Lime Rock Park news 2000-08-01

LAKEVILLE, Conn. - The Lime Rock Park IT Enduro Championship Series Presented by elf Race Fuels is delivering an array of new opportunities to SCCA Improved Touring competitors from throughout the Northeast. The Lime Rock Park IT Enduro ...

LAKEVILLE, Conn. - The Lime Rock Park IT Enduro Championship Series Presented by elf Race Fuels is delivering an array of new opportunities to SCCA Improved Touring competitors from throughout the Northeast.

The Lime Rock Park IT Enduro Championship Series Presented by elf Race Fuels gives ITA and ITB drivers a chance to race for prize money and awards in front of large crowds on major event weekends.

The Championship Series also provides these SCCA Club racers with a rare opportunity to advance their careers. The overall IT Enduro champion will receive a fully funded ride in the Hikari Racing Wheel Source Toyota Celica for the Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car race at Lime Rock Park in 2001.

"Beginning with John Fitch, who was the first SCCA National Champion, and Sam Posey to Scott Sharp and Butch Leitzinger, SCCA racing at Lime Rock Park has featured a host of young drivers who started their careers here and have gone on to become world class sports car racers," Lime Rock General Manager Garret Mudd said. "With the support of elf Race Fuels and Wheel Source Online, we have created this series to showcase the quality of SCCA club racing and to provide one of today's talented young drivers with an opportunity to enhance their career."

Over the course of the three-race series, the IT Enduro Championship Series Presented by elf Race Fuels will award nearly $20,000 in prize money and awards to IT competitors. elf Race Fuels alone will award more than $5,000 in fuel and prizes. Points and prize money will be awarded following each of the three series races based on finishing position in each class. As the IT Enduro Championship Series' primary sponsor, elf Race Fuels will award prize money and fuel credit to the top five finishers in each of the three races. elf Race Fuels also will award prize money to the top three in each class and an additional cash bonus to the overall series champion. elf Race Fuels is the exclusive fuel supplier at Lime Rock Park and for several top motorsports series, including the CART FedEx Championship Series. elf Race Fuels has entered into a multi-year arrangement not only to support the series, but also to provide competitors at Lime Rock with both premium unleaded fuel and high performance racing gas.

"Our involvement in the Lime Rock Park IT Enduro Championship Series Presented by elf Race Fuels demonstrates our commitment to grassroots motorsports in the Northeast," said James G. Wurth, vice president of Competition Fuels, Inc. in Indianapolis, the exclusive distributor of elf Race Fuels in the United States and Mexico. "elf Race Fuels is known worldwide for its success in Formula 1 and through its official fuel status for the CART FedEx Championship Series and other major series in North America.

"Through our support of the IT Enduro Championship Series we're hoping to promote the careers of drivers who want to race in CART or other top-level professional series."

The IT Enduro series champion will be able to take the next step, next season, in the Hikari Racing Wheel Source Toyota Celica. Hikari Racing is a joint effort between the owners of the two most influential automotive aftermarket stores in the Midwest, David Schardt of The Wheel Source and Shawn Passen of Passen Motorsports, Ltd. Schardt, who finished fourth in the Speedvision GT Championship in 1999 in a Toyota Supra Turbo, is contesting the 2000 season in a new Porsche GT3R. With on-going support from Toyota Racing Development (TRD), Hikari also is campaigning two new Toyota Celicas in the Speedvision Touring Car Championship for drivers Kurt Buchwald and rookie Kim Wolfkill.

The fully funded Hikari Racing ride in the 2001 Dodge Dealers Grand Prix at Lime Rock is valued at approximately $10,000.

The IT Enduro Championship Series Presented by elf Race Fuels also is part o f two major events at Lime Rock. The second race was held in front a large crowd at the 25th Annual Shelby American Automobile Club National Convention. The series finale will be held in conjunction with the Dodge Dealers NASCAR 200 Presented by Burnham Boilers Oct. 13-14, which is the season finale for the NASCAR Busch North Series.

"I think it's a wonderful series. It definitely brings IT racing to the forefront," said ITA driver Madison Bolden, who is fourth in the IT Enduro standings. "Anytime that we're running in a big-show type of format whether it is (the Shelby National Convention), or the Busch race in October you get a little more exposure.

"And then to obviously have a big-time sponsor like elf Racing Fuels and a chance to drive to the Hikari Racing Toyota, that's something that wouldn't even be attainable for most of us. I'm planning on running the full series because I like the format and there is a little more on the line." The IT Enduro Championship Series was created in conjunction with the New England, Northern New Jersey, New York and Mohawk-Hudson Regions of the SCCA. By drawing drivers from throughout the SCCA's Northeast division and beyond, the Championship Series has created a highly competitive atmosphere where the best-of-the-best have been matched up against one another. All four SCCA regions were represented in Round 2, and all four have a driver in the top five in the overall championship.

"SCCA Improved Touring provides some of the best racing action anywhere, and the Lime Rock IT Enduro Championship Series, with the help of elf Race Fuels, is showcasing the best Improved Touring talent from around the Northeast in a format that a hobby racer can afford," said Dick Patullo, of the New England Region board of directors. "The diversity of cars and drivers make this a dynamic and exciting race series. This is a great opportunity for these drivers, thanks to elf fuel, Lime Rock Park, and the participating SCCA Regions."

Each IT Enduro Championship Series race features a unique component - a mandatory five-minute pit stop .The five-minute pit stop must occur between the 10th and 35th minute of the race. The races are approximately 45 minutes long and the mandatory pit stop ensures that strategy, as well as all-out speed, plays a part in the outcome.

"I like the format of racing for 45 minutes. I like the longer race," Bolden said. "Even the five-minute pit stop adds another element. Even though it's not a speed pit stop it adds another element. And the competition is always tough. I've seen some people in this series that I haven't seen before."

For more information about the IT Enduro Championship Series please visit www.limerock.com.

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Scott Sharp , Kim Wolfkill , Kurt Buchwald , Sam Posey
Teams Toyota Racing