Dobson, Nonnamaker to Lead Field in UnitedAuto Touring 250. PHOENIX (April 19, 2002) -- Ken Dobson will lead the field of Sport Touring cars to the green flag in tonight's UnitedAuto Touring 250 at Phoenix International Raceway. Dobson broke the...
Dobson, Nonnamaker to Lead Field in UnitedAuto Touring 250.
PHOENIX (April 19, 2002) -- Ken Dobson will lead the field of Sport Touring cars to the green flag in tonight's UnitedAuto Touring 250 at Phoenix International Raceway. Dobson broke the Sport Touring I track record with his 1:10.317 lap at 77.307 mph in the #34 Villaconn International BMW Z3, shaving 0.182 seconds off the record set by Mike Van Sicklen last year.
"All I did was get in and go. The car did exactly what I thought. Went out there, did a warm up lap and two quick laps, brought it in and that was it. It was a 15-minute session done in five minutes worth of work. The car is good to go," Dobson said.
Van Sicklen will start on the outside pole after posting a 1:10.803 lap time in the King Motorsports #64 Acura Integra R. Dobson's teammate - Bransen Patch - will start third in Villaconn's #36 BMW Z3. The points-leading #2 Team Lexus IS300 qualified 12th.
Wayne Nonnamaker captured his first Sport Touring I pole of the season in the #41 HRPworld.com Acura Integra LS, clocking a 1:13.760 lap time at 73.698 mph. The 26-year-old driver was happy to see his team finally pass Bill Fenton's #27 Integra that dominated the class in the first two races.
"This race we've come with a different setup. We've worked really hard ever since Daytona just trying to develop the car into what the #27 car already had. I think we're there now," Nonnamaker said. "The Miatas are there. And there's a fast Protégé in this race. It's going to be really tight out there. Four different kinds of cars and they're all together. This race is also going to be a challenge for me. I have strep throat right now. That's going to be kind of interesting. We're going to run to the first yellow and see how it goes."
DTM Engineering's #5 Mazda Miata posted the second-quickest time in the class during qualifying, while points-leading Fenton took the third position in the class.
Hyundai Breaks In 2003 Tiburon Motorsports kicked off the 2002 Grand-Am Cup season by debuting the new 2003 Tiburon. The team has been working out the kinks involved in developing a new car all season, and hopes tonight's UnitedAuto Touring 250 will be its breakthrough race. The Canadian-based team is working with the engineers from Hyundai Motor America, who are at the track this weekend. The drivers report they are very satisfied with the new Tiburon and impressed with its speed inn the straightaways.
Hyundai Motorsports entered three Tiburons in tonight's race - #6, #8 and #14, but will run only two. The #8 Tiburon spun coming out of NASCAR turn four during the first practice session and sustained heavy damage to the rear when it hit the wall. The crew reports the damage is too heavy to repair for tonight's race.
G&W Motorsports Bounces Back After #81 Crash When G&W Motorsports' #81 Porsche GT3 Cup scraped the wall during the Grand-Am Cup 250 at California Speedway last month, the damage appeared to be minor. Although it ousted the frontrunner from the race, onlookers thought it would be a quick fix back in the shop to get ready for Saturday afternoon's UnitedAuto Sport 250. But, to the team's surprise the damage was far worse than it appeared. The team reports that the #81 Porsche sustained a broken engine, gearbox and subframe from the collision, causing the team to put long hours in the at garage to get it ready for this weekend's race.
Cort Wagner and Brent Martini are sharing driving duties in the #81 Porsche this weekend.
Doncaster Back On Track Racing's #76 Porsche GT Cup is back on track after losing its hood at the start of practice on Thursday. The Porsche's hood flipped up and hit the windshield on the first lap. The driver was able to maneuver the Porsche around the track back to the pits where the crew took it behind the wall for repairs. The team reports that luckily the only damage was to the hood and windshield, both of which have been replaced.
SpeedSourceBoxster Back in Shape nearly lost its #68 Porsche Boxster during an accident at a test session in California. The Boxster sustained severe damage, causing the team to return to their South Florida garage where they worked day-and-night to repair the car. The team was forced to cancel some promotional appearances in order to work on the car, but managed to get it pieced back together in time for tonight's UnitedAuto Touring 250.
Team owner Sylvain Tremblay says he's looking forward to tonight's race, which should be more relaxing than most races. "I can't remember the last time we only ran two cars in a race," said the six-car team owner.
Focused On Repairs The Prisma Racing #88 Ford Focus traveled to Phoenix early to participate in a media day on Wednesday. While giving the media rides in their race car, the Focus lost a fuel injector, sending the team to the garage for repairs Thursday morning. Trouble struck the Focus team yet again during practice today, when it suffered a broken shift tower component.
Tickets for tonight's UnitedAuto Touring 250 and Saturday afternoon's UnitedAuto Sport 250 at Phoenix International Raceway, as well as the Rolex Sports Car Series UnitedAuto 200 presented by azcentral.com, are available online at www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com or by calling 602-252-2227. Additional information about the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series can be found online at www.grandamcup.com.