5/18/2003 - BOWMANVILLE, Ontario — Scott Pruett continued his run of perfection at Mosport International Raceway as he won Sunday’s Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup race at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn permanent road course.Pruett has won in all three of his Trans-Am Series starts (1986, ’87, ’94) and also won an SCCA World Challenge Endurance race, driving for Saleen in 1987.
Pruett, in the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR, finished .977 seconds ahead of Michael Lewis (No. 12 Trans-Am Tools by ProQuest Jaguar XKR). Johnny Miller (No. 64 Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR), Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line Products/Coyote Closures Chevolet Corvette) and rookie Jorge Diaz, Jr. (No. 8 Puerto Rico Grand Prix Jaguar XKR) completed the top five.
Pruett won the BFGoodrich® Tires Take Control Award for leading the most laps and earned a $4,000 bonus from Flowmaster for winning the “American Thunder Challenge,” given to the driver who wins the pole, leads the most laps, sets the fastest race lap and wins the race. The award, normally worth $2,000, rolled over as no one was able to claim it at Long Beach.
“It’s been a good weekend for us up here,” said Pruett, who led all 41 laps of the race from the pole. “In the closing stages, I saw the guys behind me and you could see oil on the track. It was difficult because you want to keep them behind you, but at the same time you don’t want to end up in the weeds. It was a fine balance there in the closing stages. “It was not an easy drive,” added Pruett. “They are never easy drives.”
Lewis rebounded from early contact with Paul Gentilozzi to finish second. Interestingly, Lewis’ car was the only one in the field utilizing fuel injection. Lewis just held off a charging Miller on the frontstrech to notch the runner-up slot.
“The car was pretty good at the end of the race,” said Lewis of his best career Mosport finish and his best finish this season. “When the oil came out, it was kind of nice to be in second because I had a half-a-second warning as Scott drove through it.
“Scott was just fantastic,” he added. “We had a fourth or fifth-place car and we finished second. We feel really good about this.”
Miller’s third-place finish was his third-straight podium finish this season. Miller finished third at the season opener in St. Petersburg and second at Round 2 in Long Beach.
Miller pitted on lap 29 under the race’s only caution to clear of the grill on his car, fought his way back through the field and battled overheating problems to finish third.
“We had a really good car,” said Miller. “We were trying to run hard with Scott at the beginning and we just got a bunch of debris in the grill. We didn’t want to hurt it. I had to fend off Stu (Hayner) several times, and I’d tuck behind Scott and it would start overheating. When the caution flag came out, we thought it would cool off and it didn’t. We came in, cleared the grill and finished third.”
The race was slowed one time by a caution flag from laps 27-30 after Bobby Sak’s car suffered a differential failure near turn five. The race ran in 59 minutes and 43 seconds at and average speed of 101.299 miles per hour.
Unofficially, Pruett leads the Drivers’ Championship, ahead of Miller, rookie Jorge Diaz, Jr., Lewis and Gentilozzi. The next race for the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup, Round 4 of the 2003 championship, is scheduled for May 26, part of the Mohegan Sun Presents Lime Rock Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, COnnecticut.
Bowmanville, Ontario, — The results from Sunday's 41-lap, 100.819-mile Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup Round 3, at Mospark International Raceway, with finishing position, car number in parenthesis, driver, car, laps completed and reason out, if any.
1. (7), Scott Pruett, Jaguar XKR 41, Running.
2. (12), Michael Lewis, Jaguar XKR, 41, Running.
3. (64), Johnny Miller, Jaguar XKR, 41, Running.
4. (49), Randy Ruhlman, Chevrolet Corvette, 41, Running.
5. (8), Jorge Diaz(R), Jaguar XKR, 41, Running.
6. (86), John Baucom, Jaguar XKR, 41, Running.
7. (06), Joey Scarallo (R), Chevrolet Corvette, 41, Running.
8. (59), Simon Gregg, Chevrolet Corvette, 40, Running.
9. (95), Charlie Webster, Chevrolet Camaro, 17, Running.
10. (76), Jerry Simmons, Ford Mustang, 39, Running.
11. (2), Stuart Hayner, Chevrolet Corvette, 37, Mechanical.
12. (9), Glenn Andrew, Chevrolet Camaro, 35, Running.
13. (5), Tomy Drissi, Jaguar XKR, 33, Running.
14. (3), Paul Gentilozzi, Jaguar XKR, 20, Suspension.
15. (10), Bobby Sak (R), Chevrolet Corvette, 19, Mechanical.
16. (83), Max Lagod, Chevrolet Camaro, 15, Mechanical.
Time of Race: 59:43.000
Winner’s Average Speed: 101.299 mph
Caution Flags: 1 for four laps
Lead Changes: 0
Lap Leaders: Scott Pruet, 1-41
Fastest Race Lap: No. 7: 1:19.188 at 111.790mph
Margin of Victory: 0.977
Average Speed: 100.34 miles per hour
Caution one from 27 through 30