Ferrari returns to glory with Six Hours of The Glen Victory WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (May 19, 2001) -- The Ferrari chassis returned to its glory days in Victory Lane at the Six Hours of The Glen tonight. The ...
Ferrari returns to glory with Six Hours of The Glen Victory
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (May 19, 2001) -- The Ferrari chassis returned to its glory days in Victory Lane at the Six Hours of The Glen tonight. The #27 Doran Lista Racing Judd-powered Ferrari outlasted the #16 Dyson Racing Team Ford-powered Riley & Scott to capture the overall victory at Watkins Glen International. Didier Theys (Phoenix, Ariz.) piloted the Ferrari in the final laps past the ailing Dyson car, which lost a cylinder in the final hour resulting in a loss of speed. Although it had enough to hold on to second place, it was the Doran Lista team celebrating its first win of the season in Victory Lane.
Doran Lista switched back to the Ferrari chassis, which it ran last season, after have problems gaining the proper speed from the Crawford chassis it ran in the first three Rolex Sports Car Series races. Freddy Lienhard (Switzerland), Mauro Baldi (Monaco) and Theys became the fourth set of drivers in as many races to capture the top prize at a Rolex Series race this season, proving the series' fierce level of competition.
"You never know who is going to win," Lienhard said. "I was more nervous watching Didier in the car in the final laps that I was when I was in the car."
George Robinson (Houston, Texas) and Jack Baldwin (Marietta, Ga.) captured their second podium finish of the season despite having to run the race in their old car. The #74 Robinson Racing team had planned to debut its new Riley & Scott Mark III-C chassis at today's race, but a wreak during night practice on Friday caused the team to send it back to the manufacturer for repairs and pull out 'Ole Bessie,' as Baldwin referred to it in Victory Lane when he received the team's third-place trophy.
The #37 Intersport Racing Judd Lola led for several laps in the race and looked as though they might have a chance at back-to-back victories before the Lola was severely damaged when Doug Goad (Farmington Hills, Mich.) in the #09 Flis Motorsports Team X-1R Corvette did not see the fast moving SportsRacing Prototype coming upon him as they both went through the S's at The Glen.
"I apologize to the Banana Joe's (#37) car, because I didn't know they were down there going into that turn," Goad said after the race. "Its very difficult to see those cars coming over the hills on this track, and I was just lucky that I didn't spin out when I hit him, or it could have been a far worse wreak."
The #09 suffered light damage in the collision and managed to go on to win the American GT class, despite the crew having to perform a transmission change in the pits. The Corvette had only fourth gear in it when Goad's co-driver Craig Conway (Daytona Beach, Fla.) pulled it into the pits, and the crew managed to change the transmission in only 12 minutes, allowing it to hold off any threats from other class competitors, as well as finish in the top-10 overall.
Not all of the competitors who were in collisions on the track today were as lucky. The #6 Miracle Motorsports Ford Riley & Scott hit the #15 Fordahl Motorsports/Crazy Redhead Racing #15 Porsche GT3 RS very hard in the back of the track, practically destroying the Ford as the two slammed into the railing. Both Brent Sherman (North Barrington, Ill.), in the #6, and Kim Hiskey (Monroe, Wash.), in the #15, were transported to area hospitals and later released. Hiskey recently made history as the first female driver to capture a victory at a Rolex Series race.
After taking a race off, Team Spencer had a triumphant return to the Rolex Series when it took the win in the SportsRacing Prototype II class. The #62 Mazda Kudzu took victory in a close battle with the point-leading #21 Archangel Motorsport Services Nissan Lola. Rich Grupp (Atlanta, Ga.), Barry Waddell (Evansville, Ind.) and Ryan Hampton (Glendora, Calif.) piloted the Mazda to not only the top in the SportsRacing Prototype II class, but also third place overall. It marks the first time a SRPII car has made it onto the overall podium.
The #5 Fordahl Motorsports/Park Place Racing Saleen S7R became the first car in the GTS class to capture two victories this season. Chris Bingham (Kirkland, Wash.) overcame a 30-second penalty on the first lap for passing before the start/finish at the beginning of the race. Bingham and co-driver Ron Johnson (Laguna Beach, Calif.) were in a heated battle with the #99 Schumacher Racing Porsche GT1 throughout the race.
"We were nose to tail (with the #99) in a pretty tight race," said Johnson. "Every time we got a little lead, we got a caution. But we kind of caught a break when the lead car got between us on a yellow. That's when we began to pull away, and then the 99 started having trouble."
The #5 Saleen finished 5th overall, followed by the #99 Porsche GT1 in sixth place.
The GT class winners saw action on the racetrack right up until the final lap. Darren Law (Phoenix, Ariz.) was in the #81 G&W Motorsports Porsche GT3 RS on the final lap when a fellow GT car missed the chicane and failed to yield to Law as he exited the bus stop, hitting the Porsche and putting it into a spin.
"I was so mad. You should have heard me on the radio," Law said. "We were three laps up, so luckily it didn't cost us the race." Law managed to regain control of the Porsche to take the checkered flag for himself and co-drivers Matt Drendel (Hickory, N.C.) and David Murry (Atlanta, Ga.) for the first time this year. Genesis Racing's #10 BMW M3 finished second in the class with Rick Fairbanks (Greenville, S.C.) and Cass Whitehead (Gainesville, Ga.) sharing driving duties.
The Rolex Sports Car Series will now travel northward to Connecticut for the Lime Rock Grand Prix next weekend. The GT cars will take to the track on Saturday, May 26 for a sprint race, while the SportsRacing Prototype cars will compete in a unique twin sprint format on Memorial Day, May 28.
More information on the Rolex Sports Car Series is available online at www.grand-am.com.