Ferraris to battle Fords at Lime Rock Park

LIME ROCK, Conn. - The Dodge Dealers 200 at Lime Rock Park has traditionally been a battle between Ferrari and Ford. The two marques will again be in the spotlight on Memorial Day, when the Grand American Road Racing Association sanctions the...

LIME ROCK, Conn. - The Dodge Dealers 200 at Lime Rock Park has traditionally been a battle between Ferrari and Ford. The two marques will again be in the spotlight on Memorial Day, when the Grand American Road Racing Association sanctions the traditional holiday sports car weekend.

Ferraris and Fords will be among the top contenders in the weekend's main event, a 150-mile race for the Grand-Am SportsRacers and Sports Racer Lights, at 1:10 p.m. Monday. The Grand-Am GTO, GTU and American GT classes for Porsches, BMWs, Mustangs, Camaros and Saleens will then compete in a separate 150-mile event.

"It seems like we've always got a good race between the Fords and Ferraris," said James Weaver, 1998 Lime Rock winner in Rob Dyson's Ford-powered Riley & Scott. "Unfortunately for us, Ferrari seems to have gotten the best of the scrap for the past few years, but we're looking to changing that on Monday."

Weaver will co-drive with '98 co-winner Butch Leitzinger, a three-time NASCAR Busch North victor at the 1.54-mile circuit, while Elliott Forbes-Robinson will co-drive with Dyson in the other team entry.

A pair of Ferraris are entered in the event. The defending Lime Rock-winning team of Didier Theys and Freddy Lienhard will co-drive the Doran Lista Special, a Judd-powered Ferrari 333SP chassis. Formula One veteran Mimmo Schiatarella will join Ralf Kelleners in the Risi Competizione Ferrari 333SP.

"I'm looking forward to our next Grand-Am race at Lime Rock," said Mimmo Schittarella. "I know the Ferrari 333SP has had many victories there, and we hope to have the same results and continue a winning tradition. I was only at Lime Rock once before, back in 1966. But that was only for around three laps, so this is like my first race there."

"I have not yet competed at the Lime Rock circuit," Kelleners explained. "Coming off the race at Miami where we had some problems, the Risi Ferrari team is ready for another podium finish. The challenging Lime Rock circuit should be better suited for the Ferrari."

Theys will be looking for his second consecutive Grand-Am triumph, coming off a victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he was joined by Mauro Baldi. Team owner Kevin Doran has put Ferraris in victory lane in five of the past six years at Lime Rock. Other winners have included Eliseo Salazar and Gianpierro Moretti (1994); Wayne Taylor (1995); Max Papis and Moretti (1996); and Andrea Montermini and Antonio Hermann (1997).

Phoenix winner Jack Baldwin, co-driving with car owner George Robinson in the Informix Software Riley & Scott Judd, will be among the drivers looking to end the Ferrari-Ford domination at the scenic circuit. Other top teams include the Mazda-Kudzu of Jim Downing, the Banana Joe's Ford Lola of Jon Field, and Scott Schubot in the Creighton Motorsports Nissan-Lola.

Grand-Am practice for the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix begins at 1 p.m. on Friday, with qualifying set for 5 p.m. Saturday's schedule includes both practice and final qualifying.

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Ralf Kelleners , Didier Theys , Eliseo Salazar , Max Papis , Wayne Taylor , Rob Dyson , Mauro Baldi , Jack Baldwin , George Robinson , Andrea Montermini , Jim Downing , Kevin Doran , Antonio Hermann
Teams Risi Competizione