SCCA PRO FAX - Volume 3, Number 19 - August 16, 1996
ROAD AMERICA NEXT: The Trans-Am Championship and four more SCCA Pro Racing series will be racing this weekend at Road America. For the Trans-Am Championship, the Saturday, Aug. 17 race is the 12th round of the 14-race 30th anniversary season and marks the third race in as many weeks. For the World Challenge, Road America is the first of two races in two weeks. The Player s/ Toyota Atlantic Championship is on the card as well, as Patrick Carpentier heads to Elkhart Lake a single point from clinching the Drivers Championship after winning the last five Atlantic contests.
The Barber Dodge Pro Series races at Road America too, and Swedish sensation Fredrik Larsson enters the race in winning form. He took the victory at Mid-Ohio last weekend, giving him his second-consecutive win and his fifth victory in the last six races. Larsson has a commanding 39-point lead in the Drivers Championship with four races to go. A field of 78 Dodge and Plymouth Neons is expected to take the green flag in the season-ending PPG Neon Challenge, as the top SCCA national competitors, PPG Pace Car Team drivers and celebrity drivers do battle at Elkhart Lake.
SCHROEDER VS. KENDALL: It looks that the 1996 Trans-Am Championship has come down to a battle between 1989 Trans-Am Champion Dorsey Schroeder and two-time (1990, 1995) and defending champion Tom Kendall. Schroeder, driver of the #12 Raybestos Ford Mustang Cobra, with 298 points, leads the Championship with three races to go. Schroeder has four victories to his credit, including last Saturday s Serengeti Eyewear Trans-Am Classic at Watkins Glen.
Kendall, pilot of the #11 All Sport Body Quencher Mustang Cobra, is in close pursuit with 287 points, but he has lost ground in the last two races, finishing eighth at Trois-Rivieres and second at Watkins Glen. Ford, thanks to a 1-2-3 sweep at Watkins Glen, has opened up a 87-to-82 advantage over Chevrolet in the Manufacturers Championship.
FELLOWS STILL FOCUSED: Ron Fellows, driver of the #3 Sunoco/AER Manufacturing Chevrolet Camaro, has set his sights on a new goal after a string of mechanical DNF s. The drivers title for me is pretty much out of reach, said Fellows. I m putting all my energy into getting those valuable points for Chevrolet. I m impressed with what Chevrolet has accomplished in this series in 30 years, and I m personally proud to have contributed to this record.
CANCER KIDS ARE THE BIG WINNERS: Officials from the Children s Grand Prix of Minnesota have turned over proceeds from the event totaling $200,000 to the Cancer KIDS Fund. The Children s Grand Prix was run as a benefit to support the Cancer KIDS fund, which is dedicated to helping children with cancer and other blood-related diseases. Grand Prix founders Mark and Claudia Cohn sought an opportunity to contribute to the Cancer KIDS Fund after one of their children was treated for cancer at the Children s Health Care facility. We felt that a successful, well-run annual event could provide more ongoing financial support and awareness for the Cancer KIDS Fund than we could simply do on our own, Mark Cohn said. The Children s Grand Prix is delighted to turn over this contribution to the Fund. We would like to see the amount continue to grow year after year and see the event generate funds well into the future. Trans-Am drivers Jim Derhaag, Jamie Galles and Eric van de Poele and World Challenge driver David Rosenblum donated a portion of their winnings to the fund as well.
HARRAH S TRIPLE CROWN WORTH $50,000: Dorsey Schroeder, in taking the victories at Phoenix and Watkins Glen, has won the first two jewels of the Harrah s Road to Reno Triple Crown award and is just one victory away from winning the impressive $50,000 jackpot. Schroeder will collect the $50,000 bonus if he wins the season-ending Reno Grand Prix at the Reno Hilton, Presented by Megabucks. If Schroeder fails to complete the sweep, a $7,500 cash prize will be awarded to the driver who scores the most Drivers Championship points in the three Triple Crown races.
McCALL ON AMERICAN EQUIPMENT RACING S FUTURE IN TRANS-AM: Despite losing Chevrolet backing after the 1996 Trans-Am season, American Equipment Racing team owner Buz McCall expects to be back in 1997. SCCA Trans-Am racing is the most competitive road-racing series in America today and it s quite natural that one of the top teams, i.e., American Equipment Racing, needs to be involved in that series, said McCall. Therefore, even though we will miss a certain level of technical support from GM Motorsports, it is our intention to go forward with our race program, paying particular attention to our corporate sponsorship needs in an effort to return to championship form in the SCCA Trans-Am series.
PRATT & MILLER ANNOUNCES 97 CHASSIS PROGRAM: Pratt & Miller Engineering & Fabrication has announced a revolutionary new approach to placing its latest race-winning TA97 chassis technology in the hands of SCCA Trans-Am competitors for the 1997 racing season. For the first time, Pratt & Miller will sell a frame and suspension kit, starting at $49,900, rather than just selling rolling chassis. Similar to the way NASCAR teams buy cars, the kit consists of a complete paneled, bracketed and painted frame configured for Camaro bodywork, plus suspension parts.
We are really excited about the frame and suspension kit, says Gary Pratt, long-time constructor of winning Trans-Am cars and co-owner of Pratt & Miller along with former Trans-Am competitor Jim Miller. This concept is targeted specifically towards getting more competitors into Trans-Am. There are lots of good SCCA racers out there ready to move up. These guys have lot of experience putting their own race cars together. With our new frame and suspension kit they re not paying for a resource that they can provide themselves, plus they re getting into the series with factory level technology and quality. Pratt & Miller s TA97 line-up also offers the customer, for the first time, the option of line item selection with respect to vehicle completion and components. Customers can select one of several standard configurations ranging from the frame and suspension kit on up to a complete rolling chassis, or specify a custom level of vehicle completion from a menu of parts and features. The TA97 Camaro rolling chassis is priced at $129,500. In addition to their TA97 cars, Pratt & Miller also has a TA97 front clip/front suspension conversion for older Trans-Am cars starting at $19,900. For more information on Pratt & Miller s TA97 line of cars for SCCA Trans-Am competition, contact Carl Seaberg at 810-344-9930.
SCHROEDER ON ROAD AMERICA: Dorsey Schroeder, in winning last Saturday s Serengeti Eyewear Trans-Am, is the only driver in 1996 Trans-Am competition to have completed every lap of the season s racing. Schroeder s win was his 17th in Trans-Am, coming in his 61st career start, and he ranks tied for fourth all-time (with Ron Fellows) in race victories. He had this to say about this weekend s race at Road America: We need to just keep our heads down going into the next race and keep up the momentum that we need to win the championship. This car has power and muscle on the straightaways and it should be really good at Elkhart. It s by far the best car I ve ever had.
KENDALL TO PARTICIPATE IN IROC CLOSER THIS WEEKEND: The final round of the True Value Firebird International Race of Champions (IROC) will be contested this Saturday at Michigan International Speedway. If all goes according to plan, Kendall will be flying to MIS immediately following Saturday s Trans-Am race to strap into his IROC racer for a tentative 5:30 p.m. (Eastern) start. The 20th anniversary season of IROC features one of the series tightest point battles in recent years, as 11 of the 12 drivers have a mathematical chance to claim the $225,000 titlists share of the $760,000 purse. IndyCar driver Robby Gordon leads with 42 points, but Kendall, with 32 points, still has a chance.
FOUR NEWCOMERS MAKING THEIR MARK: John Miller IV (#64 P.L.C. Direct Camaro), Bob Ruman (#23 Cenweld Corp. Camaro), Max Lagod (#83 HyperMax Engineering Camaro) and Dino Crescentini (#93 Autospecialty Camaro) continue to make their mark in the 1996 Trans-Am Championship. Miller, Ruman and Lagod have battled back and forth in the Trans-Am Rookie of the Year competition, with Miller currently leading the way with 106 points, followed by Ruman with 83 and Lagod with 81. In the Raybestos Rising Star of the Year competition, it s Lagod out front with 16 points, followed by Crescentini with 15.
TRANS-AM ATTENDANCE ON RECORD PACE: The Trans-Am Championship is well on its way to an attendance record, as the series topped the 1.0 million mark at Watkins Glen this past weekend. With three races remaining (Road America, Dallas and Reno), attendance is expected to near the 1.3 million mark. The 1995 attendance was 742,419.
GOODING MAINTAINS OPTIMA BATTERIES QUICK CHARGER AWARD LEAD: Jon Gooding (#16 Mountain Dew Mustang) remains the driver to beat for the Optima Batteries Quick Charger Award with just three races to go. Gooding has improved an impressive 37 positions on the season, including 16 positions in the Cleveland race. Dale Phelon (#66 Carlin Combustion Mustang), has improved 29 positions on the year and ranks second. R.J. Valentine (#7 Pennzoil Products Camaro), with 39 positions improved on the year, is in an outstanding position to win the award but he s yet to win a Optima Batteries Quick Charger of the Race award and is thus not eligible for consideration.
BARBER DODGE ADDS LAGUNA SECA: The Barber Dodge Pro Series has added a Sept. 7 race at Laguna Seca to its 1996 season, thus giving the championship 12 rounds. The race is being sponsored by Superior Performance Racing, which sells race gear from its retail outlet in San Jose, California. As an added bonus, the winner of the Laguna Seca round will be awarded an Indy Lights test day.
CELEBRITIES TO RACE AT RENO: Five television celebrities are among the entries for the Reno Grand Prix, as they will race for Team Norelco in the Barber Dodge Pro Series race. The celebrities, all veterans of the Neon Celebrity Racing program, include: Grant Show (Melrose Place), Perry King (Melrose Place), Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air), Sean Patrick Flanery (Young Indiana Jones) and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saved By the Bell).
SPEEDVISION NOW AVAILABLE TO C-BAND SATELLITE VIEWERS: The Speedvision Network is now available to the C-Band market of backyard dish owners and small cable systems. Speedvision will be carried on Satellite C-4, Transponder 11, unscrambled through the end of 1996. This will result in a clear signal to the C-Band universe of three million homes and allow small cable systems to preview the network for five months. Accessibility on the C-Band expands the network's subscriber base to five million households. Speedvision is currently carried by Cox Communications, Inc., Continental Cablevision, Comcast Corp., Marcus Cable, Scripps-Howard, and Daniels as well as nationally on DirecTV. "This move is especially significant, making Speedvision more accessible to our target audience," said F. Roger Williams, the network's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Individuals with C-Band backyard dishes are known to be avid vehicle enthusiasts. In fact, we've received an unprecedented amount of calls and correspondence from C-Band dish owners asking for our service since we initially announced plans for the network." This month, Speedvision offers viewers live and tape delayed action from Trans-Am stops in Trois Rivieres, Canada, Watkins Glen, N.Y. and Elkhart Lake, Wis., as well as IRL qualifying from Loudon, NH.
GALLES TO GALLES IN 1997: Jamie Galles has announced his plans to join his father s Galles Racing IndyCar team in a management position in 1997. It s a dream come true to have my son join Galles Racing, said team owner Rick Galles. Jamie Galles, now in his fourth season of Trans-Am competition, scored his first series win this year on the streets of Long Beach. My dad and I have been talking about the IndyCar team for several months and when he offered me this job I jumped at the opportunity, said Galles. I want to thank Buz (McCall), Glidden, ICI and Chevrolet for giving me the opportunity to compete in the Trans-Am series.