CANADA (May 18, 2003) -- Phil McClure, of Floris, Iowa, was able to move his Corvette past a sea of factory-backed German cars to score his second-career SCCA Pro Racing Speed GT Championship event at Mosport International Raceway, part of the ...
CANADA (May 18, 2003) -- Phil McClure, of Floris, Iowa, was able to move his Corvette past a sea of factory-backed German cars to score his second-career SCCA Pro Racing Speed GT Championship event at Mosport International Raceway, part of the Ontario More To Discover Trans-Am Series Weekend. John Young, of Woodside, Calif., and Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., completed the top three.
Starting ninth in the No. 73 Aggregate Industries/3R Racing Corvette Z06, McClure gained three spots at the start and spent the first nine laps of the race picking off one car after another, working his way up to second position. On lap 18, with leader Pobst pushing his No. 2 Champion Racing Audi RS 6 hard, McClure was able to move by for the lead, when Pobst went wide in Turn Three. From there, McClure was able to hold off a hard-charging Young for the remainder of the 30-lap, 73.77 mph contest, to score a 1.272 second win.
"It was really fun to pressure Randy for a while," said McClure, who teamed with Pobst in the series last year. "I saw him wiggle a little heading down the hill so I faked like I was going to make a move, and was prepared to back off because I didn't want to turn him around, but he bobbled and I was able to take the lead.
"At the end, I could see Young's green and white monster coming and I was saying 'Come on white flag!'"
For Young, the race was about one thing, pure speed. Starting the race in pit lane after the No. 44 Contract Metal Products/Saleen SR failed to start for the Presentation Lap, costing him his sixth starting spot, Young worked his way into the top ten by lap seven. Continuing to set fast lap after fast lap, Young moved past a trio of BMW Team PTG cars and set his sights on second place Pobst. Powering into second with four laps remaining, Young was unable to reel in McClure for the lead.
"The starter died on the grid so it really ticked me off," said Young, the 2002 Speed GT Rookie of the Year. "I figured we would go caution free so I pushed the car really hard, figuring that the tires would go off, but the Toyo Tires stuck all race long. They were awesome!"
Starting from the outside of the front row, Pobst and teammate Michael Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, shot to the lead at the start in their Quattro equipped Audis, with defending series Champion Galati showing the way. Moving past Galati on lap four, Pobst held the lead until losing the top two spots on the podium, to McClure on lap 18 and Young on lap 26.
"Canada is a beautiful country and I thought I'd take the scenic way around Turn Three," said Pobst of the mistake that cost him the lead. "I was going for every last bit and I locked the tires up going into the turn and that allowed Phil [McClure] to get by.
"I'm happy to be on the podium and score some bonus points for leading as we go into Lime Rock next weekend."
For polesitter Bill Auberlen, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., the start quickly went from bad to worse. Having dropped back to third at the standing start, Auberlen was given a stop-and-go penalty for jumping the start, dropping him back to tenth. Working his way back through the field, including heated battles with BMW Team PTG teammates Boris Said, of Carlsbad, Calif., and Austrian Hans Stuck, Auberlen would finish the event in fourth place and setting the races fastest lap with a 1:25.319 [103.756 mph] with just a handful of laps to go.
"I jumped the start a little early trying to get an advantage going into turn one," said Auberlen. "When I was called in for the stop-and-go, I thought my race was over, but Dave Gahagan and the guys prepared such a good M3 that I was able to push as hard as I could."
Auberlen and Stuck completed the top five. Galati, who led early in the race, would fall back with mechanical problems and finish the race in 16th, one lap behind the leaders.
McClure's win extended Chevrolet's lead in the SCCA Speed GT Manufacturers' Championship Presented by Racer Magazine standings. Chevrolet leads Audi 18 to 10, followed by Porsche and Saleen, with seven, and BMW, with six.
David Farmer, of Albermarle, N.C., received the Sunoco Hard Charger Award after moving from last on the grid to a ninth place finish. Young's drive to second from a start in pit lane, was named the Remus Power Move of the Race.
Tape-delay coverage of this race will air Saturday, May 24 at 5:00 p.m. (EDT). The SCCA Speed GT Championship travels to Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn., next weekend for two rounds of the 10-race Championship.
For more on the SCCA Speed World Challenge, please visit www.world-challenge.com.
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