SCCA Pro Racing PRO FAX Volume 4, Number 19 August 7, 1997 WATKINS GLEN THIS WEEKEND: The SCCA's Trans-Am Championship is at Watkins Glen International this weekend for the Serengeti Eyewear Trans-Am, part of the Bud at the Glen NASCAR Winston...
SCCA Pro Racing PRO FAX Volume 4, Number 19 August 7, 1997
WATKINS GLEN THIS WEEKEND: The SCCA's Trans-Am Championship is at Watkins Glen International this weekend for the Serengeti Eyewear Trans-Am, part of the Bud at the Glen NASCAR Winston Cup weekend. Saturday's 3:30 p.m. race will be televised on a one-day delayed basis on The Nashville Network. Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern), with replays on The Speedvision Network.
KENDALL POISED TO BREAK CONSECUTIVE WIN MARK: With eight straight wins, Tom Kendall (No. 11 All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang Cobra) is now tied with Mark Donohue for the most consecutive wins. Donohue's win streak -- established in 1968 -- stopped at eight as Jerry Titus and Sam Posey finished 1-2 at Watkins Glen, with Donohue third. Kendall has the chance to break Donohue's record at the same circuit Donohue's bid ended. "Dorsey won here last year after a real battle with my teammate, Boris Said," said Kendall. "It's been brought to my attention -- as they tend to do this year when we go to a circuit I have not won before in a Trans-Am car -- the Glen is one of those places. Fortunately at Lime Rock and Detroit, where I had also never won before, we were able to fix that. Now I'm hoping to do the same thing. I've won there in other types of cars, and I feel like it's a very good track for us. I'm really more interested, as all of the competitors are, in trying to win the race, because it's the next race. I'm glad we have the big championship lead because I don't have to be constrained by being conservative. Usually at the end of the year you want to win each race, but the championship is more important. Because we do have a nice lead, I'm actually able to go there and not make any compromises either in set-up or in the way I drive in trying to keep the record alive."
39-CAR ENTRY EXPECTED AT THE GLEN: A field of 39 is expected for this weekend's Serengeti Eyewear Trans-Am race, which would be the largest Trans-Am entry since 1990. Trans-Am entries have run higher than last season in six of the nine races to date. The Sept. 22, 1990 Road America Trans-Am had an entry of 41 cars, and there were also two 39-car fields that year -- at Phoenix (street race) and at Sears Point.
ZAMPEDRI JOINS ROCKETSPORTS: Alessandro Zampedri, 27, will make his sedan racing debut this weekend at Watkins Glen, driving the No. 51 Rocketsports Racing-entered, Dinema/Ionxmacel/Gnutti- sponsored Chevrolet Camaro. Zampedri, a native of Brescia, Italy, will also contest the Road America and Mosport Park events. Zampedri's previous experience includes European Formula 3 and Formula 3000, as well as the CART PPG and IRL series in the United States. "I'm delighted to have the opportunity to drive a Rocketsports car in such a competitive venue as the Trans-Am series," said Zampedri. "I know I can rely on Paul to teach me about the challenges of sedan racing and that his team will present me with a very competitive car." Although sedan racing is new to Zampedri, road racing is not. "I'm confident that my background in driving the many road courses in Europe will accelerate my learning curve," said Zampedri. "That's why I chose the Trans-Am series -- an established road racing series with competitive, professional drivers and teams -- in which to race a sedan for the first time."
MORE ON ZAMPEDRI: Alessandro Zampedri, who began his career racing karts in 1981, competed in the PPG IndyCar series in 1994, scoring his season-best finish at Cleveland (seventh). In 1995, Zampedri campaigned the entire IndyCar season, finishing 11th at the Indy 500 and eighth at Long Beach. Last season Zampedri drove a Team Scandia IRL entry in the Indy 500, qualifying seventh and leading 20 laps. While running fourth, he sustained serious ankle injuries in a last-lap, turn four incident involving Roberto Guerrero and Eliseo Salazar. Zampedri still finished fourth but was sidelined for almost a year by the injuries. He finished 35th in the 1997 Indy 500 after suffering engine problems. "I've been extremely impressed with Alessandro, both on and off the track," said Gentilozzi. "He's a talented young man capable of major accomplishments in motorsports. We're happy to play a part."
GENTILOZZI'S ODDS SKYROCKET: Paul Gentilozzi's odds-defying hard luck in the Trans-Am random draw to determine the top-five starting positions continued at Trois-Rivieres. Gentilozzi (No. 5 RISO Chevrolet Camaro) picked the No. 5 ball again, which means that he's drawn the No. 5 ball in seven of eight races (see Pro Fax Vol. 4, No. 18). Based on the laws of probability, the odds are 1 in 12,210 that the No. 5 ball would be selected from five balls seven of eight times. "I predict, based on absolutely no laws of probability, that this streak will end soon," said Gentilozzi.
FORD CLOSES IN: Ford is nearly assured of clinching its 11th Manufacturers' Championship (seven for Ford and four for Lincoln-Mercury) at Watkins Glen. Ford needs only a sixth or better to clinch the 1997 Manufacturers' Championship, as it heads into the Glen with a 72-29 advantage over Chevrolet. A Ford win at Watkins Glen would be its 75th victory for its Mustang marque. Only one other marque (Chevrolet Camaro) has reached the 75-win plateau.
PICKETT REACHES 150-RACE MILESTONE: Saturday's Serengeti Eyewear Trans-Am is Greg Pickett's 150th career Trans-Am start. Pickett (No. 6 Cytomax/ HighwayMaster Chevrolet Camaro) becomes just the second Trans-Am driver in history to reach the mark, as Jim Derhaag hit the 150-race milestone at the Sprint PCS Grand Prix of Minnesota. Pickett, who will break the tie for career starts next weekend at Road America, holds the all-time Trans-Am records for top-five finishes (73) and top-10 finishes (104).
GOODYEAR FAST FIVE UPDATE: Nine different Trans-Am drivers have landed Goodyear Fast Five qualifying positions this season, including three that have been in the Goodyear Fast Five every race. Tom Kendall is one of those three, and he's also been the Fastest Qualifier at seven of the first eight races to date. The other drivers with eight Goodyear Fast Five qualifying appearances are Paul Gentilozzi and Dorsey Schroeder. Tom Kendall is the Trans-Am's all-time leader in Goodyear Fast Five starts with 65.
OPTIMA BATTERIES QUICK CHARGER UPDATE: Two drivers have won the OPTIMA Batteries Quick Charger twice this year -- Greg Pickett, who won the awardat the season-opener at St. Petersburg and also at the Sprint PCS Grand Prix of Minnesota and Jim Briody, winner of the award at Cleveland and Trois-Rivieres. John Miller IV, Leighton Reese, Rick Dittman and Bruce Barkelew have each won the award once this season. All six drivers are eligible for the $7,500 year-end cash bonus that goes to the Trans-Am driver who accumulates the most Quick Charger points over the course of the season, with Jim Briody (No. 42 Utility Industries/Prudential Securities Chevrolet Camaro) currently leading all competitors with 42 points, followed by Pickett with 34.
RAYBESTOS RISING STAR AWARD UPDATE: Mike Borkowski (No. 4 Textron Automotive Ford Mustang Cobra) has taken the lead in the Raybestos Rising Star of the Year competition, by virtue of winning five of the last six Raybestos Rising Star of the Race awards at Lime Rock, Detroit, Mid-Ohio, Minnesota and Cleveland. Michael Lewis (No. 55 Red Line Oil Ford Mustang Cobra) has won the honor two times -- at Phoenix and Trois-Rivieres -- and ranks second in the year-to-date standings. Don Meluzio (No. 31 Manheim Auto Auction Camaro) ranks third, having won the award at St. Petersburg to open the year.
CUNNINGHAM WINS AT TROIS-RIVIERES: Peter Cunningham (No. 42 CompTech/RealTime Racing Acura NSX) passed Lou Gigliotti (No. 1 LG Motorsports Saleen Mustang) on lap 27 and never looked back, taking the T1 Class SCCA World Challenge victory by 5.484 seconds on the streets of Trois-Rivieres. Cunningham started the 34-lap, 51.204-mile race third and ran in third until leader Rob Fellows suffered a broken lower control arm on lap 22, ending his day in 18th while Cunningham advanced to second and Gigliotti into the lead. After stalking Gigliotti for five laps, Cunningham made an out-braking maneuver as the pair dove into turn four of the 10-turn, 1.506-mile street circuit. The duo ran side-by-side to turn six before Cunningham was able to put enough distance on Gigliotti to keep the position for good, scoring his third win of the season in the process. Kermit Upton III (No. 25 Mountain Autosport BMW M3) finished third, followed by Ron Johnson and Grant Carter. Cunningham continues to lead the T1 Class Drivers' Championship point standing with 191 points, followed by Gigliotti, 175; Fellows, 146; Simon Greg, 143; and Johnson, 124.
TOTALTEL LONG DISTANCE UPDATE: Roush Racing driver Tom Kendall currently leads the way for the 1997 TotalTel Long Distance Award, having completed all 446 laps to date. Jon Gooding is in the thick of things too, with 445 laps in the books.
DYNOMAX TURN ON THE POWER UPDATE: Tom Kendall has won four DynoMax Turn on the Power awards thus far this season to lead all competitors. John Miller IV, Paul Gentilozzi, Greg Pickett and Brian Simo have won the award once. Each CIPA Pass of the Race Award winner receives a $1,500 cash prize.
CIPA MIRRORS PASS OF THE RACE UPDATE: This season's award-winning passes have been turned in by seven different drivers. Brian Simo won the CIPA Pass of the Race Award at both St. Petersburg and Lime Rock, and is the only driver to win the award twice. Jon Gooding, Bill Saunders, Dorsey Schroeder, Paul Gentilozzi, R.J. Valentine and Michael Lewis have each won the CIPA Pass of the Race Award once.
CHEBEIR TAKES TOURING 2 CLASS: In the T2 Class, Alain Chebeir (No. 22 Last Minute Racing BMW 328is) topped Paul Booher (No. 6 ICY Racing/Quaker State Saturn SC) to score his second career World Challenge victory and his first podium finish of 1997. Chebeir started third after posting the fastest qualifying time and wasted no time in moving to the front, passing his teammate Johannes van Overbeek for the lead on lap five, holding the position to take a 3.221-second margin of victory. Finishing third in T2 was Michael Galati, followed by Taz Harvey and Walter Puckett. Galati continues to lead the T2 Drivers' Championship with 190 points, followed by Booher, 176; Pierre Kleinubing, 166; Chebeir, 149; and Harvey, 138.
TAGLIANI TAKES ATLANTIC VICTORY AT TROIS-RIVIERES: Alexandre Tagliani led flag to flag at the Player's Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres for his second career KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship victory. Joao Barboa, of Valongo, Portugal, placed second, followed by points leader Alex Barron. Barron leaves Trois-Rivieres with a nine-point margin over Memo Gidley, 100-91, while the victory propelled Tagliani to third with 88. ESPN2 will broadcast the Trois-Rivieres round this Saturday (Aug. 9) at 2:30 p.m. (Eastern).
TESTING ADVISORY: Be advised that the open-test day prior to the SCCA Pro Racing/PSR weekend at Mosport Park (Wednesday, August 27) is NOT open to any SCCA Pro Racing teams (Trans-Am, World Challenge and Spec Racer Ford Pro Series).
MOSPORT 500 Schedule Thursday, August 28, 1997 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. SCCA Registration 8:00 a.m. W orld Challenge Crew Chief Meeting 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Black Magic Pro Series Practice 8:45 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Spec Racer Ford Pro Series Practice 9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Speedvision Cup Practice 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. World Challenge Practice 11:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Black Magic Pro Series Practice 11:15 a.m. Spec Racer Ford Pro Series Driver's Meeting 11:45 a.m. World Challenge Driver's Meeting 12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Spec Racer Ford Pro Series Practice 1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. WSC Practice 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. GT Practice 3:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Speedvision Cup Practice 4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. World Challenge Practice 5:15 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Black Magic Pro Series Practice 6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Spec Racer Ford Pro Series Qualifying
Friday, August 29, 1997 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. SCCA Registration 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Speedvision Cup Practice 8:45 a.m. - 9:20 a.m. GT Practice 9:35 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. WSC Practice 10:25 a.m. - 10:55 a.m. World Challenge Practice 11:10 a.m. - 11:35 a.m. Spec Racer Ford Pro Series Qualifying 11:50 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Black Magic Pro Series Qualifying 1:00 p.m. - 1:20 p.m. Speedvision Cup Qualifying 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m. Speedvision Cup Qualifying 2:05 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. WSC Qualifying 2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. GTS-3 Qualifying 3:10 p.m. - 3:25 p.m. GTS-1 & GTS-2 Qualifying 3:40 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. World Challenge Qualifying 4:40 p.m. Spec Racer Ford Pro Series Race (20 Laps, 49.18 miles) 5:40 p.m. - 6:10 p.m. Black Magic Pro Series Race
Saturday, August 30, 1997 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. SCCA Registration 7:00 a.m. Trans-Am Tech/Crew Chief Meeting 8:00 a.m. - 8:20 a.m. Enduroseries Practice/Qualifying 8:30 a.m. - 9:05 a.m. Trans-Am Championship Practice 9:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. F1600 Practice/Qualifying 10:20 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. WSC Practice 11:50 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Trans-Am Goodyear Fast Five Qualifying 1:00 p.m. GTS-1, GTS-2, & GTS-3 Race 3:20 p.m. World Challenge Race (28 Laps, 68.85 miles) 4:35 p.m. - 5:05 p.m. Trans-Am Championship Practice 5:15 p.m. - 5:35 p.m. Enduroseries Practice/Qualifying 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Speedvision Cup Race
Sunday, August 31, 1997 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. SCCA Registration 9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. F1600 Race 9:30 a.m. Trans-Am Driver's Meeting 10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. WSC Practice 10:30 a.m. Trans-Am Pre-Race Tech 11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Enduroseries Race 1 12:30 p.m. Trans-Am Championship Race (40 Laps, 98.36 miles) 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. WSC Race 5:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Enduroseries Race 2