Fellows Takes Hometown World Challenge Win at Mosport; Heinricy Wins GTS, Stout Touring CANADA (May 23, 2010) -- The 'Mayor of Mosport' ruled once again, as Ron Fellows, of Mississauga, Ontario, captured Sunday's World Challenge GT race--the ...
Fellows Takes Hometown World Challenge Win at Mosport; Heinricy Wins GTS, Stout Touring
CANADA (May 23, 2010) -- The 'Mayor of Mosport' ruled once again, as Ron Fellows, of Mississauga, Ontario, captured Sunday's World Challenge GT race--the Victoria Day Speedfest Presented by Optima Batteries at Mosport International Raceway. John Heinricy, of Holly, Mich., and Robert Stout, of Brownsburg, Ind., captured the GTS and Touring Car class wins, respectively.
Starting second in the No. 2 Carlisle Companies/Cragar Wheels Chevrolet Corvette, Fellows stalked and eventually moved past polesitter and early leader Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., to take a 2.441-second win, averaging 103.972 mph in the 30-lap, 73.77-mile contest.
Fellows missed Saturday's opening half of the Mosport World Challenge doubleheader due to a race commitment at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but was able to place his Corvette second on the grid to Pobst's No. 6 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60. At the standing start, Pobst's all-wheel drive vehicle rocketed away and third-starting Kuno Wittmer, of Montreal, jumped to second in his No. 13 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Viper.
Wittmer would not hold Fellows back for long, as the hometown hero moved past his countryman in Turn 10 and set his sights on Pobst. Fellows ran down the leader, turning a record fastest race lap of 1:23.828 (105.602 mph) in the process. On lap 15, Fellows and Pobst went side-by-side down the front stretch and through Turn One. The pair split the Touring Car of Eric Meyer between Turns One and Two and Fellows had the inside line for the downhill second corner, solidifying the lead.
The move earned Fellows the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race.
From there, Fellows slowly pulled out a gap on Pobst to capture his fourth World Challenge win and third at Mosport International Raceway.
"I got a terrible start, but other than that it was just a matter of being patient," Fellows said. "Even though I hadn't raced here much lately, it comes back to you. To be honest, the slick conditions may have helped. I was hoping it stayed overcast, but our car is lighter than the Volvos and that was probably better. It was a lot of fun, and feels good.
"I had gotten alongside Randy [Pobst] a couple of times, but I knew it wasn't enough to get past him. We went side-by-side through eight, and then nine, and we got through 10. But we caught traffic in the right place, and got by. It's good, but it's a little tricky. The closing speed on the Touring Cars here is fast, and it can be difficult."
Fellows most difficult part of the weekend may have been making his connections on red-eye flights from San Francisco.
"Our perfect storm this weekend was making our second flight," a weary, but satisfied Fellows added. "I flew from San Francisco to Calgary to Toronto last night, and I made our flight in Calgary with three minutes to spare. If I had missed that connection, I might not even be here."
A winner in Saturday's Round Four race, Pobst recorded his third podium finish of the year and extended his series Championship point lead.
"Ron got by me a couple of times. He was coming, and I knew it," Pobst said. "But I thought, 'I'm not going to make a mistake and just hand it to him.' I knew early in the race that he was coming steadily. I had a traffic situation that closed the lead up and I knew I was in trouble.
"He closed on me at the end of the backstraight in the draft, because our Volvo punches a big old hole in the air. He got by me, and I dive bombed him on the brakes, and then we went through nine and 10 on the straight and he got by, and I dive bombed him again. We might have made contact, but just a kiss.
"Right ahead of us was that Touring Car, and it was like a tsunami coming down on a sunbather on the beach. I was hoping he would stay wide, and I was going to use him as a pick. I don't know if he saw the yellow [of Fellows' car], or he was Canadian, but he came out of the corner and pulled back right which caused me to wait to get on the power. Ron went left and had a hole. That was it. I couldn't run with him after that."
Behind the lead pair, Wittmer ran a strong third for 28 of the 30 laps, until hard-charging Jason Daskalos, of Albuquerque, N.M. moved past in his No. 5 Daskalos Developments Dodge Viper in Turn One of the penultimate lap. It marked the first 2010 podium finish for Daskalos, who captured the World Challenge GT win at Mosport in 2009.
Wittmer, who finished second on Saturday, brought his Dodge Viper home fourth on Sunday. Patrick Lindsey, of Santa Barbara, Calif., completed the top five in his No. 57 Horton/Sloan Securities Porsche 911 GT3, putting four manufacturers in the top five.
James Sofronas (No. 14 GMG Porsche 911 GT3) started last after missing qualifying as he travelled from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and finished sixth, earning the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for his effort.
Tony Rivera (No. 97 Nissan/Brass Monkey Racing Nissan GT-R) earned his second-consecutive Optima Batteries Best Standing Start for advancing five positions on the opening lap.
Pobst's runner-up finish extended his point lead to 47 over Wittmer (541 to 494), followed by Crescentini (420), Andy Pilgrim (383) and Daskalos (379). Volvo also extended its point lead in the Manufacturers' Championship to seven (35 to 28) over Porsche. Dodge is third, with 26.
For the second-consecutive race in the GTS class, Heinricy started second in the No. 35 Torvec/Phoenix/Hawk Chevrolet Corvette, but brought the car home in a dominating win. Heinricy got the holeshot on polesitter Tyler McQuarrie, of Walnut Creek, Calif., and never looked back, cruising to a 14.201-second victory.
"The biggest difference today was that Tyler [McQuarrie] got a really good start, and I couldn't get a jump on he and Peter [Cunningham]," Heinricy said. "Then, it was a matter of staying close to him through the early laps. I knew if I stayed close I could get by him on the straight, and if I didn't do that it was really going to be a tough race. I did get by there, and I kept watching my mirrors. Every time I got to Turn 5a, I looked in my mirrors and he was right there. He'd fade a little bit, and then catch back up, and I had to just keep pushing. I used up my car more than I did yesterday, so I was concerned about that. I had to keep it smooth, and try to maintain that gap. When he fell off, it was a relief.
"This GTS class is a great move for the series. The cars can be relatively inexpensive, because they're already prepared for another series. I appreciate the change, and appreciate the opportunity to bring the Corvette out here and get to race with these guys."
McQuarrie ran second early in the No. 19 LPL/DRS/Switcars/LCS/Dayco/M&T Lotus Exige S, but dropped back to third behind the No. 43 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX of Peter Cunningham after his car began to lose power. On lap 24, the car's issues seem to cure themselves and McQuarrie worked his way past the five-time Champion for good to take the runner-up position.
Cunningham's third place finish extended his Championship lead over Nick Esayian, who finished fourth in the No. 34 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX. Cunningham holds a 67-point advantage over Esayian. McQuarrie is now third in the Championship, with 359 points. Acura maintains a commanding Manufacturers Championship in the GTS category.
For the second-straight day, the Touring Car class put on a nose-to-tail race battle in which point leader Stout came out on top to record his second-career victory.
Polesitter and Round Four winner Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., led from the standing start in the No. 50 Irish Mike's Racing Volkswagen Jetta GLI, but he was never far ahead of Stout's No. 18 DG-Spec/Scion/TRD/Lucas Oil Scion tC and the No. 22 Track Pro/Emich VW Volkswagen GTI of Denver, Colorado's Robb Holland.
Stout and Holland traded second place a number of times but never fell off Herr's back bumper. On lap 24, Herr was balked in Turn Five--the same corner in which he took the lead from Stout on Saturday--and Stout was able to move to the point.
Despite numerous attempts over the last several laps by both Herr and Holland, 18-year-old Stout held on for the win by 0.507-second. Stout earned the MTM Special Ops Move of the Race for his multiple passes throughout the contest.
"This Scion really had some troubles yesterday in the race, but in qualifying this morning we came out really strong," Stout said. "Early on, we were battling for second, and I was really bumping and grinding to get that position. It was a dogfight trying to catch Chip [Herr], and once we did, it was a battle all the way. The GT traffic gave me an opening with a couple of laps to go, and he just couldn't find a spot to get back around me. It was a very tough race."
Herr held on for second, and Holland, who turned a record fast lap of 1:35.865 (92.342 mph) in the race, finished a career-best third.
Greg Shaffer finished fourth in the No. 49 Irish Mike's Racing Volkswagen Jetta GLI and Eric Meyer completed the top five in the No. 32 XOWii/Samaritan's Feet/Delvira Mazda RX-8.
Stout's win extended his Touring Car Drivers' Championship point lead to 131 points over Meyer (587 to 456). Brett Sandberg is third, with 301, followed by Todd Buras (264) and Dan Gardner (263). Scion leads the Touring Car Manufacturers' Championship by five points, 40 to 35 over Volkswagen. Mazda is third, with 18, followed by Honda, with 13.
-source: scca pro racing