Grand-Am Cup Heads North for Trois-Rivieres Street Fight DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 3, 2006) -- With only three races remaining on the 2006 Grand-Am Cup Series schedule--and a scant four points separating the first seven drivers in the Grand...
Grand-Am Cup Heads North for Trois-Rivieres Street Fight
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 3, 2006) -- With only three races remaining on the 2006 Grand-Am Cup Series schedule--and a scant four points separating the first seven drivers in the Grand Sport class point standings--many teams will look to make statements in the championship chase as a pair of split-class races are slated this weekend in Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in Canada.
A total of 38 Grand Sport (GS) machines and 32 Street Tuner (ST) cars are entered to race on the temporary street circuit, making the quick turnaround from last weekend's event at Barber Motorsports Park. The green flag drops on the ST cars on Saturday at 1:35 p.m. ET, with the GS machines headlining the event on Sunday at 3:15 p.m. ET.
No. 96 Turner Motosport BMW M3 co-drivers Bill Auberlen and Chris Gleason look to build a cushion in their GS class points lead, which is now just one point better than teammate Anders Hainer in the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 (168-167). With regular co-driver Boris Said competing in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series this weekend, it hasn't been announced who will share the driving duties with Hainer. Auberlen--the defending race winner--and Gleason have scored two victories this season (Lime Rock and Mid-Ohio) and have finished inside the top-four in five of seven races. Hainer has finished inside the top eight positions six times, with best results of second at Phoenix International Raceway and Lime Rock.
Just behind the Turner Motorsport drivers in the standings are Patrick Long and Brent Martini with 165 championship markers in the No. 81 Wheel Enhancement Porsche 997. The duo has scored six-straight top-eight performances heading into this weekend. Just one point in arrears of the No. 81 tandem is No. 49 Porsche of Lexington/Formal Transportation/Cobra Power Sports Porsche 997 co-drivers Andy Lally and Spencer Pumpelly, who scored their first victory of the season at Phoenix four races ago.
The Trois-Rivieres entry list is chock full of Quebec favorites, including Montreal natives Valerie Limoges and Alex Tagliani in the No. 4 Ameublement Tanguay/Rythym FM Ford Mustang GT for Blackforest Motorsports. Tagliani, who regularly drives in the Champ Car World Series, is making his Grand-Am Cup debut, while Limoges has scored two top-10 finishes this season. Fellow Canadians Fernando Scattolin and David Empringham will each pilot a Ford Mustang GT for Blackforest Motorsports, with their co-drivers still to be determined.
Local legend Marc-Antoine Camirand also makes a return to the famed 1.506-mile, 10-turn street circuit, co-driving the No. 9 Diamond Suzuki/ Crane Cams/ Corsa Exhaust Pontiac GTO with Craig Conway, while Toronto native Scott Maxwell will share the No. 55 Hyper Sport Ford Mustang GT with Joe Foster. Canadians Jean-Francois Dumoulin, Richard Spenard and Michael Vong are entered in the No. 60 Jardine Henderson Group Inc. Porsche 997. Dumoulin, who is from Trois-Rivieres, will also compete in the Street Tuner race in the No. 22 Nuzzo Motorsports Mini Cooper with Scattolin.
Canada's Jamie Holtom and co-driver Eric Curran headline the Street Tuner field in the No. 01 Clearscada/GM Performance Division Chevrolet Cobalt. The duo has scored four class victories during a five-race stretch this season, and come into the weekend with a nine-point lead over No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i co-drivers Will Turner and Don Salama in the point standings (201-192). The margin could have been wider, but mechanical issues last weekend at Barber relegated the No. 01 team to a 28th-place class finish, while the No. 95 machine finished fourth.
Sitting third in the championship with 182 points apiece is the No. 27 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX-S brother combination of Hugh and Matt Plumb. The duo logged their first victory of the season in the rain-shortened event at Barber Motorsports Park last weekend, and finished on the ST class podium in each of the last four races.
Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres is the only event of the year in Canada for the Grand-Am Cup Series, and provides the perfect opportunity for local teams to compete on their home track as well as others to tap local talent to compete on a circuit they are familiar with. SpeedSource, the defending ST class team champion, has entered Louis-Philippe Dumoulin in their No. 68 Mondial Forwarding/ D&S Insurance Mazda RX-8 with Jose Armengol. Ontario-based Kensai Racing has a two-car lineup entered Saturday, with a pair of Canadian driver duos. Travis Walker and Aaron Povoledo will share the No. 75 Skunk2/ Hondata/ Hawk/ KHF Acura RSX-S, with Karl Thomson and Mathieu Audette in the No. 76 Compass360.com Acura RSX-S. In total, 27 Canadian drivers are entered to race.
The first practice session for Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres will begin on Friday, August 4 at 9:00 a.m. Live Timing & Scoring for all on-track activities can be found on the official website of Grand American Road Racing, www.grandamerican.com.