Justin Marks and Bob Stretch surprise leaders after SPEED World Challenge practice day at Road America. ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (July 5, 2002) -- Justin Marks, of Woodside, Calif., and rookie Robert Stretch, of DeSoto, Texas, topped the SCCA Pro...
Justin Marks and Bob Stretch surprise leaders after SPEED World Challenge practice day at Road America.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (July 5, 2002) -- Justin Marks, of Woodside, Calif., and rookie Robert Stretch, of DeSoto, Texas, topped the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT and Touring Car Championship fields, respectively, in preparation for the Road America 500 Weekend, Presented by the Chicago Tribune at Road America.
Marks, the 2001 Rookie of the Year Runner-Up topped the SPEED GT practice charts in his first-ever trip to Road America. Driving the No. 80 Flextronics/Brocade/Shoreline Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the 21-year-old turned a fastest lap of 2:23.706 (101.407 mph) around the 4.048-mile circuit to best teammate Johannes van Overbeek, of Danville, Calif., by 0.541-second. Point leader Michael Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, was third, followed by local hero Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., and England's Derek Bell.
Despite spending much of the second session in the turn eight gravel trap, it was Marks' first time ever topping the charts, a feat equaled by Stretch in the Touring Car category.
In the first of two practice sessions, Stretch drove the No. 0 Wheels America BMW 325Ci to a fastest lap of 2:36.245 (93.268 mph). Mike Fitzgerald, of Phoenix, Ariz., was second in his Team FBR/Trans Sport Lexus IS 300, followed by last week's Mid-Ohio winner Will Turner, of Newburyport, Mass.
Mazda Protégé teammates Shauna Marinus, of Folsom, Calif., and Paul Bonaccorsi, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., completed the top three.
Of note, Lime Rock Park SPEED GT winner Randy Pobst, who finished third at the recent Mid-Ohio round is done for the weekend after his Porsche lost an engine in the first session. This may have an effect on the Manufacturers' Championship, which Porsche leads by one over Audi.
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