Mid-Ohio Motorola Cup Sunday Race Notes

GREEN FLAG at 8:59 a.m. … 54 cars, twice the size of the Motorola Cup race turnout when the series first appeared at Mid-Ohio in 1998, take the green flag and Richard Spenard takes the lead in the ...

GREEN FLAG at 8:59 a.m. … 54 cars, twice the size of the Motorola Cup race turnout when the series first appeared at Mid-Ohio in 1998, take the green flag and Richard Spenard takes the lead in the #19 NewTech Porsche 911 Turbo, and pole-sitter John Heinricy slides into second in the #37 Chevrolet Corvette … lap 2 and John Bourassa pits the #10 Team Hurricane Audi S4; rejoins the race after losing 2 laps … David Amick, currently second in the SGS class points, runs eighth.

Lap 5 and Gord Cullen pits the #8 Hyundai Tiburon … By 7 laps, Michael DeFontes, who started 53rd in the #44 Zippo Motorsports Saleen SR Mustang, is now 22nd overall … The Grand Sport class lead has been held since the start by Joe Kent in the #97 Pontiac … Sport-Touring is led by the #63 Acura Integra driven by Bob Moser … C2K is led by #91 John Phillips in a Mazda Miata … #08 Andy Pilgrim and #37 John Heinricy continue to run within :00.07 of race leader #19 Richard Spenard … Pilgrim is the only Motorola Cup series driver who will race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in two weeks – he will share one of the factory Chevrolet Corvette C5 entries with Justin Bell and Franck Freon; Pilgrim was the best-placed American driver in the French classic two years ago.

David Amick in the #50 Dodge Viper is being black-flagged for passing under local yellow flag conditions – goes back on track 57 seconds down to the leader by lap 16 … #72 Don Trask receives the same penalty … #00 Peter Halsmer has taken the C2K class lead in the HART Honda Civic Si, but has serious front-end damage to his car.

FULL COURSE YELLOW at 9:45 a.m. on lap 36 to retrieve the #42 Planet Earth Acura Integra crashed by Dick Starita, who yesterday celebrated his 66th birthday yesterday …

Most of the leaders pit under yellow for gas and driver changes. New driver of the leading #19 Porsche is Jean-Francois Domoulin, who comes of the pits second to new leader #08 Randy Pobst. Other new drivers of note are #11 Doug Goad, #49ST Andy Lally, #44 Terry Borcheller, #50 Joe Varde, #16GS Mike McCalmont …

Joe Varde pits the #50 Viper on his first lap around reporting a steering problem, crew is unable to determine the problem, which has not gone away … despite that, the yellow flag situation has enabled Varde, the SGS points leader, to move within 25 seconds of race leader Randy Pobst, less than half of the car’s deficit before the full course yellow.

GREEN FLAG on lap 42 at 10:02 a.m. … #08 Randy Pobst leads … other class leaders:
Grand Sport - #19 Charles Espenlaub, Kent Racing Pontiac Firebird
Sport-Touring - #63 Bob Moser, King Motorsports Acura Integra
C2K - #00 Peter Halsmer, HART Honda Civic Si

Overall leaders halfway through the race are #08, 19 (-11 sec), 22, 43, 11, 50 (-32 sec)

Stu Hayner, now driving the pole-sitting #37 Corvette, is reporting a spark plug is fouled and that is why he is no longer under the front runners … #44 Terry Borcheller has reported a damaged engine in the Zippo Motorsports Saleen Mustang and will retire the car, after teammate Mike DeFontes made a fine run through the field … another of the Zippo entries also retires, #75, with clutch failure.

Lap 68 and #08 Randy Pobst has a 8.602sec. lead over #19 Jean-Francois Domoulin … Joe Varde is now 1:05.00 back and not gaining ground … new Grand Sport class leaders are #84 Sam Shanaman and son Brett, Sport-Touring leaders are #63 Bob Moser and son Joe, and #00 Peter Halsmer/Bryan Johnson continue to lead C2K … Halsmer pits on lap 72 with 45 minutes remaining, Johnson is new driver, and new C2K class leader is #27 Bob Beede

FULL COURSE YELLOW on lap 84 at 11:25 a.m. with 35 minutes remaining, to retrieve #91 Mazda Miata of Chris Cook which is in the gravel trap at turn 8 … #08 Randy Pobst had a :01.43sec lead over Jean-Francois Domoulin in #19 at the time

Lap 86 under Yellow, both the first and second place cars pit for tires to make the run to the end … Points leader #50 Joe Varde does not …

GREEN FLAG on lap 89 at 11:35 … #22 Mike Fitzgerald leads but is passed at end of straight by #08 Randy Pobst …. Leader Randy Pobst makes contact with #13 Bill Black in turn 11 and goes sideways in track, left rear wheel is broken and Pobst creeps to pits with for a new tire … New leader is #19 Jean Francois Domoulin … #63 ST class leaders Bob and Joe Moser are in pits with hood up … New C2K class leader is the #69 HART Honda Civic with John Schmitt and Forrest Granlund driving … Sport-Touring class leader #63 Joe Moser pits to add a quart of oil with 10 minutes remaining, coming close to giving up a lead that he and his father, Bob, have held all day

With under 5 minutes remaining, #63 Acura slows with sour engine, giving ST class lead to Andy Lally and car owner Howie Liebengood in the #49 Competition Preparation BMW 328is

CHECKERED FLAG and class winners are:
SGS Richard Spenard/Jean-Francois Domoulin, #19 NewTech Porsche 911 Turbo
GS Sam Shanaman/Brett Shanaman, #84 WetFeet.com Pontiac Firebird Formula
ST Andy Lally/Howie Liebengood, #49 Competition Preparation BMW 328is
C2K John Schmitt/Forrest Granlund, #69 HART Honda Civic Si

1 36 - 42 9:45 - 10:02 6 laps, 17 min #42 in tire wall
2 84 - 89 11:25 - 11:35 5 laps, 10 min #91 in gravel trap

19 Richard Spenard 1 -- 37
08 Randy Pobst 38 -- 89
22 Mike Fitzgerald 90
19 J-F Domoulin 91 -- end


#19 JEAN-FRANCOIS DOMOULIN: “We could have fought the #08 Corvette to the end and maybe beat them, but their accident made that unnecessary. The NewTech Porsche is getting better and better with each race, and perhaps we’ll win some more Motorola Cup races before the year is out.”

#84 SAM SHANAMAN: “Many teams have a ‘A’ driver and a ‘B’ driver, but we have two ‘A’ drivers relative to each other. Our lap times were very close to identical, we got the benefit of the yellow flag, and we had enough of a cushion that I could afford to coast at the end because our brakes were getting soft. But the best part about this win is that I did it with my son. That makes it very special, because the last time I won a race, 1989, he was just a kid on our crew.”

#84 BRETT SHANAMAN: “This is the first race I’ve ever won, and it feels great to do it with dad. I started the race and tried to conserve the car – making sure we had enough brakes, and it sounds like we had just enough. Both of us must have done that right.”

#49 ANDY LALLY: “This race is just the reverse of our race in Phoenix six weeks ago. We had mechanical problems there, and Bob Moser won. This time, we ran flawlessly and they had a problem with eight minutes to go. Howie used up just the right amount of car during his stint to keep us in contention, and we gambled on a four-tire stop, and maybe we could have caught the Mosers, but we didn’t have to.”

#49 HOWIE LIEBENGOOD: “We had a little ‘push’ in the front end at the beginning. I’d like to have driven a little faster than I did, but maybe not doing that saved the car just right for Andy, so maybe that should tell me something.”

#69 JOHN SCHMITT: “Forrest (Granlund) made it easy on me because he treated the car so well when he drove it, and it was in very good shape when I got in. I’m sorry Bryan (Johnson) and Pete (Halsmer) didn’t win after leading for so long, but at least it’s another win for the HART team. And it’s my first professional win, too.”

#69 FORREST GRANLUND: “It’s really great to get back into racing and work with a crew that is so flawless. John being the finishing driver put all the pressure on him, and learning to work together under pressure is one of the biggest situations that the HART faces, because doing that well makes us better at our jobs with Honda of America.”

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Franck Freon , Andy Pilgrim , John Heinricy , Randy Pobst , Justin Bell , Bob Beede , Doug Goad , Andy Lally , Terry Borcheller , John Bourassa , Charles Espenlaub , John Schmitt , Richard Spénard , Brett Shanaman , Sam Shanaman , Mike McCalmont , Howie Liebengood , David Amick , Joe Varde , Stu Hayner , Chris Cook
Teams HART