19 May, 1997 WHAT: Connecticut Lottery Presents the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix, 1-hour 45-minute race for the Exxon World SportsCar Championship; 1-hour 45-minute Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive for GTS-1, GTS-2 and GTS-3...
19 May, 1997
WHAT: Connecticut Lottery Presents the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix, 1-hour 45-minute race for the Exxon World SportsCar Championship; 1-hour 45-minute Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive for GTS-1, GTS-2 and GTS-3 race, plus SCCA races
WHERE: 1.54-mile "Long Course" with Chicane Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, CT
WHEN: May 23-26, 1997
CONTACTS: Lime Rock Park, Jeff Eichelberger, Roy Hasty, (860) 435-5006 PRESS ROOM, (860) 455-5011 Professional SportsCar Racing, Ed Nicholls, (813) 877-4672 Exxon World SportsCar Championship & Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive, Jack Gerken, (714) 436-9900
VIDEO NEWS SERVICE Pre-race and post-race video is available from Apex Communications. Description of feed: Tape will come with NATSOT only for re-editing. Video highlights from the Exxon World SportsCar Championship and Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive races will be available. If problems occur during transmission contact the on-site uplink at (860) 435-1322 or the press room (860) 435-5011. RACE DAY HIGHLIGHTS -- 5/26/97, 5:45 pm- 6:00 pm, ET, KU-Band, SBS 6, Transponder 11 B, DF 11.982. Contact Karen Gordon, (219) 477-3997.
TELEVISION: Exxon World SportsCar Championship Speedvision, LIVE, May 26, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Eastern Time Speedvision, May 31, 3:00am-6:00am, Eastern Time Prime Network, June 4, The Motorsports Hour by Chevrolet Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive Speedvision, June 1, 3:00pm-4:00pm, Eastern Time Speedvision, June 1, 10:00pm-11:00pm, Eastern Time Speedvision, June 2, 1:00pm-2:00pm, Eastern Time Prime Network, June 11, The Motorsports Hour by Chevrolet
RADIO: Radio stations -- for radio feeds, contact Announcer, Jim Martyn at (905) 206-1304 or at the track.
1996 WINNERS: Exxon World SportsCar: Gianpiero Moretti, Max Papis/Ferrari 333 SP Exxon Supreme GTS-1: Irv Hoerr/Oldsmobile Aurora Exxon Supreme GTS-3: Henry Taleb/Nissan 240SX
SPORTSCAR ON THE INTERNET Connecticut Lottery Presents the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix will feature a live audio broadcast over the website, www.professionalsportscar.com.
Event coverage will feature: Mon., May 26th: 2:05 pm EDT 1-hour 45- min. Exxon World SportsCar Championship Race Mon., May 26th: 4:10 pm EDT 1-hour 45-min. Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive Race
This coverage will be an "audio" broadcast and requires downloading the "Real Audio Player," http://www.realaudio.com/products/player. A link to this download site is available from www.professionalsportscar.com
Also available on the SportsCar website will be the event press notes, driver quotes, timing and scoring sessions and race results. From the home page go to the Lime Rock event logo to find the event information through the weekend, or from the Results and Standings button.
COURSE RECORDS: EXXON WORLD SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP Qlfyg.:James Weaver/Ford R&S MK III 0:48.423/114.491 mph (5/96) Race lap: Wayne Taylor/Ferrari 333 SP 0:49.963/110.962 mph (5/95) 1 hour, 45 min.: Wayne Taylor/Ferrari 333 SP 100.28 mph (5/95) EXXON SUPREME GTS-1 Qlfyg.: Darin Brassfield/Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 0:53.249/104.114mph (5/95) Race lap: Irv Hoerr/Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 0:54.410/101.893mph (5/95) 1 hour, 45 min.:Irv Hoerr/Oldsmobile Aurora 82.901mph (5/96) EXXON SUPREME GTS-3 (formerly GTS-2) Qlfyg.: Bill Auberlen/Mazda RX-7 0:56.137/98.758mph (5/95) Race lap: Henry Taleb/Nissan 240SX 0:56.802/97.602mph (5/96) 1 hour, 45 min.: TBD
Exxon Supreme GTS-2 records to be determined.
CONNECTICUT LOTTERY PRESENTS THE DODGE DEALERS GRAND PRIX RACE NOTES
EXXON WORLD SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP
The #30 MOMO Ferrari 333 SP has won all three Exxon World SportsCar Championship races held at Lime Rock Park. 1997 MOMO Ferrari drivers Andrea Montermini and Antonio Hermann hope to repeat the success of Max Papis and Gianpiero Moretti in 1996, Wayne Taylor’s solo win in 1995, and Eliseo Salazar and Gianpiero Moretti’s 1994 win.
MOMO Ferrari driver Andrea Montermini (pronounced Mon-TER-min-ee) has quickly established himself as the series’ hotshoe. The Italian joined the MOMO team at round two of the 1997 season in Sebring, and set fastest race lap at both Sebring and round three at Road Atlanta. Montermini comes to the MOMO team with Formula One and Indy car experience.
The Dyson Ford team, winners of five of the last six Exxon World SportsCar Championship events, look like the best bet to break Ferrari’s three-race Lime Rock win streak. The team has entered two cars, the #16 Ford R&S MK III for James Weaver and Rob Dyson, and the #20 Ford for Butch Leitzinger and Elliott Forbes-Robinson. Weaver qualified on the pole in last season’s race and has finished second in the previous two Lime Rock events. Leitzinger, though he has not won in WSC at Lime Rock, has won the Lime Rock Busch Grand National North race the past three seasons.
Double Exxon World SportsCar Champion Wayne Taylor (1994 & 1995) has had a difficult 1997 season; his best finish is a fifth at Road Atlanta. The team has been testing between Atlanta and Lime Rock and are optimistic. "Pirelli has stepped up and we came away from the test with an even better tire," said Taylor. "I’m feeling really good about the race." Taylor has had previous success at Lime Rock, having qualified on the pole and won the 1994 event aboard the MOMO Ferrari.
It is a diverse field that is entered in the Exxon World SportsCar Championship race at Lime Rock: Seven chassis (Riley & Scott, Ferrari, Kudzu, Hawk, Courage, Argo & URD), powered by seven engine manufacturers (Ford, Ferrari, Oldsmobile, BMW, Buick, Chevrolet & Mazda) will be piloted by drivers from 11 countries (Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, Italy, Monaco, Peru, South Africa, Spain & United States)
EXXON SUPREME GT SERIES PRESENTED BY VIRGIN INTERACTIVE
The 1997 Exxon Supreme GTS-1 championship battle has been wide open so far, with three different winners in the first three races. Lime Rock contenders include the Daytona-winning #01 Porsche 911 Turbo of Jochen Rohr and Andy Pilgrim, the Road Atlanta-winning #66 Panoz GTR-1 of Doc Bundy and Paul Newman, the #27 Ford Mustang Cobra of Scott Maxwell and Jason Priestley, and the #91 Chevrolet Camaro of Roger Schramm and Stu Hayner (who finished second last month at Road Atlanta).
The new-for-1997 Exxon Supreme GTS-2 class incorporates domestic makes and models and FIA GT2 cars with performance levels which previously fell in the gap between SportsCar’s GTS-1 and the old GTS-2 class. The new class has been dominated by FIA GT2 spec Porsche 911 Turbos. Race favorites at Lime Rock include the #99 Porsche 911 Turbo of Larry Schumacher and John O’Steen, winners last month at Road Atlanta, and the #56 Porsche 911 Turbo of Martin Snow and Phillip Collin.
The Exxon Supreme GTS-3 class (previously GTS-2) has evolved into a battle between the BMW M3 and non-turbocharged Porsche 911. Since the start of last season, Porsche has won six races and BMW five, while the Nissan 240SX has won only twice. However, Porsche has not won the class at Lime Rock since 1980 and BMW has never won the class at Lime Rock. Look for that to change this season, with front runners to include the #10 BMW M3 of Bill Auberlen and Boris Said, #7 BMW M3 of Dieter Quester and Marc Duez and the #39 Porsche 911 of Jim Mathews and David Murry.