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Laguna Seca Fitzgerald wins third straight in GT

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MONTEREY, Calif.– Mike Fitzgerald, of Phoenix, Ariz., became only the ninth driver in Speedvision World Challenge history to win three-straight races, taking the Speedvision GT win at the Laguna Seca Raceway GlobalCenter Sports Car ...

MONTEREY, Calif.– Mike Fitzgerald, of Phoenix, Ariz., became only the ninth driver in Speedvision World Challenge history to win three-straight races, taking the Speedvision GT win at the Laguna Seca Raceway GlobalCenter Sports Car Championships. Terry Borcheller, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Bill Cooper, of Bozeman, Mt., completed the top-three. Driving the No. 38 Westward Ho Hotels Las Vegas/MPIE Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Fitzgerald started on the pole and moved around second-fast qualifier Michael Galati in turn three. From there, he cruised to a 4.204-second victory, averaging 75.890 mph for the 58.188-mile race. "This is a good track for Porsches; it always has been," said Fitzgerald. "The four-wheel-drive Audi is good on the start. I expected him to get in front of me, but I think he had a problem in turn three. I just stuffed it underneath him and got through. It's great to win three-straight, but [Las] Vegas is next, and that'll be a tough one." Borcheller started third in the No. 52 AASCO Saleen SR, but fell back to seventh at the start. The 1998 Champion worked his way back up to second by lap nine, where he tried to chase Fitzgerald down in the late stages of the race. "I closed on Mike at one point, but he was able to get by a slower car just before we got to a local yellow flag from when the BMW hit the wall," said Borcheller. "I got held up because the car was slow, and was right back to where I started. "I'm pretty fortunate to finish second," he added. "My ignition box came loose in the car and I could see it slide forward on the floor every time I hit the brakes. My windshield wiper was also flying up every time I'd get to 100 mph. It was interesting. The wiper would go up, then I'd turn the wheel, hit the brakes and watch the ignition box slide forward and the wiper go back down." Cooper's third place finish was his first good result since a second place at Ste. Croix, three races past. The No. 01 Les Stanford/Pirate Racing Chevrolet Corvette C5 started seventh, and his run to third was not problem free. "We had a miss from about the fifth lap on," said Cooper. "I couldn't run with [Fitzgerald and Borcheller], but we hung in there and got the points. After being in the points lead and getting knocked out twice this year, it's been frustrating. We're not giving up, though." Cooper moved into third in the point standings with his finish, with 144. Jeff McMillin's ninth place finish allowed him to pull away from Bobby Archer, who finished 12th. The two lead the standings with 171 and 162 points, respectively. Justin Jackson, of Alpharetta, Ga., finished fourth, and moved into fourth in points, the top rookie, with 143. Frank Allers, of Coquitlam, B.C., Canada, had a career-best finish of fifth. Following Jackson in points is Galati, who finished 14th, with 133 points, followed by Peter Cunningham, who retired with accident damage on the first lap, with 124. G.J. Mennen, of Austin, Texas, earned the Borla Performance Award for his drive from 23rd to 11th.

MONTEREY, Calif.–Results from Sunday's 26-lap, 58.188-mile Speedvision World Challenge GT Round Eight race at Laguna Seca Raceway with finishing position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car, laps complete and reason out, if any.

<pre> 1. (1), Mike Fitzgerald(R), Phoenix, Ariz., Porsche GT3 Cup, 26. 2. (3), Terry Borcheller, Phoenix, Ariz., Saleen SR, 26. 3. (7), Bill Cooper, Bozeman, Mont., Corvette C5, 26. 4. (12), Justin Jackson(R), Alpharetta, Ga., Porsche 993 RSR, 26. 5. (4), Frank Allers(R), Coquitlam, British Columbia, Corvette C5, 26. 6. (6), Derek Bell, Pagham Sussex, England, Audi S4 Comp., 26. 7. (9), Reese Cox, Marietta, Ga., Corvette C5, 26. 8. (16), Eric Curren(R), South Deerfield, Mass., Corvette C5, 26. 9. (8), Jeff McMillin, Erie, Pa., BMW M3, 26. 10. (17), Jimmy Adams(R), Suffolk, Va., Dodge Viper GTS, 26. 11. (23), G.J. Mennen(R), Austin, Texas, Corvette C5, 26. 12. (18), Bobby Archer, Ft. Worth, Texas, Dodge Viper GTS, 26. 13. (11), John Heinricy, Holly, Mich., Corvette C5, 26. 14. (2), Michael Galati, North Olmstead, Ohio, Audi S4 Comp., 26. 15. (19), Bob Miller(R), Oakton, Va., Porsche 911 GT3, 26. 16. (20), Phil McClure, Floris, Iowa, Corvette, 26. 17. (31), Danny Kellermeyer(R), Ortonville, Mich., Corvette C5, 26. 18. (27), J. Bob Taylor, Parker, Colo., Corvette C5, 26. 19. (36), Walter Swick, Concord, Ohio, BMW M3, 26. 20. (22), Paul Brown, Omaha, Neb., Saleen SR, 26. 21. (45), Ryan Negri(R), Beverly Hills, Calif., Porsche S-Cup, 25. 22. (29), Rick Knoop(R), Portola Valley, Calif., Corvette C5, 25. 23. (25), Joe Varde, Charlotte, N.C., Dodge Viper GTS, 25. 24. (26), Nigel Burns(R), Palo Alto, Calif., BMW M3, 25. 25. (32), Rael(R), Valcourt, Quebec, Porsche 911 GT3, 25. 26. (39), Mark J. Dixon, Longmont, Colo., PontiacFirebird, 25. 27. (35), Tom Edwards(R), Paradise Valley, Ariz., Dodge Viper GTS, 25. 28. (33), Steve Carvajal(R), Anthony, N.M., Saleen Mustang, 25. 29. (38), Derek Clark(R), Carona Del Mar, Calif., Porsche 993 Cup, 24. 30. (34), Don Istook(R), Ft. Worth, Texas, Audi S4, 24. 31. (41), Rudy Courtade(R), Glendale, Calif., Porsche S-Cup, 24. 32. (40), Carol Hollfelder(R), Covina, Calif., Ferrari 355, 22. 33. (28), Robert Rodriguez(R), Castro Valley, Calif., Corvette, 19, Mech. 34. (37), Dick Grieser(R), Toledo, Ohio, BMW M3, 19, Mech. 35. (13), Scotty B. White, Puyallup, Wash., Corvette C5, 12, Mech. 36. (10), Scott Bove(R), Avon Lake, Ohio, Porsche GT3 Cup, 12. 37. (24), James Sofronas, Newport Beach, Calif., BMW M3, 11, Mech. 38. (30), Tommy Safar_II, Farmingdale, N.J., Saleen SR, 8, Mech. 39. (14), Ross Thompson(R), Phoenix, Ariz., Corvette, 6, Mech. 40. (42), Daniel Eastman(R), Miami, Fla., Porsche 993 R, 6, Mech. 41. (21), Mark Anderson(R), Anaheim, Calif., Porsche 928, 3, Mech. 42. (15), Mark Wolocatiuk, Tahoe, Calif., Corvette ZR-1, 1, Mech. 43. (5), Peter Cunningham, W. Bend, Wis., BMW M3, 0, Mech.

Time of race: 46 minutes, 00.272 seconds. Average speed: 75.889 miles-per-hour Margin of victory: 4.2040 seconds Lap leaders: Laps 1-26, Mike Fitzgerald(R) Fastest race lap: Terry Borcheller, 1:36.058 (83.874 mph) Fastest qualifier: Mike Fitzgerald(R), 1:35.518 (84.348 mph) Cautions: one for four laps.

Speedvision GT Championship Point Standings Top-10 1. Jeff McMillin, 171 2. Bobby Archer, 162 3. Bill Cooper, 144 4. Justin Jackson(R), 143 5. Michael Galati, 133 6. Peter Cunningham, 124 7. Reese Cox, 115 8. John Heinricy, 102 9. Scott Bove(R), 100 10. Mike Fitzgerald(R), 97

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