DONOHUE AND CUNNINGHAM SURVIVE WEATHER TO CAPTURE SUPER TOURING VICTORIES IN PORTLAND June 21, 1997 Portland, Oregon - David Donohue and Peter Cunningham captured rounds seven and eight of the Super Touring Championship at the Budweiser/G.I.
DONOHUE AND CUNNINGHAM SURVIVE WEATHER TO CAPTURE SUPER TOURING VICTORIES IN PORTLAND
June 21, 1997
Portland, Oregon - David Donohue and Peter Cunningham captured rounds seven and eight of the Super Touring Championship at the Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 at the 1.967-mile Portland International Raceway. Donohue led race one for the entire distance from the pole. Cunningham took the race two victory after Donohue's car experienced electrical problems late in race two after starting from the pole.
Donohue completed the 17-lap first race at an average speed of 78.337 mph, ahead of second place Cunningham by a comfortable margin of 13.33 seconds. Cunningham won race two by just 1.391-seconds over Rod Millen in a Toyota Camry after completing the 16-lap distance at an average speed of 71.353 mph.
Starting in wet conditions, Donohue held the lead in race one after going into the Festival Curves four abreast with the PPG Dodge Stratus of teammate Dominic Dobson, the Honda of Peter Cunningham and the BMW of Randy Pobst. Dobson got off track after making side-to-side contact with Cunningham, which also slowed Pobst and gave Donohue a clear path.
"Dominic did a good job of giving me a cushion for the first several laps," said Donohue of Dobson's first lap incident. "I wasn't sure who was on rain tires and who was on slicks, so I didn't know how long my margin would last. I was charging pretty hard for a long time, then when I was able to maintain a good lead, I backed off a little."
The Ford of David Welch and the BMW of Darren Law quickly challenged Pobst for third place. Welch and Law made contact in turn two on lap five, sending Welch off track. He returned to the race, but later retired.
Pobst closed the gap on Cunningham in the late going. He was unable to take away second place and finished third, taking the Independent's Challenge victory. Law and the MCI sponsored T.C. Kline Racing BMW of Tom Finnelly completed the top five.
Taking the green flag under dry conditions in race two, Donohue pulled ahead of Dobson on the start. He was again given a cushion by his teammate who spun in turn three, and was broadsided by Millen's Toyota, bringing out an early caution. Dobson retired, but Millen was able to continue.
The pace of the race changed at the halfway point when rain again fell heavily. All the drivers had started on Michelin slicks and were forced to make their way gingerly around the circuit which quickly became slippery.
Pobst and Law engaged in a tight battle for third and the Independent's Challenge victory when racing resumed. On lap eight, Pobst spun in turn seven, slowing Law and allowing Millen to make his way around him for third.
Cunningham shadowed Donohue until the Dodge driver ran off course at the end of the high-speed front straight on lap 11. Donohue was then the victim of electrical problems that had plagued him for a number of laps, and was unable to get his Dodge restarted. Cunningham led the remainder of the distance. Millen finished an excellent second in his first event of the year, followed by Law and the Mazda 626 of Bob Schader and Finnelly's BMW.
"At the end I had enough of a lead where I was being very cautious; especially in particular areas under braking," said Cunningham. "Going into Festival and some other spots I was getting sideways, but I knew I could make it if I was careful."
With a third place finish, Law took the race two Independent's Challenge victory. In the Driver's Championship, Donohue now leads with 130 points, followed by Cunningham with 119. Dobson drops to third with 108. Neil Crompton is fourth with 91 points. Schader retains the lead in the Independent's Challenge with 90 points, with Pobst now a close second at 85 points.
ESPN2 will broadcast the Portland races on Sunday, June 29, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET (2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. PT)
Super Touring Championship at the Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland int'l Raceway
Race 1, June 21, 1997
Fin. St. Laps Pos Pos. Car# Driver Sponsor/Car Points Comp. Fast Lap/Speed
1. 1 8 David Donohue Infinity/Silicon Graph/Dodge 23 17 1:27.456 80.968 2. 3 62 Peter Cunningham Red Line Oil/Honda 17 17 1:27.439 80.984 3. 4 1 Randy Pobst CEC/Antera/BMW 15 17 1:27.123 81.278 4. 6 18 Darren Law INTRAX/BMW 13 17 1:31.290 77.568 5. 7 12 Tom Finnelly MCI/BMW 12 17 1:29.249 79.342 6. 2 7 Dominic Dobson PPG/Dodge 11 16 1:30.774 78.009 7. 9 5 Bob Schader Schader Motorsports/Mazda 10 16 1:32.195 76.806 8. 5 2 Rod Millen Toyota Express Lube/Toyota 9 13 1:29.769 78.882 9. 8 27 David Welch Red Auto Leasing/Ford 8 1:32.500 76.553
Track Length: 1.967-miles; Time of race: 25 minutes 36.680 seconds; Length of Race: 33.439 miles; Margin of Victory: 13.33 seconds; Average Lap Speed 78.337 mph; Fastest Race Lap: 01:27.123 by Randy Pobst in car # 1; Lap Leaders: Donohue 1-17. Independent's Challenge Winner: Randy Pobst
Race 2, June 21, 1997
Fin. St. Laps Pos Pos. Car# Driver Team/Car Points Comp. Fast Lap/Speed
1. 3 62 Peter Cunningham Red Line Oil/Honda 21 16 1:21.025 87.395 2. 5 2 Rod Millen Toyota Express Lube/Toyota 17 16 1:21.990 86.366 3. 7 18 Darren Law INTRAX/BMW 15 16 1:22.302 86.039 4. 9 5 Bob Schader Schader Motorsports/Mazda 13 16 1:24.594 83.708 5. 8 12 Tom Finnelly MCI/BMW 12 16 1:25.210 83.102 6. 6 1 Randy Pobst CEC/Antera/BMW 11 15 1:22.543 85.788 7. 1 8 David Donohue Infinity/Silicon Graph/Dodge 13 11 1:21.294 87.106 8. 4 27 David Welch Red Auto Leasing/Ford 6 1:22.381 85.956 9. 2 7 Dominic Dobson PPG/Dodge Stratus 0 No-Time
Track Length: 1.967-miles; Time of race: 26 minutes .858 seconds; Length of Race: 31.472 miles; Margin of Victory: 1.391 seconds; Average Lap Speed 71.353 mph; Fastest Race Lap: 01:21.025 by Peter Cunningham in car # 62; Lap Leaders: Donohue 1-10; Cunningham 11-16 Independent's Challenge Winner: Darren Law
Driver's Points: David Donohue, 130; Peter Cunningham, 119; Dominic Dobson, 108; Neil Crompton, 91; Bob Schader, 90; Randy Pobst, 85; Darren Law, 71; David Welch, 58; Forrest Granlund, 40; Mark Jonak, 36
Michelin Manufacturer's Points: Honda, 145; Dodge 134