SportsCar News SPORTSCARFAX, Vol. 2, No. 22 3 October, 1997 NAPA AUTO PARTS SEBRING OCTOBERFEST (October 16-18) -- NAPA SPONSORSHIP -- It is officially known as the NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Octoberfest now that NAPA has become the...
SPORTSCARFAX, Vol. 2, No. 22
3 October, 1997
NAPA AUTO PARTS SEBRING OCTOBERFEST (October 16-18) --
NAPA SPONSORSHIP -- It is officially known as the NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Octoberfest now that NAPA has become the title sponsor for the event ... "NAPA is excited to be part of this very special weekend of sports car racing," said Emmett Byrd, NAPA's manager of communications programs. "With the addition of the FIA GT cars from Europe we think race fans will see one of America's premier motorsports events. Sebring has a storied history and tradition and it is a privilegeto be part of this inaugural event." ... NAPA is extensively involved in motorsports and was the title sponsor of this season's SportsCar race at Road Atlanta.
PROMOTIONS -- Several pre-race promotions are planned for Sebring and Laguna Seca that provide opportunities for teams to display their cars. For more information, please contact Ivo Gersovich at the SportsCar office (813) 877-4672.
AUTOGRAPH SESSION -- A SportsCar driver autograph session has been scheduled at Sebring on Saturday, October 18, from 10:30 - 11:30 am.
SPORTSCAR HOSPITALITY -- Two different hospitality options are available for SportsCar teams' special guests and sponsors at both Sebring and Laguna Seca: The Grand Prix Club offers first-class service and surroundings, including gourmet cuisine, beverage service and closed circuit TV. Also available is Private Paddock Hospitality space, which is available for $2500.00. For Sebring, contact Jamie Parries at the SportsCar office for more details (813) 877-4672, ext. 241. For Laguna Seca, please contact Ann Boge, Corporate Sales Coordinator at Laguna Seca (408) 648-5111.
VISA SPORTS CAR CHAMPIONSHIPS PRESENTED BY PORSCHE (October 24-26)--
VISA & PORSCHE SPONSORSHIP -- Laguna Seca Raceway recently announced Visa U.S.A. as the title sponsor of their season-ending FIA/SportsCar weekend, joing Porsche who is the presenting sponsor. The event is now known as the Visa Sports Car Championships presented by Porsche ... "Visa is a class act and we could not be more pleased to have them take the next step with us as an event title sponsor," said John Stornetta, Laguna Seca Raceway General Manager. "To have an internationally well-known name such as Visa associated with this event brings instant credibility and a name everyone recognizes." ... " The Visa Sports Car Championships represents the high caliber of sponsorship that Visa strives to bring to our members and their cardholders," said Tom Edwards, senior vice president of market development and acceptance at Visa U.S.A.
SERIES BANQUET INFO -- With the season winding down, plans are underway for series awards banquets. More specific information will be available soon, but following are details to date:
Black Magic Pro Series -- Plans are to host the banquet on Saturday, October 18 in a trackside pavilion at Sebring, thus allowing the series' participants to enjoy the FIA GT Championship and Exxon World SportsCar Championship races.
SPEEDVISION Cup -- Sunday, October 19, Disney World Swan in Lake Buena Vista. Cocktails Reception from 6:30 - 7:30, Dinner at 7:30, and Awards Ceremony at 8:30, Tickets are $50.00 per person.
Exxon Supreme GT/Exxon World SportsCar -- Monday, October 27, Hyatt Regency - Monterey. Cocktail Reception from 5:30 - 6:30, Dinner at 6:30, and Awards Ceremony at 8:00, Tickets are $125.00 per person.
EXXON SUPREME GT SERIES PRESENTED BY VIRGIN INTERACTIVE NEWS
PILGRIM CLINCHES -- Andy Pilgrim drove the Rohr Motorsport Porsche 911 GT1 to a third consecutive win and unofficially clinched the 1997 Exxon Supreme GTS-1 driver championship this past weekend at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Pilgrim's title march has included four victories so far this season: Daytona, Mosport, Las Vegas and Pikes Peak. The Daytona win was in the Porsche 911 Turbo the team began the season with, while the last three victories have been in the Rohr team's new 911 GT1.
PORSCHE CLINCHES GTS-2 -- Porsche clinched the new-for-1997 GTS-2 manufacturer's championship at round seven at the Mosport Festival. The marque has dominated the division, comprising most of the entries and winning every race. Porsche's nearest competitor has been Saleen, which has only entered three races so far this season.
DRIVER UPDATE -- Chris Cervelli, driver of the #41 Porsche 911 that was involved in the first lap incident at Pikes Peak International Raceway with #39 Porsche of Jim Matthews, escaped with only a cut on the shoulder and a sore neck. After being transported to the hospital for observation and x-rays on Sunday, Chris was cleared and released.
SPEEDVISION CUP NEWS
BMW CLINCHES SPORTS CLASS & CAR OF THE YEAR -- The BMW 328is, winner of every 1997 Sports-class race except Watkins Glen, clinched the 1997 SPEEDVISION Cup "Car of the Year" honors and manufacturer's championship at Pike Peak. It is the first "Car of the Year" honor for BMW and the first title since 1986, when they won the Sports title ... Two teams contributed BMW Sports-class wins this season, including McMillin Motorsports which won at Daytona (Jeff McMillin & Marc Lawrence) and Mosport (McMillin & Derek Hill). Franz Blam Racing has earned five victories: Sebring (Mike Doolin & Scott Peeler), Road Atlanta (Mike Fitzgerald & Anthony Lazzaro), Sears Point (Fitzgerald & Jeff Purner), Las Vegas (Doolin & Peeler) and Pikes Peak (Fitzgerald & Lazzaro).
WEDDING BELLS -- After winning the Touring class race in Las Vegas with co-driver John Norris, Craig Stanton and his fiancee got married. "Mark Webber, our team owner, offered me $100 if I'd do it, and offered Joy (his fiancee) the same," said Stanton. "So we drove off, found a 24-hour chapel and did it" ... The happy couple has been together for 12 years and were planning on getting married on October 11.
POTENTIAL CHAMPIONS -- Grand Sports: Sylvain Tremblay and Nick Ham are unofficially tied for the lead in Grand Sports with 136 points. John Heinricy is next with 129 points. Ham and Tremblay will tie for the Grand Sports title with a third place finish at Sebring, no matter what Heinricy does. For Heinricy to win, he must win the race while Ham and Tremblay finish fourth. Sports: Jeff McMillin unofficially leads the Sports class with 149 points, followed by Mike Fitzgerald with 146 points, Taz Harvey with 143 points and, in fourth place, Derek Hill has 124 points. All four drivers have a mathematical chance at the championship. McMillin needs a third place finish at Sebring to win the title; Fitzgerald takes it with a win and a fourth place by McMillin. Touring: Seven drivers have a shot at the Touring class title. Craig Stanton unofficially leads the points with 156, followed by TI Racing teammates Gary Blackman and Greg Loebel with 148 points, and Phoenix Promotions teammates John Norris, Bill Pate and Joe Nonnamaker with 142 points ... Stanton needs a fourth place to win the title on a tie-breaker, even if Blackman and Loebel win. Compact: Joe Danaher is the unofficial points leader with 151 points, followed by John Bourassa with 142 points. Danaher wins the title with a fourth place at Sebring, no matter what Bourassa does.
FIA GT NEWS
MUGELLO RESULTS -- Team BMW Motorsport drivers J.J. Lehto and Steve Soper drove their McLaren BMW F1 GTR to the victory at Mugello (Italy) this past weekend, and regained the series points lead. It was the fourth win for the BMW duo, but the first since Spa in July. "This was an incredibly important victory. Now we can fly to the two races in the USA with a lead of seven points," said Charly Lamm, BMW GT Race Director. Mercedes driver Bernd Schneider, who had been leading the championship, led the race before being forced into retirement after a collision just past the halfway point ... The container ship containing the FIA GT cars has left the port in Belgium and is on its way to Jacksonville, FL.
IMSG ACQUIRES KLEIN ENGINES -- IMSG recently announced it had entered into a loan and option agreement with Klein Engines and Competition Components (OTCBB: RACG). The terms allow for IMSG to acquire all shares of Klein Engines on a 1-for-1 basis for shares in IMSG ... "Klein Engines has a proven track record of success, literally and figuratively, since it was formed in 1974, " said IMSG chairman Andrew Evans. "The company is a perfect complement to the other businesses which IMSG is integrating into the world's most comprehensive motorsports entertainment company. By owning a motorsports governing body and its related marketing, licensing and broadcasting rights, various race teams in several major racing series, and now a supplier of major racing components, IMSG is uniquely positioned in the world of motorsports." ... Klein Engines, a builder of high performance specialty engines, was formed in 1974. The company currently employs more than 30 people and annually produces between 400 and 500 racing engines used in sprint car, stock car, Indy car, drag racing and marine competition.
SPORTSCAR STATEMENT -- In response to the recent announcement concerning the rebirth of the United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) and the rumor of the demise of Professional SportsCar Racing, Inc. (SportsCar), Andrew Evans, chairman of SportsCar, issued the following statement: To paraphrase Mark Twain, 'the rumors of our demise are premature and greatly exaggerated.' SportsCar is very much alive and looking forward to the final two races of the season -- the NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Octoberfest (Oct. 15 - 18) and the VISA Sports Car Championships presented by Porsche at Laguna Seca (Oct. 24 - 26), as well as the 1998 racing season. 'It has been our objective from the very inception, to develop, enhance and promote the growth of sports car racing in the United States and Canada. We believe the presence of the great European marques, along with American manufacturers, is vital to our success. We also believe it is what our racing audience wants to see more of. The extraordinary growth of sports car sales in the North America is the primary example of the correctness of this strategy. The world of motorsports is obviously a volatile one and will no doubt remain so. As regards the current situation concerning the new USRRC and the implications for the future, we will have to wait and see how this develops. SportsCar, however, is planning an aggressive and exciting program for 1998. We will be going ahead on all fronts. This quite naturally includes examining the options, legal and otherwise, which this new situation presents us with. 'I am personally committed to the continuation and growth of sports car racing in North America and so is my team at SportsCar. To our supporters, I say we will stay the course and produce a strong race season for next year. To our detractors, I would say... remember Mark Twain.'
LIVE AUDIO COVERAGE -- All SportsCar races are covered LIVE on the SportsCar website www.professionalsportscar.com. To listen in you must download the RealAudio player in advance, by visiting RealAudio's website at http://www.realaudio.com/products/player
NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Octoberfest Fri., Oct. 17: 1:00 pm 1-hour 45-min. Exxon Supreme GT Fri., Oct. 17: 5:00 pm 3-hour SPEEDVISION Cup Sat., Oct. 18: 10:20 am 40-min. Black Magic Pro Series Sat., Oct. 18: 12:00 pm 2-hour Exxon World SportsCar Times shown are Eastern.
VISA Sports Car Championships Presented by Porsche Sat., Oct. 25: 12:30 pm 1-hour 45-min. Exxon Supreme GT Sun., Oct. 26: 3:30 pm 1-hour 45-min. Exxon World SportsCar Times shown are Pacific.
RIDES AVAILABLE -- Exxon World SportsCar Championship Mazda Kudzu (3-rotor) Jim Downing (770) 457-6300 Davin Racing/Buick Kudzu 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 SER/Chevrolet Spice 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 Marvin Epps (805) 529-9016 Overbagh Chevy Camaro W.H. Overbagh (804) 751-2235 Jack Lewis Ent./Porsche 911 Jack Lewis (770) 849-0302 Rice Racing/Pontiac Grand Prix Vic Rice (415) 927-1700 Porsche 911 RSR Max Schmidt (970) 926-0205
SPEEDVISION Cup 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) 651-4171 Ford Mustang Cobra R Ed Zabinski (561) 747-4118 Pontiac Firebird Formula Joe Aquilante (610) 933-0608 T.A.P. Racing/Audi A4 1.8T Ivor Wigham (352) 628-2834 Snipes Ford Mustang Cobra R 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 Mtrsprts Honda Jason Potter (513) 524-2153 Pontiac Firebird Formula Kyle Nevius (941) 263-8686 Pontiac Firebird/Olds Achieva C. Thompson (203) 375-9501 Protomotive Mazda Miata Jim Jordan (916) 344-5628 Mazda MX-6 Dennis Baglier (412) 283-7400
Black Magic Pro Series Stephens Bros. Racing Shane Stephens (918) 583-1135
SEBRING TEST DAY -- A Promoter's Test Day for SportsCar teams will be held at Sebring International Raceway, Monday and Tuesday, October 13 and 14, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, at a cost of $500 per car per day, or $900 for both days. SportsCar teams that will be testing will be allowed to enter the Sebring Paddock on Sunday, October 12, at 12:00 pm. SportsCar Teams interested in participating in the promoter's Test Days should contact Sebring International Raceway office at (941) 655-1442. Sunday, October 12th is a Promoter's Test Day for the FIA GT cars.
ENTRY FORMS -- Sebring and Laguna Seca entry forms are available from the SportsCar Fax on Demand Service. You must call from the handset of your fax machine to (201) 947-7455. Sebring entry forms are document number 4662 and Laguna Seca is 4663. A full SportsCar directory is available by following the voice message.