Press Notes 27-35, Saturday 31 May, 1997 27. SPEEDVISION CUP for Stock SportsCars -- Grand Sports, Sports, Touring and Compact cars. Three-hour race. GREEN FLAG starts race at 2:02 pm, one pace lap (doesn't count)...full course yellow on...
Press Notes 27-35, Saturday
31 May, 1997
27. SPEEDVISION CUP for Stock SportsCars -- Grand Sports, Sports, Touring and Compact cars. Three-hour race. GREEN FLAG starts race at 2:02 pm, one pace lap (doesn't count)...full course yellow on first lap with car #32GS Pontiac Firebird in the lead, #13GS in pits...#08S and #09S, team-mates in Pontiac Firebirds, both off track at exit of Turn 4, track partially blocked, pace car out...#26 in pits during yellow, dropping fluid on track...#59S BMW 328si of Peeler/Doolin retires due to crash damage. Car had won Sebring event...GREEN FLAG restarts race at 25:34.519...#06GS of Pobst/Ormiston in pits as green drops, gets 10-second penalty for crew over wall too early, retires with no clutch...#69C smoking at rear.
28. #32GS Firebird Formula of Heinricy/Hayner/Miller leading race AT 30-MINUTE MARK with Stu Hayner driving...#88GS Toyota Supra Turbo of Van Cleef/Goldsborough second, less than a half-second behind leader after 37 minutes...full-course yellow flag at 39 minutes...#7C BMW Z3 of Hughes/Lally/Trinkler into pits with extensive front end damage...incident between Turns 5 & 6...#7C retires with crash damage at 42-minute mark...#0T Oldsmobile Achieva dropping oil...#22 Honda Civic del Sol of Fenton/Beede made contact with #7, off-track, retires...#18 driver change, Johnson in, Lewis out...#76, driver change, Tonelli in, Skavnes out...#86, Cunningham in, Potter out...GREEN FLAG restarts race at 59:10.676...#63 black flagged for ignoring flag instructions, 10-second penalty.
29. AT ONE-HOUR MARK, #88 car takes overall lead at 1:01 from #32, #70 moves into third spot...#27, Maxwell in, Wilkins out at 1:01...#34, Earwood in, Hillestad out...black flag for car #83...less than four seconds difference between top four cars after 21 laps...top Sports car is #81 BMW 328is of Fitzgerald/Purner...full course yellow at 1:08.02.198 because car #33 Firebird Formula stopped at bottom of hill going into Turn 7, all four wheels on pavement...#90, Lemler in, Conway out...#54, Borcheller in, Gabel out...leaders in the pits for driver changes just before restart...#32, Heinricy in, Hayner out....#46, Pilgrim in, Priestley out, two-minute pit stop because air gun jams...#4, Knowles in, Rob Walton out...#88, Van Cleef in, Goldsborough out...#65, Stanton in, Norris out...GREEN FLAG restarts race at 1:18:22.482...#76, Skavnes in, Tonelli out...#79, Towery in, Sessions out...race leader #70GS Mazda RX-7 turbo did not pit during caution, hoping for another yellow before coming in for fuel...#3GS Firebird Formula in second place, 5.659 seconds behind...#39GS Firebird Formula third, 8.0001 seconds back...#37GS Pontiac Firebird off track to driver's left at Turn 7, full-course yellow
30. AT HALF-WAY MARK, #70GS race leader in pits, Tremblay in, Ham out...#39, Hayner in, Heinricy out...#3, Murry in, Knowles out...#87, Herzog in, Maldonado out...#3, Pate in, Nonamaker out...#21 takes over race lead, #11 next...#05, Haywood in, Simon Gregg out...#78, Daughtery in, Phillips out...#42, Oag in, Starita out...yellow flag for debris on track in 'boot' area...GREEN FLAG restarts race at 1:41:53.744...#27 in pits, Maxwell stays in car...top three are #21, #71, #47...#21, in pits at 1:44:10.922, driver change, Pfeffer in, Snipes out...#47GS Ford Mustang takes lead at 1:46:24.431, #88 second, #92 third...#9S 14th overall, leading Sports class...#05, off track into grass, driver's right at Turn #10, out of race, Haywood at wheel, full-course yellow...#46, fuel-only stop, Pilgrim stays in car, good to the end...#9, fuel only, Hill stays in, good to the end...#63, 22nd overall, first in Toruing class at 1:52:53.912...#40 is 25th overall, first in Compact class...#63T, Jones has been in car whole race to this point.
31. Driver Bill Fenton (#22C, Honda Civic del Sol) treated and released from race medical...#47GS Ford Cobra of Kohler/Smith did 40 laps on last tank of fuel, hoping to get through to end without having to stop again.
32. AT TWO-HOUR MARK, top five cars are #47, #88, #92, #70, #76...GREEN FLAG restarts race at 2:01:00.298, with #88 taking over lead from #47 as cars enter Turn 1 on restart on lap #38...weather worsens, threat of rain...both #90 and #70 move ahead of car #47 on lap 39...#6GS in pits, fuel only, good to the end...at 2:15:00.000 mark, 19 cars still on lead lap (44)...light rain starts to fall at 2:16 mark...#9S car off track Turn 4 at 2:16:35.026, was fourth in class at time...#52GS, in pits, fuel only, Hacker stays in...#93S, in pits, engine overheating...#34T, in pits, fuel only, Earwood stays in...on 48th lap, just 0.185 seconds separates leader #88GS and #92GS....#32GS moves into fifth place overall...#92GS will need to pit for splash of fuel before end of race, looking for caution...race leader Chuck Goldsborough became the father of a baby boy last Thursday.
33. With a HALF HOUR to go, rain increases, track becoming slippery...less than a second separates top two cars of #88 and #92. Race leader comes into pits just as yellow flag drops, makes 13-second pit stop, takes on partial load of fuel, goes back out before pace car comes around, gives lead to #92GS...#92GS, into pits, fuel only, 35 seconds, couldn't get gas cap on tight...#70GS into pits, takes on fuel, changes right rear tire, it was flat...#63T, Norris in, Jones out...yellow flag because #19C, lost control in inner loop, hit by #28, #19 limps back to pits with broken axle, #28T small fire, extinguished quickly...#32GS takes lead when leaders pit (55 laps), GREEN FLAG drops to restart race at 2:49:59.069, with #32GS with Heinricy being overtaken on right in pit straight by Jeff Lapcevich, who holds lead into Turn 1...full-course yellow as #38T with John Green at wheel, off track at driver's left in inner loop flips, on back with 10 minutes to go...dispute between #17GS and #32GS both claim to be leading when yellow flag came out, #32GS car leading as cars cross start/finish line and white flag waved...Unofficial results show #32GS Phoenix American Motorsports Firebird Formula is first overall, #81BMW 328si of Fitzgerald/Purner leading Sports, #31 Loebel/Blackman Honda Prelude Si top Touring car and #40 Danaher/Vining Honda Civic del Sol takes Compact division.
34. UNOFFICIALLY, leaders completed 60 laps in three hours, three minutes, 18.779 seconds, finishing 1.501 seconds ahead of #17 car...75 cars started race...61 still running at the end...Winner's fastest lap was 2:12.525 on lap 39...first Sports finisher was 17th overall, first Touring 29th overall and first Compact 33rd overall...8 caution flags for a total of 94 minutes...Hayner started in winning car, team led 23 laps -- 23 early and last 6...#88 car led four different times for a total of 20 laps, #70 car led 6 laps.
35. That concludes SportsCars' notes for Saturday. Good night and thank you!