RARE SWEEP, WINS SPEEDVISION GT IN ATLANTA
BRASELTON, Ga. – Mike Fitzgerald,
of Phoenix, Ariz, won the Speedvision World Challenge GT Championship Round
Race, part of the Petit
Le Mans Weekend at Road Atlanta, becoming the first driver ever to sweep
both World Challenge races
on the same weekend. Jeff
McMillin, of Erie, Pa., and Terry Borcheller, of Phoenix, Ariz., completed
Fitzgerald, started sixth
in the No. 38 Westward Ho Hotel Vegas/MPIE Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, steadily
moved through the field
to take the 8.071-second
win, averaging 89.200 mph. The win was the second-straight for Fitzgerald,
who also won the
Speedvision GT race at Texas
Motor Speedway in his first-ever appearance in the class. He took his first
win in the
Speedvision Touring Car
class earlier in the day, which gave him the opportunity to turn the unique
double–the first such
occurrence in the 11-year
World Challenge history.
"I’m speechless," said Fitzgerald.
"I was catching the leaders, but I got a lot of help from attrition."
Fitzgerald had pulled to
within sight of leaders Peter Cunningham, Terry Borcheller and Bill Cooper
on lap eight. Cooper’s Les
Stanford/Pirate Racing Corvette
C5 was the first to encounter problems, when a coolant hose let go. Borcheller
when he spun his AASCO Saleen
SR in turn six and fell back to 11th. Fitzgerald caught Cunningham’s RealTime
M3 and passed him as the
two encountered traffic and a local caution.
"That’s the most unlucky
thing I’ve ever seen happen to someone," said Fitzgerald. "There was a
local yellow for a car off the
track and another car going
slowly. Cunningham had to slow up so he wouldn’t pass the other car and
I timed it so I went by
both of them at the same
time. I must have had 60 mph on him. Something happened to him a couple
Cunningham’s run was ended
on lap 25, when his transmission let go.
Driving the No. 25 JJ’s Snacks/John
Hancock BMW M3, McMillin recorded his first podium finish after six-straight
take the points lead. He
had a steady run from fifth.
"Honestly, I never thought
I’d be leading the points," said McMillin. "I thought we’d be in the hunt,
but it’s great to be on top right
now. We’ll just stick with
our strategy and see how the rest of the season shakes out."
Borcheller recovered to finish
third, making a late run to get by Justin Jackson, of Alpharetta, Ga.,
and Bobby Archer, of Fort
"[Spinning] really rattled
me," said Borcheller, who started from the pole. "I think something must
have been on the track. I went
to turn and nothing happened.
I straddled the curb in turn six and spun in turn seven. Honestly, I thought
the car broke, but it
Jackson moved up from 12th
to finish fourth in him hometown race to win the Borla Performance Award
and remain atop the
Rookie points championship
standings. Archer came home fifth. McMillin now leads Archer in points
154 to 148. Cunningham
is third, with 123, followed
by Galati and Jackson, with 120.