Las Vegas Press Notes 50-90, Saturday

Press Notes 50-90, Saturday 20 September, 1997 51. Good afternoon and welcome to the final day of activities for the SportsCar Grand Prix presented by FAO Schwarz. Today's activities include races for the Black Magic Pro Series, Ferrari ...

Press Notes 50-90, Saturday

20 September, 1997

51. Good afternoon and welcome to the final day of activities for the SportsCar Grand Prix presented by FAO Schwarz. Today's activities include races for the Black Magic Pro Series, Ferrari Challenge, Exxon Supreme GT Series presented by Virgin Interactive and Exxon World SportsCar Championship.

52. 2:00 pm, GREEN FLAG starts a 15-minute warm up session for Ferrari Challenge - 2:15 pm, CHECKERED FLAG ends the warm up session that is run without incident. Warm up sessions are not timed.

53. 4:00 pm, GREEN FLAG starts the 30-minute Black Magic Pro Series race - #83 Mike Davies takes the early lead - As they come by to complete the first lap, #83 Davies leads #7 Jon Mirachi.

54. On lap nine, the leader, #83 Mike Davies, spins near turn six and gives up the lead to #7 Mirachi, who is followed closely by #80 John Jernigan - As they complete lap 11, #7 Mirachi crosses the finish line just .081 second ahead of #80 Jernigan.

55. New Leader, #80 Jernigan passes #7 Mirachi for the lead on lap 12 - #80 Jernigan pulls out a lead on the # Mirachi - 2.376 seconds at the completion of lap 15 - At the completion of lap 20, #7 Mirachi has cut the lead to 1.01 seconds.

56. CHECKERED FLAG. #80 John Jernigan takes the win by .533 second over #7 Mirachi, followed by #01 Mark Meucci.

57. 5:00 pm, GREEN FLAG starts the 20-minute Ferrari Challenge event - #76 Tom Papadopoulos takes the early lead, followed by #07 Earle and #77 McCormick - The order of the leaders remains the same through lap seven, with #76 Papadopolous leading #07 Earle by 2.9 seconds.

58. CHECKERED FLAG ends the 20-minute race. The winner is #76 Papadopolous, followed 4.7 seconds behind by #07 Earle. Third place goes to #77 McCormick.

59. BLACK MAGIC DRIVER QUOTES: John Jernigan: "The Black Magic Series is a good series. The racing is very tight. I just tried to keep my nose clean. I'd like to dedicate the win to my father and the crew. This is just our third race but I think this series will be going places next year and we're hoping to be part of it."

60. Jon Mirachi: "I've had my share of bad luck this season with two DNFs. I can't remember ever having to drive so fast for so long. This is a very enjoyable track but it was very hot."

61. Mark Meucci: "I really had to work hard out there. I qualified fifth but I made a mistake at the start and had to work my way back up. We were getting good speed on the straights."

62. 6 pm, GREEN FLAG drops to start the 1:45 Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive-32 cars started race-pole-sitter #01 Porsche 911 Turbo, with Andy Pilgrim driving, passed by #96 Ford Panoz GTR-1 ?? Bernard in first hairpin coming off the oval on lap #7-#96 builds 3.517-second lead by lap #8-#39 GTS-3 Porsche 911 moves into second place on lap #9-#66GTS-1 Ford Panoz passes #46 GTS-1 Lister Storm V12 on lap #10 to take over third place, then pulls off at pit out on lap #14, 16 minutes into race and goes behind the wall with broken drive shaft.

63. AFTER 21 laps, Porsches are leading all three classes and average speed of the race is 96.31 mph-#01 GTS-1 Porsche 911 Turbo takes over race lead again on lap #15 ande holds lead until lap #28.


GTS-1 #01 Porsche 911 Turbo, Andy Pilgrim driving #66 Ford Panoz GTR-1, Doc Bundy driving #46 Lister Storm V12, Julian Bailey driving

GTS-2 #61 Porsche 911 Turbo, Hans Konrad driving #99 Porsche 911 Turbo, Larry Schumacher driving #56 Porsche 911 Turbo, Martin Snow driving

GTS-3 #39 Porsche 911, Jim Matthews driving #10 BMW M3, Boris Said driving #6 BMW M#, Javier Quiros driving

65. ON LAP 28, lead changes with #66GTS-1 Ford Panoz GTR-1, takes lead from #01GTS-1 Porsche 911 Turbo-lead is .699 seconds-#91 GTS-1 Chevrolet Camaro pits, fuel, tires, Hayner out, Schramm in-#58 pits with left front brake problem.

66. FULL COURSE YELLOW on lap #31 when #7GTS-3 BMW M3 goes off at Turn #2 at the 38-minute mark-lap #32, #66 GTS-1 Ford Panoz pits, tires, fuel, driver change, Wallace in, Bundy out, loses lead to #01 GTS-1 Porsche 911 Turbo-#01 pits,` fuel, tires, driver change, Pilgrim out, McNish in-lap 35, #46 GTS-1 Lister Storm V12 pits, fuel, tires, Bailey out, Baird in.

67. BMW M3 team drivers switch around: Auberlen in #6, Hill in 310 and Duez goes into car #7.

68. GREEN FLAG DROPS on lap #37 at the 49:42.222 mark-#39 GTS-3 Porsche 911 pits, tires, fuel, driver change, Matthews out, Murry in-lap #42, #69 GTS-3 Porsche 911 pits, goes behind the wall with transmission problems.


GTS-1 #66 Ford Panoz GTR-1 #01 Porsche 911 Turbo #46 Lister Storm V12

GTS-2 #99 Porsche 911 Turbo #56 Porsche 911 Turbo #61 Porsche 911 Turbo

GTS-3 #39 Porsche 911 Turbo #6 BMW M3 #10 BMW M3

70. ON LAP #49 difference between first and second place is 1.44 seconds-new race leader on lap #54, 1:10:00 mark of race when #66 GTS-1 Ford Panoz caught behind traffic and #01 Porsche 911 Turbo dives underneath him and takes over first place-#01 GTS-1 Porsche 911 Turbo maintains 3-3.5-second lead for next 15 laps-#27 GTS-1 Ford Mustang Cobra coasts into pit lane with electrical problems (Maxwell driving) on lap #66, takes on fuel, corrects problem and returns to race, losing six positions-#58GTS-3 Porsche 911 Turbo pits, retires with engine problems.

71. Porsche leading all three classes on lap #70-#01GTS-1 Porsche 911 Turbo builds a 9.5-second lead.


GTS-1 #01, Porsche 911 Turbo #66 Ford Panoz GTR-1 #46 Lister Storm V12

GTS-2 #99 Porsche 911 Turbo #56 Porsche 911 Turbo # 61 Porsche 911 Turbo

GTS-3 #39 Porsche 911 # 6 BMW M3 #10 BMW M3

73. #65, GTS-2 Saleen Ford Mustang pits, overheating problem, crew pours water on radiators to cool car-only two cars on lead lap after lap #74-leader maintains comfortable lead until end of race on lap #84.


GTS-1 P #66 Ford Panoz GTR-1, Wallace driving, 2nd overall #46 Lister Storm V12, Baird driving, 3rd overall

GTS-2 #99 Porsche 911 Turbo, Cobb driving, 6th overall #56 Porsche 911 Turbo, Will Pace driving, 7th overall #61 Porsche 911 Turbo, Ham driving, 8th overall

GTS-3 #39 Porsche 911, Murry driving, 10th overall #6 BMW M3, Auberlen driving, 11th overall #10 BMW M3, Hill driving, 12th overall

75. TIME OF THE race was 1:45:09.710-margin of victory was 3.817 seconds-only top two cars on lead lap at end.


1-6 #01 gts-1 Porsche 911 Turbo with Andy Pilgrim driving 7-14 #96 GTS-1 Ford Panoz GTR-1 with Bernard driving 15-27 #01 GTS-1 Porsche 911 Turbo with Andy Pilgrim driving 28-34 #66 GTS-1Ford Panoz GTR-1 with Doc Bundy driving 35-54 #66 GTS-1 Ford Panoz GTR-1 with Andy Wallace driving 54-84 (end) #01 GTS-1 Porsche 911 Turbo with Allan McNish driving

77. THE RACE was the 102nd consecutive finish for Andy Pilgrim. His last DNF was in 1992. All three class winners are provisional points leaders in their class.

78. DRIVER QUOTES: Andy Pilgrim: "Porsche has greater straightaway power than the Panoz but I wasn't surprised when the #99 car went out to an early big lead. My job was to turn a good car over to Allan (McNish) so he could bring it home successfully. The crew did a super job. I hate being a starter, I like finishing races but Allan really proved he can drive a race car."

Allan McNish: "The Panoz was very quick and gave us a real battle out there. I was able to slip past in traffic and take the lead. It was a very tough and competitive race."

Price Cobb: "I really appreciate having the opportunity to drive again. I had a wonderful time out there. I really like racing under the lights"

David Murry: "I got a break in traffic and that really helped us."

Jim Matthews: "I was able to get past the Mustang when it went high and I ducked underneath. It was a very quick race and the car was just great."

79. GREEN FLAG drops at 8:30 pm to start 2-hour Exxon World SportsCar Championship race-#30 MOMO Ferrari with Montermini starting, takes the lead into Turn #1-#3 Ferrari 333SP pits on lap 7, misses pit, Salazar started instead of Velez-#60 stops in hairpin near the infield on lap #8-#88 off course and takes out cones at the infield area-#3 Ferrari 333SP coasts into pits with electrical problems, crew reports battery keeps shorting out-#97 Chevrolet Spice pits on lap #16, fuel, tires, driver change, Dollahite out, Davies in-#62 Mazda Kudzu pits on lap #28 and goes behind pit wall with gear linkage problem.

80. #16 Ford R&S MK III pits, fuel, tires, driver change, Paul out, Leitzinger in-#8 Chevrolet Hawk C8 off track in the infield area-#30 Ferrari 333SP pits, driver change, Hermann out, Montermini in-#28 pits, fuel, tires, driver change, Katz out, Brickell in-returns to pits on next lap for stop and go penalty for speeding in pits.

81. RACE LEADER #16 Ford R&S MK III pits, fuel, tires, driver change Elliott Forbes-Robinson out, Weaver in-#2 Ford R&S MK III pits, fuel, tires, driver change, Clark out, Nelson in-#63 Mazda Kudzu pits, fuel, tires, driver change, Waddell in, downing out-#62 Mazdu Kudzu pits with broken paddle arm, fixed, back out.


#16 Ford R&S MK III, Weaver driving #20 Ford R& S MK III, Leitzinger driving #1 Oldsmobile R&S MK III, Taylor driving

83. #3 Ferrari 333SP retires at 1:02 mark-new race leader with #20 Forde R&S MK III with Leitzinger driving takes lead of 7/10ths of a second on lap #53.

84. FULL COURSE YELLOW on lap #55 when two cars go off track at different spots-#8 stops on top side of track and #28 pulls off in the infield area-#4 Oldsmobile R&S MK III pits under yellow, fuel only, Pace stays in car-#43 Ferrari 333SP pits on final lap of yellow (lap #57), fuel, tires, driver change, Morgan in, Hall out-#30 MOMO Ferrari 333SP pits, tires, fuel, driver change, Hermann out, Montermini in (lap 58).

85. GREEN FLAG drops at 1:13:28.621 to restart the race on lap #59-#30 MOMO Ferrari 333SP making charge to the front as Montermini passes two cars going into Turn #1 (lap #63)-#20 pits, locks up tires at pits, rear tires changed-#1 Oldsmobile R&S MK III takes over race lead - #97 Chevrolet Spice pits on lap 68, car catches fire when fuel line leaks, crew puts out the fire and the car retires.

86. #1 Oldsmobile R&S MK III pits on lap #69-.#16 Frord R&S MK III pits, tires, fuel, Weaver stays in-#4 Oldsmobile R&S MK III pits on lap #71, fuel, tires, Pace stays in-two quarts of oil added-#51 rolls to a halt in pit lane at 1:30 mark.

87. SERIES POINTS leader #16 Ford R&S MK III pits at 1:30, retires with blown engine-#1 Oldsmobile R&S MK III pits on lap #77, overshoots pits, crew has to push car back to refueling hose, fuel, tires, van de Poele stays in-difference from leader to second place is 13 seconds, first to third is 51.9 seconds-#88 retires to the paddock with 10 minutes left with broken oil pump-#51 pits for black flag because officials thought he was leaking oil, cleared and returns to track-#63 Mazda Kudzu pits for splash and go with five minutes left.


#20 Ford R&S MK III, Butch Leitzinger/John Paul Jr. #1 Oldsmobile R&S MK III, Wayne Taylor & Eric van de Poele #30 MOMO Ferrari 333SP, Antonio Hermann, Andrea Montermini

89. The win is the fourth of the year for Leitzinger, his eighth career Exxon World SportsCar Championship win - For Paul, Jr., it is his second win of the season, the fourth in WSC.


Butch Leitzinger:"Las Vegas is actually a very good layout. When I first saw it I wasn't very optimistic about it but when I drove it I was impressed. There are a couple of challenging turns. We were worried about tires early because in practice the track temperatures had been 143 degrees but tonight they were about 80 and when I got into the car I asked how J.P.'s tires were and the crew told me they were fine so I picked up my pace a bit because of that."

John Paul Jr.: " I'd like to thank Dyson Racing for allowing me to come back a bit earlier than maybe I should have. The car was very good but I didn't really drive it all that well. I'm still a bit off because of my legs but they're getting better every day. Good things always happen when Butch and I drive together."

Wayne Taylor: "I'm fortunate to have such a strong driver as Eric to join the team. Unfortunately the early part of the season was a disaster but now it all seems to be coming together."

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About this article
Series PSR
Drivers Andy Wallace , Allan McNish , Butch Leitzinger , Boris Said , Andy Pilgrim , Wayne Taylor , Eric van de Poele , Julian Bailey , David Murry , Elliott Forbes-Robinson , Andrea Montermini , Jim Matthews , Price Cobb , Mike Davies , Martin Snow , John Paul , Antonio Hermann , Doc Bundy , Tom Papadopoulos , Javier Quiros
Teams Dyson Racing