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Dobson and Crompton Split the Weekend's STCC Races in Toronto

28 July 1997

Dodge driver Dominic Dobson and Honda driver Neil Crompton split the two Super Touring Car Championship races at Toronto this past week-end. For Dobson the victory in race #1 ended a victory drought that had lasted over the past four races. For Crompton, who last won in the season opener in Long Beach, the victory was a much-needed boost for his chase of the championship. The split manufacturer's victories continued a trend that has now lasted at the last three venues (Portland, Cleveland and Toronto).

The qualifying sessions for the two races were changed from the usual format of two separate sessions. The qualifying positions for race #2 were determined by the fastest laps turned in during race #1. The idea being to create a race within a race.

Dobson turned in the quickest time for session #1 with a time of 1:15.607 for a speed of 81.944mph. Peter Cunningham was second quickest with a time of 1:15.624 for a speed of 81.926mph. The 17/1000's of a second, razor thin margin was the closest of the season during qualifying this year. The close times in the qualifying session were a precursor of things to come.

Eleven cars took the green flag on the tight and narrow 1.721 mile circuit. Pole-sitter Dobson bobbled his start and by turn two was passed Peter Cunningham. However, as luck would have it, Dobson re-took the lead at the start/finish line as both drivers raced for the lead, when a yellow flag was brought out for Desire' Wilson's accident on the front straight. Six laps later the field was turned loose once again. The running order of the top six was Dobson, Cunningham, Donohue, Crompton, Pobst and Law. For the next 11 laps Dobson dominated the lead. Cunningham, Donohue and Crompton seemed to be having there own race within a race. The three swapped positions four times during the last 11 laps. Crompton, biding his time in fourth place picked off Donohue on lap 13. Two laps later, in almost the same place as his pass of Donohue, Crompton passed Cunningham to secure second place. Crompton's agressive style not only awarded him second place but also gave him pole position in the second race by posting the fastest lap. Cunningham and Donohue slugged it out for third and fourth with Cunningham eventually coming home third. Darren Law won the Independent's Challenge with a great fifth place finish.

Race #2 saw Crompton on pole position by virtue of his fastest lap in race #1. Dobson was outside row 1. Cunningham and Donohue made up row 2. The race quickly became a parade of the top four as Crompton led every one of the 20 laps. Dobson, Cunningham and Donohue tried everything but Crompton's car was, as they say, "hooked up" for this tight circuit. Dobson took second, Cunningham third and Donohue fourth. The most impressive drive of the race, aside from Crompton's, was that of Ford driver David Welch. Starting from fifth place, Welch lost two positions early in the race to Darren Law and Randy Pobst. Welch battled back to take fifth place over-all and first in the Independent's Challenge.

David Treffer -- The Auto Channel

Results Race #1

Driver                  Marque  Laps    Qualified
1)Dominic Dobson          Dodge   18      1
2)Neil Crompton           Honda   18      4
3)Peter Cunningham        Honda   18      2
4)David Donohue           Dodge   18      3
5)Darren Law*             BMW     18      7
6)David Welch             Ford    18      5
7)Randy Pobst             BMW     18      6
8)Bob Schader             Mazda   18      8
9)Roberto Quintanilla     Honda   18      11
10)Doug Beatty, Jr.       BMW      1      10
11)Desire'Wilson          Mazda    1      9

Margin of Victory:1.44 seconds
Fastest Race Lap:Neil Crompton
Lap Leaders:Cunningham 1, Dobson 2-18
*Independent's Challenge Winner:Darren Law

Results Race #2

Driver                  Marque  Laps    Qualified
1)Neil Crompton         Honda   20      1
2)Dominic Dobson        Dodge   20      2
3)Peter Cunningham      Honda   20      3
4)David Donohue         Dodge   20      4
5)David Welch*          Ford    20      7
6)Darren Law            BMW     20      6
7)Randy Pobst           BMW     20      5
8)Roberto Quintanilla   Honda   19      9
9)Bob Schader           Mazda   13      8
10)Doug Beatty, Jr.     BMW      1      10
11)Desire' Wilson       Mazda    0      11 (DNS)

Margin of Victory:2.839 seconds
Fastest Race Lap:Peter Cunningham
Lap Leaders:Crompton 1-20
*Independent's Challenge Winner:David Welch

Championship Standings

Driver                  Marque  Points Previous Standing
1)David Donohue         Dodge   194     1
2)Peter Cunningham      Honda   188     2
3)Dominic Dobson        Dodge   169     3
4)Neil Crompton         Honda   160     4
5)Randy Pobst*          BMW     135     5
6)Bob Schader           Mazda   127     6
7)Darren Law            BMW     115     7
8)David Welch           Ford     89     8
9)Forrest Grandlund     Honda    64     9
10)Mark Jonak           BMW      36     10
11)Rod Millen           Toyota   26     11
12)Tom Finnelly         BMW      24     12
13)Desire'Wilson        Mazda    18     13
14)Roberto Quintanilla  Honda    17     Not Listed
15)Walt Puckett         Mazda    11     14

Manufacturer's Challenge

*Independent's Challenge Leader-Randy Pobst

Next Race-Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH Aug 8-10