ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (July 7, 2000) -- Andy Wallace proved to be a fast learner Friday, setting the fastest lap in opening practice for Sunday's Sargento/Road America 500 in his first visit to the scenic circuit. Wallace lapped the four-mile Road...
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (July 7, 2000) -- Andy Wallace proved to be a fast learner Friday, setting the fastest lap in opening practice for Sunday's Sargento/Road America 500 in his first visit to the scenic circuit. Wallace lapped the four-mile Road America layout in 122.467 mph, driving the Dyson Racing Norcold/Thetford Riley & Scott Ford.
James Weaver, Wallace's co-driver, will be seeking his fifth Informix Way Fast Award in qualifying at noon on Saturday.
"This is my first time to Road America, and it is just fantastic," said Wallace, who joined Weaver in Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway in the recent Paul Revere 250. "I can't remember going to a track and having so much fun. What a lovely track! Our car's going really well, actually. Overall, it's got a pretty good balance, and we'll probably leave it the way it is now for the race. James (Weaver) is going to qualify. We're very happy with the car, and I'm sure James will do a good job in qualifying."
Weaver, the SportsRacer points leader for the inaugural Grand American Road Racing Association season, also has victories in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and at Lime Rock, Conn.
"Andy and I always work well together," said Weaver. "We've got a fabulous car under us. It's a 500-mile race, the car's good in traffic, we've got a good crew behind us, so I'm looking forward to it."
Butch Leitzinger, who co-drove to victory with Weaver at Lime Rock, was second fastest in the Philip Creighton Motorsports Ford Lola he shares with Scott Schubot, at 121.892 mph. Oliver Gavin was third fastest in Jon Field's brand-new Judd-powered Lola, at 121.786 mph.
The only serious incident of the day saw the leading GTO entry, the Saleen SR of Terry Borcheller and Ron Johnson, badly damaged by a fire during the second practice session. Borcheller escaped without injury, but the crew was struggling to rebuild the car after it was fully engulfed in flames after the differential housing broke and ruptured an oil line. The team opened the season with victories at Phoenix, Miami and Lime Rock, but had been plagued by fires and mechanical gremlins over the past four events.
"We do not have a backup car," Borcheller said. "They say they can fix it, and it anyone can do it, they can."
Borcheller ran a lap of 110.119 mph in the opening session. Paul Gentilozzi, the defending two-time Trans-Am champion making his Grand-Am debut, ran the next-best GTO lap, 109.954 mph.
The Archangel Motorsports Nissan Lola team of Larry Oberto and Ryan Hampton were fastest in SportsRacer Lights, 112.114 mph. The team is seeking its sixth consecutive class victory.
Irv Hoerr was fastest in the American GT class, 110.049, driving the RVO Motorsports Camaro. The G&W Porsche team of Darren Law and Mike Fitzgerald led GTU practice, with a speed of 106.226 mph.
Richard Spenard won the pole for Saturday's Motorola Cup race, running a lap of 100.152 mph in a Porsche 993 Turbo. The three-hour street stock race takes the green flag at 2:05 p.m.
Saturday's on-track activities begin at 8 a.m., with US F2000 qualifying. The schedule also includes a USF2000 race at 1:10 p.m.
Sunday begins with a 9:15 American Cities Racing League event, followed at 10:10 a.m. with a Mid-America race. For additional information, visit the official web site, www.grand-am.com.