Speed vision touring world challenge race
Sep, 29 2000



 

FITZGERALD BEATS TEAMMATE SAPP IN WILD SPEEDVISION TOURING CAR RACE AT ROAD ATLANTA

BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 29, 2000) – Mike Fitzgerald, of Phoenix, Ariz., passed teammate Neal Sapp, of Elicott City, Md., in the
final corner to win his first Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car race at Road Atlanta. Brazilian Pierre Kleinubing finished
third.

Driving the No. 12 Pure Image/TCKlineRacing.com BMW 328Ci, Fitzgerald started from the pole and led the initial 20 laps of the
25-lap, 63.5-mile contest until a bobble in turn five allowed Sapp to pounce. Driving the No. 2 TCKlineRacing/Pro Parts BMW Ci,
Sapp led the next four laps. On the final lap, Fitzgerald pulled alongside on the back straight, with Sapp able to outbreak him
going into turn nine. A bobble in turn 10 gave Fitzgerald the run he needed to pull alongside as the two came down the hill into
the 12th and final turn, with Fitzgerald taking the inside line, the lead and the win.

"I drove the car as hard as I could after Neal got by, but couldn't catch him," said Fitzgerald, who won his first Speedvision
World Challenge race at Texas, but in the GT class. "Seeing the white flag was a surprise because our radios didn't work. I
got a run coming out of turn seven and pulled alongside, but I knew he had the line. I stuffed it in second [gear], instead of
third, so I could really pull out of the corner. He got a little squirrely–that allowed me to pull alongside."

"If the flagstand would have been further down the straightaway, I think I would have gotten him back," said Sapp, who
earned his fourth runner-up finish. "He got the inside line coming through 12, but I had good speed. It helps, but we need a little
more help to win the championship."

Kleinubing drove the No. 42 BuySellorHold.com/RealTime Racing Acura Integra R from fourth on the grid to third at the start,
but didn't have enough for the lead duo.

"I ran times faster in the race than I did in qualifying, but I still couldn't keep up," said a disappointed Kleinubing, who holds a
12-point advantage in the championship point standings over Sapp–three less than coming into the weekend. "I've gotta take
Mike [Fitzgerald] out to dinner for getting by Neal. Losing three points is better than losing six."

Alfred duPont, of Kennett Square, Pa., started second, but fell to fourth at the start, where he finished. Hugh Plumb, of
Chadds Ford, Pa., was fifth.

Fitzgerald was also awarded the Borla Performance Award for his move on Sapp at the end of the race.
Following Kleinubing (174) and Sapp (162) in the points are Kevin Schrantz (145), Don Salama (123) and Paul Alderman (113).
With his win, Fitzgerald moved from 14th to sixth in points, with 108.


 
Starting grid line up
Grid line up
Grid
Grid
Pole position
2nd position
 
Speedvision interview
Camera man shot
Take off
Take off
 
1st lap
         
           
Lost control
 
Hit the wall
Rescue arrive
   
 
Flat bed
loaded up
Trucked away
On the flat bed
Aftermath
   
     

Race results

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