FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Blair Hefty: (201) 612-1864 In Portland: (503) 221-0450 MILLEN BRINGS TOYOTA CAMRY TO SUPER TOURING BATTLE AS DODGE DUO LOOKS TO KEEP MOTOWN MOMENTUM Portland, OR (June 18,...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Blair Hefty: (201) 612-1864 In Portland: (503) 221-0450
MILLEN BRINGS TOYOTA CAMRY TO SUPER TOURING BATTLE AS DODGE DUO LOOKS TO KEEP MOTOWN MOMENTUM
Portland, OR (June 18, 1997) - The first three race weekends of the Super Touring Championship have been dominated by an individual driver or team. But there are new challenges on the horizon for this season's established winners this weekend at the Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland Int'l Raceway as the CART-sanctioned series prepares for the two half-hour sprints that make up races seven and eight of the Championship.
The much anticipated debut of Rod Millen's '97 Super Touring program will take place this weekend as Rod Millen Motorsport reveals its South African race-winning Toyota Camry for the first time. Millen's Toyota is expected to provide strong competition for the PacWest Touring Car Team Dodges of Dominic Dobson and David Donohue, and the H.A.R.T. Honda Accord of Peter Cunningham. The Tasman Honda Accord of Neil Crompton, that won both events in Long Beach and has been a front-runner all season, will not compete this weekend.
Dobson and Donohue come to the series' first road course of the season with momentum gained on the streets of Detroit. Donohue won the pole for both Motown races, and went on to capture the first sprint race in his Infinity/SiliconGraphics Dodge Stratus, ahead of the PPG Dodge Stratus of Dobson. Dobson captured the second race and the Dodge Challenge Cup. He also moved atop the driver championship standings with 97 points to Donohue's 94. Both drivers will look to continue their winning ways around the 1.95-mile, nine-turn Portland circuit.
In Savannah, Peter Cunningham led every lap of both races from the pole in his H.A.R.T./Red Line Oil Honda. With his Savannah sweep and two poles at Long Beach, Cunningham is fourth in points with 81.
The Independents' Challenge, for teams not supported by a manufacturer, is led by Bob Schader on the strength of a third-place finish in his Mazda 626 in Detroit. 1996 Super Touring Drivers' champion, and defending Portland winner, Randy Pobst experienced mechanical trouble in his BMW 3-Series auto and dropped behind Schader after experiencing mechanical difficulties in race one. Darren Law in a similar machine, crashed in race one. Neither driver was able to compete in race two, opening the door for Schader to take the lead in the point standings.
Seattle-based, Fastech Racing with driver David Welch, was buoyed after a second and fifth place finish in Detroit in the Red Auto Leasing Ford.
In the race for the Michelin Manufacturers' Cup, Dodge has pulled to within four points of Honda, 108-104, on the strength of the impressive finishes of Dobson and Donohue in Detroit.
The Super Touring Championship will run two 30-minute sprints back-to-back Saturday, June 21, at 3:00 p.m. ESPN2 will broadcast races seven and eight of the Super Touring Championship 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)
Entry List SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland Int'l Raceway June 20-22, 1997
Car No. Driver Entrant/Sponsors Make
1 Randy Pobst T.C. Kline Racing/CEC/Antera BMW 3-Series
2 Rod Millen Rod Millen M'Sport/Toyota Express Lube Toyota Camry
5 Bob Schader Schader Motorsports Mazda 626
7 Dominic Dobson PacWest/PPG Dodge Stratus
8 David Donohue PacWest/Infinity/SiliconGraphics Dodge Stratus
12 Tom Finnelly T.C. Kline Racing BMW 3-Series
18 Darren Law Hartong Motorsports/INTRAX BMW 3-Series
27 David Welch Fastech Racing/Red Auto Leasing Ford
62 Peter Cunningham H.A.R.T./Red Line Oil Honda Accord