News 99-05-13

PPIR DATE CANCELED, MAY BE RESCHEDULED: The scheduled September 17-19 Pikes Peak International Raceway weekend for the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am and the Speedvision World Challenge has been canceled by PPIR. The weekend will now feature AMA ...

PPIR DATE CANCELED, MAY BE RESCHEDULED: The scheduled September 17-19 Pikes Peak International Raceway weekend for the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am and the Speedvision World Challenge has been canceled by PPIR. The weekend will now feature AMA Superbikes. Discussions for an alternate date (after the previously scheduled weekend) are ongoing.

SAID TO RACE AT MOSPORT AND MAYBE MORE: Boris Said III will return to Trans-Am action at Mosport Park, driving the No. 7 Hedonism II Ford Mustang Cobra for Bruce Barkelew's RaceWerX team. Said has 31 career Trans-Am starts, including one win (1995, Road America) and 23 top-10 finishes. Said has raced in three Mosport Park Trans-Am events, scoring top-10 finishes each time. Said's most recent Trans-Am race was the 1996 season finale in Reno. Team owner Barkelew says Said may compete in additional races after Mosport Park, and claims there will be no team orders for either Said or RaceWerX's lead driver, Brian Simo (No. 2 Valvoline Mustang Cobra). Why put Said back in a car and why at Mosport? "Can you think of a good reason NOT to let him drive?," said Barkelew. "As for Mosport, Boris is traditionally quick there-this is a track that separates the men from the boys, and Boris is definitely on the Man side of that fence."

DEREK BELL TO COMPETE AS WORLD CHALLENGE DRIVER/COMMENTATOR AT MOSPORT: Racing legend and five-time LeMans winner Derek Bell will drive the No. 30 Speedvision Legends BMW M Coupe in five Speedvision GT Championship races as part of the Legends of Racing Program. Bell will be behind the wheel of a BMW M Coupe prepared by Speedvision GT driver Kermit Upton III, owner of Mountain Auto Sports Racing, at multiple Speedvision World Challenge Events. "This is going to be a very unique experience, quite different from anything I have done before. I hope to be able to focus commentary on any overtaking maneuvers, assessing other drivers on the track and relay to the television viewers what is going on in my head as I compete in the race," said Bell. "When you are on the radio in a race, you're not normally discussing your driving, it's generally about the car. I've been trying to simulate what it will be like on the roads at home, and it is very difficult. I'm sure that I will improve after a couple of races. " Bell will make his driver/commentator debut at Mosport Park (May 21-23), and will also drive at Lime Rock (May 29-31), Vancouver (Sept. 4-5), Pikes Peak (Sept. 18-19) and Laguna Seca (Oct. 9-10). "Competing as an analyst in the Speedvision World Challenge is a great way to help make the transition from racing into television," added Bell. "I was drawn to the challenge of trying to be good at both skills at once. I am able to do my TV and at the same time go racing, which is my passion. The combination of the two has been the precis of the whole thing from the beginning." "We are excited to have a driver of Derek Bell's caliber in the series," said Mitch Wright, Speedvision World Challenge General Manager. "It should be a great test for our drivers to compete alongside one of the best drivers in the world. Derek's expertise as an analysts will also be a tremendous asset to the race broadcasts."

WORLD CHALLENGE AGAIN PORSCHE CUP ELIGIBLE: For the first time since 1996, Speedvision GT Championship Porsche drivers are eligible to earn points in the world-renowned Porsche Cup. The Porsche Cup has a storied history that spans more than two decades, and whose list of champions includes some of greatest drivers of all time. "Eligibility for Porsche Cup points is a indication that the Speedvision World Challenge Championships are not only continuing to grow and develop into one of the top road racing series in North America, but that the series is gaining recognition around the world," said Wright. "We are extremely delighted to have our Porsche drivers in the Speedvision GT Championship competing for such a prestigious award." To be eligible for the Porsche Cup, a driver must enter a Porsche-model car in a recognized Porsche Cup series. Porsche Cup points are awarded based upon many factors including the number of races a driver enters, the driver's finishing position at those races and a "strength of series" rating that weighs the degree of difficulty between each of the eligible series. "Porsche recognizing the Speedvision World Challenge GT Championship as a top racing series in the world is huge for the series," said George Biskup, driver of the No. 22 Biskup Racing Porsche RSR. "Speedvision coming aboard as the title sponsor has really upped the level of presentation of the series, and without their presence I don't think this opportunity would be available. Racing for Porsche Cup points will personally add even more excitement to a series that is already going to be incredibly close all season long." The last American driver to win the World Porsche Cup was Price Cobb. In 1994, Cobb's road to the Porsche Cup included his World Challenge Drivers' Championship in the No. 07 Kelly Moss Racing Porsche 911 Turbo. Cobb finished the season with three consecutive wins (Road Atlanta, Road America and Dallas), seven poles and eight top-fives in eight starts. Cobb also won the WSC class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the One Lap of America.

STILWELL GEARS UP FOR MOSPORT: Warren Stilwell will be the man to beat as he chases his fourth Mosport Park win and fourth Drivers' Championship in the Pro Spec Racer season-opener May 22nd. Stilwell enters the Mosport opener as the only PSR driver to have posted a win on the 2.459-mile road course, having won Pro Spec Racer contests in 1994, 1995 and 1997. Stilwell also holds the Mosport PSR records for qualifying (91.457 mph, 1995), fastest race lap (90.845 mph, 1995) and winner's speed (90.109 mph, 1994). "Mosport is one of my favorite tracks," said Stilwell. "It's made up of fast turns that you really have to commit to-Mosport is also a track that can be a little intimidating the first couple of times you race there. The downhill off-camber turns really separate the good drivers from the rest of the field. I have raced at the track several times in the past, and hopefully that will give me an advantage. This will be the first time that I have the chance to run on the new tires, and from what I have seen in National races earlier this year, the new tires are definitely faster. BFGoodrich has done a great job developing a new tire for a small class, and it's nice to have their support for this series. "It's nice to see a lot of races on the schedule, and we are definitely committed to all of them. There are so many different types of tracks, that I don't think the schedule will favor one driver over another. Whoever wins the championship will have to have a good motor all season long and not get down on power. The competition will be incredibly close, and several drivers will have a chance to win. After a disappointing finish last year, we are shooting for number one again."

RACE VIDEOS AVAILABLE FOR TRANS-AM, WORLD CHALLENGE AND PRO SPEC RACER: Videos (VHS format) of all the 1999 televised races for the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series, the Speedvision World Challenge and the Pro Spec Racer series' will be available from SCCA Pro Racing after each series respective races this season. Cost per video is $25.00. To order a video, contact Madison Sterling ( or 303-967-9653).

Source: SCCA/SCCA Pro Racing/USRRC

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About this article
Series PWC , Trans-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Brian Simo , Derek Bell , Price Cobb , George Biskup