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Leitzinger/Weaver Win WSC at Lime Rock

29 May 1998

Lakeville, CT (May 26, 1998)

 The Road Racing Capital of New England, Lime Rock Park, hosted it's annual
Memorial Day Week-end of Racing. Six races in two days. WSC, GT1,2 and 3,
Trans-Am, Barber Dodge, Dodge Neon Challenge and American Challenge make up
the six categories. For the race fan, it is without a doubt one of the best
tickets in motorsports.

 In WSC(World Sports Car) the nine car field put on a great show. The race
boiled down to another Ford v. Ferrari shootout. Of the nine cars, six were
Ford powered, two were powered by Ferrari and Jim Downing's Mazda Kudzu
rounded out the field. What lacked in quantity of cars was made up in
quality of cars as well as drivers. Among the regular WSC drivers were two
names, Tommy Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder that are more commonly associated
with Trans-Am. For Kendall, the 1997 Trans-Am Champion, the week-end of
driving was rewarded with a fifth place finish. Schroeder, substituting for
John Paul, Jr. a fourth place finish was in store. 

  Starting from pole position, Leitzinger and Weaver scored their first ever
WSC victory at Lime Rock. The one-hour and forty five minute race had six
lead changes among four cars. For Leitzinger and Weaver the only time they
lost the lead was during routine pit stops. None the less there were moments
in the race when it appeared that one of the two Ferrari's were going to get
the checkered flag first.  The opening lap sequence gave a preview of what
was in store when Tommy Kendall moved from fourth place to second on the
opening lap. Kendall displayed that, while he has been out of action for the
most part this year, he has not lost a step when it comes to fighting for
position on the track. Hopefully, Kendall will get a richly deserved
full-time ride from someone based on his performance. On the next lap, Wayne
Taylor struck back grabbing second place from Kendall. While the fight for
second, third and fourth was going on Leitzinger was methodically pulling
out a half-second per lap lead. By lap #14, Leitzinger was ahead by 7.497
seconds. On lap #28 a full-course caution is brought out to retrieve the car
of Jon Field. The gearbox on his American F&L Insurance Ford was finished.

  Taking advantage of the yellow, Taylor brought his Ferrari in the pits for
fule and tires. One lap later, Kendall followed suit. On lap #25 the race
went back to green. The running order was Leitzinger, Elliott
Forbes-Robinson, Lienhard and Taylor. The first through fourth places were
covered by 5.13 seconds. 

  The #7 Ferrari 333SP team of Taylor and van der Peole took over the lead
from Leitzinger/Weaver when the #16 Ford Riley&Scott team pitted on lap 41.
The sequence of pit stops changes the running order. At the one-hour mark
(lap 71) the top-six running order was Taylor(#7 Ferrari), Weaver (#16
Ford), Schroeder(#20 Ford), Theys(#27 Ferrari), Schubot(#8 Ford) and
Kendall(#39 Ford).   
  On the ensuing lap Taylor brought the #7 Ferrari in for tires, fuel and
driver change. Weaver in the #16 Ford took over the lead. During the next
fifteen minutes a game of chicken was played out as each team tried to
stretch their fuel and pray for a yellow flag. On lap #74 Weaver pitted
giving the lead to Forbes Robinson in the #20 Ford. One lap later EFR pitted
for fuel and tires. Unfortunately, EFR exceeded the pit-lane speed limit and
was assessed a stop and go penalty. For the #20 Ford team their chance at
victory was gone unless a last minute yellow came out. The #27 Ferrari
driven by Theys takes over the lead from the #20 Ford and a battle between
Theys and Weaver develops over the next nine laps. With 27 minutes left in
the race Theys pits the Ferrari for fuel and tires and relinquished the lead.

  The running order with 20 minutes left was #16, #7, #20, #39, #27, #8, #63
and #36. Weaver in the #16 Ford had the race in hand with a 33.098 second
lead. However, the battle for second through fourth place was just getting
started. Van der Poele in the #7 Ferrari and Schroeder in the #20 Ford began
a duel for second place. Directly behind this battle, Theys in the #27
Ferrari rips off the fastest race lap of the day (0:50.287 sec) for a lap
average of 110.247 mph. Theys blistering pace is rewarded with a move from
fifth to fourth. Just ahead, Schroeder in the #20 Ford slides off the
circuit in the chicane as he attempted to overtake Van der Poole in the #7
Ferrari. This allows Theys to jump from fourth to third. Two laps later the
fight for second becomes an all Ferrari duel as Theys and Van der Poele
touch in Turn #1. Theys comes out of the skirmish in second place. The
altercation left the #7 Ferrari without a rear-wing. None the less, Van der
Peole was able to fend off a challenge from Schroeder and take a hard-earned
third place.

 For Leitzinger and Weaver the victory was a first for the PSR season. The
PSR schedule will pick up at Road Atlanta on June 21.

Finishing Order

1)Leitzinger/Weaver     #20 Ford R&S            117 Laps
2)Theys/Lienhard        #27 Ferrari 333SP       117 Laps
3)Taylor/Van der Poele  # 7 Ferrari 333SP       117 Laps
4)EFR/Schroeder         #16 Ford R&S            117 Laps
5)Kendall/Murry         #39 Ford R&S            116 Laps
6)Schubot/Camferdam     # 8 Ford R&S            114 Laps
7)Katz/Downing          #63 Mazda Kudzu DLM     111 Laps
8)Dollahite/Matthews    #36 Ford R&S            110 Laps
9)Field                 #28 Ford R&S             17 Laps (not running)

Time of Race: 1 Hour 45 minutes and 27.496 seconds
Winning Speed: 102.51mph
Margin of Victory:18.375 seconds

David Treffer -- The Auto Channel