Toyota-Powered Racers Win Three National Championships, Sweep Two Podiums At The "Olympics" Of Motorsports LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 24, 2001) - Pete Peterson, Duane Davis and Larry Connor each left the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex this weekend with...
Toyota-Powered Racers Win Three National Championships,
Sweep Two Podiums At The "Olympics" Of Motorsports
LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 24, 2001) - Pete Peterson, Duane Davis and Larry Connor each left the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex this weekend with the title of "National Champion" after winning their respective classes at the 2001 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Valvoline Runoffs, Sept. 21-23. Considered the "Olympics" of amateur road racing, the Valvoline Runoffs - listed by Car & Driver magazine as one of the "Ten Best" auto racing events in all of motorsports - draws more than 650 of the nation's best racers competing in 24 classes.
Peterson, a Toyota dealer in Lumberton, N.C., took the lead on lap 18 of 20 in his Toyota Celica to win for his fourth GT-3 National Championship. He was joined on the podium by pole-sitter Wolfgang Maike (2nd place), of Santa Barbara, Calif., and 2000 National Champion Michael Cyphert (3rd) of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, giving Toyota a podium sweep in the GT-3 class for the second consecutive year. Peterson won by more than eight seconds while averaging 85 mph on the 2.28-mile road course.
Davis, Camas, Wash., won from the pole in the GT-2 class to earn his 11th National Championship, his sixth in the last 10 years. Davis, whose national success is unparalleled over the last decade, drove his Toyota Celica to a 5.23-second victory after taking the lead back at the mid-way point of the race.
Connor, of Centerville, Ohio, won his second-consecutive Formula Atlantic National Championship in a Toyota-powered Ralt RT-41. He led every lap but the first and set the quickest lap time of the entire weekend event. In completing another Toyota podium sweep, Connor was joined by pole-sitter Keith Lively (2nd place), of San Francisco, Calif., and Ahsen Yelkin (3rd), of Canfield, Ohio. Toyota-powered cars took the top eight positions in the 15-car field.
Of the 29 Toyota racers who came from all parts of the U.S. and Canada to compete, Wally Butler, of Brando, Manitoba, Canada, also claimed a podium finish in winning a bronze medal (3rd place) in the C Sports Racing class.