PWC

Utah: GT race report

Archer Scores Second-Straight SPEED GT Win at Miller TOOELE, Utah (May 18, 2008) -- Tommy Archer may have changed teams from 2007 to 2008, but the result at Miller Motorsports Park was the same--a win in SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge...

Archer Scores Second-Straight SPEED GT Win at Miller

TOOELE, Utah (May 18, 2008) -- Tommy Archer may have changed teams from 2007 to 2008, but the result at Miller Motorsports Park was the same--a win in SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT, part of the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix Presented by the Grand and Little America Hotels. Brandon Davis, of Huntington Beach, Calif., and Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., completed the podium.

Archer, of Duluth, Minn., started his No. 13 Foametix/Woodhouse Performance Dodge Viper from the pole and led from the start. Second starting Ritch Marziale applied early pressure in his No. 56 All-Cut Concrete Dodge Viper, but succumbed to power steering problems just past the halfway point of the 22-lap, 67.056-mile event.

From there, Archer avoided lapped cars spinning in front of him to keep Davis' No. 10 ACS/Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang at bay and score a 1.148-second win, averaging 93.284 mph. It was the first win for the Woodhouse Performance team.

"It's a small team, and its nice for Bob [Woodhouse] and his team that have worked so hard for so many years to get a win for them," Archer said.

"The start was clean for me," he continued. "Ritch [Marziale] wants to lead a race pretty bad, and he was really pushing me hard. I just knew I had to stay clean and not make any mistakes. I made a couple in there. The scariest part of my race was probably not my big slide but when the Porsche went off at the top of the esses and I couldn't see anything. I had to almost stop and hope they didn't run into me."

Davis started fifth, but moved to third by turn one. When Marziale's troubles began, he moved to second on lap six and closed on Archer at least twice, but was unable to make a bid for the lead. The Long Beach winner took over the point lead with his runner-up finish.

"We had a lot better start than we did at Long Beach, gaining positions instead of losing them," Daivs said. "We've worked really hard to get our traction control working well on the start. The car just hooked up and I was able to get around Cindi [Lux], I saw Andy to the inside but I realized if I hugged the inside I'd be able to take the position. From there, I kept pushing and pushing and pushing and people fell away. I thought we might be able to get a shot at Tommy [Archer], but we couldn't quite do it. Overall, it was a great race and it feels good to leave with the championship lead."

Pilgrim started just behind Davis and advanced to third after Cindi Lux spun her No. 2 Mopar/Corsa/Forgeline/Momo Dodge Viper back to fifth on lap 11. His No. 8 Remington Shaving Cadillac CTS-V improved over the course of the race, but he was unable to make a bid for second despite being just behind Davis' Mustang for the second half of the race.

"The start was ridiculous," Pilgrim said. "That's the best start I've ever gotten in the Cadillac. Eric [Curran] stalled in front of me, and I think this is the fourth or fifth time in the four years I've been doing this that somebody stalled in front of me. You have to react so quick. I was really happy to get by Eric, and Cindi [Lux] got a bad start and I got by her.

"I didn't want to be too stupid on the first lap. I was stupid on the second lap, and locked up my tires big time going into one. Luckily, I didn't lock them up again but I was a bit worried. I flat spotted one real bad, it was pretty bumpy the rest of the ride. I pushed as hard as I could push. We're very, very happy with third place."

Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., came from 11th on the grid to finish fourth in his No. 1 K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 GT3. Despite his strong run, he fell from the points lead, to five behind Davis (310 to 305).

Lux held on to finish fifth--the best finish ever for a woman in SPEED GT competition. It was the best finish by a woman overall in SPEED World Challenge competition since Shauna Marinus' third place result in SPEED Touring Car at Infineon Raceway in 2003.

Jeff Courtney, of Slinger, Wis., advanced from 19th to sixth to earn the Sunoco Hard Charger award in his No. 99 KENDA/TJM/MPI Coin/Badger Dodge Viper. He also ran the fastest lap of the race, with a 1:57.628 (93.284 mph).

Dino Crescentini, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., advanced a similar number of positions (13) in his No. 4 Centric Parts/Stoptech Porsche 911 GT3 to finish seventh. Jason Daskalos (Dodge Viper), James Sofronas (Porsche 911 GT3) and Michael McCann (Cadillac CTS-V) completed the top 10.

John Bourassa, of Jupiter Island, Fla., earned the Racing Electronics Holeshot Award in the No. 76 THR/Indeco/Hillview Vineyards Porsche 911 Turbo for advancing seven positions on the opening lap of the race.

Following Davis and Pobst, Pilgrim is third in points after three of 10 races, with 290. Michael Galati is fourth (230 points), followed by Courtney (216).

Ford took over the hotly-contested SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Manufacturers Championship Presented by RACER lead, with 21 points to Porsche's 19, Cadillac's 17, Dodge's 13 and Chevrolet's one.

Today's race will be broadcast on SPEED Wednesday, May 28 at 1 p.m. (EDT), 11 a.m. locally.

The series next travels to Watkins Glen International June 8. For more information, please visit www.world-challenge.com.

-credit: scca pro racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Tommy Archer , Randy Pobst , John Bourassa , Michael Galati , James Sofronas , Michael McCann , Dino Crescentini , Brandon Davis , Jeff Courtney , Jason Daskalos , Cindi Lux , Ritch Marziale