Mid-Ohio Friday Notes and Quotes
James Weaver, driver of the No. 16 Dyson Racing Riley & Scott Ford, will be seeking his fourth Informix Way Fast Award in todayâ€™s qualifying. Weaver opened the season by capturing the pole position for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and also was fastest ...
James Weaver, driver of the No. 16 Dyson Racing Riley & Scott Ford, will be seeking his fourth Informix Way Fast Award in today’s qualifying. Weaver opened the season by capturing the pole position for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and also was fastest at Phoenix and Lime Rock. The only other Way Fast Award winner was Didier Theys, fastest at Miami.
Terry Borcheller has a streak of three consecutive Way Fast Awards in the GTO class, winning the poles at Phoenix, Miami and Lime Rock in the No. 5 Saleen SR. Ron Fellows was the GTO pole winner at Daytona.
Craig Conway had a streak of three consecutive Way Fast Awards in the American GT class snapped at Lime Rock. Conway was quickest in the No. 09 Spirit of Daytona at Daytona, Phoenix and Miami, before Eric Curren set fastest time at Lime Rock in the No. 00 Ford Mustang, subbing for Bruce Nesbitt in the Orion Motorsports/Team Chicago entry.
The GTU class has yet to have a multiple winner of the Informix Way Fast Award. Poles in the class to date have been: Dirk Muller at Daytona; Darren Law at Phoenix; Kevin Buckler at Miami; and David Friedman at Lime Rock. Law (No. 81 G&W Motorsports Porsche) and Buckler (No. 66 Racer’s Group Porsche) are competing at Mid-Ohio.
Tommy Archer set the fastest time in opening GT practice, running a lap of 1:25.429 (95.153 mph) in the No. 82 McCann Dodge Viper. Terry Borcheller was second in the No. 5 Saleen SR, 94.679 mph. Fastest in AGT and third overall with the Bruce Nesbitt Paul Jenkins No. 00 Orion Motorsports Mustang, 93.314 mph. The G&W Porsche of Darren Law and Mike Fitzgerald led GTU and was fourth overall, 92.087 mph. The session was run without incident.
James Weaver was fastest in the opening SportsRacer session, running a lap of 1:17.385 (105.044 mph) in the No. 16 Dyson Riley & Scott Ford. Andy Wallace, who co-drove to victory in last year’s U.S. Road Racing Classic, was second with a lap of 104.050 mph in the No. 8 Creighton Motorsports Ford Lola. Fastest in SportsRacer Lights was the No. 22 Archangel Motorsports Nissan Lola of Larry Oberto and Ryan Hampton, 98.067 mph.
Th only incident was for the No. 2 Ferrari of Bobby Brown, which spun and hit the wall in turn seven. “The car was in turn seven, but the driver was still in turn six,” said Brown. “I just lost it, and did a 180. We tore up the left-rear quarter, and we’re not sure how bad the damage is. We’ve got spares, it’s just a matter of going through it. I wish I could saw it was something other than me, but I can’t.”
Genesis Racing has added a third BMW M-3 to the GTU class entry. Co-drivers will be Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa., and Mark Bunting of Baltimore, Md. Co-driving the No. 55 Genesis entry will be Chuck Goldsborough of Baltimore, Md., and Andy Pilgrim of Cooper City, Fla.
The second Grand-Am practice was a combined session for all five Grand-Am classes. Once again, James Weaver was fastest with a lap of 1:17.650 (104.685 mph) in the No. 16 Dyson Ford Riley & Scott, followed by the No. 12 Ferrari (103.463 mph). Class leaders were: SRII, No. 6 Tiller/Gillis Nissan Lola, 96.654 mph; GTO, No. 82 Archer/McCann Viper, 95.140 mph; GTU, No. 50 Fairbanks/Auberlen BMW, 92.674 mph; AGT, No. 09 Conway/Goad Camaro, 92.540.
Early in the second practice session, there was a spin by No. 84 Comer Camaro, driven by Scott Deware. “The hood started to come off, so I tried to get off the racing line. When I got to the side of the track I got into the marbles, and the air dam got caught in the gravel and that tore the nose up.” The team said the damage is cosmetic and the car will be ready to go for qualifying.
Another incident occurred when the No. 99 SRII of Martin Snow spun in the Carrousel and had contact with the No. 25 GTO of Mark Montgomery when it returned to the track. The No. 99 sustained damage to the sidepod and radator, which appeared to be repaired by the end of the session. The damage to the No. 25 was more significant, but the team felt the left front suspension and nose damaged would be repaired in time for Saturday’s practice.
The No. 6 SRII had gearbox problems and required a tow back to the pits. The team hoped to be ready in time for Friday’s qualifying.
An update on the No. 2 Bobby Brown Ferrari 333SP, involved in an incident Friday morning. The team is repairing left rear suspension and bodywork, and feel the car will be ready for Saturday morning practice.
Mike Fitzgerald will have to wait until Saturday the fifth different GTU driver to win the Informix Way Fast Award. The top 20 positions were filled in Friday’s qualifying, and Fitzgerald was 21st in the session. Fitzgerald drove the No. 81 G&W Porsche to a lap of 1:28.417 (91.937 mph). Randy Pobst was second in the GTU session in the No. 18 Fordahl Motorsports Porsche, (91.297 mph).
Bobby Archer snapped Terry Borcheller’s three-race Informix Way Fast Award streak in GTO competition. Archer was clocked at 1:24.449 (96.257 mph) in the No. 82 McCann Motorsports Viper. Borcheller was second at 95.373 mph in the No. 5 Saleen SR.
Bruce Nesbitt extended Orion Motorsports/Team Chicago’s pole streak in American GT, running a lap of 1:27.360 (93.049 mph) in the No. 50 Ford Mustang. Eric Curran won the pole at Lime Rock while subbing for Nesbitt. Craig Conway, who opened the year by winning three Way Fast Awards, was second at 93.009 mph.
James Weaver won the pole and Informix Way Fast Award for Sunday’s U.S. Road Racing Classic, turning a lap of 1:17.215 (105.275 mph) in the No. 16 Dyson Racing Riley & Scott Ford. This is his second consecutive pole position, and fourth in five Grand-Am events. Andy Wallace – who co-drove to victory at Mid-Ohio last year with Weaver -- is clocked at second fastest (105.147 mph), followed by Jack Baldwin, Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Mimmo Schiattarella.
Larry Oberto led the SportsRacer Light class with a lap of 1:22.106 (99.004 mph). It’s his second pole of the season, and counting co-driver Ryan Hampton’s pole at Lime Rock, the third consecutive Informix Way Fast Award for the No. 22 Archangel Motorsports Services Nissan Lola.
In a driver change, Gary Gibson will co-drive the No. 6 TRP Airgun Designs Nissan Lola in the SportsRacer Light class, replacing Jerry Gillis.
JAMES WEAVER (No. 16 Dyson Racing Riley & Scott Ford) – It’s going every bit as good here as it was at Lime Rock (where he won from the pole), so we’re very confident for the race. We did 1:17.6 in the last practice session, 17.3 in the morning session, so the car is very quick in race trim. It wasn’t quite as good for one lap qualifying, but in race trim it’s great. I’m happy with the race setup, in race trim it’s only two tenths off my qualifying time. We’ve been busy working on our car, making sure it can run off-line so we can deal with traffic. We backed it up with a good qualifying lap, but in traffic it’s probably about a second and a half quicker than it was at the start of the weekend. (On former co-driver Andy Wallace qualifying second, nine-hundredths of a second behind him) That was cheeky of Andy – he leaves his kit in our truck, and then there he is four trucks down racing something else! He didn’t quite make it, but it was close.
ANDY WALLACE (No. 8 Creighton Motorsports Ford Lola) – There’s not many people that can beat James – he’s quick! I had two laps that got spoiled by traffic. I don’t know if I could have squeezed another nine-hundredths from it, but that’s all I needed. This car is very interesting, and I’m beginning to like the car a lot. It’s very hard to read the car when you first jump in it – and it’s the first day for me – but the car feels quite solid now and I’m quite excited about the race. Congratulations to James, he keeps doing this all the time. If anybody else but James got pole, he’d be really fed up, wouldn’t he? It might be nice to do that, just to see his face.
DIDIER THEYS (No. 27 Doran Lista Special) -- We had a very difficult day today. We had something wrong with the gearbox, some problem with the starter, some problem with the setup, and we messed around a little too much. We were nearly ready when the qualifying session was almost half-way over, then I just had the time to do four or five laps, with the setup actually different from what we used this morning, but not perfect. We’ll work on the car Saturday morning and I’m sure we’ll find the setup we missed.
TOMMY ARCHER (No. 82 GTO McCann Plastics Dodge Viper) – The McCann Plastics Viper really, really worked good in qualifying. It’s not the first time I’ve been on the pole at Mid-Ohio, I really like this track. The very first time I was here, in 1981, on my 10th lap I broke the track record and was on the pole. It’s always fun to come here, it’s a beautiful track, and I’m looking forward to the race with my partner, Mike McCann. Because they have the Informix Award for the pole position, I think both of us (Terry Borcheller and himself) wanted it. You never can guarantee you can win the race, but at least if you win the pole, you know you’ve won something. This is the first race for McCann Racing, and I’m glad they asked me to run with them.
BRUCE NESBITT (No. 00 AGT Orion Motorsports/Team Chicago Ford Mustang) – The car is progressively getting more stable, and Eric (Lime Rock pole winner Curren) has his own style, and that style is similar to mine. The setup today was practically identical to Lime Rock, which surprised me very, very much. Now we have to maximize it more in the race.
LARRY OBERTO (No. 22 SRII Archangel Motorsports Services Nissan Lola) – It feels really good. The team has been fantastic, all the guys at Archangel. We’ve done no testing, other than the limited sessions we get during race weekends. Every time, they keep making positive developments, and the car keeps getting better all the time. We’re having a little trouble with the alternator belt – it keeps flying off – so we’re running on total battery power. Maybe we can put solar panels on it! We stayed here late last night fixing the problem, and ended up having it again today. So it looks like another long one tonight.
MIKE FITZGERALD (No. 81 GTU G&W Motorsports Porsche) – We ran Dunlop tires, and they were good. Some of the other tracks we’ve been to are tough for our cars, because it’s not that good over the bumps, but this one’s a good one for us.