MIAMI (May 9, 2000) -- The Doran/Lista team of Didier Theys and Mauro Baldi overcame a race-long battle with Dyson Racing's James Weaver and John Paul Jr. to win the Grand-Am Nextel 250 May 7 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The drivers of the ...
MIAMI (May 9, 2000) -- The Doran/Lista team of Didier Theys and Mauro Baldi overcame a race-long battle with Dyson Racing's James Weaver and John Paul Jr. to win the Grand-Am Nextel 250 May 7 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The drivers of the Judd-powered Doran/Lista Special became the third winner in as many events for the new Grand American Road Racing Association. Theys and Baldi averaged 106.70 mph in the 250-mile event, 104 laps around the 2.4-mile road course to earn the first place trophy and bottles of Martini & Rossi Asti Spumanti.
Baldi also won the inaugural Informix WAY FAST Award with a lap of 122.263 mph in Friday's first round qualifying. "Mauro did a very good job, and we were pressured by James Weaver and John Paul Jr. from the very beginning," said Theys. "But we were lucky at the end. The late yellows didn't help me, but I tried to get a good restart and it worked."
Phoenix winners Jack Baldwin and Irv Hoerr claimed second in the Informix Riley & Scott Judd, when Paul's gearbox broke down only three laps from the finish. Paul and Weaver led 46 laps, compared to 58 for the winners.
Two late caution periods -- the first coming only one lap after Theys made a conservative fuel stop -- led to a pair of sprints to the finish over the closing 19 laps. Theys managed to hold off Paul both times, but couldn't relax until the latter's misfortune on the penultimate lap. Oliver Gavin and Scott Schubot placed fourth in a new Ford Lola, followed by Ross Bentley and Tom Volk in the TRV Motorsport Riley & Scott Chevy, and Miami's Butch Brickell and Jon Field in the Intersport Racing Ford Lola.
The 29-car field saw come-from-behind victories in three of the four other Grand-Am classes.
Camaro drivers Jon Leavy and Michael Cohen -- who began their racing careers on the nearby short track at Hialeah -- survived a fender-banging shootout with the Spirit of Daytona Camaro driven by Doug Goad and Craig Conway to take American GT honors.
Archangel Motorsports' Ryan Hampton and Larry Oberto overcame a strong start by TRP Racing's Brent Sherman and Gary Tiller to win the SportsRacing Light category for the second straight race.
The G&W Motorsports Porsche GT3R team of Mike Fitzgerald and Darren Law kept contact in the early going and then took charge in the second half of the event to win the GTU category over pole stiller Kevin Buckloer and Philip Collin in The Racer's Group Porsche GT3R.
The Saleen/Allen Speedlab Saleen-Ford team of Ron Johnson and Terry Borcheller dominated the GTO category, posting their second consecutive victory in that category.
The weekend also featured a three-hour Motorola Cup race on Saturday, with Dodge Viper drivers Joe Varde and David Amick winning over the Corvette of Randy Pobst and Andy Pilgrim. John Fergus led Sunday morning's American City Racing League event all the way to win over A.J. Smith and Martin Ryba. After three consecutive races on speedway-based circuits, the Grand-Am next visits a pair of America's leading traditional road courses. Lime Rock Park outside Hartford, Connecticut, hosts the May 26-29 Dodge Dealer's Grand Prix, followed by a visit to Mid-Ohio north of Columbus for the U.S Road Racing Classic June 2-4.
Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., home of the legendary Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Grand American Road Racing Association's mission is the become the premier sanctioning body for professional sports car road racing in North America, as well as the rallying point for its tradition, history and lifestyle activities.