SPEED TOURING CARS, AS CLOSE AS IT GETS Not only were there six different manufacturers represented in the top 10 in qualifying for last weekend's Round Two Race at Mosport (Lexus, Mazda, Acura, BMW, Nissan and Audi), and four in the final ...
SPEED TOURING CARS, AS CLOSE AS IT GETS
Not only were there six different manufacturers represented in the top 10 in qualifying for last weekend's Round Two Race at Mosport (Lexus, Mazda, Acura, BMW, Nissan and Audi), and four in the final top-five finishing order (Acura, BMW, Lexus and Audi), but only one point separates leader Bill Auberlen and second place Pierre Kleinubing in the Drivers' Championship, and Acura and BMW are all tied up for the Manufacturers Championship Presented by Racer Magazine. Both Auberlen and Kleinubing have won at Lime Rock in Touring Cars in the last two years, so they'll be tough to beat. However, don't count out Mike Fitzgerald (Lexus) or defending series Champion Peter Cunningham (Nissan), who could score the first marque race wins for their respective manufacturers.
SPEED GT, DO THE FACTORY GERMAN TEAMS HAVE ANYTHING FOR AMERICAN IRON
The big off-season developments in SCCA Speed GT were the addition of the works BMW Team PTG M3 squad and the switch of Audi's Champion Racing team from the venerable S4 platform to the RS 6 car. With such powerhouse driving lineups as five-time World Challenge Champion Michael Galati and defending Speed GT race winner Randy Pobst for Audi, and Bill Auberlen, Justin Marks, Boris Said and Hans Stuck for BMW, it has come as somewhat of a surprise that the Phil McClure, driving a Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 from top independent 3R Racing has taken the first two races, and John Young (Saleen SR 351) drove from the back of the pack last week to finish second at Mosport. The scenery changes this weekend, though, as the Lime Rock offers challenges that high-powered tracks like Sebring and Mosport do not.
NEW VIPER TO DEBUT IN HANDS OF NEW JERSEY ROOKIE
The much-anticipated professional racing debut of the new Dodge Viper Competition Coupe will occur this weekend, with the MJH Racing entry of Boonton, N.J. rookie Adel Elsayed. The new car, which sits on the brand-new Viper platform with an all-new 8.3-liter V10 engine, was built specifically by Dodge for competition in the SCCA Speed GT Championship and its own Viper Racing League.
As always, Lime Rock Park is the home track for many drivers residing from the area. This weekend look for the following locals to try to utilize that home track advantage: SCCA Speed GT: Michael Culver (Westport, Conn.), Randy Hale (Haddam, Conn.), Adel Elsayed (Boonton, N.J.); SCCA Speed Touring Car: Phil Parlato (Commack, N.Y.), Kird Azemar (Westbury, N.Y.), Paul Gargiulo (Greenwich, Conn.), Matt Plumb (Newport, R.I.), Alfred duPont (Kennett Square, Pa.), Fred Pignataro (E. Northport, N.Y.), Alex Juhasz (Norwalk, Conn.), Stephan Bastrzycki (Barkhamstad, Conn.), Laurence Oliva (Dover, N.H.), Thomas Amabile (Hopkinton, Mass.), Tim Pappas (Boston, Mass.), Matt Sklarz (Kent, Conn.), Will Turner (Newburyport, Mass.), Frank Selldorff (Boston, Mass.), Walter Markes Jr. (Bronx, N.Y.).
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