Ste. Croix Cunningham wins wild GT race
STE. CROIX, QUEBEC â€“ Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., held off a determined Bill Cooper, of Bozeman, Mt., in a one-lap shootout to win Round Five of the Speedvision World Challenge GT Championship, part of Le Grand Prix de Ste.Croix.
STE. CROIX, QUEBEC – Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., held off a determined Bill Cooper, of Bozeman, Mt., in a one-lap shootout to win Round Five of the Speedvision World Challenge GT Championship, part of Le Grand Prix de Ste.Croix. John Heinricy, of Holly, Mich., finished a close third. Cunningham, who started from the pole in the No. 42 RealTime Racing BMW M3, slid wide in the tight chicane on the first lap, allowing Cooper to take the lead in the No. 01 Les Stanford/Pirate Racing Chevrolet Corvette C5. Cooper controlled the next 10 laps, until the leaders encountered traffic, allowing Cunningham to re-take the lead in a similar move. For the remainder of the 60-lap, 66-mile event, Cooper was never more than one second behind, and a late-race caution for Walter Dethier's disabled car set up a one-lap dash to the checkered flag. Heading down the back straightaway of the 1.1-mile Ste. Croix circuit, Cooper pulled alongside Cunningham. The two went side-by-side through the chicane and Cooper slid into the dirt at the exit and back on. The rough ride was enough for Cunningham's BMW to pull ahead. The top-three finished nose-to-tail at the finish, with Cunningham taking a 0.441-second win, averaging 83.169 mph. "It's great to get back up to the top of the podium," said Cunningham, who recorded his 19th-career win to tie Lou Gigliotti for the all-time World Challenge lead. "We led the points earlier this year without getting on the podium, so I'm glad this happened." "PD [Cunningham] and I have raced together for a long time," said Cooper, who maintained his points lead, 117 to Cunningham and Bobby Archer's 106. "I knew we could go in to the chicane together. I don't think we even touched, but I ran a little wide on the exit." Heinricy, driving the No. 39 Aristeo Construction Chevrolet Corvette C5 finished a close third and set the race's fastest lap at 42.630 seconds (92.892 mph). Archer, of Ft. Worth, Texas, finished fourth, followed by Jeff McMillin, of Erie, Pa. Cunningham also earned the Borla Performance Award for the drive of the day.
STE. CROIX, QUEBEC – Results from Sunday's 60-lap, 66.0-mile Speedvision World Challenge GT Round Five race, part of Le Grand Prix de Ste. Croix, with finishing position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car, laps complete and reason out, if any.
<pre> 1. (1), Peter Cunningham, W. Bend, Wis., BMW M3, 60. 2. (2), Bill Cooper, Bozeman, Mont., Corvette C5, 60. 3. (5), John Heinricy, Holly, Mich., Corvette C5, 60. 4. (3), Bobby Archer, Ft. Worth, Texas, Dodge Viper GTS, 60. 5. (11), Jeff McMillin, Erie, Pa., BMW M3, 60. 6. (7), Justin Jackson(R), Alpharetta, Ga., Porsche 993 RSR, 59. 7. (6), Paul Brown, Omaha, Neb., Saleen SR, 59. 8. (8), David Donohue(R), Malvern, Pa., Dodeg Viper GTS, 59. 9. (15), Danny Kellermeyer(R), Ortonville, Mich., Corvette C5, 59. 10. (9), Frank Allers(R), Coquitlam, British Columbia, Corvette C5, 59. 11. (18), Daniel Eastman(R), Miami, Fla., Porsche 993 R, 59. 12. (12), David Schardt, Dayton, Ohio, Porsche GT3 Cup, 58. 13. (17), Phil McClure, Floris, Iowa, Corvette, 58. 14. (4), Reese Cox, Marietta, Ga., Corvette C5, 58. 15. (23), Tommy Safar II, Farmingdale, N.J., Saleen SR, 57. 16. (16), Jimmy Adams(R), Suffolk, Va., Dodge Viper GTS, 57. 17. (20), Walter Swick, Concord, Ohio, BMW M3, 56. 18. (25), Tony Paterniti(R), Big Pine Key, Fla., Camaro, 52. 19. (21), Walter Dethier, Warren, Conn., Saleen Cobra R, 47, Wheel. 20. (10), Michael Galati, North Olmstead, Ohio, Audi S4 Comp., 27, Mech. 21. (24), Tom Edwards(R), Paradise Valley, Ariz., Dodeg Viper GTS, 26, Radiator. 22. (26), Scotty B. White, Puyallup, Wash., Corvette C5, 20, Mech. 23. (13), Scott Bove(R), Avon Lake, Ohio, Porsche GT3 Cup, 17, Mech. 24. (27), Bob Raub(R), Littleton, Colo., Corvette C5, 16, Mech. 25. (14), Derek Bell, Pagham Sussex, England, Audi S4 Comp., 7, Mech. 26. (19), Jeff Demetri, Omaha, Neb., Saleen Mustang, 7, Trans. 27. (28), Jorge Trejos(R), San Jose, Costa Rica, Saleen SR, 0, DNS. 28. (22), Michael Giglio, Watertown, Conn., Saleen SR, 0, DNS. Time of race: 47 minutes, 36.822 seconds. Average speed: 83.169 miles-per-hour Margin of victory: 0.441-second Lap leaders: Laps 1-11, Bill Cooper; laps 12-60, Peter Cunningham Fastest race lap: John Heinricy, 0:42.630 (92.892 mph) Cautions: One for five laps.
Top-five Championship Point Standings 1. Cooper, 117 2. Cunningham, 106 Archer, 106 4. McMillin, 105 5. Galati, 86
Ste. Croix Audi S4's qualify tenth and fourteenth
Doug Rippie/NayKid Racing ready for Texas