Fitzgerald nips teammate for Touring Car win at Road Atlanta

BRASELTON, Ga. (September 29, 2000) – Mike Fitzgerald, of Phoenix, Ariz., passed teammate Neal Sapp, of Elicott City, Md., in the final corner to win his first Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car race at Road Atlanta. Brazilian...

BRASELTON, Ga. (September 29, 2000) – Mike Fitzgerald, of Phoenix, Ariz., passed teammate Neal Sapp, of Elicott City, Md., in the final corner to win his first Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car race at Road Atlanta. Brazilian Pierre Kleinubing finished third. Driving the No. 12 Pure Image/ BMW 328Ci, Fitzgerald started from the pole and led the initial 20 laps of the 25-lap, 63.5-mile contest until a bobble in turn five allowed Sapp to pounce. Driving the No. 2 TCKlineRacing/Pro Parts BMW Ci, Sapp led the next four laps. On the final lap, Fitzgerald pulled alongside on the back straight, with Sapp able to outbreak him going into turn nine. A bobble in turn 10 gave Fitzgerald the run he needed to pull alongside as the two came down the hill into the 12th and final turn, with Fitzgerald taking the inside line, the lead and the win. "I drove the car as hard as I could after Neal got by, but couldn't catch him," said Fitzgerald, who won his first Speedvision World Challenge race at Texas, but in the GT class. "Seeing the white flag was a surprise because our radios didn't work. I got a run coming out of turn seven and pulled alongside, but I knew he had the line. I stuffed it in second [gear], instead of third, so I could really pull out of the corner. He got a little squirrely–that allowed me to pull alongside." "If the flagstand would have been further down the straightaway, I think I would have gotten him back," said Sapp, who earned his fourth runner-up finish. "He got the inside line coming through 12, but I had good speed. It helps, but we need a little more help to win the championship." Kleinubing drove the No. 42 Racing Acura Integra R from fourth on the grid to third at the start, but didn't have enough for the lead duo. "I ran times faster in the race than I did in qualifying, but I still couldn't keep up," said a disappointed Kleinubing, who holds a 12-point advantage in the championship point standings over Sapp–three less than coming into the weekend. "I've gotta take Mike [Fitzgerald] out to dinner for getting by Neal. Losing three points is better than losing six." Alfred duPont, of Kennett Square, Pa., started second, but fell to fourth at the start, where he finished. Hugh Plumb, of Chadds Ford, Pa., was fifth. Fitzgerald was also awarded the Borla Performance Award for his move on Sapp at the end of the race. Following Kleinubing (174) and Sapp (162) in the points are Kevin Schrantz (145), Don Salama (123) and Paul Alderman (113). With his win, Fitzgerald moved from 14th to sixth in points, with 108.

BRASELTON, Ga. – Final Results for Friday's Speedvision Touring Car Championship Round Seven Race from Road Atlanta, with finishing position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car, laps complete and reason out, if any.

<pre> 1. (1), Mike Fitzgerald(R), Phoenix, Ariz., BMW 328Ci, 25. 2. (3), Neal Sapp(R), Elicott City, Md., BMW 328Ci, 25. 3. (4), Pierre Kleinubing, Erexim, Brazil, Acura Integra R, 25. 4. (2), Alfred duPont, Kennett Square, Pa., BMW 328is, 25. 5. (7), Hugh Plumb, Chadds Ford, Pa., Acura Integra R, 25. 6. (12), Paul Alderman(R), Newark, Del., BMW 328is, 25. 7. (8), Will Turner, Newburyport, Mass., BMW 328is, 25. 8. (6), Steve Pfeffer(R), Etna, N.H., BMW 328is, 25. 9. (10), Kevin Schrantz, Boulder, Colo., Acura Integra R, 25. 10. (18), Shauna Marinus(R), Folsom, Calif., BMW 328Ci, 25. 11. (11), Terry McCarthy(R), Mountain View, Calif., BMW 328is, 25. 12. (13), Bob Nagel(R), Tampa, Fla., Acura Integra R, 25. 13. (14), Walter Markes_Jr., Bronx, N.Y., BMW 328is, 25. 14. (19), Jason Potter, Deltona, Fla., Acura Integra R, 25. 15. (16), James Sofronas, Newport Beach, Calif., BMW 328is, 25. 16. (20), Peter Ackroyd(R), New Zealand, BMW 328is, 25. 17. (17), David Rosenblum, Langhorne, Pa., BMW 328Ci, 25. 18. (25), Drew Hagestad(R), Long Beach, Calif., VW Jetta, 25. 19. (24), Kim Wolfkill(R), Laguna Beach, Calif., Toyota Celica, 25. 20. (22), Mark C. Reed, London, England, Acura Integra R, 25. 21. (30), Stephane Trahan(R), Laval, QB, VW Jetta, 25. 22. (29), Manny Matz, Somers, N.Y., BMW 328is, 25. 23. (32), Dave Rodziewicz, Atlanta, Ga., BMW 328is, 24. 24. (33), Fred Meyer, Dallas, Texas, Acura Integra R, 24. 25. (15), Ed Schairbaum(R), Forth Worth, Texas, Nissan 240 SX, 21, Crash. 26. (28), Jeff Littel(R), Wilmington, Md., BMW 328is, 20, Susp. 27. (9), Taz Harvey, Danville, Calif., Acura Integra R, 17, Axle. 28. (31), Hugh Stewart, Massapequa, N.Y., VW Jetta, 16, Clutch. 29. (5), Don Salama(R), Avon, Conn., BMW 328is, 14, Mech. 30. (27), Fred Pignataro, E. Northport, N.Y., BMW 328, 11, Mech. 31. (21), Leo Capaldi(R), Lenox Twp., Mich., Mercury Cougar, 7, Mech. 32. (37), Michael Reece(R), Brooklyn, N.Y., BMW 328is, 5, Crash. 33. (23), Steve Lisa, Scottsdale, Ariz., Mazda 626, 5, Mech. 34. (26), Grant Lockwood, Cumming, Ga., Honda Prelude, 4, Mech. 35. (36), Kurt Buchwald, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Toyota Celica, 0, DNS. 36. (34), Mark Crellin(R), S. Charleston, Ohio, Nissan 200 SR, 0, DNS. Time of race: 45 minutes, 48.214 seconds. Average speed: 83.181 mph Margin of victory: .16800 seconds Lap leaders: Laps 1-20, Fitzgerald; laps 21-24, Sapp; lap 25, Fitzgerald Fastest race lap: Neal Sapp(R), 1:37.897 (93.404 mph) Fastest qualifier: Mike Fitzgerald(R), 1:37.989 (93.316 mph) Cautions: one for three laps

Top-10 Drivers Championship Point Standings 1. Pierre Kleinubing, 174 2. Neal Sapp (R), 162 3. Kevin Schrantz, 145 4. Don Salama (R), 123 5. Paul Alderman (R), 113 6. Mike Fitzgerald (R), 108 7. Alfred duPont, 104 8. Hugh Plumb, 103 9. Will Turner, 101 10. Taz Harvey, 100

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Series PWC
Drivers Kevin Schrantz , Pierre Kleinubing , Hugh Stewart , Drew Hagestad , Leo Capaldi , Steve Pfeffer , Will Turner , Taz Harvey , Paul Alderman , Fred Pignataro , Fred Meyer , Don Salama , Alfred duPont , Hugh Plumb , David Rosenblum , Jason Potter , Manny Matz , James Sofronas , Terry McCarthy , Grant Lockwood , Kim Wolfkill , Kurt Buchwald
Teams RealTime Racing