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Sebring Octoberfest Press Notes 1-35, Wednesday, Thursday

Press Notes 1-35, Wednesday, Thursday 15 October, 1997 1. Good morning and welcome to the first day of official practice for the NAPA Autoparts Octoberfest at Sebring International Raceway. 2. On hand to serve you this weekend are the ...

Press Notes 1-35, Wednesday, Thursday

15 October, 1997

1. Good morning and welcome to the first day of official practice for the NAPA Autoparts Octoberfest at Sebring International Raceway.

2. On hand to serve you this weekend are the following representatives:

Federation Internationale de l'Automobile Patricia Kiefer, FIA GT media delegate Sebring International Raceway Ed Nicholls Professional SportsCar Racing Ed Nicholls, Bruce O'Neill, John Chuhran, and Dave Arnold

3. ENTRY CHANGES

EXXON WORLD SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP

CAR CHANGE 3 ADD Eliseo Salazar, Chile 8 CHANGE car to Ford R&S MK III 17 ADD Jon B. Field/Dublin, Ohio 28 ADD Butch Brickell/Miami, Fla., Oliver Kuttner, Charlottsville, Va. 88 CORRECT sponsor to MSI/Ryder/Winchester/PVSLM 03 ADD Marc Duez/Monaco, Bill Auberlen/Redondo Beach, Calif.

EXXON SUPREME GT SERIES Presented by Virgin Interactive CAR CLASS CHANGE 17 GTS-2 ADD Rob Schirle/Tamworth, England, Christian Vann/Birmingham, England 31 GTS-2 CHANGE car number to #64 35 GTS-1 ADD Mauro Casadei/Cattolica, Italy 37 GTS-1 ADD Giovanni Vigano/Muggio, Italy 56 GTS-2 ADD Kelly Collins/Corona del Mar, Calif. 64 GTS-2 ADD Bob Wollek, Strasbourg, France 93 GTS-3 ADD Elton Julian/Beverly Hills, Calif.,Tony Taleb/Guayaquil, Ecuador, DELETE David Loring 05 GTS-3 ADD Bill Stitt/Boca Raton, Fla., John Bourassa/Hobe Sound, Fla.

SPEEDVISION CUP for Stock Sports Cars CAR CLASS CHANGE 18 GS ADD Gregory Camp/Safety Harbor, Fla., George Csanadi/Tampa, Fla., DELETE Scooter Gabel 32 GS ADD Stu Hayner/Yorba Linda, Calif., John Heinrich/Holly, Mich., Marty Miller/Riverside, Conn. 33 GS ADD Mike Weinberg/Nanuet, N.Y., Jim Michaelian/Seal Beach, Conn., Joe Aquilante/Chester Springs, Pa. 35 GS ADD Mike Weinberg/Nanulet, N.Y., Jim Michaelian/Seal Beach, Calif., Joe Aquilante/Chester Springs, Pa. 37 GS ADD Steve NcNeely/Pasadena, Calif., Scott Harrington/

Indianapolis, In., John Heinricy/Holly, Mich., Stu Hayner/Yorba Linda, Calif. 39 GS ADD Marty Miller/Riverside, Calif., John Hienricy/Holly, Mich., Stu Hayner/Yorba Linda, Calif. 52 GS ADD Karl Hacker, Schodack, N.Y. 53 GS ADD Joe Safina/New York, N.Y., Emil Assentato/Locust Valley, N.Y., Alex Rangus/Pittsburgh, Pa., Nick Longhi/Albany, N.Y. 53 GS CHANGE car to #20 54 GS ADD Bill Auberlen/Redondo Beach, Calif., DELETE Gabel 55 GS ADD Joe Safina/New York, N.Y., Emil Assentato/Locust Valley, N.Y., Alex Rangos/Pittsburgh, Pa., Nick Longhi/Albany, N.Y. 63 GS ADD Javier Quiros/San Jose, Costa Rico, Manfred Kruger/Miami, Fla. 72 GS ADD Chris Miller, Geoff Auberlen, DELETE Bill Auberlen 90 GS ADD Mark Montgomery/Gainesville, Fla., Marty Shuster/Daytona Beach, Fla., DELETE Greg Camp, Javier Quiros 59 S ADD Dave White/Tampa, Fla., DELETE Mike Doolin 82 S ADD David Ahlheim/Mt. View, Calif., DELETE Peter Cunningham 14 T DELETE Rick Jones 86 T ADD David Ahlheim/Mt. View, Calif., DELETE Peter Cunningham 23 C ADD Lance Stewart/Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., DELETE Manny Matz, Somers, N.Y. 49 C ADD Frank del Vecchio/Trumbull, Conn. 67 C ADD Peter Tonelli/Northboro, Mass., DELETE David Del Genio, Acworth, N.H. 75 C ADD David Doughtery, John Phillips III 96&97 C ADD Carlos de Quesada, Tampa, Fla. 96 C ADD Grant Lockwood/Atlanta, Ga., Charles Espenlaub/Lutz, Fla. Joe Jordan/Orange, Calif. 97 C ADD Charles Espenlaub/Lutz, Fla., Joe Jordan, Orange, Calif., Jim Jordan/Sacramento, Calif.

BLACK MAGIC SERIES CAR CHANGE

24 ADD John Warner/McLean, Vir. 65 ADD John Thompson/New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

4. GREEN FLAG drops at 8 am to start half-hour practice session for Black Magic cars - series leader #83 Mike Davies fastest in session with a lap of 2:27.583 - 87.814 mph, followed by #13 Gary Gibson, three seconds slower with lap of 2:30.059 - 86.366 mph - #42 Mike Anderson, third fastest, followed by Jon Mirachi and Victor Calderon - Anderson won the first Black Magic race during the 12 Hours of Sebring in March. CHECKERED FLAG drops at 8:30 am.

5. GREEN FLAG drops to start 45-minute practice session for the Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive - #01 Porsche 911 GTR1 GTS-1 car fastest with Andy Pilgrim driving, has session's best lap with time of 2:03.823 - 107.57 mph.., followed by the GTS-1 Ford Panoz GTR1 of Doc Bundy, Butch Leitzinger - #9 GTS-1 Mosler Raptor of Lewis/Rica third, four seconds behind - 25 of 32 entries on track for practice - #61 Porsche 911 Turbo of Konrad/Ham fastest GTS-2 car with lap of 2:12.026 - 100.88 mph - #10 BMW M3 (Auberlen/Leitzinger) quickest of GTS-3 cars with lap of 2:15.205 - 98.517 mph. CHECKERED FLAG drops at 9:30 am to end session.

6. GREEN FLAG drops at 9:45 am to start one-hour practice for Exxon World SportsCar Championship series - #16 Ford R&S MK III fastest in session by just 18/100ths of a second, with lap of 1:57.540 - 113.32 mph, followed by #27 Ferrari 333SP of Theys/Lienhard with lap of 1:57.558 - 113.30 mph - third fastest is MOMO Ferrari 333SP of Hermann/Montermini with lap of 1:57.895 - 112.98 mph - CHECKERED FLAG drops at 1:45 am to end session.

7. GREEN FLAG drops at 11 am to start one-hour practice session for SPEEDVISION Cup series - 69 of 81 cars entered in the four classes on track - Grand Sports cars take 25 top positions in session with #88 Toyota Supra Turbo turning in the best lap with time of 2:30.841 - 88.304 mph, followed by #63 BMW M3 and #72 BMW M3 - #81 BMW 328is is quickest in Sports Class with a time of 2:38.805 - 83.876 mph - #43 Mazda MX-6 fastest in Touring Class with time of 2:43.765 - 81.336 mph - .#23 Mazda Miata first in Compact class with lap of 2:49.148 - 78.747 mph - CHECKERED FLAG drops at 12 noon to end session.

8. GREEN FLAG drops at 1 pm to start second practice session for Black Magic cars - session is a half-hour - #83 Mike Davies again the quickest in session with lap of 2:26.855 - 90.701 mph - #7 Jon Mirachi second with lap of 2:28.638 - 89.613 mph and #42 Mike Anderson third with lap of 2:28.859 - 89.480 mph - CHECKERED FLAG drops at 1:30 pm to end session.

9. GREEN FLAG drops at 1:45 pm to start 45-minute second practice session for Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive - #96 GTS-1 Ford Panoz GTR1 with lap of 2:03.523 - 107.83 mph, less than a half-second faster than #01 GTS-1 Porsche 911 GTR1 which had best lap of 2:03.898 - 107.50 mph - #66, second Ford Panoz GTR1, was third fastest with lap of 2:04.322 - 107.14 mph - CHECKERED FLAG drops at 2:30 pm to end session.

10. GREEN FLAG drops at 2:45 pm to start one-hour practice session for Exxon World SportsCar Championship...#30 Ferrari 333SP fastest in session with a lap of 1:56.520 - 114.31 mph...Ford R&S MK III were second and third with #20 second fastest and #16 third...CHECKERED FLAG drops to end session at 3:45 pm.

11. GREEN FLAG drops at 4 pm to start one-hour second practice session for SPEEDVISION Cup - #88 (GS) Toyota Supra Turbo of Van Cleef/Goldsborough fastest car in session, as it had been in first practice, with best lap of 2:30.288 - 88.629 mph - #92 (GS) Toyota Supra Turbo is second fastest with lap of 2:31.717 - 87.795 mph - #59 BMW 328is is fastest car in Sports class with a lap of 2:38.470 - 84.053 mph - #03 Nissan 200SX of Webber/Jones/Norris/Stanton is fastest in Touring class with lap of 2:42.911 - 81.762 mph - #23 Mazda Miata is fastest of the Compact class cars with lap of 2:48.450 - 79.023 mph - session black flagged at 4:45 pm when #87 (GS) Mazda RX-7 Turbo hits wall in Turn 7. Driver Peter Herzog was removed from car and transported directly to hospital. He was conscious and talking to medical staff.

12. This concludes today's press notes. Good night!

13. Good morning and welcome to the second day of the NAPA Auto Parts Octoberfest at Sebring International Raceway. The weather is expected to be sunny and warm today. This is a busy day for SportsCar competitors. We have practice and qualifying for the Exxon World SportsCar Championship, Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive and the SPEEDVISION Cup series. The Black Magic series will practice today but won't qualify until tomorrow.

14. GREEN FLAG drops at 8 am to start a 45-minute practice session for SPEEDVISION Cup cars - #88 Toyota Supra Turbo of Van Cleef/Goldsborough continues to dominate practice, with best lap of 2:28.878 - 89.5 mph - #92 Toyota Supra Turbo again second fastest car on track with a lap of 2:29.489 - 89.1 mph - CHECKERED FLAG drops at 8:45 am.

15. ENTRY CHANGES

Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive

CAR CLASS CHANGE 66 GTS-1 ADD Andy Wallace, DELETE Johnny O'Connell, Jeff Purner, Butch Leitzinger 96 GTS-1 ADD David Brabham, Eric Bernard/Pertuis, France, DELETE Johnny O'Connell, Jeff Purner, Doc Bundy, Butch Leitzinger 02 GTS-1 ADD Andy Pilgrim/Cooper City, Fla., Lillian Bryner/Lugano, Switzerland, Enzo Calderari/Nidau, Switzerland, DELETE Jochen Rohr SPEEDVISION Cup CAR CLASS CHANGE 16 GS ADD Sylvain Tremblay/Pompano Beach, Fla. 16 GS CHANGE team name to Speed Source 99 T ADD Thomas Weaver/Lumberton, N.J., Henry Gaudens/Tampa, Fla.

16. GREEN FLAG drops at 9 am to start 15-minute qualifying session for Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive GTS-3 cars - #10 BMW M3 with Bill Auberlen driving is fastest car of session with lap of 2:13.396 - 99.853 mph, breaking the existing track record, followed by #39 Porsche 911 of David Murry and #7 BMW M3 of Marc Duez - CHECKERED FLAG drops at 9:15 am to end session - Auberlen's time is just 27/1,000th of a second better than runner-up David Murry -

17. GREEN FLAG drops at 9:30 am to start 15-minute qualifying session for Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive GTS-1 and GTS-2 cars - Price Cobb puts GTS -2 #99 Porsche 911 Turbo on pole with a best lap of 2:10.762 - 101.86 mph after session-long battle with #61 Porsche 911 Turbo of Nick Ham/Franz Konrad - Konrad leads points championship at this point - Eric Bernard puts #96 GTS-1 Ford Panoz GTR1 on the pole with a best lap of 2:00.700 - 110.35 mph, bettering the existing track record - Cobb will start the race and give way to Schumacher, either at the regularly scheduled pit stop time or if an appropriate yellow flag comes out first.

18. DRIVER QUOTE: Price Cobb: "We're thankful to SportsCar for giving us the hardship lap first thing this morning. I heard a noise in practice yesterday and we weren't sure what it was but everything seemed to be fine and we're real happy with the way the car is working. - The new entrance and exit to the Ulman Straight isn't all that great. There's a lot less speed; it's a different challenge and real smooth. It's going to be difficult in the 12 Hours because it's blind and you're going to have to be real careful going in."

19. DRIVER QUOTE: Bill Auberlen: "It was very close out there - I knew we had an excellent lap the third time around because our time dropped about three seconds - I called in to the crew to watch for the #01 (Porsche 911GTR1 with Allan McNish) coming around and to let me know if I had to do another lap. It was close but we managed to hang on."

20. DRIVER Peter Herzog, who was involved in Turn 7 crash during SPEEDVISION Cup practice session Wednesday afternoon, was released last night. Cat scan results were negative and he suffered no fractures.

21. GREEN FLAG drops at 10 am to start one-hour practice session for Exxon World SportsCar Championship cars - session is black flagged at 10:13 am to retrieve #19 Buick Kudzu, which stalls on track with suspected gearbox problems - three cars within one hundredth of a second - session black flagged a second time at 10:43 am - session restarted with six minutes left - CHECKERED FLAG comes out at 11 am to end session.

22. #16 Ford R&S MK III fastest car of the session with a lap of 1:56.826 - 115.80 mph, followed by #30 MOMO Ferrari 333SP with lap of 1:57.006 - 115.62 mph and #3 Ferrari 333SP of Eliseo Salazar with a lap of 1:57.558 - 115.08 mph.

23. GREEN FLAG drops at 1:45 pm to start 20-minute qualifying session for SPEEDVISION Cup Sports, Touring and Compact classes - Bill Auberlen qualifies #9 BMW 328is on pole in the Sports class with a time of 2:38.109 - 85.566 mph - in Touring class, John Green qualifies Honda Prelude on pole with lap of 2:41.462 - 83.789 mph and Peter Tonelli fastest of the Compact cars in Mazda Miata with a lap of 2:47.499 - 80.769 mph - the pole was the first Auberlen, 18th for Green and second for Tonelli. CHECKERED FLAG drops at 2:05 pm. All four Class pole winners broke the existing track record.

24. GREEN FLAG drops at 2:30 pm to start 20-minute qualifying session for SPEEDVISION Cup Grand Sports cars - light rain starts falling as session begins - #88 Toyota Supra Turbo with Eric Van Cleef driving, qualifies on the pole in Grand Sports - it's his 14th straight front row start in SPEEDVISION Cup competition.

25. DRIVER QUOTES: Eric Van Cleef (Toyota Supra Turbo): "The key (in the race) is going to be in saving the brakes for the end of the race in case we end up with a four-lap shootout like we had here in March. Our brakes are our advantage, not horsepower, and the brakes lasted five hours in March, but that was on a different configuration of the track. We can change brakes in the time it takes us to refuel, but we'd rather not because that's just another chance for error."

26. BILL AUBERLEN (BMW 328is): "Drivers will have to be patient through the esses; there's going to be a lot of passing. I love coming to Sebring and I love doing SPEEDVISION Cup racing. I like the bigger races; people do a lot of side-by-side racing in the series and take a lot of chances."

27. JOHN GREEN (Honda Prelude): "The new track's bad, in my opinion. There are too many places where somebody can go off, and you'll never see them unless the flagmen are really on their toes. The key to winning will be to stay out of trouble."

28. ENTRY LIST CHANGES

Exxon World SportsCar Championship CAR CHANGE 03 ADD Perry McCarthy/London, England, Bill Auberlen/Redondo Beach, Calif., DELETE Marc Duez

SPEEDVISION CUp for Stock SportsCars

CAR CLASS CHANGE 2 GS ADD Doug Goad/Farmington Hills, Mich., Devon Powell/Blackstock, Ont. 11 GS ADD Owen Trinkler/Nashville, Tenn., Brad Creger/St. Croix/U.S. Virgin Islands 54 GS ADD Scooter Gabel/Tampa, Fla. 63 GS ADD Terry Borcheller/Phoenix, Ariz. 72 GS ADD Terry Borcheller/Phoenix, Ariz. 74 GS ADD Kenny Wilden/Burlington, Ont., Bernard Sa'Nogueira/San Tarein, Portugal

29. 4:30 pm, GREEN FLAG starts the Exxon World SportsCar Championship qualifying session - Didier Theys in the #27 Lista Ferrari is quickest in the early part of the session with a fast lap of 1:56.118 - 116.51 mph, followed by #20 Ford R&S MK III of Butch Leitzinger and the #16 Ford R&S MK III with James Weaver driving - 4:58 pm, Andrea Montermini in the #30 Ferrari sets fastest lap of the session, a 1:55.310 - 117.30 mph, .808 of a second ahead of Theys' time.

30. 4:56 pm,CHECKERED FLAG ends the session with Andrea Montermini taking his fourth pole of the season, with a time of 1:55.310 - 117.30 mph. As the track has been reconfigured, the time is the new track record - It will be an all-Ferrari front row with Didier Theys in the #27 Ferrari 333SP turning in the second fastest lap time of 1:56.118 - 116.50 mph - Ford R&S MK III cars on second row with Dyson teammates #16 James Weaver and #20 Butch Leitzinger third and fourth - It was the second consecutive pole for Montermini - #88 Chevrolet R&S MK III of Bentley/Jones will change the engine overnight and will be moved to the back of the grid. #3 Ferrari 333SP will not start race on qualifying tires and will also move to the back of the grid.

31. DRIVER QUOTE: Andrea Montermini: "We waited to go out in qualifying so the cars ahead of me could scrub the rubber off the track from the FIA session. Their rubber is not like ours. The tires were good on the first lap and I was amazed they were so good on the second lap, too. That was a very good lap so we did our two laps and came in. This is the second straight race that our team has put both cars on the front row. The team has done an excellent job. The track is now very good for Ferrari, except maybe the hairpin turn. I also found out Wayne Taylor was close to me in top speed. The car (Taylor's Oldsmobile R&S MK III) will be much closer now than in March.

32. GREEN FLAG starts the Black Magic Practice at 5:20 pm - at 5:25 pm BLACK FLAG stops the session to remove bodywork that has come off the #65 car. Session restarts at 5:31 pm with 14 minutes left in session - CHECKERED FLAG drops at 5:50 pm. Fastest in the session is series leader Mike Davies in #83 car, followed by #10 David Tenney and #42 Mike Anderson - Black Magic race is Saturday.

33. GREEN FLAG at 6 pm starts half-hour practice session for Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive cars - session BLACK FLAGGED just before end when #96 (GTS-1) Ford Panoz GTR1 with Doc Bundy driving goes off in Turn 17 - Bundy not injured but car sustains significant damage - CHECKERED FLAG comes out at 6:30`pm to end session.

34. GREEN FLAG drops at 7:15 pm to start 45-minute practice session for SPEEDVISION Cup cars - the session is meant to provide drivers with driving time in the dark because their three-hour race on Friday will finish in the dark although it starts at 5 pm - BLACK FLAG stops session at 7:50 pm when #94 T Honda Accord Ex of Jim Matthews/Brian Johnson goes off course at Turn 8, losing wheel - clock runs out on session. CHECKERED FLAG closes session at 8 pm - #88 Toyota Supra Turbo of Van Cleef/Goldsborough continues to be fastest car on circuit with best lap of 2:34.853 - 89.091 mph, followed by #72 BMW M3 of Miller/Auberlen/Borcheller - top Sports Class car is BMW 328is of Fitzgerald/Lazzard/White - Heinricy/Green/Loebel/Blackman Nissan 240SX is quickest in Touring Class - Daughtery/Phillips III fastest in Compact with lap of 2:48.301 - 80.384 mph in Nissan 200SX.

35. This concludes today's Press Notes. Good night!

1997 Medius Interactive & Professional SportsCar Operated and maintained by: webmaster@medius.net

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Series PSR
Drivers Andy Wallace , Carlos de Quesada , David Brabham , Franz Konrad , Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Didier Theys , Eliseo Salazar , Johnny O'Connell , Andy Pilgrim , Wayne Taylor , David Murry , Bill Auberlen , Nick Longhi , John Heinricy , Kelly Collins , Doug Goad , Terry Borcheller , Frank del Vecchio , Lance Stewart , Butch Brickell , Sylvain Tremblay , Andrea Montermini , Peter Tonelli , Jim Matthews , Price Cobb , Scott Harrington , Charles Espenlaub , Mike Davies , Joe Aquilante , Scooter Gabel , Mauro Casadei , Perry McCarthy , Owen Trinkler , Greg Camp , Stu Hayner , Grant Lockwood , Marty Miller , Joey Jordan , Dave White , Nick Ham , Brian Johnson , Corona del Mar , Enzo Calderari , Bob Wollek , Marc Duez , Doc Bundy , Mark Montgomery , Geoff Auberlen , Elton Julian , Joe Safina , Oliver Kuttner , Javier Quiros , Chris Miller , Bruce O'Neil , Gary Gibson , Brad Creger , John Thompson