• 2003 CART Champ Car World Series Rookie of the Year – Sebastien Bordais, Newman-Haas Racing
AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES
10/18 Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta Motor Sports Center, Braselton, GA (2.54 Mi. road course; 1000-mi. race distance; 394 laps; 9:31:10.608 race time)
Frank Biela and Marco Werner won the ALMS LMP 900 class driving championship and Chris Dyson won the LMP 675 title in Saturday’s Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Biela and Werner, co-drivers of the Infineon Team Joest Audi R8, entered the race with a large enough advantage in the driver point standings that they only had to finish sixth in class and complete 276 laps. Despite numerous problems during the race, including a crash when Biela was forced off the track by a lapped car, the car completed its 276th lap at 6:40 p.m. and the two German drivers were champions. Dyson also needed to complete 276 laps and did so at 8:02 p.m., just about an hour from the end of the race. For the fourth time in a row Audi has won the Petit Le Mans race.
JJ Lehto and Johnny Herbert, driving Team ADT Champion Racing’s Audi R8, drove to victory in the Series finale, eight laps ahead of the second-place Panoz LMP01 of David Saelens, Olivier Beretta, and Max Papis. Frank Biela and Marco Werner, driving Infineon Team Joest’s Audi R8, fought their way back to third position clinching the ALMS title. Reinhold Joest’s team won the ALMS Teams’ Championship for the fourth consecutive time. Jon Field, Duncan Dayton, and Larry Connor won the LMP 675 class in the Intersport Racing Lola EX257-Judd; GTS class honors went to the Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello of Tomas Enge, Peter Kox, and Alain Menu, and the GT class winner was the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Jorg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, and Romain Dumas.
• 2003 American Le Mans Series GTS Team Champion: Ron Fellows & Johnny O’Connell, Team Corvette
• 2003 American Le Mans Series GTS Class Manufacturers Champion: Chevrolet
• 2003 American Le Mans Series GT Team Champion: Lucas Luhr & Sascha Maassen
Next race: 3/19-20/2004 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, FL
TRANS-AM SERIES FOR THE BFGOODRICH CUP
Next race: 10/26 Puerto Rico Grand Prix, Isla Grande Airport. San Juan, Puerto Rico (temporary circuit; 1:00 p.m. ET; SPEED live)
• 2003 Motorock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup Drivers Champion – Scott Pruett (3X)
IHRA HOOTERS RACING SERIES
10/19 IHRA World Finals, Rockingham Dragway, Rockingham, NC
Top Fuel: The return of Rhonda Hartman-Smith and John Smith meant that all eight qualifiers for the rain-delayed spring race were here, thus eliminating Bruce Litton from the ‘Spring’ makeup race as an alternate, and mathematically eliminating him from the season championship points race. With Litton's elimination, Clay Millican has clinched his third consecutive IHRA Top Fuel title. In the finals for this event, Clay Millican’s Werner Dragster was to meet Rhonda Hartman-Smith’s Fram Dragster, with Harman-Smith having lane choice.
Pro Mod: A first round 6.196, 227.23 to 6.288, 224.36 win by Mitch Stott in the Radiac Abrasives ’63 Chevrolet Corvette over Billy Harper’s Harper Industries ’00 Dodge Viper was enough for Stott to clinch the 2003 IHRA Pro Mod championship. It will be a no-blower final, with Harold Martin’s AC Delco ’03 Pontiac Grand Am with lane choice against Shannon Jenkins’ Western Beef ’68 Chevy Camaro, an EFI nitrous car against a carbureted nitrous car.
Funny Car: Rob Atchison in the Erickson Pontiac Firebird already clinched the IHRA Funny Car championship because he received ten points for entering the race, which put him out of reach of second-place Mark Thomas in the Ethanol Performs Dodge Avenger. Von Smith’s A&J Powder Coating Dodge Avenger will have lane choice over Fred Tigges’ Tigges Racing Camaro in the Funny Car final.
Pro Stock: In the second round of eliminations,the IHRA Pro Stock championship was on the line for Brian Gahm. A win and he would be the 2003 champion; a loss, and Carl Baker would get the title. It was a little tense, especially when both cars started moving around a bit in the first 300 feet, but Gahm tamed his Gahm's Car-Truck Parts Mustang down first and pulled away from Ron Miller in the Paone Brothers Cavalier for the win, 6.547, 209.46, to Miller’s losing 6.615 209.07, and the 2003 IHRA Pro Stock Championship. #1 Qualifier Rick Jones’ Quarter Max Neon has lane choice over #10 qualifier Brian Gahm in the Gahm’s Car-Truck Parts Mustang, although this event win would only be icing on the cake for Gahm. FINAL RESULTS NEXT WEEK.
Next race: 3/28/2004 Amalie Oil Texas Nationals presented by Ancira, Cars, Trucks and RVs, San Antonio Raceway, San Antonio, Texas
ASA AC DELCO CHALLENGE SERIES
10/19 BFGoodrich Traction T/A Tires 300 presented by Greased Lightning Orange Blast and Jani-King, Fairgrounds Speedway, Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN (0.596-mi. oval; 300 laps)
2002 ASA National Champion Joey Clanton, in the #71 Terry’s Automotive Group/Cub Foods machine, won the 2003 ASA Racing Series season finale. Clanton grabbed the lead on the 251st lap, making the race-winning pass on leader Glenn Allen Jr.’s #53 Keystone Parts/GL Nause car, heading into the third corner. This is the 14th career victory for the Georgia resident, tying him in 10th for most ASA Series wins with Kevin Cywinski. Glenn Allen Jr. finished second, with Mike Garvey in the Jani-King #17 crossing the line in third. Wisconsin second-year racer Todd Kluever’s TK2 Racing/Marshall Metals/Sign-1-1/Badger Music #55 was fourth with former series champion Bryan Reffner in the Morton Salt/Menards #80 filling out the top-five finishers. FINAL POINTS STANDINGS TO BE ANNOUNCED.
• 2003 ASA ACDelco Challenge Series Rookie of the Year: Reed Sorenson, #29 ACDelco/Port City Racing/Tilton Engineering Chevrolet
ARCA RE/MAX SERIES
Next race: 10/18 Bank of America ARCA 200, South Boston Speedway, S. Boston, VA (0.4-mi. oval; 1:46:14 race time; 46.087 mph avg. speed; delayed broadcast: 11/1; 11:00 p.m. ET; The Outdoor Channel)