WATKINS GLEN, NY -- Aug. 9, 2001 -- With a great top-five finish under his belt from the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in the Orbit Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Kyle Petty and his co-driver, John Andretti, a Rolex 24 overall winner in a Porsche 962, will ...
WATKINS GLEN, NY -- Aug. 9, 2001 -- With a great top-five finish under his belt from the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in the Orbit Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Kyle Petty and his co-driver, John Andretti, a Rolex 24 overall winner in a Porsche 962, will tackle the famous Watkins Glen road course for Friday night's Bully Hill Vineyards 250.
Petty, who ranks 13th overall on the all-time list for NASCAR starts, and has a Winston Cup win at the Glen (1992), co-drove the same #45 Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS with business partner Leo Hindery and Peter Baron at the Rolex 24, and Petty liked what he experienced.
"Despite the terrible weather, I had a great time running at Daytona, and I look forward to sharing the ride with my teammate John Andretti," said Petty.
John Andretti has a wealth of sports car experience in both GT and formula cars, and lots of track time at the Glen as well. When NASCAR teammate and car owner Petty asked him to share the ride in the Porsche, Andretti followed along.
"Kyle really like working with the Orbit team at Daytona, and we not only expect to have a good time, but we know the car is very competitive," said Andretti
The Orbit Racing-prepared Porsche, financed by Leo Hindery, a cable TV pioneer and part owner of the Petty Driving Experience, is one of three Porsche 911 GT3 RS racers prepared by Orbit's Roger Hawley in Jupiter, Fla., for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. Hindery, from Hillsborough, Calif., is in his second year of sports car racing.
While Petty and Andretti might be soaking up much of the media attention in the race's GT class, the battle for the points lead in the series will focus on two cars -- the #81 G&W Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS of points leader Darren Law and co-driver Matt Drendel, and the BMW M3 of Toney Jennings and Terry Borcheller.
Right now, Law and Drendel have a good lead on Jennings and Borcheller, but a BMW win or a Porsche DNF could change that in a hurry.
"I can't wait to see how I do against Petty and Andretti on the track," said Law, last year's Grand-Am GT champion, "but we have to keep our eye on the BMW and some of the other Porsches as well for season points."
One of the cars that is out of the points hunt, but has certainly made its presence felt whenever it enters a Grand-Am event is the #15 Fordahl/Crazy Redhead Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS driven by Randy Pobst and Kim Hiskey. Pobst, who has been in the Grand-Am winners circle three times this year including a class win and second overall at the Rolex 24, also pilots a Porsche in the American Le Mans Series.
"The schedule conflicts have prevented me from running with Kim for the Grand-Am championship this year, but the regulars better watch out because we will be very competitive at the Glen," said Pobst.
Other Porsche 911 GT3 RS racers entered in the Watkins Glen event include the #34 Spencer Pumpelly/Steve Ivankovich/Rick DiIorio Porsche, which won two weeks ago at Trois-Rivieres; the #43 Orbit Racing Porsche of Leo Hindery and Peter Baron; the #42 Orbit Racing Porsche of Richard Millman/Tommy Byrne; the #61 Case It Racing Porsche of Lynn Wilson/David Murry/Adam Merzon; the #75 Gunnar Racing Porsche of Gunnar Jeannette and Stephen Bartkiw; and the #92 Schultheis Racing Porsche of Gary Schultheis/Ross Bleustein/Scooter Gabel.
G&W Motorsports has also prepared a Porsche GT2 turbo for car owner Steve Marshall and 1999 ALMS champion Cort Wagner to contest the GTS class title. The #07 Porsche currently leads the team championship in GTS, and Marshall is third in points behind the two #5 Saleen drivers.
The green flag will drop for the Bully Hill Vineyard 250 Friday, August 10, at 6:30 PM EDT, with the race to be televised on Sunday, August 26, at noon EDT on the Speedvision network.