Bowmanville, Ont. (May 18, 2003) - Rocketsports/Jaguar R Performance Racing Team driver Scott Pruett led from start to finish and continued his perfect record at Mosport International Raceway with a victory in Round 3 of the Trans-Am series on...
Bowmanville, Ont. (May 18, 2003) - Rocketsports/Jaguar R Performance Racing Team driver Scott Pruett led from start to finish and continued his perfect record at Mosport International Raceway with a victory in Round 3 of the Trans-Am series on Sunday afternoon.
Pruett has taken the checkered flag at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn permanent road course in all three of his Trans-Am Series starts (1986, '87, '94) here, with the 1987 also being a start-to-finish victory. He also won an SCCA World Challenge Endurance Race here in 1987.
"Someone dumped some oil on the track and that spooked me," said Pruett after the race. "When something like that happens late in the race, it makes things interesting but we were able to hold on. It was a good weekend for us. We do have some weaknesses in the car and we had to focus on those and try to eliminate them."
Pruett had built a 10-second lead from the rest of the pack until lap 29 when a full course yellow stacked the field for the final 11 laps. He fought off a late challenge by Michael Lewis who crossed the line 0.977 of a second back.
Lewis ran the only fuel-injected Trans-Am in the 16-car field.
"We maximized our advantage and were happy with the way the car performed today," said Lewis. "Scott had too much car today for us to catch him."
Stuart Hayner looked to have second place wrapped up until the fifth to last lap when his No. 2 Chevrolet Corvette suffered a cracked axle on lap 36 and he fell back off the pace. He holds the Mosport record for victories with five.
Eaton Cutler-Hammer Racing Team driver and 1996 Rookie of the Year Johnny Miller finished in third place, 1.303 seconds off the pace.
"We had a really good car and tried to run Scott hard from the beginning but we got debris in the grill," said Miller. "The car was running too hot and we had to come in and clean the grill."
All three of the podium finishers drove Jaguar XKRs. Randy Ruhlman captured fourth-place and was the first Chevrolet Corvette to cross the finish line 10.544 seconds behind the leader. Jorge Diaz Jr. of Puerto Rico Grand Prix Racing rounded out the top five and has now moved into the points lead among rookies. He finished 24.670 seconds behind Pruett.
Other drivers in the top ten were John Baucom, Joey Scarallo, Simon Gregg, Charlie Webster and Jerry Simmons. The top seven drivers finished on the lead lap.
Simmons competed in his 93rd and final Trans-Am Series race and it wasn't without trouble. The Too Fast Racing Team driver drove the entire race with only fourth and fifth gear due to a broken gear shifter.
Boris Said, last year's winner at Mosport, did not compete in the race. He is under a 45-day suspension for comments he made earlier this season regarding the Trans-Am Series.
This marks the sixth time that the Trans-Am Series race at Mosport has been won by the driver who led every lap. Previous drivers to go flag-to-flag are John Paul (1979), Pruett (1987), Scott Sharp (1992), Paul Gentilozzi (1996) and Brian Simo (1999).
Pruett sits atop the Trans-Am Series BFGoodrich Tires Cup Championship standings with 100 points. Miller moves into second place in the series standings with 81 points.
Round 4 in the Trans-Am Series takes place at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut, a 66-lap race around a 1.53-mile, 8-turn permanent road course.