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Mid-Ohio: Touring Car race notes

Endicott wins first career Speed Touring Car race at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 10, 2003) -- Bob Endicott, of San Pedro, Calif., got his first career SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car win Sunday morning at the Champ Car Grand Prix of ...

Endicott wins first career Speed Touring Car race at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 10, 2003) -- Bob Endicott, of San Pedro, Calif., got his first career SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car win Sunday morning at the Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. Championship point leader Bill Auberlen, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., was second, followed by polesitter Chuck Hemmingson, of W. Des Moines, Iowa.

Endicott, a rookie in World Challenge, but a driver of considerable experience and success, captured his first career World Challenge win driving the No. 64 King Motorsports/Mugen Power Acura RSX-S. Endicott finished with a 0.829-second lead at a record average speed 81.699 mph for the 26-lap, 58.708-mile race. The narrow margin of victory was evidenced by the fact that Auberlen was on the move during the final laps of the race.

"I said 'oh no' here he comes," Endicott said of Auberlen in his rear view mirror. "I was trying to drive as smooth as I could and the more I looked in the mirror, the closer he got. So, I finally turned the mirror away to where I couldn't see him. That helped a little bit. It was really hard; he was pushing me every inch of the way. I never let up once."

Auberlen, who started fourth, driving the No. 93 Turner Motorsports/H&R Springs BMW 325i, tried to chase down Endicott late in the race, picking up nearly two full seconds in the last five laps, but it wasn't enough, as Endicott took the checkered flag.

"The start of the race came, I put my head down and went after it," Auberlen said. "Luckily I got by one car after another. But, there was no way I was going to catch him [Endicott]. He was just so perfect on the track, making no mistakes. I feel like I am driving a station wagon around the track now. The [150 lbs. of REWARDS] weight is affecting the car and I can't really place it where I want. So, we'll go back to the drawing board and look for some new stuff to see if we can make it even better."

Auberlen's second-place finish breaks his string of consecutive Touring Car victories at two.

Polesitter Hemmingson, driver of the No.19 ARC Racing/TBPG/Red Line/Mazdaspeed Mazda Protege ES, and Endicott battled for the lead early in the race, until Endicott took the lead in turn seven on lap five. Hemmingson fell to fourth at one point in the race, but moved back to third after Jeff Altenburg lost the left front wheel on his No. 40 TriPoint Motorsports Mazda Protege ES.

"We're happy that we are on the podium for the first time this year," Hemmingson said. "We've been making changes to the car to make it a little quicker. What can I say? I am third, so I am pretty happy."

Mike Fitzgerald, driver of the Team FBR/Trans Sport Lexus IS300, who started 20th, finished fourth and set the race's fastest lap with a record time of 1:39.319 (81.845 mph). Peter Cunningham, driver of the TeamRTR Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V, placed fifth after falling to 34th on the opening lap.

Matt Richmond, of Mooresville, N.C., won the B&M Holshot award for advancing six positions on the first lap of the race. Kevin McKee, of San Francisco, won the Sunoco Hard Charger award for advancing 19 positions throughout the race.

Auberlen now has an enormous 60-point lead in Speed Touring Car Drivers' Championship, with 181 points, followed by Pierre Kleinubing (121 points), Ken Dobson (113), Roger Foo (112), and Will Turner (112).

BMW maintains the lead in the Speed Touring Manufacturers' Championship Presented by Racer Magazine, with 48 points, followed by Acura (36 points), Mazda (25), Lexus (11), Audi (7) and Nissan (6).

The SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car Championship heads to Road America Aug. 22-24 for the Road America 500 in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

Today's race will initially air at 9:00 p.m. (EDT) Friday, Aug. 22 on Speed Channel.

For more information, visit www.world-challenge.com.

Race Stats:

Time of race: 43 minutes, 19.455 seconds.
Average speed: 81.305 mph, Record
Margin of victory: 0.829-second
Cautions: None

Lap leaders: Laps 1-4, #19 Chuck Hemmingson; laps 5-26, #64 Bob Endicott(R)

Fastest race lap: #81 Mike Fitzgerald, 1:39.319 (81.845 mph), Record
Fastest qualifier: #19 Chuck Hemmingson, 1:42.487 (79.315 mph)

B&M Holeshot Award: #37 Matt Richmond advanced six position on lap one
Sunoco Hard Charger: #44 Kevin McKee moved from 35th to 16th

-scca pro racing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Ken Dobson , Peter Cunningham , Chuck Hemmingson , Roger Foo , Jeff Altenburg , Matt Richmond , Bob Endicott , Kevin McKee