Local Favorites Lead Grand-Am Cup Series Across the Border for Mosport 200 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 14, 2005) -- With several of their countrymen at or near the top of the championship standings Canadian race fans will have plenty to cheer...
Local Favorites Lead Grand-Am Cup Series Across the Border for Mosport 200
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 14, 2005) -- With several of their countrymen at or near the top of the championship standings Canadian race fans will have plenty to cheer about at Saturday's Mosport when the Grand-Am Cup Series returns to Mosport International Raceway for the first time since 2003.
Leading the Grand-Am Cup Grand Sport (GS) driver standings are No. 05 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang co-drivers David Empringham and Scott Maxwell, both of whom hail from Toronto. Empringham and Maxwell scored their first victory of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and have finished inside the top-two positions in three of their five starts to take the points lead.
However, Empringham may find himself in sole possession of first after the Mosport 200, as Maxwell has another commitment this weekend as is not likely to participate in the race. Gunnar Jeannette, who scored his first Grand-Am Cup race victory in Round 3 at California Speedway, will likely take Maxwell's place in the car.
If Empringham and the No. 05 team stumble, however, other Canadians could take the top spot in the standings, as Ancaster, Ontario's Mike McCalmont and his Toronto-born No. 6 Zoom Motorsports/Brumos Porsche 996 co-driver Darren Law are just four points back in the standings (142-138). McCalmont and Law have finished inside the top four in each of their past three starts and would love to score a breakthrough victory this weekend at Mosport.
Another strong entry from Canada is the No. 11 Powell Motorsport Cadillac CTS-V co-driven by Devon Powell from Port Perry, Ontario and American Don Knowles. Powell has seen his share of success at Mosport however, winning back-to-back Grand-Am Cup events at the track in 2001 and 2002. The best result of the 2005 season for Powell and Knowles was a third-place performance in the inaugural Miller Grand-Am Cup 200 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
One more Canadian duo to watch is Kenny Wilden from Oakville, Ontario and Alan Wortzman from Aurora, Ontario, who share the No. 16 Zoom Motorsports BMW M3. Wilden and Wortzman have finished inside the top 10 in three of their five starts thus far in 2005.
There are also several drivers who hail from south of the border who could have a say in the outcome of the Mosport 200. No. 5 Blackforest Motorsports Ford Mustang GT co-drivers Tom Nastasi and Ian James opened the season with a victory at Daytona International Speedway and also finished third in Round 4 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The duo is joined on the entry list by co-driver Mike Borkowski, and could be a strong contender for a podium finish. The No. 55 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT driving duo of James Gue and Tom Milner is another one to watch, as the car has run near at or near the front of the field throughout the 2005 season.
While the new Ford Mustang has been the car to beat since the start of the season, the BMW M3 has also been a top contender and several drivers may find that car to be the combination to victory in Canada. Last weekend at Watkins Glen, No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 co-drivers Justin Marks and Bill Auberlen scored their second victory of the season. Marks will have a different co-driver this weekend as Terry Borcheller--who finished first in the GS II class at Mosport in 20003--will share the No. 96 BMW with Marks.
Other strong M3s will be fielded this weekend by Anchor Racing, Automatic Racing and Finlay Motorsports. Anchor Racing has entered three BMW M3s, with Anders Hainer, Joey Hand and Boris Said listed as the drivers on the team's No. 99 machine. Rick Skelton and Joe Foster will share the No. 92 Anchor Racing BMW M3 and Tim Probert, David Scott and John Munson slated to co-drive the No. 72 Anchor Racing BMW M3.
Automatic Racing has entered a pair of BMW M3s, with Vancouver's David Riddle set to share the team's No. 90 machine with Kris Wilson and Jep Thornton and David Russell sharing the No. 09 BMW. Finlay Motorsports will field the No. 60 BMW M3 for team owner Rob Finlay and co-driver Michael McDowell.
In the Sport Touring (ST) class, defending ST champions David Haskell and Quebec's Sylvain Tremblay clearly rank among the drivers to beat. Tremblay and Haskell already have two ST class victories in their No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8, and stood atop the class point standings before a tough outing at Watkins Glen last weekend.
No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i co-drivers Will Turner and Don Salama share the ST points lead with three top-five finishes from four starts. With 104 points, they are just one point ahead Carp, Ontario's Jim Holtom, who scored an ST victory last weekend with co-driver Andy Lally and will again share the No. 00 Georgian Bay Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt with his son, Jamie, this weekend. Both the No. 00 and No. 95 teams certainly qualify as favorites for this weekend as well.
Also not to be overlooked are Steve Pfeffer and Tim Pappas, who share the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i, as well as No. 27 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX-S co-drivers Eric Curran and Bob Endicott, and Mike Liebl and Bob Beede in the No. 29 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX-S.
After a day of testing at Mosport on Thursday, June 16, the official weekend activities get underway on Friday, June 17, when the Grand-Am Cup Series machines take to the track for the first time at 9:55 a.m. ET for a 45-minute practice session. The day's second practice session is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. to 2:20 p.m., and will be followed by ST qualifying from 3:30 to 3:45 p.m. and GS qualifying from 3:55 to 4:10 p.m.
Saturday's race day schedule calls for the Grand-Am Cup machines to get a final, 15-minute practice session from 8:40 to 8:55 a.m., followed by the Mosport 200, which takes the green flag at 3:30 p.m. ET. The scheduled distance is 200 miles (82 laps), but the race is subject to a two and-a-half hour time limit. Live Timing & Scoring data from every on-track session will be available on the official web site of the Grand American Road Racing Association, www.grandamerican.com.
WHO: Grand American Grand-Am Cup Series
WHAT: Grand-Am Cup Series Mosport 200
(GS - Round 6 of 11; ST - Round 5 of 10)
WHERE: Mosport International Raceway; Bowmanville, Ontario,
(2.459-miles, 10-turn permanent road course)
WHEN: Grand-Am Cup Series Mosport 200
Saturday, June 18, 3:30 p.m. ET
LENGTH: Grand-Am Cup Series Mosport 200
200-miles/82-laps/2 ½ hour time limit
<pre> WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday, June 17 3:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m. Qualifying-- Grand-Am Cup Series-ST 3:55 p.m.-4:10 p.m. Qualifying-- Grand-Am Cup Series-GS
Saturday, June 18 8:40 a.m.-8:55 a.m. Final practice-- Grand-Am Cup Series 3:30 p.m. START-- Grand-Am Cup Series Mosport 200 (200-miles/82-laps/2 ½-hour time limit)