BRASELTON, Ga. (October 7, 2001) - Neal Sapp, of Ellicott City, Md., brought his No. 55 duPont Motorsport BMW 325is to victory circle for the second time in three days, followed by teammate Jeff Altenburg and Ken Dobson, of Carmel Valley, Calif.,...
BRASELTON, Ga. (October 7, 2001) - Neal Sapp, of Ellicott City, Md., brought his No. 55 duPont Motorsport BMW 325is to victory circle for the second time in three days, followed by teammate Jeff Altenburg and Ken Dobson, of Carmel Valley, Calif., to complete the one-two sweep of Rounds Nine and 10 in the SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge Touring car season finale at Road Atlanta. Pierre Kleinubing, of Brazil, who clinched the Drivers' Championship for the second consecutive year in Round Nine, and Shauna Marinus, of Folsom, Calif., completed the top five.
Sapp, who started from pole and recorded his fourth victory of the season, led all 24 laps of the event in route to a 1.256-second margin of victory over Altenburg.
"These two wins back to back are the highlight of my racing career," said Sapp. "I'm looking forward to carrying this momentum into 2002."
Altenburg, pilot of the No. 51 European Racing Technologies BMW 325is, filled in nicely for ailing duPont Motorsport team owner Alfred duPont, as he shadowed Sapp to the checkered in both Rounds Nine and 10. The highlight of the race for Altenburg came on lap 22, when he bulled his way passed Kleinubing for second position.
"He [Kleinubing] got by me the first time I challenged him for position," said Altenburg. "At that point I was just trying to hang on because my transmission was failing and I couldn't locate third gear. But, somehow, we made it around and ended up on the podium."
Driving the No. 7 Westek Electronics/SSF Import Parts BMW 328Ci, Dobson started eighth on the grid and charged his way up to fourth by lap 10. As the White Flag flew, Dobson put a move on Kleinubing for third and made it stick, setting the fast lap of the race in the process with a 1:41.797 (89.825 mph). And through it all, the No. 4 TriPoint Engineering/Pro Parts Mazda Protégé ES of Marinus was right on his bumper to score her first-career top-five finish.
"It's been a battle all year for us," said Dobson. "I started back in the field and I knew it would be tough getting to the point. Shauna [Marinus] drove a hell of a race and it turned out to be a great run to the front."
The race was slowed due to three cautions, which resulted in an average speed of 60.300 mph. On the final full course yellow, the race was red flagged in order to remove the No. 60 machine of Fred Pignataro from the course. The race resumed with three laps to go, but Sapp had his BMW glued to the track and was never seriously challenged.
Roger Foo came home 15th, and captured the Rookie of the Year. After clinching the Championship on Friday, Kleinubing finished the season with 257, followed by Sapp, with 216, Steve Pfeffer, with 199, and Dobson, with 197.