This is the eighth event of the inaugural Grand American Road Racing Association season. The only remaining event will be the Bosch Summerfest at Watkins Glen International August 25-27, the continuation of the famed Six Hours. This weekend...
This is the eighth event of the inaugural Grand American Road Racing Association season. The only remaining event will be the Bosch Summerfest at Watkins Glen International August 25-27, the continuation of the famed Six Hours.
This weekend will see a 92-lap Grand-Am feature race on the 10-turn, 1.5-mile circuit, combining all five classes, at 3:15 p.m. on Sunday.
Friday's schedule begins with GT practice at 10:10 a.m. The GT classes and SportsRacers will each have a 30-minute morning session. This afternoon, there will a 1:40 p.m. session combining all five classes. Saturday's schedule includes a one hour practice sessions for all race groups, with GT qualifying beginning at 1:45 p.m., and SportsRacer qualifying at 2:25 p.m. The day concludes with a 30-minute final practice at 5:05 p.m.
The fastest qualifiers in each class, plus the top three overall, will be brought to the interview room following qualifying.
There are a number of additions to the entry list. InterSport Racing will field the No. 37 Banana Joe's Lola B2K10. The Judd-powered car had a very strong run at Road America, running in the top three until a late spin resulted in a fifth place finish. Jon Field is the team's regular lead driver, and will again be joined by English Formula 3000 star Oliver Gavin.
The colorful No. 46 Viper West Dodge Viper of Erik Messley and Stu Hayner will compete in the GTO division. The team won the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona in addition to posting thirds at Mid-Ohio and Road America.
The Rums of Puerto Rico team will field the No. 44 Mazda in the GTU class, with drivers Pascaso Aporte and Norborg Blanc, both of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Scott Schubot will be paired with crowd favorite Claude Bourbonnais of Ile Perot, Quebec, in the No. 8 Philip Creighton Motorsports Ford-Lola B2K10. One of the most successful drivers in Toyota Atlantic history, he won the pole at Trois-Rivieres in 1991. Bourbonnais is tied with Gilles Villeneuve with 13 career Toyota Atlantic victories, second only to Mark Dismore on the all-time list. He is also a two-time runnerup in the championship (1990, 1993).
The potent combination of James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger returns to Dyson Racing's No. 16 Riley & Scott Ford for only the third time in 2000. The pair combined to win at Lime Rock, and were leading at Mid-Ohio until suffering a broken bolt while leading late in the race. Leitzinger ran second in the recent round at Road America, co-driving with Scott Schubot in the Philip Creighton Motorsports Ford-Lola B2K10, running second with less than 10 laps to go before blowing a head gasket. "Our last street race together was at Minneapolis, and James and I won," Leitzinger recalled. "Before that, we raced in the streets of New Orleans, and James and I finished one-two. "I think we'll be really well set up for the race," Leitzinger continued. "The Riley & Scott chassis is excellent for street courses. It's very well suited for absorbing the bumps you encounter on temporary circuits."
Versatile Andy Lally of Northport, N.Y. is in an unfamiliar role this weekend -- as a spector. He was listed to drive the No. 6 SRII Nissan Lola, but sponsorship fell through. He will be fitted for his seat preparing for his Toyota Atlantic debut next month at Road America. John Macaluso will join Paul Macey of Toronto in the No. 6 Nissan Lola.
Jeff Altenburg, the current points leader for the 2000 "Rookie of the Year" title in the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series, will make his second Grand-Am start this weekend. Altenburg made his Grand-Am debut three weeks ago at Road America with McCann Racing in the GTO class, driving a Viper GTSR to a second place class finish. Altenburg, the 1999 SCCA Club Racing T1 Champion who drives the No.5 Steele Racing Jaguar XKR in the Trans-Am series, will drive for Genesis Racing and pilot the No.55 BMW M3 in the GTU class. He will co-drive with Chris Gleason. "We've got a big gap between races in the Trans-Am series," said Altenburg, who has four SCCA Solo national titles, six SCCA Pro Solo championships, and two Neon Challenge championships to his credit. "A driver wants to race as hard as he can as often as he can to keep fresh and not lose any momentum. Both of these opportunities to drive in the Grand-Am races allow me to do that. I've never raced in Trois-Rivieres before and I always look for a chance to add another track to my racing resume. No one can test here since it's a temporary circuit so that's somewhat of an equalizer. Even still, I intend to be fast in practice, qualify well, and finish up front. I think the BMW M3 will show well on this street circuit."
The No. 50 Genesis BMW M-3 of Rick Fairbanks and Andy Pilgrim was fastest in opening practice with a lap of 1:08.45/79.951 mph. Second, and fastest in GTO, was the No. 5 Saleen SR of Terry Borcheller and Ron Johnson, 1:08.602/79.817 mph. Third, and fastest in American GT, was the No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Camaro of Craig Conway and Doug Goad, 1:10.327/77.859 mph. Fourth was the No. 46 GTO Viper of Erik Messley and Stu Hayner, 1:10.459/77.712 mph, followed by the No. 81 GTU Porsche of Darren Law and Mike Fitzgerald, 1:10.697/77.452 mph.