 200SX of Taleb/Pace/Wilson made contact with BMW M3 of Auberlen/ Said at Turn 1 and goes off the track on the outside of Turn 1, back on but extensive damage to left front wheel area. BMW also spins, hits tire wall but no apparent damage...GTS-1 Chevrolet Camaro of Stu Hayner/Roger Schramm almost full second faster than second-place Mustang of Priestly/ Maxwell with best lap of 55.160 100.508 mph...CHECKERED FLAG ends session at 1:55 pm.
25. 4:50 pm GREEN FLAG drops to start qualifying session for Exxon World SportsCar Championship cars...Andy Wallace driving #20 Ford R&S MK III...James Weaver in #16 Ford R&S MK III...#16 car fastest at half-way mark of session...#30 Ferrari 333SP of Andrea Montermini spins after touching another car, comes to pits, damaged tire, crew changes tire ...Wayne Taylor in #1 Oldsmobile R&S MK III second fastest car...Montermini moves up into second place late in session, to take second place with time of :49.444 112.127 mph, on next lap moves within one/one hundreths of a second of Weaver...Montermini, last car on track before checkered flag but can't overtake Weaver's pole-setting time of :49.430 112.518 mph...Taylor third with 50.070 110.725 mph...Weaver holds track record of :48.423, set in qualifying last year...CHECKERED FLAG ends qualifying session at 5:10 pm. The #30 Ferrari 333SP driven by Andrea Montermini has been moved back to the fifth place on the grid because the crew changed a tire on the car during the qualifying session -- a violation of the 1997 SportsCar Code. The crew changed the tire after Montermini had an incident early in the session. His new place on the grid was determined by his fastest time set on the old tire. The #19 BMW Argo-P of Edd Davin has also been moved to the back of the grid for the same reason.
26. JAMES WEAVER (#20 Dyson R&S Ford MK III) -- We're delighted to be on pole because we didn't think we could do it. It was very, very tight, but we just made it. We came in, made a couple of chassis adjustments which got it right. We put a qualifying setup on it, now we'll go back to the race setup for Monday.
27. ANDREA MONTERMINI (#30 Moretti Ferrari 333SP) -- The pole seemed so easy to do after practice yesterday, but one slow driver -- maybe he didn't see me -- in the fastest corner, he touched me and he
put me out. I'm happy I didn't crash the car. I touched with my left front wing, and there was damage to the steering. I came back to the pits, they checked everything. We put back the car together and went out. But the car wasn't perfect then. I'm happy and my team is happy to be second because of what happened at the beginning of my third lap.
28. ANDY WALLACE (#16 Dyson R&S Ford MK III) -- It went alright, considering that I have never been to Lime Rock before -- I led a sheltered childhood. It's a great track, but it takes some learning. I got in a few laps yesterday, and I'm very happy with where we are.
29. ROB MORGAN (#43 Acxiom Ferrari 333SP) -- A few guys out there think it's a race. They're out there blocking you in qualifying. I wasted three or four laps trying to pass some guy who thought it was a race.
30. EDUARDO DIBOS (# 3 Ferrari 333SP) -- My ribs are really sore from this morning. I don't have a real good seat, and I got banged around the car in practice. I got in two hot laps, that's enough. It's better to be behind, watching the action in front. Now I'll go to New York City to get ready for Monday.
31. 5:18 pm, GREEN FLAG drops to start qualifying session for Exxon Supreme GTS-1 and GTS-2 cars...session is 15 minutes...Maxwell Mustang (GTS-1) and Stu Hayner (GTS-1) Chevrolet Camaro fighting for pole in early laps of session...Hayner moves into top spot on lap 5 with time of :54.058 102.557 mph...Doc Bundy driving the #66 Ford Panoz GTS-1, in third place at half-way point of session...Martin Snow in #56 Porsche 911...Larry Schumacher qualifying the Porsche 911 Turbo (GTS-2, #99)...Hayner and Maxwell both sit out last half of session, Hayner takes pole. Maxwell did fastest lap on 4th lap...Kelly Collins (#97), the fastest GTS-2 qualifier with time of :56.846 97.871 mph...CHECKERED FLAG ends session at 5:32 pm.
32. STU HAYNER (#91 Rock Valley Oil & Chemical Chevrolet Camaro) Fastest Qualifier in GTS-1 -- The pole is Hayner's second in a row and of the year, having set the pole at Road Atlanta last month. He has two previous pole positions, both driving a GTU-class (now GTS-3) Dodge Daytona in 1990: We were definitely pushing hard to get the pole, though we never did get the tires up to temperature. We kept doing changes to the car all weekend and each change seems to improve the car's performance. I just do the driving. There is a whole bunch of guys on the team doing all the hard work.
33. KELLY COLLINS (#97 Roock Racing Porsche 911 Turbo) Fastest Qualifier in GTS-2 -- We went out on sticker tires and it took quite a while to get up to speed. The crew radioed me to come to the pits and cool the tires, but I just turned the volume down and kept going cause I knew it was getting better. Then, I hit my head on the windshield when I hit a big bump going through turn 10 -- I thought I was going to lose it! That was the lap that got the pole.
34. 5:40 p.m., GREEN FLAG drops to start the 15-minute qualifying session for GTS-3 cars...Javier Quiros, in the BMW M3, takes the early lead in qualifying with time of 56.494 98.134 mph...Peter Halsmer driving #77 BMW M3...Derek Hill in #6 BMW M3...Halsmer moves into first place on lap 5 with time of :56.040 98.929...Henry Taleb, in Nissan 240SX, second fastest, just 21/100ths of a second back of Halsmer...15 GTS-3 cars on track for session...CHECKERED FLAG ends qualifying session at 5:51...Halsmer's time sets track record, breaking Bill Auberlen's mark of 56.137 98.758, set in 1995.
35. PETE HALSMER (#77 Mattco Racing/Alco Capital Group BMW M3) Fastest Qualifier in GTS-3. New track record -- We made a number of adjustments to the car, and it all came together for qualifying. It as nice to beat (Henry)Taleb after what happened last year (Halmser took an early lead but Taleb quickly ran him down for the victory), now we'll have to see what happens in the race.
36. This concludes today's SportsCar Press Notes. Good night!