Pirate Racing finishes Lime Rock GT in 2nd By Doug Johnson LIME ROCK PARK, CN - Bill Cooper, driving the Les Stanford Chevrolet sponsored Pirate Racing No. 75 Corvette ZR-1 battled a very difficult Lime Rock track, an overheating LT5 engine,...
Pirate Racing finishes Lime Rock GT in 2nd By Doug Johnson
LIME ROCK PARK, CN - Bill Cooper, driving the Les Stanford Chevrolet sponsored Pirate Racing No. 75 Corvette ZR-1 battled a very difficult Lime Rock track, an overheating LT5 engine, and fading brakes to finish Saturday's 45-lap Speedvision World Challenge GT round 2 race in a very respectable 2nd place.
Cooper was experiencing an overheating engine throughout much of the 46:02 minute race. This kept Cooper from challenging Archer and Dilorio's No. 27 Pole winning Mustang for the lead, but Cooper was able to coax enough performance out of the Pirate ZR-1 to score a 2nd place and first podium finish of the season.
Bobby Archer, in the No. 32 Dodge Viper, scored his second-consecutive win of the '99 Speedvision World GT championship by 5.4 seconds over the No. 75 car. Cooper qualified and started the Corvette ZR-1 from the 4th grid position, and ran there unchallenged until lap 4 when the 2nd place Porsche had contact with the tire wall in turn seven, moving Cooper into 3rd.
On lap 35 the No. 27 Mustang spun off course, falling back to 5th and moving Cooper and the No. 75 ZR-1 into 2nd behind Archer's leading Viper; and that's how they ran to the finish.
This was the 2nd top-four finish for Cooper in as many weeks. "We were driving by the water temperature gauge all race, " said Cooper of Manhattan, Mont. "The ZR-1 is known to overheat, and I was just keeping in touch with Archer's leading Viper. Then, the car started to run out of brakes - it really caught me by surprise. For the second half of the race I only had 50-60 percent of my brakes. 2nd is not bad, and I'm very proud of my Pirate Racing crew and very happy for our sponsors: Les Stanford Chevrolet, Anchor Bay Packaging, Burtronic's Business Systems, NAPA Palm Desert, and Redline oil."
Pirate Racing will initially participate with this #75 Corvette ZR-1 which they fielded in selected events during the '98 World Challenge Series and then make the transition to their '99 C5-R racing. Current plans involve completion of the first competitive C5-R entry by the Road Atlanta race with the second following prior to the end of the '99 season. Cooper will drive the primary C5-R, with a driver-to-be-named for the 2nd. The #75 ZR-1 will then appear only in selected events.
The Corvette enthusiast is the key to truly understanding Pirate Racing - especially the Internet enthusiast of the World Wide Web. That's how it all started. Back in '97 a small group from the Corvette ZR-1 and Vettenet listservers starting talking on the net with Van Dorn about what it would take to put together a team to competitively race the Corvette - and the rest is history. Literally hundreds of Internet Corvette enthusiast became financial supporters of the team with a limited '98 schedule and now a full 3-car commitment for '99.