PWC

World Challenge News 2000-01-28

Entries continue to stream in for the 2000 Speedvision World Challenge GT and Touring Car Championships. Total combined entries are rapidly approaching 100, and current entry lists are available at www.sccapro.com/wc/00/entry.html. MOVE-IT ...

Entries continue to stream in for the 2000 Speedvision World Challenge GT and Touring Car Championships. Total combined entries are rapidly approaching 100, and current entry lists are available at www.sccapro.com/wc/00/entry.html.

MOVE-IT MOTORSPORTS TO BRING LOTUS BACK: Former Firestone Firehawk campaigner Keith Welsh has confirmed that he has four Lotus Esprit Turbos for the Speedvision GT in 2000. Only rookie and team co-owner Bruce Morton is confirmed in the driver line-up, although the team is having discussions with both factory LeMans Cadillac driver Butch Leitzinger and Speedvision World Challenge color commentator Dorsey Schroeder. "There's a possibility of doing a few races this year," said Schroeder, who has signed to drive the Champion Motors Lola/Porsche in the American Le Mans Series. "It really depends on what Speedvision wants and how my ALMS schedule looks." Leitzinger indicated that he has discussed running with the team at select events, but that nothing had been finalized. The team, meanwhile, expects a sponsorship announcement soon, and work has begun on the cars, which will be powered by the four cylinder turbo engine, at the team's shop in Phoenix.

TRAC RACING BRINGS AUDI AND VOLKSWAGON IN: Laval, Quebec-based TRAC Racing has announced it will expand its two-car Volkswagon Touring Car effort from 1999 to include two Audi A4 1.8 Turbos for team owner Stephane Trahan and Rael for the 2000 Speedvision GT series. "To be honest, our car is not a real GT car yet, but it has all the qualities to turn into one," said Trahan. "Furthermore, its four-wheel-drive and its superbly smooth engine should allow us to be very competitive on the twisty tracks that abound in World Challenge." The team will also field two Volkswagons in Touring Car, one Golf VR6 for Carl Werner and a Jetta VR6 for a driver to be named later. For more information on TRAC Racing, visit www.tracracing.com on the internet.

SAFAR SWITCHES FROM CORVETTE TO SALEEN IN 2000: Tommy Safar, a veteran Corvette campaigner, has announced that he will have an all-new Saleen Mustang for the 2000 Speedvision GT season. "The crash at Laguna Seca really killed the Corvette," said Safar. "We're hoping to have the car by the opener, and will definitely be in full force once it arrives. We're looking forward to the change." Hidden Creek Racing will again sponsor the car, which will be run out of Safar's Tsunami Racing shop. The new car, like fellow Saleen competitor Paul Brown's HP Motorsport entry, will be fuel injected for the first time in World Challenge competition. Previous Saleen Mustangs were all carbureted.

AUSTRALIAN DENMEADE BRINGS LANCER EVO TO GT: One Lap of America (1999) class-winner Jeff Denmeade, of Australia, has entered a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5 in the 2000 Speedvision GT Championship. The car, built by Mitsubishi' s Rally and Motorsports headquarters in Japan in 1998, features a two-liter turbocharged engine and all-wheel-drive. This will be Denmeade's first full season of professional road racing.

TURNER MOTORSPORT BACK WITH THREE CARS: Will Turner, a two-time winner in Speedvision Touring Car competition in 1999, will return with his three-car team of BMW 328s for 2000. Turner has re-signed 1999 Red Line Oil Rookie of the Year runner-up Jeff Tarr to again drive the No. 93 entry, with newcomer Don Salama driving the No. 94 entry. Brian Wade, who drove for the team in 1999, will apparently sit out the 2000 season due to budget constraints. For more information, visit www.turnermotorsport.com.

REALTIME PICTURE BECOMES SOMEWHAT CLEARER: RealTime Racing owner Peter Cunningham has shed some more light on his 2000 campaign, but not much. "While nothing is officially signed, it looks good to have our 1999 line-up (1997 T2 Champion Pierre Kleinubing, 1998 Rookie of the Year Hugh Plumb, 1999 Rookie of the Year Kevin Schrantz and Fred Meyer) back for 2000," said Cunningham. Car TBAs are still listed for all five RealTime entires, and while Cunningham confirmed that the team had five Acura Integra Type Rs available, he would neither confirm nor deny the rumor that the team had also acquired a BMW 328. RealTime's website has been launched, but is still under construction at www.realtimerrl.com.

HARVEY TO RETURN WITH SINGLE-CAR EFFORT: Taz Harvey, who took the career lead in career World Challenge starts (70) from Lou Gigliotti in 1999, plans a single-car effort for 2000 in his DC Sports/Dublin Honda Acura Integra R. Harvey has another car, run occasionally by Kristian Skavnes in 1999, that will serve as a back-up to his primary No. 8 entry.

I.C.Y. AND SL RACING MERGE; SALEEN FOCUS ON THE WAY: I.C.Y. Racing and SL Racing principles David Rosenblum and Steve Lisa have joined forces for the 2000 Speedvision Touring Car season. The joint effort will include the construction and development of a two-car Saleen Focus team, as well as further development of the Mazda 626s campaigned by SL Racing in 1999. The Focus will be powered by the 2.5-liter V-6 currently used in the Ford Contour, with suspension modifications and aerodynamic treatment from Saleen. "The Saleen organization is excited about the potential of the Focus," said Saleen founder Steve Saleen. "We totally support the I.C.Y program." Lisa will remain the lead Mazda driver, with Rosenblum starting the season in a second car while the Focus is developed. Plans are also being made for Lisa to establish an Inner City Youth Racing chapter in Phoenix patterned after the successful Philadelphia program Rosenblum started 16 years ago which offers at-risk youth the opportunity to work on a race team.

SHERK MOVES TO TOURING FROM MOTOROLA CUP WITH CIVIC: Eleven years after last competing in the World Challenge-precursor Escort Endurance Championship, Canadian John Sherk will return in 2000, and becomes the first team to campaign the new Honda Civic Si. Sherk, a former Canadian Endurance Champion, initially planned to convert the JComp team's Acura NSX from Motorola Cup trim to Speedvision GT specs, but ran into cost constraints. "With the Civic Si, we are able to enter more races, and if all goes well, compete for the whole season," said Sherk. "With the many already well-developed cars in the Touring category, we will have to work hard to get the Civic competitive. "BASF Automotive Refinish will continue as my team's primary partner in 2000, and we look forward to giving them increased exposure and promotional opportunities through SCCA Pro Racing's Speedvision World Challenge program."

-SCCA/SCCA Pro Racing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Kristian Skavnes , Kevin Schrantz , Pierre Kleinubing , Dorsey Schroeder , Lou Gigliotti , Will Turner , Taz Harvey , Fred Meyer , Don Salama , Steve Saleen , Hugh Plumb , David Rosenblum , Paul Brown , Jeff Denmeade
Teams RealTime Racing