Fellows Wins SCCA Speed GT Race in Front of Hometown Crowd at Mosport CANADA (Aug. 8, 2004) -- Toronto native and polesitter Ron Fellows drove flag-to-flag to capture his first SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT win in front of the...
Fellows Wins SCCA Speed GT Race in Front of Hometown Crowd at Mosport
CANADA (Aug. 8, 2004) -- Toronto native and polesitter Ron Fellows drove flag-to-flag to capture his first SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT win in front of the hometown crowd at Mosport International Raceway, part of the Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport. Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka, Minn., and Lou Gigliotti, of Dallas, completed the top three.
Fellows, making his second World Challenge start driving the No. 12 Cadillac/Mobil 1/Bose Cadillac CTS-V, made it look like he was out for a Sunday drive, as he took the lead heading into turn one, following the standing start and never looked back, winning Round Seven by 3.454-seconds at an average speed of 90.751 mph.
"Leighton [Reese] was pretty fast up the straightaways, so I had to protect for a couple of laps." Fellows said. "These guys have done such a good job with the handling of this car. It took a couple of laps to get into the rhythm, you know jumping out of a [ALMS] Corvette with the no-lift, sequential shift into a production transmission. But, I settled in. I kept telling myself 'make your shifts, nice and smooth' and it turned out fine.
"I really wanted to get at least one here for Team Cadillac, and we got it."
Fellows redeemed himself with the win, one day after having to start the Round Six race from pit lane, after qualifying third, because he failed to join the rest of the field on the presentation lap. On lap 29, Fellows set the fastest race lap with a 1:24.898 (104.271 mph).
Piloting the No. 6 Banner Engineering Corvette ZO6, Reese spent the entire race trying to catch Fellows and narrowed the lead down to 1.9 seconds on lap 29 of the 30-lap affair, but couldn't get any closer as lapped traffic played a role in putting a wider gap between Fellows and Reese. Reese earned his best finish of 2004.
"I think we had better straightaway speed on him, but Ron's [Fellows] got a ton of chassis underneath him, you know the Caddy's pretty highly developed," Reese said. "It's an all GM podium, and we're all kind of a little bit of a family here, so we're all happy about that. It's a thrill to put the Banner Corvette on the podium."
Gigliotti, a three-time series Champion, turned in a strong effort as he drove his No. 28 LG Pro Long Tube Header Corvette ZO6 to his best finish of the season. This effort coming one day after he looked poised to contend for the win in the Round Six race, but a racing incident involving Canadian Michael Culver found Gigliotti off course at turn three and in 10th place as a result.
"If I could have gotten through turn five, we would have been okay to run with Leighton [Reese]," Gigliotti said. "I don't know what happened. Maybe the alignment was off. Something from the hit with [Michael] Culver [on Saturday] that we really didn't find.
"Overall, we were equal, but in some areas, he was whipping me and in other areas, I'd whip him," Gigliotti added of his battle with Andy Pilgrim for third. "Andy could have spun me. He could have whacked me, he could have hit me. But, Andy's a gentleman. My hat's off to Andy."
Team Cadillac teammates Pilgrim, of Delray Beach, Fla., and Italian Max Angelelli brought their Cadillac/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose Cadillac CTS-Vs home in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Tony Gaples, of Lake Forest, Ill., won the Remus Power Move of the Race for passing Culver in turn eight. Point leader Tommy Archer, Duluth, Minn., won the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Race Award for advancing five positions throughout the race, starting 11th and finishing sixth.
Archer maintains a narrow SCCA SPEED GT Drivers' Championship point lead with 174 points, followed by Michael Galati (172), Pilgrim (160), Randy Pobst (138) and Angelelli (131). Defending Champion Pobst's hopes took a hit when he last control of his Audi and found the turn two tires on the first lap.
Audi leads the SPEED GT Manufacturers' Championship Presented by Racer Magazine with 39 points, followed by Cadillac (37), Dodge (29) and Chevrolet (25).
The SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Championships head for Road America Aug. 20-22 for Round Eight, as part of the Road America 500.
Today's race will initially air at 3:00 p.m. (EDT), Aug. 15 on SPEED Channel.
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