Press Notes 1-13, Friday 23 May, 1997 1. Good morning and welcome to the first day of official activity for the Connecticut Lottery Presents the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix. Todayâ€™s activities include practice for the Exxon World SportsCar ...
Press Notes 1-13, Friday
23 May, 1997
1. Good morning and welcome to the first day of official activity for the Connecticut Lottery Presents the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix. Today’s activities include practice for the Exxon World SportsCar Championship and Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive.
The weekend features two Professional SportsCar Racing, Inc. (SportsCar) championships competing in two different races. A 1-hour, 45-minute Exxon World SportsCar Championship race for Exxon World SportsCars, and a 1-hour, 45-minute Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive race.
2. The following people are here to help you:
Lime Rock Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jeff Eichelberger & Roy Hasty, Public Relations
Professional SportsCar Racing, Inc.. . . . .Ed Nicholls, Director of Communications
3. ENTRY LIST CHANGES
EXXON WORLD SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP
CAR CLASS CHANGE
2 WSC SCRATCH ENTRY
8 WSC DELETE Johnny OConnell; ADD Roger Mandeville/Spartanburg, SC
20 WSC ADD Andy Wallace/Aylesbury, England
03 WSC DELETE Armin Hahne; ADD Perry McCarthy/England
EXXON SUPREME GT SERIES PRESENTED BY VIRGIN INTERACTIVE
CAR CLASS CHANGE
6 GTS-3 DELETE Tom Hessert; ADD Derek Hill/Santa Monica, CA
19 GTS-1 ADD Shane Lewis/Jupiter, FL
28 GTS-3 NEW ENTRY Marvin Epps/Carmel, CA, Jeff Barker/Hesperia, CA; Porsche 911
71 GTS-2 NEW ENTRY Brian Richards/Pleasant Hill, CA; Mazda RX-7
80 GTS-1 NEW ENTRY David Perelle/Cleveland, TN; Terry Borcheller/Phoenix, AZ; Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
91 GTS-1 NEW ENTRY Roger Schramm/Rockford, IL; Stu Hayner/Yorba Linda, CA; Chevrolet Camaro
4. 12:18 pm, GREEN FLAG waves starting the first SportsCar practice session of the day. The Exxon World SportsCar Championship cars take to the track for a 50-minute session. #30 Andrea Montermimi set the fastest time in this first practice with a time of 0:49.867 for 111.17 mph.
5. 1:15 p.m. GREEN FLAG waves starting the first 50 minute Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive practice session ... #80 slow on track at outset ... #57 third fastest in the session ... #15 locking up right front going into Turn #1 ... #66, Paul Newman turns in a fast lap of 56.309 seconds, 98.457 mph ... #91, second fastest at 56.412 seconds, 98.277 mph ... #15, off into grass at bottom of the hill, rejoins session, no damage ... #01, third fastest of session, 57.306, 96.744 mph ... #15, locks up front end, does 360 turn, no damage, no contact, rejoins session ... Five minutes left in session ... #91 GTS-1 Chevrolet Camaro of Stu Hayner, set
the best lap 56.151 for 98.733 mph ... Checkered flag, session complete at 1:50 p.m.
6. ENTRY LIST CHANGES
EXXON WORLD SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP
CAR CLASS CHANGE
28 WSC ADD - Owen Trinkler/Nashville, TN
33 WSC ADD - John Mirro/Bath, PA; Owen Trinkler/Nashville, TN
7. Ferrari drivers ROB MORGAN and EDUARDO DIBOS are both in a very unusual predicament this weekend. Both of their co-drivers will compete in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, and will not arrive at Lime Rock until late Sunday. Morgan will share the No. 43 Ferrari 333SP with Eliseo Salazar (who is gridded ninth for the Indy 500), while Dibos will team with Fermin Velez (who will start 29th at Indy) in the No. 3 Ferrari 333SP. Both Morgan and Dibos are new to Exxon World SportsCar racing in 1997, having raced in Exxon Supreme GTS-1 competition and other SportsCar divisions in the past.
ROB MORGAN: It's my job this weekend to get the car set up to where we both like it. I’ve never had to set up an Exxon World SportsCar by myself before. It’s definitely a lot different than the GTS-1 cars (which he raced in the past). It’s a little more pressure on me -- and a lot more responsibility. Fortunately, Eliseo and I like the car set up pretty much the same way. It just takes getting used to, and I’m still learning how to drive the track with the Ferrari -- it’s a lot different here than driving the GTS-1 car. The main differences are Turn One, the right-hander at the top of the hill, and coming down the hill. You’ve got to keep the momentum going -- Lime Rock is a big momentum track. I was trying to slow the car down too much in the first session, and it’s real hard to get that right-hander just right.
8. 4:47pm, GREEN FLAG starts the second practice session of the day for the Exxon World SportsCars ... 4:57 pm, 15 minutes into the 35 minute practice session, the fastest car is the #30 MOMO Ferrari of Andrea Montermini, with a fast lap of :50.313 sec. 110.190 mph ... 5:02 pm, #16 Weaver just reset fastest lap, with a time of 49.566 111.851 mph ... 5:22 pm, CHECKERED FLAG ends the session with the #16 Dyson Ford holding the fastest lap of :49.566 sec for 111.85 mph.
9. 5:31 pm, GREEN FLAG starts the second practice session of the day for the Exxon Supreme GTS-1, GTS-2 and GTS-3 cars...Bundy/Newman Panoz GTS-1, with Paul Newman driving, car fastest in early part of session, at :56.167 sec. 98.706 mph on lap 5...four cars under 58-second lap midway through 25-minute session...Henry Taleb, Nissan 240SX, fastest GTS-3 car at :57.334 sec. 92.853 mph while Phillip Collin leads GTS-2 field (Porsche 911) at :57.599 sec 96.252 mph...Scott Maxwell, in Ford Mustang Cobra (GTS-1), sets fastest lap with nine minutes left, at :55.969 sec. 99.055 mph and then hits the pits...Maxwell back out with six minutes left in session...Stu Hayner moves up to third fastest on lap 14, with :56.168 mph 96.681 mph...#27 Scott Maxwell held on to the fastest lap time of :55.969 sec. 99.055 mph ... CHECKERED FLAG ends the session at 5:56 pm.
10. JAMES WEAVER, #16 Dyson Ford R&S MK III - I think we've got a reasonable chance to win the pole. It all depends on how the track goes and how hot it is -- which will determine which tires we can run. If we’ve got to run the harder tire, we’ll probably not win the pole. But if we can run the softer compound, we might get it. The car is very, very quick, but the track was extremely slick today -- normally, Lime Rock is not that slippery. I think if we can run the softer tire, we'd be two or three tenths off the track record (48.423 114.491 mph, set by Weaver in 1996). The car is about a half-second quicker than last year, and a good time for us would be about a :48-flat, with the track in good condition. I think the Ferraris are capable of running about the same time.
11. ANDREA MONTERMINI, #30 Momo Ferrari 333SP - The pole will be very difficult for us to win. We're working very hard for the race, not qualifying. We didn’t use a new set of tires for the afternoon -- the difference between Weaver and me in the afternoon must have come from the tire. If it is cooler, I think it is good for us. The warmer temperatures increase our problems. I don't think this is an ideal track for the Ferraris. We can't use our engine. Also, it is my first time here -- I saw it for the first time this morning, and I have a bit to learn on the track also. So we have a couple of problems we must resolve, hopefully for tomorrow, definitely for Monday.
12. DICK SIMON, team engineer, #3 and #43 Ferraris. He also is a consulting engineer for the five Team Scandia cars in Sunday's Indianapolis 500 -- All five of our cars were running well yesterday in Carburation Day. I got on the plane last night with a smile. I’ll go back to Indy tomorrow afternoon, and then I'll be back here Sunday night. We've got at least four of our five cars with a good chance. But there's a ton of cars that could win. Not like the old days -- everybody's pretty even. That was demonstrated last year with Buddy Lazier. Monday night, I'll fly back to Indy for the awards banquet. Then Tuesday, it's on to Watkins Glen.
13. This concludes today's SportsCar Press Notes. Good night!