SPORTSCARFAX VOL. 2, NO. 15 3 July, 1997 WORLD MANUFACTURERS' COUNCIL FOR NORTH AMERICA -- International Motor Sports Group (IMSG) announced on Wednesday, June 25, the formation of a World Manufacturers' Council for North America. The Council...
SPORTSCARFAX VOL. 2, NO. 15
3 July, 1997
WORLD MANUFACTURERS' COUNCIL FOR NORTH AMERICA -- International Motor Sports Group (IMSG) announced on Wednesday, June 25, the formation of a World Manufacturers' Council for North America. The Council provides a forum for discussion and input to SportsCar (WSC), GT (unibody) and StockCar (tube-frame) rules, as well as being the decision-making body that will direct sports car racing in North America and influence the FIA on worldwide issues ... The Council's focus will be the development of the three types of race cars competing in five series: World SportsCars (EuroAmerica World SportsCar Challenge and The Americas' World SportsCar Championship), SportsCar GT Championship (GTS-1 and GTS-2) and SportsCar GT Challenge Cup (GTS-3), and the just-announced United States Road Racing StockCar Championship (see below).
IMSG TO FORM NEW STOCKCAR ROAD RACING SERIES --
IMSG announced on Wednesday, July 2, the formation of the United States Road Racing StockCar Championship to provide a highly-visible arena for SportsCar competitors who prefer tube-frame (StockCar) type construction over the unibody (GT) style that has recently become so popular. "This is the next step in a five-year plan to restructure professional road racing in North America," said Andrew Evans, CEO and Chairman of IMSG ... "All of our market research indicates that a large majority of motorsport fans prefer evenly matched, single class racing," said Kurtis Eide, President of IMSG Properties. Additionally, television sports networks prefer a two-hour format including pace lap, green flag, checkered flag and winner's interview for live programming ... IMSG has added a StockCar Commission to its recently-formed GT and SportsCar Commissions in North America. The Commission will oversee the technical and sporting regulations for the new group. "The first two members to be named to this group are Dave Watson, who will also serve as the Brand Manager for the new series, and Mike Lozano of Lozano Brothers Racing Engines," said Doug Robinson, Vice President of Race Operations ... The new United States Road Racing StockCar Championship will have 10-12 races in 1998, with $2,000,000 in appearance plan money and a per race purse of more than $50,000. Teams which have previously competed in series like GTS-1, Trans-Am, ARCA and ASA should find this series to be very attractive ... The concept of running this type race in combination with World SportsCar and GT SportsCar race weekends has been successful with record crowds at Lime Rock Park for the past two years. Mosport Park and Pikes Peak International Raceway will host combined events this season. Many other promoters have expressed interest for 1998 ... New regulations will emphasize three-year rules stability leading to specifications that will enable new race cars to be constructed for under $100,000, with engines under $30,000. Annual racing budgets for front-running cars should be less than $500,000.
SELECTED QUOTES FROM COUNCIL PARTICIPANTS --
"The Council will provide direct input to the newly-formed North American GT and SportsCar Commissions and will be a powerful resource to create solutions to issues affecting rules stability and cost containment," Lee Carducci of Chrysler Corporation, who also serves on the FIA Manufacturers' Council.
"This is an important step toward common rules worldwide," Alwin Springer, Director of Motorsports for Porsche Cars North America.
"Through these series, manufacturers will have a place to race the technology that they sell in their road-going cars," Joe Negri of GM Motorsports.
"This is an exciting time for sports car racing, and common rules with the rest of the world will only make a good situation better," Erik Wensberg, M Brand Manager for BMW of North America.
"This is a great opportunity to build a bridge between the FIA and North America," said Mark Scott of Riley and Scott.
"We are very excited about the breadth of participation by manufacturers represented here today," Doug Robinson, SportsCar Vice President of Race Operations.
"Through this process, decisions on sporting and technical regulations will not be made in a vacuum, as has been the case in the past and with other sanctioning organizations," ... "A strong new fan base is developing throughout the world for sports car racing. Manufacturers, television and consumer-brand companies are joining together to make a terrific package for our sports car fans in 1998 and beyond," Andrew Evans, CEO/Chairman of IMSG and President of the Council.
COUNTDOWN TO THE TOSHIBA COPIERS & FAX CALIFORNIA GRAND PRIX
JULY 11 - 13 --
TELEVISION: Same day coverage of the Exxon World SportsCar Championship race will be shown on Speedvision starting at 1:00 pm (Pacific). A tape-delayed highlight show will air on the FOX Sports/Prime/SportsChannel Motorsports Hour by Chevrolet, beginning on July 30 ... The Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive will be broadcast LIVE July 13 starting at 3:00 pm (Pacific) on FOX Sports Net. Television coverage of the Sears Point Raceway events are as follows:
Exxon World SportsCar Championship
Speedvision, 7/13, 4:00 pm ET
Speedvision, 7/14, 1:00 am ET
Speedvision, 7/14, 1:00 pm ET
FOX/Prime, 7/30, The Motorsports Hour by Chevrolet
Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactived
FOX Sports Net, 7/13, 6:00 pm, ET
Speedvision, 7/19, 10:00 pm, ET
Speedvision, 7/20, 2:00 am, ET
FOX/Prime, 8/6, The Motorsports Hour by Chevrolet
SPEEDVISION Cup for Stock SportsCars
Speedvision, 7/18, 9:00 pm ET
Speedvision, 7/19, 1:00 am ET
Speedvision, 7/19, 2:00 pm ET
Speedvision, 7/21, 1:00 pm ET
Black Magic Pro Series
Speedvision, 7/20, 3:00 pm ET
Speedvision, 8/1, 10:00 pm ET
Speedvision, 8/2, 2:00 am ET
Speedvision, 8/23, 2:30 pm ET
PRE-RACE TESTING -- A test day is scheduled on Thursday, July 10, at Sears Point at a cost of $130 per car. Contact Jon Pearson at Sears Point Raceway, (707) 938-8448, ext. 125 for details and schedule.
EXXON WORLD SPORTSCAR NEWS --
TAYLOR NAMED "MOTOR SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR" IN SOUTH AFRICA
-- The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) announced that 1994 and 1996 Exxon World SportsCar Champion Wayne Taylor will receive the prestigious Firestone/SAGMJ "Motor Sportsman of the Year" award for his accomplishments in the 1996 season ... "I feel very honored," said Taylor. "It certainly means a lot to be recognized for your accomplishments by your own countrymen" ... "The winner need not be a championship or series winner, but must be a person the sport can be proud of," explained Guild Chairman, Patrick O'Leary. The winner will have been an ambassador for motor sports and will very often have achieved success against the odds."
NEW 1997 FERRARI 333SP AT SEARS POINT -- Fredy Lienhard and Didier Theys will pilot a brand new 1997 Ferrari 333SP at Sears Point. The car is owned by Lienhard and is being prepared by Kevin Doran, who also prepares the #30 Moretti Racing Ferrari. Doran reports that the new Ferrari turned its first laps just last week in Italy. The car is officially entered as the #27 Lista Industrial Cabinets Ferrari 333SP.
EXXON SUPREME GT SERIES NEWS --
RVO DEBUTS NEW CAMARO -- The Rock Valley Oil & Chemical team with drivers Roger Schramm and Stu Hayner are debuting a new Chevrolet Camaro in the Exxon Supreme GTS-1 division at Sears Point. The teams "old" car carried them to victory this season at Lime Rock Park on Memorial Day and in last season's Daytona Finale and earned Schramm the GTS-1 Most Improved Driver award.
PILGRIM KEEPS GOING, AND GOING -- Sears Point will see Rohr Porsche 911 Turbo driver Andy Pilgrim attempt to extend his all-time SportsCar record of 96 consecutive finishes. Pilgrim began the streak with a third place finish in the July, 1992 SuperCar race at Laguna Seca. He has achieved the record in six different series with 22 different co-drivers.
RIDES AVAILABLE --
Exxon World SportsCar Championship
Davin Racing/BMW Argo-P Edd Davin (757) 721-7300
TRV Motorsports/Chevy Kudzu Tom Volk (419) 535-5665
Fantasy Junction/Chevy Cannibal Bruce Trenery (510) 653-7555
Brown Motorsports/Olds Spice Bobby Brown (419) 756-9191
Chevrolet Spice World SportsCar Rod Everett (714) 776-9400
Exxon Supreme GT Series
Kent Racing/Chevy Monte Carlo Kent Painter (970) 493-8474
Kryderacing/Nissan 240SX Sandy Kryder (888) 854-4889
LG Motorsports/Ford Mustang Scott Carpenter (972) 272-7864
Pro-Technik/Porsche 911 Sam Shalala (281) 879-8861
Porsche 911 David Friedman (800) 221-7666
Turning Point /Porsche 911 Ken Young (805) 529-4464
Overbagh Chevy Camaro W.H. Overbagh (804) 751-2235
Mustang Cobra R & Olds Achieva Paul Hacker (518) 758-9412
SpeedSource/Mazda RX-7 Turbo S. Tremblay (954) 481-8331
Pontiac Firebird Formula Burnell Cochran (800) 651-417
Ford Mustang Cobra R Ed Zabinski (561) 747-4118
Pontiac Firebird Formula Joe Aquilante (610) 933-0608
T.A.P. Racing Ivor Wigham (352) 628-2834
Snipes Ford Mustang Chuck Snipes (919) 735-8411
Toyota Supra & Honda Prelude Si Shawn Passen (800) 441-8913
GTI Racing/Nissan 240SX John Norris (310) 575-4249
Performance Motorsports Jason Potter (513) 524-2153
Black Magic Pro Series
Stephens Bros. Racing Shane Stephens (918) 583-1135
FERRARI CHALLENGE NEWS -- The 1997 Ferrari Challenge heads to Mosport Park this weekend for their Ferrari of Ontario-hosted event. The event marks the first significant race at Mosport Park since IMSG took over operation of the facility ... Tom Papadopoulos leads Carlos Hank, Jr. in the points, 815 - 805, while 1996 Ferrari Challenge Champion Steve Earle is in third place with 795 points.
SPEEDVISION CUP NEWS --
GREEN UNDEFEATED AT SEARS POINT --
Roseville, California resident John Green is the only undefeated driver in four Stock SportsCar series starts; the 1985 race was his first professional win. He has won 26 races and two Touring Class Drivers Championships. Green and Mark Hein are driving the #38 T.I. Racing Honda Prelude Si this year at Sears Point.
TOYO PHOTO SHOOT -- Toyo Tire will be shooting the photo for a new poster at Sears Point. The photo shoot is scheduled for Friday, July 11, at 6:00 pm, following qualifying. Because the photo is a head-on shot, participants are requested to display an additional Toyo Tires decal on their car hoods. Decals will be available at the Toyo truck in the Sears Point paddock.
STOCK SPORTSCARS FASTER -- How far have the Stock SportsCars and tires advanced since the series first appeared at Sears Point in 1985? Last season, David Daughtery drove a Nissan 240SX to the Compact class pole with a lap of 76.331 mph. In 1985, John Milledge won the Grand Sports pole with a lap of 74.268 mph in a Porsche 944!
FIRST TIME WINNERS -- Twelve of 27 drivers who have won in this seasons SPEEDVISION Cup are first-time winners. They are: Mike Doolin, Mike Fitzgerald, Chuck Goldsborough, Taz Harvey, Marc Lawrence, Anthony Lazzaro, Greg Loebel, Jeff McMillin, Steve Nowicki, Scott Peeler, Chuck Snipes and Rob Vining.
FIA GT CHAMPIONSHIP --
It was an all-German affair this past weekend as German drivers Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig drove the AMG-Mercedes CLK-GTR to its inaugural win in round four of the FIA GT Championship at the Nurburgring in Germany. AMG-Mercedes teammates Alessandro Nannin and Marcel Tiemann came home second, followed by J.J. Lehto and Steve Soper in the BMW Motorsport McLaren-BMW F1 GTR. The next round for the series is July 20 at Spa in Belgium. The FIA GT Championship concludes in the U.S. in conjunction with the final rounds of the Exxon World SportsCar Championship and Exxon Supreme GT Series presented by Virgin Interactive at Sebring (October 18) and Laguna Seca (October 25).
FEATHERLITE NAMED OFFICIAL TRAILER & VANTARE NAMED OFFICIAL MOTORCOACH --
Featherlite Mfg., Inc., an innovative leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing high quality aluminum specialty trailers and its luxury motorcoach division, Vantare by Featherlite, have been named the official trailer and motorcoach of Professional SportsCar Racing ..."Featherlite trailers and Vantare motorcoaches lead the industry in their respective product categories," said Conrad Clement, Featherlite president. "Featherlite's partnership with Professional SportsCar Racing is a natural tie. Many of our customers enjoy participating in sports car racing. In fact, several Featherlite and Vantare customers currently participate in events sanctioned by SportsCar" ... "Featherlite trailers and Vantare motorcoaches are a welcome addition to the Professional SportsCar Racing family of sponsors," said Andrew Evans, SportsCar chairman. "As SportsCar continues to grow, the needs of both our race operations and those of SportsCar teams will escalate. We know we can count on Featherlite to continue to provide superior products and service" ... Featherlite trailers and Vantare luxury motorcoaches will be on display at many SportsCar races. The drivers, teams and fans can expect top quality products and service which existing race customers are accustomed to on Featherlite race car transporters and specialty trailers and Vantare luxury motorcoaches.
LAMBORGHINI CHAMPIONSHIP -- This Fourth of July weekend, the Lamborghini Diablo Roadster-R is making a special appearance at the Le Belle Macchine d'Italia at Pocono International Raceway. The event is expected to be the largest gathering of Italian exotic sports cars and motorcycles in North America. More than 750 invited Italian enthusiasts will meet at Pocono to experience the power and beauty of the Diablo Roadster-R.
ATTENTION ALL SPORTSCAR DRIVERS -- Sears Point autograph session for World SportsCar and Exxon Supreme GT Series drivers will be on Saturday, July 12 from 2:00-3:00 pm at the Souvenir Store Breezeway in the Paddock ... SPEEDVISION Cup autograph session is on Saturday, July 12 from 12:00-1:00 pm at the same location ... Please be kind enough to attend and bring your posters for fans.
Needed for Thursday, July 10: Showcars or race cars not testing at Sears Point for promotion in San Francisco from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm ... Also, need drivers from 7:00-9:00 pm for big radio station promotion at Mall in San Francisco. Please call Jennifer Burns at (310) 712-3032 for details and availability.