PHOENIX, AZ â€“ The Motorola Cup road racing series for modified, high-performance production sports cars, makes itâ€™s inaugural trip west of the Mississippi River this weekend, bringing a 52-car field to Phoenix International Raceway. The ...
PHOENIX, AZ – The Motorola Cup road racing series for modified, high-performance production sports cars, makes it’s inaugural trip west of the Mississippi River this weekend, bringing a 52-car field to Phoenix International Raceway.
The three-hour race on the 1.5-mile combination road course and oval track takes the green flag Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Motorola Cup series cars compete in four classes based on relative performance – Super Grand Sport, Grand Sport, Sport-Touring and C2K. The P.I.R. race is the third of ten events in the Motorola Cup season. The field is the largest of the weekend’s events.
Phoenix-based drivers ride high in the points. Darren Law shares the Grand Sport class lead with the owners of the Mical Motorsports Porsche 993 he races, Canadians Mike McCalmont and Al Wortzman.
“A team new to Phoenix would be wise to clock the amount of time their car spends on the infield road course, and how much is on the oval,” says Law, “then set up the chassis to work best where they spend the most time. For us, I think we’ll ‘throw away’ the oval track and focus on infield handling where the Porsche is at its best.”
Terry Borcheller, like Law, an instructor at the nearby Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, shares second place in the Super Grand Sport class with his co-driver, Michael DeFontes of Baltimore. At Sebring, Fla., the Motorola Cup’s most recent race, the duo gave the radical new Saleen SR Mustang its world racing debut, competing under the Zippo Motorsports/T-F Racing banner.
“Like any new race car, the Saleen had its quirks which the Zippo Motorsports team sorted out, but this is a very strong car,” said Borcheller. “The team owners, John Kohler and Gary Smith, will debut a second Saleen at P.I.R., and I believe we could see a 1-2 finish for the team.”
The series points are so tight that Super Grand Sport leader Joe Varde, who drives the Team Amick Dodge Viper, has only a one-point lead over the four drivers tied for second place. The SGS battle is sure to stay close, as the class swells to 13 cars, with the addition of two Porsches and a second Saleen SR.
In the Sport-Touring class, Chris Gleason, Johnstown, Pa., and Jeff Trask, Santa Ana, Calif., are tied for the lead. Gleason drives a Lexus GS 400, the only Motorola Cup series car with an automatic transmission; while Trask shares a Team Spartanburg BMW Z3 Coupe with his 66-year old father, Don.
Honda of America Racing Team (HART) teammates Bryan Johnson, Marysville, Oh., and co-driver Peter Halsmer, Bloomfield, Mich., share the C2K class lead in a Honda Civic Si, one of two cars prepared by a phalanx of young engineers from Honda of America’s engineering and manufacturing facilities in Ohio.
Associate sponsors of the Motorola Cup series are Hoosier Tire, Sunoco, Deringer, Sony, Castrol, Speed Stick, Satisfied, and Grant-A-Wish/The Children’s Promise Foundation.