SCCA PRO SPEEDVISION World Challenge GT Championship, Laguna Seca

Press Release:

For immediate release

Laguna Seca, CA
October 10, 1999

” This is a hard report to write for those of you who may be interested. Yesterday we did not have a good day, but in a way we did. We qualified on the pole, won the start and had a good drive, problem was that we were intentionally hit from behind in turn one on the first lap and put off the course and into the gravel pit. It took two laps for the wrecker to get the car out, and it was pretty much undamaged. We came out at the back of the pack. The officials decided to credit us with the two laps, but we had to start at the back with about 20 laps left in the race. Bill Cooper who hit us was sent to the back of the pack (behind us) and we drove away from him. Then Speedvision on track commentator Derek Bell got together with another car and the track was full yellow for another 6 or 7 laps. So we didn’t get the chance to make any progress during those laps. When the course went green, we “set sail” and managed to get all the way up through the field to fourth. Bobby Archer, our only competitor for the championship was third. We finished about 3 seconds behind him.

With a two point lead in the championship and a two point spread between Archer and us in the points allocated for the race, that could have won the championship for us. In the case of a tie, we had four wins and Archer had two and that would have decided things. But, since Archer started third, and Cooper who punted us out of the race was second, they were in that order when the course went full course yellow immediately after we went off. When Cooper was penalized, it put Archer automatically into first place, for which he got one point. He was there for only one lap, but that was enough for him to get a point for leading a lap (the easy way). That point, given by the SCCA’s penalty to Cooper, was the difference in the Championship. Bobby drove a good and sensible race, but, did he really earn the championship? You decide.

Even Bobby said on the victory stand that he didn’t understand why SCCA didn’t red flag the race on the first lap and start things in the original order. Go figure.

As Pierre Kleinubing said to me after the banquet, “They stole one from you today.” Another competitor said to me, “We all know what happend out there today, and it wasn’t pretty. We all know you really won the championship.” Well, we didn’t win the championship, and our crew, if not our driver, deserved it. They did a great job all year. And unlike most of the other top teams, we did it without a shread of help from a manufacturer. We did it by our selves. Albeit with a great car which Porsche initially built.

We were particularly pleased at the banquet when Derek Bell said he had seen a lot of races in his career and he thought our drive back through the pack was an exceptional piece of driving. We set the fastest lap of the race three times after the restart with a damaged car and flat spotted tires.

So, that’s our comment. We are not protesting the results although we thought about it. SCCA has a tough job and had to make a quick decision. Unfortunately we have been caught on the wrong side of a number of those this year. But watch out next year guys, we will be back.

More information:
Toad Hall Motor Racing:
SCCA World Challenge and immediate results:
The Keewaydin group:


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