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Cooper took the lead at Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. – Bill Cooper, of Bozeman, Mt., took the lead from his second starting position on the first lap and never relinquished it to take his second Speedvision World Challenge GT win of the season. Michael Galati, of North ...

SONOMA, Calif. – Bill Cooper, of Bozeman, Mt., took the lead from his second starting position on the first lap and never relinquished it to take his second Speedvision World Challenge GT win of the season. Michael Galati, of North Olmstead, Ohio, edged David Schardt, of Dayton, Ohio, in a photo-finish for second. Cooper, who lined up second for the standing start in the No. 01 Les Stanford/Pirate Racing Chevrolet Corvette C5, got the jump on polesitter Peter Cunningham's BMW M3 into turn one. A two-car accident brought out an immediate caution, and then a seven minute red flag period to rebuild a tire wall. From the ensuing restart, Cooper was dogged by Cunningham until the BMW began to smoke and retired with a broken oil cooler. From there, Cooper cruised to a 4.376-second victory in the 24-lap, 61.038-mile race, averaging 61.038 mph as a result of the stoppage. Cooper's win put him back into the lead of the Drivers' Championship after four of 10 rounds, with 88 points. "This is great for us, because if we didn't get a good result, we probably couldn't have continued this season," said Cooper, who also won the season-opening round at Charlotte. "Hopefully, this will help us continue on. This is such a great series and we want to stay a part of it." Galati started third, and battled with Schardt for the majority of the race, had a misfire in his No. 9 Champion Audi S4 Competition on the last lap, meaning a drag race to the finish–with Galati taking the advantage in a photo-finish. "That last lap, the car started to miss and I saw David [Schardt] coming and thought ‘this is not good,'" said Galati. "Luckily the car caught and I faked him a little bit coming up to the flag. This is a really good result for the guys at Champion and Audi." Schardt started fourth in the No. 94 The Wheel Source/Hikari Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and immediately moved into second at the start. On the restart, however, both Cunningham and Galati got around. It was Schardt's second podium finish of the season. "A couple more feet, and I would have had him," said Schardt. "I'm pretty good on the standing starts, but not so good on restarts, so that was the difference. At the finish, Michael [Galati] moved over a little and I had to lift a little and that was it." Jeff McMillin, of Erie, Pa., finished fourth and moved into second in points, with 84. Derek Bell, of England, finished fifth. Bobby Archer, of Ft. Worth, Texas, finished sixth after starting 42nd to earn the Borla Performance Award. Archer's drive earned him enough points to sit fourth in points, with 82, followed by Galati, with 80, and Cunningham, with 72.

<pre> SONOMA, Calif.–Results for the Speedvision World Challenge GT Championship Round Four race, part of the Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears Point Raceway with finishing position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car, laps complete and reason out, if any. 1. (2), Bill Cooper, Bozeman, Mont., Corvette C5, 24. 2. (3), Michael Galati, North Olmstead, Ohio, Audi S4 Comp., 24. 3. (4), David Schardt, Dayton, Ohio, Porsche GT3 Cup, 24. 4. (7), Jeff McMillin, Erie, Pa., BMW M3, 24. 5. (9), Derek Bell, Pagham Sussex, England, Audi S4 Comp., 24. 6. (42), Bobby Archer, Ft. Worth, Texas, Dodge Viper GTS, 24. 7. (14), G.J. Mennen(R), Austin, Texas, Corvette C5, 24. 8. (17), Scotty B. White, Puyallup, Wash., Corvette C5, 24. 9. (40), John Heinricy, Holly, Mich., Corvette C5, 24. 10. (21), Scott Bove(R), Avon Lake, Ohio, Porsche GT3 Cup, 24. 11. (10), Jorge Trejos(R), San Jose Costa Rica, Saleen SR, 24. 12. (6), Mark Wolocatiuk, Tahoe, Calif., Corvette ZR-1, 24. 13. (20), Reese Cox, Marietta, Ga., Corvette C5, 24. 14. (5), Matt Drendel(R), Hickory, N.C., Ferrari 355, 24. 15. (11), Phil McClure, Floris, Iowa, Corvette, 24. 16. (22), Danny Kellermeyer(R), Ortonville, Mich., Corvette C5, 24. 17. (27), Bob Miller(R), Oakton, Va., Porsche 911 GT3, 24. 18. (13), Jimmy Adams(R), Suffolk, Va., Dodge Viper GTS, 24. 19. (26), Walter Swick, Concord, Ohio, BMW M3, 24. 20. (24), Daniel Eastman(R), Miami, Fla., Porsche 993 R, 24. 21. (28), Brad Sofronas, Newport Beach, Calif., BMW M3, 24. 22. (25), J. Bob Taylor, Parker, Colo., Corvette, 24. 23. (32), John Werner(R), Southport, Conn., Corvette, 24. 24. (36), Michael Judy(R), Fresno, Calif., Saleen SR, 24. 25. (8), Frank Allers(R), Coquitlam, British Columbia, Corvette C5, 24. 26. (29), Mark Anderson(R), Anaheim, Calif., Porsche 928, 24. 27. (31), Tomy Drissi(R), Hollywood, Calif., Toyota Supra T, 24. 28. (33), Mike Eckhaus(R), Trabuco Canyon, Calif., Corvette, 24. 29. (35), Walter Dethier, Warren, Conn., Saleen Cobra R, 24. 30. (30), Jovo(R), Los Angeles, Calif., Toyota Supra T, 24. 31. (39), Adam Merzon(R), Greenwich, Conn., Porsche GT3 Cup, 23. 32. (16), Justin Jackson(R), Alpharetta, Ga., Porsche 993 RSR, 23. 33. (19), Paul Brown, Omaha, Neb., Saleen SR, 22. 34. (1), Peter Cunningham, W. Bend, Wis., BMW M3, 18, mech. 35. (34), Lou Gigliotti_Jr.(R), Dallas, Texas, Mustang, 15, damage. 36. (38), Dick Grieser(R), Toledo, Ohio, BMW M3, 15, mech. 37. (12), Peter Kitchak, Minneapolis, Minn., Porsche GT3 Cup, 8, acc. 38. (15), Dale White(R), Las Vegas, Nev., Porsche GT3 Cup, 6, n.a. 39. (37), Carol Hollfelder(R), Covina, Calif., Ferrari 355, 2, mech. 40. (23), Bruce Griggs, Sonoma, Calif., Griggs Mustang, 1. 41. (18), Ken Stinnett(R), Tucson, Ariz., Camaro, 0, acc. 42. (41), James Sofronas, Newport Beach, Calif., BMW M3, 0, dns.

Time of race: 59 minutes, 27.037 seconds. Average speed: 61.038 miles-per-hour Margin of victory: 4.3760 seconds Lap leaders: Laps 1-24, Cooper Fastest race lap: Peter Cunningham, 1:46.580 (85.119 mph) Fastest qualifier: Peter Cunningham, 1:44.483 (86.827 mph)

Speedvision GT Championship Point Standings After Four Rounds (Top-10) 1. Bill Cooper, 88 2. Jeff McMillin, 84 3. Bobby Archer, 82 4. Michael Galati, 80 5. Peter Cunningham, 71 6. Reese Cox, 66 7. David Schardt, 66 8. Derek Bell, 57 9. Scott Bove, 56 10. Justin Jackson, 52

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Series PWC
Drivers John Heinricy , Tomy Drissi , Michael Galati , Lou Gigliotti , Derek Bell , Bob Miller , Phil McClure , Peter Cunningham , Jeff McMillin , Mark Anderson , G.J. Mennen , Bobby Archer , Adam Merzon , Peter Kitchak , Justin Jackson , James Sofronas , Bob Taylor , Carol Hollfelder , Scotty B. White , Paul Brown , Jorge Trejos