Cunningham Battles Back to Detroit Speedvision GT Win DETROIT (June 17, 2001)-- Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., battled back after falling to third early to earn his third SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge GT race of the season at...
Cunningham Battles Back to Detroit Speedvision GT Win
DETROIT (June 17, 2001)-- Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., battled back after falling to third early to earn his third SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge GT race of the season at the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit. Johannes van Overbeek, of Danville, Calif., and Jeff McMillin, of Erie, Pa., completed the top-three.
Cunningham started the 24-lap, 56.304-mile contest from the Superchips Pole, but watched second place starter Michael Galati go into the lead at the start. Driving the No. 42 RealTime Racing Acura NSX, Cunningham tried to find a way around on the tight Belle Isle circuit, coming under fire from van Overbeek and falling to third at one stage before moving to the front on lap six. From there, Cunningham was able to maintain the advantage to take a 1.234-second win, averaging 80.355 mph.
"It was an awesome race, and we had an awesome car," said Cunningham. "Michael [Galati] was driving defensively, and Johannes [van Overbeek] was able to take advantage of that at one point. Michael stumbled a little bit and I was able to slip through."
Cunningham's finish, coupled by Galati's fourth-place finish, enabled him to pull to within 11 points of the Championship lead, 146 to 135.
Van Overbeek, driving the No. 81 Flextronics/Intel Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, started third, and battled past Galati once Cunningham was through. As the race progressed, he was unable to mount a charge at the leader.
"I made the mistake of overdriving the car early on and it cost me, as I lost track of the length of the race," said van Overbeek, who moved into a fourth-place tie in points with McMillin. "Our car is coming along slowly this year, but it's getting there."
McMillin, driving the No. 1 JJ's Snacks/John Hancock BMW M3, recorded his first podium finish of the season after winning the title in 2000 on a last-lap pass for third on Galati.
"I didn't have anything for Michael [Galati] at the start of this thing, but I just kept glued to his bumper in the closing stages," said McMillin. "He must have had a problem in the last turn and I went right around him. Our team really needed this. We've been pretty depressed over the past few races."
Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, held on for fourth despite a broken transmission, followed by Phil McClure, of Floris, Iowa, who earned his first-career top-five finish.
Bill Cooper was awarded the Borla Performance Award for his scrap with Jimmy Adams while fighting for ninth. Adams, in turn, took home the Rogaine Hair Raising Pass of the Day.
The series now takes a month off before traveling to Sears Point Raceway for Round Six.
DETROIT, Mich. -- Results from Sunday's 24-lap, 56.304-mile SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge GT Round Five Race, part of the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit at Belle Isle with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out. 1. (1), Peter Cunningham, W. Bend, Wis., Acura NSX, 24. 2. (3), Johannes van Overbeek, Danville, Calif., Porsche 911 Cup, 24. 3. (4), Jeff McMillin, Erie, Pa., BMW M3, 24. 4. (2), Michael Galati, Olmstead, Ohio, Audi S4 Comp., 24. 5. (6), Phil McClure, Floris, Iowa, Corvette C5, 24. 6. (8), Justin Jackson, Alpharetta, Ga., Porsche 911 Cup, 24. 7. (7), Eric Curran, S. Deerfield, Mass., Corvette C5, 24. 8. (9), Mike Fitzgerald, Phoenix, Ariz., Porsche 933 RSR, 24. 9. (10), Bill Cooper, Bozeman, Mont., Corvette C5, 24. 10. (11), Jimmy Adams, Suffolk, Va., Porsche 911 Cup, 24. 11. (12), Hurley Haywood, Jacksonville, Fla., Audi S4 Comp., 24. 12. (13), Bob Miller(R), Oakton, Va., Porsche 911 Cup, 24. 13. (16), Tim Wiens(R), Westminster, Colo., Porsche 911 GT3, 24. 14. (20), Walter Swick, Concord, Ohio, BMW M3, 23. 15. (18), Justin Marks(R), Woodside, Calif., Porsche 993 Cup, 22, Mech. 16. (19), Don Sak(R), West Bloomfield, Mich., Corvette C5, 19. 17. (21), Dennis Petersen, McHenry, Ill., Corvette C5, 18, Mech. 18. (17), David Farmer, Albemarle, N.C., Corvette C5, 15, Mech. 19. (14), Boris Said, Carlsbad, Calif., Ford Mustang, 12, Mech. 20. (15), Bobby Sak(R), Kalamazoo, Mich., Corvette C5, 3, Mech. 21. (22), Mark Dixon, Longmont, Colo., Pontiac Firebrd, 1, Mech. 22. (5), David Schardt, Dayton, Ohio, Porsche GT3 Cup, 0, DNS. Time of race: 42 minutes, 2.472 seconds. Average speed: 80.355 mph Margin of victory: 1.234 seconds Lap leaders: Laps 1-5, Michael Galati; laps 6-24, Peter Cunningham Fastest race lap: Johannes van Overbeek, 1:44.058 (81.162 mph) Fastest qualifier: Peter Cunningham, 1:43.351 (81.717 mph) Cautions: None Borla Performance Award Winner: Bill Cooper Rogaine Hair Raising Pass of the Day: Jimmy Adams
Top-10 Point Standings 1. Michael Galati, 146 2. Peter Cunningham, 135 3. Mike Fitzgerald, 120 4. Jeff McMillin, 97 5. Johannes van Overbeek, 97 6. Justin Jackson, 92 7. Jimmy Adams, 84 8. Bob Miller, 73 9. Phil McClure, 66 10. Justin Marks, 66
_______________________ eric prill director of public relations scca pro racing/speedvision world challenge 303.694.7223, 720.489.7751 fax www.sccapro.com, www.speedvisionwc.com