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Manufacturers Championship Tightens in Grand-Am Cup Series Six Chevrolet Cobalts Head to Trois-Rivieres WARREN, Mich. - The chase for Manufacturer and Driver season championships in the Grand-Am Cup series have tightened as six Chevrolet Cobalt...

Manufacturers Championship Tightens in Grand-Am Cup Series Six Chevrolet Cobalts Head to Trois-Rivieres

WARREN, Mich. - The chase for Manufacturer and Driver season championships in the Grand-Am Cup series have tightened as six Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged cars head for the two-hour race on the streets of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada, this Saturday, Aug. 5th.

Chevrolet entered last Saturday's race at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala., with a 13-point lead over Acura for the Street Tuner (ST) class Manufacturer Championship, but saw that lead diminish to three points.

"The weekend did not go as scripted," said GM Performance Division's Ken Wasmer, whose engineering team provides technical support for all Cobalt SS Supercharged entrants in the Grand-Am Cup Series.

"We couldn't anticipate the mechanical and electrical problems that hit both Georgian Bay Motorsports cars," Wasmer added, "but I'm proud that the team refused to quit and came back to fight for every single point at this critical time in the season. There are only three races remaining."

The top-finishing Cobalt at Barber was the Collision Craft/Powell Motorsports entry driven by S3 Magazine contributing writer Todd Lamb and GM engineer Dave Thilenius. Their sixth place finish allowed Chevrolet to maintain the lead in Manufacturer points over BMW and Acura.

"We're fortunate to have six Cobalts from three teams racing in this series," said Wasmer. "This way, if one has a problem one or more of the cars, there are other cars and teams which support the overall effort. We're really pleased with the strong showing by the Powell team's crew and drivers."

Driver Championship leaders Eric Curran and Jamie Holtom had their 34-point lead over BMW drivers Don Salama and Will Turner drop to eight points, following an uncharacteristic 28th place finish at Barber.

"The inter-manufacturer rivalry in the series is tremendous," Wasmer added. "Acura, BMW, Subaru, Mazda and Chevrolet all had cars finish in the top six spots, and there's only a 13-point gap between first and third for the manufacturer points."

The Barber race was scheduled for 2h30m, but was stopped at the 1h46m point when a massive summer storm blew through the area with severe winds and heavy rain.

Final results for the Cobalts included V. J. Mirzayan and Jack Mardikian finishing 13th in one of the Team Cobalt California cars, their teammates, Tom Lepper and Robert Dennard in 16th, Powell team drivers Phil Malgren ad Clint Guthrie in 18th, and James Holtom with Daniel Colembie in 21st.

The race was taped by Speed TV and will air Aug. 5 at 1 p.m. on the Speed Channel.

The Trois-Rivieres race is the only Grand-Am Cup event of the season on Canadian soil. "With any street race, where there are no wide, grassy run-off areas if something happens, and instead you have solid concrete walls, the prime challenge is to stay out trouble," Wasmer added. "Our drivers did a terrific job of that in last year's race there, and bodywork damage has been minimal so far this year."

The GM Performance Division offers all Cobalt SS Supercharged entrants a contingency program along with the engineering technical support currently provided at every Grand-Am Cup race. The program awards contingency money for every Top Five finish: $5,000 for a win, $3,000 for second, $2,000 for third, $1,000 for fourth and $500 for fifth place.

Engineered by GM Performance Division, the Cobalt SS Supercharged is the most powerful and agile of the model line, with a suspension developed on Germany's famed Nurburgring race track and a 2.0-liter ECOTEC Supercharged engine named among the industry's 10-Best Engines for 2006 by the editors of Ward's Communications.

GM Performance Division develops compelling, low volume, high-performance production and specialty vehicles, including the 205 hp Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged, 395 hp Chevy Trailblazer SS and 400hp Chevy SSR; the 400 hp CTS-V, 469 hp STS-V and 443 hp XLR-V from the Cadillac V-Series; and the 205 hp Saturn ION Red Line.

-gm racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Eric Curran , Will Turner , Don Salama , Phil Malgren , Jack Mardikian , Todd Lamb