Mid-Ohio Thursday Notes and Quotes

Welcome to the U.S. Road Racing Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. This is the fifth event of the Grand American Road Racing Association’s inaugural season, following the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Sun Automotive 200 at Phoenix, Nextel 250 at ...

Welcome to the U.S. Road Racing Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

This is the fifth event of the Grand American Road Racing Association’s inaugural season, following the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Sun Automotive 200 at Phoenix, Nextel 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Monday’s Dodge Dealers 200 at Lime Rock Park.

Thursday was an unofficial testing day for all of the weekend competitors. Official Grand-Am practice for the three GT classes (GTO, GTU and American GT) begins Friday at 10:30 a.m. The two open-cockpit SportsRacer classes (SportsRacer and SportsRacer Lights) practice t 11 a.m. All five classes hold an hour practice session at 2 p.m. Qualifying for the GTU class begins at 3:55 p.m. The GTO and AGT classes qualify at 4:20 p.m., followed by SR and SRII at 4:45 p.m. The fastest 20 cars will be locked in for Sunday’s race. In addition, the qualifying driver must start the race per Grand-Am rules.

Saturday’s schedule includes Grand-Am practice at 11 a.m., final qualifying at 1:40 p.m., and final practice at 4 p.m.

Sunday’s race will be 250 miles on the 2.25-mile, 13-turn circuit, with all five classes competing simultaneously. The entry of 39 cars (and counting!) is the largest for a Grand-Am race since the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Among the drivers competing this weekend include:

Defending Mid-Ohio winner Andy Wallace will drive with Scott Schubot in the No. 8 Philip Creighton Motorsports Ford Lola B2K10. Wallace joined James Weaver in winning last year’s U.S. Road Racing Championship, driving for Dyson Motorsports. Weaver is paired with Butch Leitzinger this weekend in the No. 16 Dyson Riley & Scott Ford. Weaver and Dyson won the Memorial Day race at Lime Rock. Driving the No. 20 Dyson Ford will be Elliott Forbes-Robinson and John Paul Jr.;

Jeret Schroeder of Vineland, N.J. is coming off a 14th-place finish in the Indianapolis 500. He will co-drive with Tom Volk in the No. 95 TRV Motorsports Riley & Scott Chevy;

Stanley Dickens of Stockholm, Sweden, will co-drive with Lexington’s Bobby Brown in Brown’s new No. 2 Mac Tool/North Coast Seal Ferrari 333SP;

Miami winner Mauro Baldi of Italy returns to the No. 27 Doran Special with Didier Theys;

Englishman Oliver Gavin, who had an apparent pole-winning effort at Miami disallowed due to a technical violation, will be paired with Dublin’s Jon Field in the No. 37 Intersport Racing Ford Lola. Field’s twin brother Joe will co-drive in the No. 27 Intersport Racing Riley & Scott with John Mirro of Bath, Pa.;

Tony Ave of Indianapolis will drive in the No. 38 GTU Swedish Racing Mazda RX-7 with Lester Fahlgren of Schaumburg, Ill.;

Randy Pobst is the “TBA” listed for the No. 18 GTU Fordahl Motorsports Porsche, joining Kimberly Hisky.

A late entry is the No. 82 Dodge Viper, which will be driven by Michael McCann of North Canton and Tommy Archer of Duluth, Minn. The car was customer car No. 6 built by the French Oreca Racing Team, which has dominated FIA GT2 competition in recent years. This car won the British GT championship in 1998, and finished sixth in this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, fielded by Chamberlain Motorsports.

“I’ve got Tommy Archer for this race because I like to learn from the best,” said McCann, a veteran of Viper Days competition. “I hope to run a few Grand-Am races this year, and run the entire schedule next year.”

Archer, meanwhile, will be heading to France next week to rejoin Oreca for the 24 Hours of LeMans.

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Didier Theys , Jeret Schroeder , Tommy Archer , Tony Ave , Mauro Baldi , Randy Pobst , Jon Field , Elliott Forbes-Robinson , Oliver Gavin , Bobby Brown , John Mirro , John Paul , Stanley Dickens