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SCCA Pro Racing Pro Fax, V.4 No. 18

5 August 1997

SCCA Pro Racing
Volume 4, Number 18
July 30, 1997

TROIS-RIVIERES THIS WEEKEND: The SCCA's Trans-Am, World Challenge and
KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championships are in action this weekend at the
Player's Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. The World Challenge race is slated
for Saturday, August 2, at 1:15 p.m., with the Trans-Am scheduled for
Sunday at 3:45 p.m. The Trans-Am race is being televised live on The
Nashville Network, with coverage beginning at 3:30 (ET), with replays on
The Speedvision Network, while the World Challenge race will air on a
tape-delayed basis on Speedvision (check the TV Listings in this issue for
air dates). The KOOL Toyota Atlantic contest will be televised Saturday,
August 9 on ESPN2, beginning at 2:20 p.m. (ET).

Kendall (No. 11 All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang Cobra) can tie Mark
Donohue's mark of eight consecutive Trans-Am wins at the Player's Grand
Prix de Trois-Rivieres.  Donohue's win streak_established in 1968_began at
Sebring, continued on at War Bonnet, Lime Rock, Mid-Ohio, Bridgehampton,
Meadowdale, Mont Tremblant and concluded with a win at Bryar. The streak
ended at Watkins Glen, where Donohue finished third. It's ironic that
Kendall_if he were to win Trois-Rivieres_would have the chance to break
Donohue's record at the very track that Donohue's streak ended.

FELLOWS ENTERS TROIS-RIVIERES: Ron Fellows, the two-time defending
Trois-Rivieres Trans-Am race winner, will race a Gloy Racing Ford Mustang
Cobra at Trois-Rivieres. It will be Fellows' first Trans-Am race of the
season and the 96th of his 11-year Trans-Am career. Fellows ranks fifth
all-time in career victories with 19 and second all-time with 60 top-five

Gordon's domination of the first half of the NASCAR Winston Cup
Championship, and Kendall's mastery of the Trans-Am propelled the duo to
first and second-place in the Driver of the Year second-quarter voting.
Gordon, who won five races in the second quarter, received 10 of the 12
first-place votes, amassing 100 points. Kendall, with four wins in the
quarter, placed second with 52 points. Arie Lyendyk, winner of the IRL
Indianapolis 500 and the Longhorn 500, came in third with 51 points. Each
quarter, the Driver of the Year Award Panel of experts selects six drivers
listed in order of achievement, who receive points on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis.
The driver with the most cumulative points is the Quarterly winner. At
season's end, each Driver of the Year Award Panelists votes by secret
ballot for his single choice for Driver of the Year. The winner is
announced in December. The five most recent winners included John Force,
NHRA (1996); Jeff Gordon, NASCAR, (1995); Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR (1994);
Nigel Mansel, CART (1993); and Bobby Rahal, CART (1992). Trans-Am legend
Mark Donohue was the recipient of the Driver of the Year award in 1968 and
to this day is the only sports car-oriented racer to win the award.

GENTILOZZI PLANS TO BEAT THE ODDS: "If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't
have any luck," says Paul Gentilozzi (No. 5 RISO Chevrolet Camaro). It's
hard to argue with him, based on the luck he's had in the SCCA Trans-Am's
random draw to determine the top-five starting positions each race.
Gentilozzi has qualified in the Goodyear Fast Five in each of the seven
races this season, which has put him in the Trans-Am's random drawing in
all seven races. Gentilozzi has drawn the No. 5 ball in six of the seven
races. At round five at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Craig T. Nelson,
star of the hit comedy series "Coach", drew for Gentilozzi and picked the
No. 1 ball and Gentilozzi started on the pole. In the sixth race at
Minneapolis, Gentilozzi and 1996 Trans-Am champion and current points
leader Tom Kendall drew balls for each other; once again, Gentilozzi drew
the No. 5 ball_for Kendall_while Kendall selected the No. 1 ball_for
Gentilozzi who started on the pole for the second time. "I keep thinking
this has to stop, sometime soon," added Gentilozzi, "What are the odds?"
Based on the laws of probability, the odds are 1 in 2,790 or less than 4 in
10,000 that the No. 5 ball would be selected from five balls six of seven
times, according to F. Douglas Muschett, Ph.D. "Based on those odds, I
guess I shouldn't place any bets on our season finale race in Reno," said
Gentilozzi. "I thought of changing my car number from five to number two or
three. At this point, I'm ready to believe in almost anything that could
change my luck."

PICKETT CLOSING IN ON MILESTONE: Sunday's Player's Grand Prix de
Trois-Rivieres will be Greg Pickett's 149th career Trans-Am start. Six days
later, at Watkins Glen, Pickett will tie the all-time series record of 150
career starts. If things go according to plan, Pickett will make his 151st
career start at Road America, and he'll also have the chance to raise his
top-five finishing average to .500 at that venue. Pickett's top-five
finishing average now stands at .493. With top-five finishes in the next
three races, he'd have 76 top fives and a .503 average. "Finishing half of
151 Trans-Am races in the top five is something to be proud of," Pickett
says, "especially when a lot of those races were when the competition in
the series was the toughest." Pickett currently holds all-time Trans-Am
records for top-five finishes (73) and top-10 finishes (104). His total of
46 top-three finishes was a record until Kendall passed him earlier this

sanction the West Michigan Grand Prix, and the inaugural event_scheduled
for the weekend of July 24-26, 1998_will feature the SCCA Trans-Am
Championship and include World Challenge and Spec Racer Ford Pro Series
races. Dan Greenwood, SCCA Pro Racing, Ltd., president and CEO and Dan
Beahan, West Michigan Grand Prix event director made the announcement last
week (July 24).
        The Brayton Memorial Street Circuit_named for the late Scott
Brayton, past driver for the Amway Indy Car team_is situated in the heart
of downtown Grand Rapids and will be 1.5-miles in length, with 13 turns. 
        According to Dan DeVos, Chairman of the West Michigan Grand Prix
Association (WMGPA), proceeds will be used for downtown revitalization. The
DeVos-led WMGPA is a non-profit corporation composed of civic leaders. The
West Michigan Grand Prix is located at 15 Ionia SW, Suite 500, Grand
Rapids, MI, 49503. The phone number is (616)-336-PRIX (7749).

ROB FELLOWS WINS AT HEARTLAND PARK: Rob Fellows (No. 4 AER Manufacturing
Saleen Mustang) won his first career SCCA World Challenge race this past
Sunday at Heartland Park Topeka. Fellows' win was anything but easy, as he
spent the first 27 laps in hot pursuit of Lou Gigliotti (No. 1 LG
Motorsports Saleen Mustang), finally passing for the lead with four laps
remaining. "Lou's one of the hardest guys to pass," said Fellows. "I just
tried to keep the pressure on which was really tough because it was hot out
there and being stuck to his bumper for 27 laps was really intense. I tried
to stay patient and eventually it got to him. He slid wide and I got
underneath him in the back section." Moments later, Gigliotti's car sat
sideways in turn one, the victim of a mechanical meltdown of sorts. His
left rear brake caliper caught fire, disintegrated, and then caused the
right rear tire to let go. The incident brought out a full-course yellow
with two laps to go, and the race ended under caution. Rounding at the top
three in Touring 1 were Peter Cunningham (No. 42 RealTime Racing/Comptech
Acura NSX) and Cameron Worth (No. 75 Pettit Racing Mazda RX-7). Cunningham
continues to lead the Drivers' Championship with 159 points, followed by
Gigliotti with 145, Simon Gregg with 136 and Fellows with 135.

VANOVERBEEK TAKES TOURING 2 WIN: Johannes vanOverbeek (No. 23 Last Minute
Racing BMW 325is) turned in a career drive to gain his first World
Challenge Touring 2 victory at Heartland Park. His previous best finish
this season were a pair of eighths at Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen. van
Overbeek led 25 of the 30 laps_the first 15 laps and the final 10. Jim
Lovett (No. 46 RealTime Racing/ Comptech Honda Prelude) led the laps in
between, and in fact looked to be victory bound. Lovett had built a nice
cushion between himself and second place and if it had not been for a
slipping clutch and a broken exhaust pipe the victory could have been his.
As it was, he dropped from the leader board and wound up fourth in class.
Joining vanOverbeek in the Touring 2 Winner's Circle were a pair of ICY
Racing/Quaker State Saturn SCs, driven by Walter Puckett and Paul Booher,
who finished second and third, respectively. Defending Touring 2 class
champion Michael Galati maintains a lead the Touring 2 class Drivers'
Championship with 163 points, followed by Booher with 148, Pierre
Kleinubing with 145 and Lovett with 124.

MUMM WINS THRILLER: Robert Mumm, of Hales Corners, Wis., gained his second
SCCA Spec Racer Ford Pro Series victory of the season at Heartland Park
Topeka, winning a thrilling race that included seven lead changes among
three drivers. Mumm averaged 76.55 miles-per-hour, as he covered 24-lap,
50.4-mile sprint race in a time of 39 minutes, 30.175 seconds. Mumm took
the lead initially on lap 10, but lost it to Leo Capaldi on lap 11. Mumm
regained the lead for laps 12 through 17, only to have Capaldi repass him
on lap 18. Mumm took the lead for good five laps from the finish, but
Capaldi and Warren Stilwell mounted another series of challenges down the
stretch. Mumm, who won early this season at St. Petersburg, held on for the
0.210-second victory, with Capaldi taking second and Stilwell third. "It
was a really awesome race," said Mumm. "It was the toughest race that I've
been in in a long time, with the heat and the competition. The victory
could have gone to any of the top five guys really...all it would have
taken was just one mistake on any of our parts." Keith Scharf continues to
lead the Drivers' Championship with 86 points, but Mumm has closed to
within two points, 86 to 84, with three races to go.

SCCA Pro Racing teams to send in publicity materials for its program. The
deadline is September 2, and materials should be sent to Carol Tanis,
Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, P.O. Box 837, Reno, NV 89504.

U.S. FF2000 UPDATE: Brazilian Zak Morioka (No. 27 KFC of Brazil Van Diemen
Ford) captured the U.S. FF2000 Oval Crown Championship at the Charlotte
Motor Speedway U.S. FF2000 National Championship presented by Spawn
double-race weekend, July 25-26. Morioka took the points lead from Buddy
Rice after Friday's race, in which Morioka finished third and Rice 37th.
Ryan Hampton, driving the No. 80 American Instruments Van Diemen Ford, took
the win in the 30-lap contest which saw 16 lead changes. Both Rice and
Robby McGehee still had a chance to take the crown from Morioka in
Saturday's race, and when the 18-year-old Brazilian rolled to a stop with a
broken half-shaft, the title was entirely up for grabs. Rice (No. 19 Lynx
Van Diemen Ford) missed his opportunity when he crashed on lap six. McGehee
(No. 18 Hudson Food/Energizer Van Diemen Ford) needed to finish seventh or
better to take the crown, and was running sixth coming up to a restart with
two laps remaining. Wounded by earlier contact, McGehee dropped to 10th in
the final laps, handing the championship to Morioka. Polesitter Andrea De
Lorenzi (No. 50 Caffe Essse/Motorquality Tatuus) took the win, extending
the series' record for consecutive first-time winners to nine. Rice still
leads the overall championship, 136-134 over Morioka, followed by Hampton
and Duncan Dayton with 119.

ACRL UPDATE: Team Fresno's Steve Romak won the American City Racing League
event at Laguna Seca this past weekend, and teammate John Oslund finished
third to move Team Fresno into the team lead for the first time this
season. Romak, starting from the outside front row, took the lead on lap
five when polesitter Jeff Glen slowed with a deflating tire. Romak led the
rest of the way to take the win. Peter Zarcades' second-place finish kept
him in the points lead with 383. The ACRL is back in action August 30 at

PADDOCK BANDIT: Be advised that a bandit was been at work at several
motorsports venues of late, including the Children's Grand Prix of
Minnesota and at Heartland Park Topeka. Teams that leave their trailers
unattended are the most likely to be hit. SCCA Pro Racing recommends that
you lock up when you're away from your trailer.


Trans-Am, Player's Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres
8/3, 3:30 p.m. (LIVE) (All Times Eastern)

Trans-Am, Serengeti Eyewear Trans-Am at Watkins Glen
8/10, 3:30 p.m. (One-day Delay)

Trans-Am, Texaco/Havoline 200 Weekend at Road America
8/16, 5:30 p.m. (Same Day Delay)


Trans-Am, Player's Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres
8/4, 9:00 p.m. (Replay)
8/5, 1:00 a.m.

Trans-Am, Serengeti Eyewear Trans-Am at Watkins Glen
8/15, 9:00 p.m. (Replay)
8/16, 1:00 a.m.
8/18, 1:00 p.m.

Trans-Am, Texaco/Havoline 200 Weekend at Road America
8/18, 9:00 p.m. (Replay)
8/19, 1:00 a.m.
8/22, 1:00 p.m.
8/25, 1:00 p.m.

World Challenge, Player's Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres
8/8, 9:00 p.m.
8/9, 1:00 a.m.
8/10, 2:00 p.m.
8/16, 10:00 p.m.;
8/17, 2:00 a.m.