SCCA Pro Racing Fast Facts
17 July 1998SAUNDERS SCORES FIRST WIN: In scoring his first NTB Trans-Am Series win last weekend at the Speedvision NTB Trans-Am Grand Prix in Cleveland, Bill Saunders also set a new series record for the "latest into a career" victory for a first-time Trans-Am winner. Saunder's first win came in his 69th start, eclipsing the previous mark held by Paul Miller, who won his first race in his 38th start. Cleveland runner-up Brian Simo's fifth second-place finish without a career win is two marks short of tying the record for most runner-up finishes before a win--Tom Kendall achieved seven runner-up finishes before winning in his 21st start (1990, Cleveland).
STEELE SCORES CLEVELAND CRAFTSMAN CREW CHIEF OF THE RACE AWARD: David Steele, Crew Chief for Michael Lewis' No. 12 Red Line Oil Ford Mustang Cobra, was selected as the winner of the NTB Trans-Am Series Craftsman Crew Chief of the Race Award at Cleveland. "I've been with David 15 years, and I would never step into a race car that he didn't have complete control over," said Lewis. "Cleveland was the second time this season we've had two cars qualify in the Fast Five, and we are very proud of that accomplishment. With David, winning is his burning, central desire. " Steele's efforts have helped to propel Lewis to a season of "firsts" following a 1997 season where Lewis finished runner-up for Rookie of the Year honors. Lewis scored his first NTB Trans-Am podium finish at Lime Rock, and sat on his first pole last weekend at Cleveland en route to another top-three effort. Steele also serves as Crew Chief for the No. 92 i-Dream Software/Red Line Oil Mustang Cobra of rookie stand-out Ross Thompson. Thompson is enjoying a solid rookie campaign with four top-10 finishes including a visit to the podium at Lime Rock (third). The Craftsman Crew Chief of the Race Award honoree is selected by SCCA Pro Racing and NTB Trans-Am Series officials. The award goes to the crew chief who exhibits technical ingenuity, sportsmanship, overcomes tremendous odds, imparts brilliant strategy or is integral to consistent team results. Steele will receive a $250 Craftsman product award and a Craftsman jacket.
ALLEN RETURNS TO WORLD CHALLENGE COMPETITION AT GRAND RAPIDS: Tim Allen, star of television's Home Improvement, returns to World Challenge competition at the West Michigan Grand Prix, racing the T1 Class No. 5 Saleen/Allen RRR Speedlab Saleen Mustang. Allen made his professional racing debut in the World Challenge in 1995, and last competed in 1996, scoring a season-high sixth-place finish at the Sears Point finale.
HALSMER RETURNS TO WORLD CHALLENGE RACING, TOO: Six-time Trans-Am winner Pete Halsmer, of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., will also be competing in the T1 Class World Challenge race at Grand Rapids, in the No. 62 Honda of America Acura NSX. Halsmer^Òs last World Challenge appearance was in 1990 at Laguna Seca.
WEST MICHIGAN GRAND PRIX TRANSPORTER PARADE: To ensure smooth paddock loading and to avoid traffic problems in downtown Grand Rapids during teams arrival, the West Michigan Grand Prix Association has arranged for transporters to stage at the Gainey Transportation lot south of Grand Rapids. Transporters may park in this lot overnight on Wednesday, July 22, prior to the transporters parade which will start from Gainey's at 8:30 am on Thursday. WMGPA volunteers will provide a regular shuttle service for transporter drivers arriving between mid-day and midnight on Wednesday, to take them to downtown hotels, and will provide a similar service early on Thursday back to Gainey's. Transporters will be arranged in the order in which they will be park
ALLEN RETURNS TO WORLD CHALLENGE COMPETITION AT GRAND RAPIDS: Tim Allen, star of television's Home Improvement, returns to World Challenge competition at the West Michigan Grand Prix, racing the T1 Class No. 5 Saleen/Allen RRR Speedlab Saleen Mustang. Allen made his professional racing turn south on Market and proceed to the paddock staging area via Grandville. Vehicles participating in the parade will be parked before any others. Transporters arriving too late for the parade should wait off-site until 12:00 p.m. before approaching the paddock. (contact Greg Rubenstein for a map).
WEST MICHIGAN GRAND PRIX PRE-RACE PARTIES: There are two Thursday, July 23 pre-event parties kicking off the inaugural West Michigan Grand Prix, both offering plenty of media, sponsor and fan interaction. The "official" WMPG Art In Motion party is being held at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, 155 N. Division. The second party is at the Public Museum of Grand Rapids, Van Andel Museum Center, 272 Pearl Street NW. Both parties are scheduled for 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., and drivers are encouraged to attend both events (casual race team attire), although there are a limited number of free passes to the Art In Motion party, so please contact Greg Rubenstein if you'd like to attend. The Public Museum party has set aside 6:30 p.m - 8:00 p.m. for driver autographs.