Laguna Seca: 3R-Racing's Tommy Archer in championship hunt

Season Long Consistency Puts Archer in Race for Speed GT Championship Englewood, Colorado - With one race remaining on the SCCA's Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT schedule 3R-Racing's Tommy Archer is running for the driver's championship. ...

Season Long Consistency Puts Archer in Race for Speed GT Championship

Englewood, Colorado - With one race remaining on the SCCA's Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT schedule 3R-Racing's Tommy Archer is running for the driver's championship. The Duluth, Minnesota resident is currently four points behind overall leader Michael Galati going into the October 17th finale at Laguna Seca. Archer will have to finish four places ahead of Galati to secure the title.

Archer has been able to race his number 22/c3controls/Whelen Engineering/3R-Viper consistently in the top seven all season. His best finish of the year was a win from pole in Portland. He logged his most disappointing finish at Road America with a seventh place run. Tommy stood on the podium two additional times with third place finishes at Mosport and Infineon Raceway. His average finish on the season in nine races is fourth.

In qualifying Archer's season has not reflected a championship run. His best effort was at Portland with his only pole so far on the season, by a scant 1000ths of a second. His worst qualifying run was posted at Mosport in race two with a thirteenth place run. Archer's average qualifying position for '04 is seventh. "With the weight that we are mandated to run, our car has been heavy from the start of the season. Race consistency has kept us in the points lead. We have been treated by the rules makers as we are fast, but in reality we are smart. Keeping the car on the track and taking advantage of every opportunity in the race. We have been out qualified by Corvettes at every race except Portland. We should have been able to contend for the pole in four of the ten races. Instead we qualified in the top five, three out of nine."

The only mechanical failure that the team suffered was an engine issue during the pretest at Sears Point. Will Moody, 3R-Racing engineer, and Archer have been a formidable team this season. The moving target of SCCA's method of equalizing the competition known as R.E.W.A.R.D.S. weight (Rewarding of Equalizing Weight Assigned to Reduce Driver Sensitivity) have kept the pair busy between every practice session and race. "Will and the team have been relentless in improving the Viper. We have something new to try every race and every session. The rule adjustments that we have faced in addition to the weight coming on the car and then off again is not an easy situation to deal with before every race. Tim Wiens, teammate and team owner, and Bob Raub, team manager, are true competitors; they do whatever it takes to make the cars competitive. We are running against two factories and to be fighting for the championship against the likes of Audi and Cadillac with big factory budgets is a testament to the 3R professionalism and drive."

Sebring, qualified sixth, finished fourth:
"It was my first standing start and it was great! The power of the Viper just launches you down the straight. The Cadillac was parked so I had to maneuver around and that cost me a couple of tenths. We made a change to the car this morning and it handled better in the race than it did all week. I was able to run 12-flat for the race, we need to put the Viper on a diet to be able to move forward."

Lime Rock, qualified twelfth, finished fourth:
"I was able to get a good launch, the Viper power motored me into turn one seven places better than I started. I was having a good race with my teammate Phil until the Cadillac's decided to start their race halfway into the event. The cars handling was improved, but the small front tires still were working hard, the yellows definitely helped to cool things down. It was a good day for us in front of a nice crowd of c3controls customers." Archer's improvement from twelfth place earned him the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Race Award.

Mid-Ohio, qualified seventh, finished fourth:
"I had a good start, everyone was lined up on the right going into two so I went around the outside and found a hole. The race then pretty much played out. On the restart I was able to get my front bumper in line with the Cadillac to pass but I was on the wrong side of the track and couldn't make it stick. The car was pretty loose on the back section from that point on and I was focusing on keeping the Corvette behind me. It was a good race for us; this will improve my point's situation going into Sears Point."

Infineon Raceway, qualified fifth, finished third:
"I got another good launch; I really like these standing starts. I was up there ready to take over the lead when Phil and the Porsche got mixed up, but I couldn't quite make it happen. The Audi helped me out today, holding up my pursuers, when they got by him I had to put my head down and go. The Cadillac was right there at the end and the weight of my car was eating up my right rear tire. It is nice to be on the podium."

Portland, qualified first, finished first:
"Will Moody and the 3R crew did a great job all weekend. The car was awesome; it pulled real nice down the straight even though the weight of it appeared when I went through the turns. My competitors helped me a lot today with the yellows, it really aided with my tire wear. This is a good win for me, 3R and everyone associated with the Viper."

Mosport Race One, qualified thirteenth, finished sixth:
"We were three wide and I saw an opening and was able to pass two cars. I was able to make up some time under braking into five; the Viper was really transitioning nice in that section of the track. When it started to rain I just dug into a little ice racing history and brought it home in third. A great finish for us with the extra weight."

Mosport Race Two, qualified tenth, finished third:
"I really got a good start. The car was washing out a little in the front going into the turns. The weight on the car really affects the transition from turn in to apex. It was a good day, I retained the points lead and don't have to add any more weight for Road America."

Road America, qualified ninth, finished seventh:
"She felt heavy today. The good news is I get to shed a few pounds for Atlanta. I was running as hard as I dared with the thought of keeping the tires under the car. There were no cautions so I really had to be conservative so as not to fall any further back. I wish I knew the Audi secret of making a heavy car run three seconds faster than I could run."

Road Atlanta, qualified third, finished fifth:
"The race felt like a 50-minute qualifying session. I was able to get a good start and then was boxed in going up the hill and the Porsche was able to get past. I was being pursued by Pilgrim in the Cadillac and was driving every lap hard. The car developed a loose feeling at the entry of the corners. Based upon points leader Galati finishing in eleventh, Laguna should be pretty exciting."


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Series PWC
Drivers Tommy Archer , Michael Galati , Tim Wiens