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Visa Sports Car Challenge - Laguna Seca
 October 9, 1999
You won't believe this one...we lose the championship...the hard way.  See the Race Report
 race report
Entry list     &    RESULTS
Circuit Information
pre-race press release
about world challenge
 Championship Standings
Track Map
Qualifying Report
photos of incident that took us out of the championship


Race Report -
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 the length of the front straight. He was immediately passed in turn one by two cars,  but that was enough for him to get a point for leading a lap (the easy way). He started third and didn't have to pass anyone!!! 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,