Porsche leads in manufacturer’s championship Grand Prix Player’s de Trois Rivieres, Canada

Press Release:

Porsche leads in manufacturer’s championship Grand Prix Player’s de Trois Rivieres, Canada

For immediate release
Trois Riveries, Canada
Saturday, July 31, 1999

We Win!!! A close race with Bobby Archer. He wins the start, we pass him on lap 10 and manage to win even though we have 3 full course cautions and he gets to close the gap each time. Winning margin was only 1.037 seconds. The crew did a fantastic job and our new motor from Jerry Woods Enterprises worked well. We had a scramble just before the start. We had high oil pressure all weekend long with the new 3.8-liter motor and we were concerned that it was too high. David and the crew tried everything after the morning warm up. Change the oil lines, change the sensor, change the oil coolers, nothing seemed to help and the pressure seemed to high. But David managed to get Richard Walton from Jerry Woods Enterprises (the engine builder) on the phone as we were on the grid. Rich said “Don’t worry about it, it supposed to be that way,” so we didn’t and we won. I was very worried after we got past Archer and got out to about a 4-second lead. We then got our first full course caution. But we successfully fended him off… not once, but three times on restarts after cautions. The Porsche RSR ran great and we were obviously very pleased to win. We made the right decision going to the 3.8-liter motor even though we had to add 100 additional pounds to the car to do so. It seemed to do quite well out of the turns although it was no match for Archer down the straights. His 1:11.9 in the Saturday Morning warm-up was a fair amount faster than our fast lap for the weekend – a 1.12.5 during the race. (Just a note for the detail oriented, the “official” SCCA World Challenge web page results for practice session 2 are not correct, they posted the session one times twice.) By race time we worked on our set-up enough to have the very little edge that we needed. Although I doubt that we ever would have been able to pass Bobby if we would not have been very lucky in traffic. After the race in the press conference, Bobby commented that he had had a lot of trouble with passing and getting blocked by slower cars. But, as I said to the crew at our victory dinner on Saturday night, “I had to pass every one of the cars that he did and I even had to pass one more car than he did.” It was close and clean. Not a scratch on our car all weekend on a very tight street circuit. Peter Halsmer was third in the Honda of America factory NSX, his first podium of the year after a tough weekend for him. He had a shunt with a tire wall in practice and his crew did a good job to get him back going well for the Saturday AM practice.

We went by George Biskup (Porsche RSR) and Bill Cooper (Corvette) in the overall points standings and we are now 2d overall in the championship after a very slow start. We were about 20th after the first two races. Unfortunately for George and Bill, they each had problems for the weekend. Cooper had an engine problem and he went out on 6 cylinders just to get some points. A valiant effort ended with him getting a few points and having to park the car after 12 laps. George had a shunt with Halsmer and like most racing incidents there were a couple of different points of view on what happened. Unfortunately, for George, he was forced to retire on lap 14. So, it is Archer 1st in points with a big lead – he has 153. We are next with 135, Geroge Biskup has 130 and Bill Cooper has 128. We will need some luck to get closer to Archer, but there are 4 races left and a lot can happen. Porsche has also gone into the lead in the Manufacturer’s Championship, due not only to us but also to strong finishes by George Biskup (also driving a Porsche 911 RSR). He has always been there to pick up the slack when we didn’t and vise versa. Most of the other manufacturer’s haven’t been so lucky. Viper, Acura, Toyota and BMW have only had one front runner and Corvette has had a few. We think Corvette is third in Championship points.

Trois Riveries, Friday, July 30.
This is a great track and a huge crowd. 1.6 miles (or thereabouts) on a street course in the center of the city. We average about 75 miles per hours and have a top speed about 130 on this 8 turn (depending what you count) circuit. We were one of the top cars in the first session even though we had never been here before. In qualifying, we were 2d behind Bobby Archer. But…Kermit Upton wasn’t here, Bill Cooper didn’t run and Peter Halsmer crashed on only his third lap. Even so Halsmer was in the top 5. This weekend we are running a 3.8 liter Porsche Motor although it requires us to run 100 pounds heavier than the 3.6-liter motor. We felt that that additional torque would help us get out of the turns on this very slow circuit. Seems it was the correct direction. Also, this afternoon John Bisagano (sp?) did a short on the Porsche with our car and we will be featured in the TV coverage of this race on August 7th. We should be competitive tomorrow and hope to be in the fight at the end.

Today was also a “special day” for the crew. We all left the track at 6PM, the first time in this series they have been able to leave the track before 10 pm. We will all go to dinner together tonight for the first time this season.

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