Cooper brings the ...
Cooper brings the #75 Corvette ZR-1 home in 4th By Doug Johnson
MOSPORT PARK INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY - In an American muscle-car battle reminenscient of the Corvette Stingray and Ford Cobra 'Battle of Titans' in early days of American road racing, Bill Cooper in a Corvette ZR-1 and Bobby Archer in a Dodge Viper battled fender-to-fender and wheel-to-wheel for 22 exciting laps before the ZR-1 suffered from a crippling clutch failure and allowed Archer to take the lead for the final 6 laps and an ultimate victory in Speedvision GT Championship Round 1 held here on Sunday.
Cooper, of Manhatten, MN, won the '98 season opener in Topeka, KS driving a similar Pirate Racing/Les Stanford Chevrolet Corvette. He started out strong in this Round 1 effort as well, setting the fast lap in practice and winning the pole position with almost a half-second lead over the 2nd place Porsche. Archer's Viper qualified in 5th position.
According to Pirate Racing owner Jim Van Dorn, "This was a very exciting race and although we are disappointed to have a clutch prevent us from winning, we are very pleased with the team's effort and this respectable finish in the season opener. And it is gratifying to see the 'older' Corvette ZR-1 can still be competitive with today's competitve entries." Pirate Racing will initially participate with their #75 Corvette ZR-1 which they fielded in selected events during the '98 World Challenge Series and then make the transition to their '99 C5-R racing Corvettes as their construction is completed. Current plans involve completion of the first competitive C5-R entry by the Road Atlanta race with the second following prior to the end of the '99 season.
In cooperation with GM Motorsports, the Pirates received two of the 20 new factory built C5 Corvette racing chassis, #001 and #020, which are currently being built by the Pratt & Miller's race shop (the builders of both GM C5-R entries in the 24 hour races at Daytona and Sebring) near Detroit. Cooper will drive the primary C5-R, with a driver-to-be-named for the 2nd. The #75 ZR-1 will then appear only in selected events. The Corvette enthusiast is the key to truly understanding Pirate Racing - especially the internet enthusiast of the World Wide Web. That's how it all started. Back in '97 a small group from the Corvette ZR-1 and Vettenet listservers starting talking on the net with Van Dorn about what it would take to put together a team to competitively race the Corvette - and the rest is history. Literally hundreds of internet Corvette enthusiast became financial supporters of the team with a limited '98 schedule and now a full 3-car commitment for '99.
Pirate Racing is sponsored by Les Stanford Chevrolet, Dearborn, MI., Burtronics Business Systems, Redline Oil, Anchor Bay Packaging, and NAPA Palm Desert.