Lally Posts Pro Win in Motorola Cup Saturday TORONTO, July 19 - Young Andy Lally of Northport, N.Y., who has a reputation for always being in the hunt each time he straps into a race car, posted his first professional auto...
Lally Posts Pro Win in Motorola Cup Saturday
TORONTO, July 19 - Young Andy Lally of Northport, N.Y., who has a reputation for always being in the hunt each time he straps into a race car, posted his first professional auto racing victory Saturday by winning the Sports class in the Motorola Cup race on the Toronto street course. The race was a support event to the Molson Indy CART FedX champ car race.
Going into the event Lally had a plethora of checkereds in amateur competition and a dozen podium (top-three) finishes in professional competition, primarily in Motorola Cup and U.S. Formula 2000 races. Still, he termed his first pro victory "extremely gratifying.
"Actually it's a relief," he said. "I had six seconds and six thirds, but to finally win one was great. What was really neat was that I had quite a battle with Lance Stewart throughout the race, and at the checkered I beat him by maybe half a car length."
Lally was in a BMW Z3 Coupe fielded by Team Spartanburg Racing. Stewart was in an Acura Integra. The third-place driver in that class, Frank Del Coliano, was in a Porsche 944, and the fourth-place driver, Howie Liebengood, was in a BMW 328. The top four in the Sports class finished 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th overall in the 42-car race. Lally started 18th overall, qualifying second in his class. Motorola Cup events feature Grand Sports, Sports, Touring and Compact classes.
Lally also set a new track record enroute to his victory, running the 11-turn course at an average speed of 73.331 mph.
Lally had never seen this particular 1.755-mile street course prior to last weekend. "It was a beautiful course, but I'd never driven on it before and I've never driven a sedan on a street course either," he said. "The course was wide and fast. It had a little bit of everything. Like most street-course races, there were a bunch of close calls. I went head-to-head with Lance throughout the race. He's right behind me in the point standings, but he's fun to race with because you can race clean with him."
Lally currently leads the Sports division point standings halfway through the season. His next Motorola Cup race is scheduled to be held in a few weeks at Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, Canada.
Prior to that he'll race a Cabrir this coming weekend (July 24-25) in two U.S. Formula 2000 events at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. Even though he's only 24, Lally has earned a reputation as an excellent test driver for new chassis, and the Cabrir is in its first full season of U.S. F2000 competition. Lally was chosen to be the lead development driver for Highcroft Racing's Bowman program in U.S. Formula 2000 competition last year because of his excellent feedback to the team engineers as well as his driving ability.
Lally is constantly faced with the same problem that plagues other top young drivers in his sport - finding the sponsorship money to advance up racing's ladder in pursuit of stardom. He continues to strive to find companies that will defray his racing expenses in exchange for advertising space on the race car, corporate hospitality at the track, TV exposure and exposure on the nation's sports pages.
"I really want to move up, and I'll race anything," Lally said. "There's an old saying in racing that says 'Speed costs money; how fast do you want to go?'
"I want to go really, really fast. I know I can get the job done behind the wheel, but getting the opportunity to get behind the wheel is what's hard. Some of the drivers I've raced against and beaten have already made it to Indy. I want to move up too, but finding a corporate partner or a team owner who can foot the bill is hard."