PWC

World Challenge news 2000-12-18

Three-time and defending SCCA Club Racing Showroom Stock C National Champion Paul Bonaccorsi will make his Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car debut in 2001 with newly-formed TriPoint Motorsports in one of the team's two Mazda Protege MPS. ...

Three-time and defending SCCA Club Racing Showroom Stock C National Champion Paul Bonaccorsi will make his Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car debut in 2001 with newly-formed TriPoint Motorsports in one of the team's two Mazda Protege MPS.

Bonaccorsi, 40, captured his third SSC Valvoline Runoffs® title in 2000 to go with Championships in 1996 and 1998 (Speedvision Touring Car Rookie of the Year Neal Sapp won the 1997 and 1999 titles). The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. resident took his last two titles in a Protege.

TriPoint Motorsports, a new division of renowned Mazda tuner TriPoint Engineering, will build and campaign the cars in 2001. TriPoint was instrumental in the construction of the 2000 TC Kline Racing BMW 328Ci cars, which won two races and finished second in the Championship. TC Kline Racing will campaign two BMW M3s in Speedvision GT.

"I think our chances are looking pretty good for 2001 with Paul," said Craig Nagler, of TriPoint Motorsports. "We think he's every bit as talented as Neal [Sapp]. They've had the same kind of success. He should be very strong."

The team hopes to announce the second driver soon.

Mazda will have a strong presence in the 2001 Speedvision Touring Car Championship. In addition to the TriPoint-entered cars: as previously announced, ICY/SL Racing is building three Proteges for team owners Steve, Lisa and Dave Rosenblum and three-time World Challenge race winner Chuck Hemmingson ; AWR Racing will campaign the full season with rookie Charles Espenlaub ; and Driven Performance is building two cars, one to be driven by 2000 SSC Runoffs® runner-up and former champion Ken Payson.

Congratulations to Speedvision World Challenge drivers Mike Fitzgerald and @!Peter Cunningham , who took the worldwide 2000 Porsche Cup and BMW Sports Trophy, respectively.

Fitzgerald's efforts in becoming only the third American ever (and second-straight) to win the prestigious Porsche Cup have been well documented. In addition to running endurance races in the Grand-Am and American Le Mans Series events, Fitzgerald took three wins in five starts in the No. 38 Westward Ho Hotel Vegas/MPIE Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Speedvision GT car -- instrumental in his campaign for the Championship, which earned him 72,000 DM.

Fitzgerald edged Frenchman Christophe Bouchut by 140 points -- 6,215 to 6,075 for the title.

Cunningham took three poles and earned a Speedvision World Challenge record-tying 19th win in his 2000 campaign in the No. 42 RealTime Racing BMW M3. Additionally, Cunningham scored points toward the BMW Sports Trophy driving for Team Prototype Technology Group in the ALMS. Cunningham was not under "factory" status in 2000, which made him eligible for the award. His efforts netted 330 points -- 10 more than Russian Touring Car Champion Mikhail Ukhov.

The 2001 SCCA Pro Racing Regulations (PRR) are now available on-line at www.SpeedvisionWC.com. The biggest change from 2000 to 2001 is the ban on Anti-Lock Brakes in Speedvision Touring Car.

"There are only two current models being raced in Touring Car that come with a decent ABS system for racing," said Mitch Wright, Speedvision World Challenge General Manager. "For teams considering building something other than those two cars, it's a perceived disadvantage."

Speedvision GT cars, however, are still able to take advantage of the technology.

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Series PWC
Drivers Peter Cunningham , Chuck Hemmingson , Paul Bonaccorsi , Christophe Bouchut , Charles Espenlaub , Ken Payson
Teams RealTime Racing