Bowmanville, Ont. (May 18, 2003) - Phil McClure is continuing his early dominance in the SCCA Speed World Challenge GT series, posting his second straight win in as many starts. After winning the season opener at Sebring International Raceway...
Bowmanville, Ont. (May 18, 2003) - Phil McClure is continuing his early dominance in the SCCA Speed World Challenge GT series, posting his second straight win in as many starts. After winning the season opener at Sebring International Raceway in Florida in March, McClure's 3R Racing Corvette Z06 was again first across the finish line at Mosport International Raceway today, averaging a speed of 103.227 mph around the 2.459-mile road course.
On lap 19 of the 28-lap race, McClure pounced on a mistake by Champion Audi Racing driver Randy Pobst, who went off the track in turn three, and took the lead for good.
"I knew if I could get up there that we could have a clean fight," said McClure following the race. "I could get a good launch out of turn two and into three. He came over the hill and I saw his car wiggle. I had my nose by his rear wheel. I saw his tires start to smoke and, when he went off, I was able to get by."
McClure staved off a late charge by 2002 Speed GT Rookie of the Year John Young, who also passed Pobst and finished just 1.272 seconds off the pace. Young praised the efforts of his crew in the setup of his Saleen SR 351.
"We felt this weekend we were completely prepared," said Young. "Because of the rain we had all day on Friday, we were able to spend a lot of time working on the car. We had the car set up to push in the last third of the race. The key is keeping the rear tires under the car. Balance becomes a factor late in the race and our setup was perfect for a run at it."
Pobst finished the race in third place, 10.057 seconds back of the leader and 8.785 seconds behind Young. Pobst and McClure were teammates in the series last year.
"The RS6, the way it is set up right now, there is a fine line with the setup of the suspension," explained Pobst about his mishap in turn three. "I just have to get used to it. I'm very happy to have a podium finish and run a clean race."
ALMS veteran Bill Auberlen started from the front of the grid, after setting the standard in yesterday's qualifying with a fastest lap of 1:24.928 around the 2.5-mile road course. However, the BMW M3 driver was given a drive-through penalty early in the race, which dropped him to the back of the grid. He fought back to finish just out of a podium spot and only a tenth of a second behind Pobst.
The top ten in the final classification were McClure, Young, Pobst, Auberlen, Hans Stuck, Boris Said, Michael Culver, Justin Marks, David Farmer and Rob Fellows. Farmer, last year's winner at Mosport, fought his way from 23rd on the starting grid to finish in 9th place and captured the Sunoco Hard Charger Award. Defending Speed GT and five-time World Challenge Champion Michael Galati finished in sixteenth place. Twelve of the 24 cars in the race finished on the lead lap. The only retirements in the race were Jon Groom and Scotty B. White, both of whom were left stranded at the standing start.
The next race in the series takes place at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut a 1.53-mile road course. "There is a lot of emphasis on qualifying with a circuit like that, so we have to do well there," said McClure who started ninth on the grid today.