Tag Archives: Motorsports


Original Article: AUTOSPEED.COM

Ride ’em Cowboy

A Y2K Mustang that’s been breathed on by Saleen to the tune of over 450hp and then fully prep’d for GT-P Nation’s Cup series. Yep, this bucking horse is a real traditional-routes type circuit racer…

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

In a racing world that’s becoming increasingly filled with turbocharged, multivalve, DOHC techno screamers, it’s nice to occasionally see a traditional style grunter out there on the starting grid. Amidst a field of Porsches, Ferraris, a supercharged NSX and a Diablo SVR, Kevin Heffernan’s Ford Mustang is a real standout attraction in the Nation’s Cup series, the elite GT-P class exclusive to high performance exotic cars. This wild horse doesn’t pretend to combine the very best modern suspension design with the most efficient engine – it’s a big thumper of a fast car and that’s that!

Kevin Heffernan’s an experienced tin-top racer, having started off with Minis when he was barely 15, then moving onto a Gemini, Group C Commodore, VL Group A and, finally, VP and VS V8 Touring cars. His decision to step over to GT-P Nation’s Cup series for this year was heavily swayed by the relatively high level of television coverage there is per dollar. We spoke to Kevin at the 2000 Adelaide Clipsal 500 just before the Mustang’s very first competitive outing in the newly formed Nation’s Cup series.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

Carrying over his existing primary financial backing from Price Attack, Kevin recalls choosing the right car. “A Porsche was out of the question and a Corvette with all the jewellery wasn’t in my direction – but I still wanted a muscle car. Something a bit different.” The rulebook says you must have a manufacturer’s car, which can be tuned by their in-house high performance divisions – but it definitely cannot be just an aftermarket job. So it was the Ford-backed Saleen Mustang that won the ticket. After preparing freight and all the paper work to have a brand-spankers car brought over from the US, it arrived on the wharf like an unclaimed baby. An $84,000 baby.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

So what exactly is a Saleen Mustang? It’s a US package available to upgrade the average Mustang. And believe it or not, this car left the Santa Margarita Ford dealership powered by a mere six pot – now look at it! It came back from Saleen pepped up with a Vortech V1 supercharged 351 that’s packed with forged pistons, high performance alloy heads, roller rockers, hydraulic roller cam and lifters, Saleen upper and lower intake manifold sections and a 65mm throttle body. A high volume fuel pump and larger injectors are used for the fuel delivery side of things – incidentally, no high octane race fuel is allowed in the Nation’s Cup. Everyday PULP is the regulation brew.

These good bits combine to give “what they say in America is 495hp”, but this one’s actually been dyno’d here at 460 horses. However, it varies slightly from the usual Saleen spec sheet by having a MoTeC M8 programmable management system, which has seen the Saleen 80mm airflow meter replaced by a MAP sensor.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

The reason for the conversion is that “the MoTeC is more usable here (in Australia) and there’s limited local knowledge about Saleen system,” says Kevin. And other than that, the only other mechanical change post-Saleen is to the exhaust, which is carried on from their beautiful ceramic coated extractors. Having to comply with a regulation noise limit, a dual 3 inch exhaust system is muffled by four custom mufflers (no cats are required).

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

The driveline was beefed up by Saleen through the fitment of a 6-speed Borg Warner gearbox (complete with a short shifter), high performance clutch and pressure plate, custom “whopper” tailshaft and a Detroit 3.27:1 locker diff. Eighteen inch Saleen rims and a full body kit rounded out the cosmetic department. An aluminium radiator and an oil cooler were also fitted at Saleen as calculated safety measures – but the latter has since been beefed up in capacity given the car’s 100% racing role.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

With the massive Saleen upgrade fitted to the shiny new red Mustang, the Aussie guys then focussed on taking it that little step further. Making it a racecar. The factory suspension design was brought up to level with a Proflex fully adjustable combo. This gives 3 way (slow bump, fast bump and rebound) adjustable dampers complete with external reservoirs and coil springs only slightly softer than those in the V8 Tourers. Kevin chose the Proflex product safe in the knowledge that they’ve performed very well on his Touring Car, his wife Carol’s GT-P (Class E) Honda Civic VTi-R and even a hottie Monaro. Interestingly, he says that the overall suspension set-up of the Mustang actually feels similar to a V8 Touring Car.

After only a couple of brief familiarization laps, he says the car feels workable and has great turn-in – but it does lack a bit mid-corner. “There seems to be a geometry problem in the centre of the corner – which maybe probably something to do with the steering.” Unfortunately, at this early stage, not very much fine-tuning has been able to be done – the car’s barely finished being assembled. But all the right ingredients are there for a good result.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen MustangKevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

Braking wise, the Mustang holds onto its 4-pot Alcon/Saleen calipers, but the front discs are now up-sized substantially to 14 inches. Gone too are the Ford rear discs, and in their place are 4-pot Brembos biting 13 inch discs. No ABS is fitted. The heavily worked fronts are helped by a pair of fat convoluted ducts that feed cooling air to the eye of the hubs. And another indication that the car is harsh on the front brakes is reflected in the selection of front-to-rear pad materials. Pagid 14s go on the front and cooler temp 9s go on the back. The rules state that normal rubber brake hoses must be kept in service, however fluid is free. This car uses proven Castrol SRF.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

The ‘Stang is technically allowed to have 18×9 rims at the front and 18x10s at the rear, but it makes do with Saleen 18 by 9s all ’round. “It’s not so bad,” says Kevin, “you don’t really notice the difference.” There’s no control tyre used in Nation’s Cup and Kevin was free to go for Michelin 270/65 slicks all ’round. And, like brake fade, Kevin was unsure if high temperature wear of these soft rubbers was going to be a problem. “It is a bit heavy,” he comes back to once again.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

Inside the car, there are also regulations that have to be met. A car must retain its full interior, with the exception of the door trims (which enables the installation of a roll cage). The rear seat (if factory fitted) must also be retained. Virtually anything else can go. Kevin’s removed the factory airbags, stereo and the air conditioning system (there’s no compressor or any other part left). The heater is still hooked up for demisting purposes though. Things that went into the cockpit include a Saleen steering wheel (unfortunately there’s no non-airbag boss available) and Saleen knob, drilled pedals, fire extinguisher and a battery kill switch. A data logger (mainly for revs and boost) is also installed so that the scrutineers can keep an eye on what competitors are doing.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

For added safety inside the Mustang, there’s a Sparco carbon-fibre driver’s seat and a Velo passenger’s pew, plus a Willans harness for each. A full chrome-moly cage protects the whole cabin. Oh, and being from the US, it’s left hand drive too!

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

So how’s the big bill looking now? Well, add about another 20-30 grand and that’d be about right – bringing the grand total up to $104,000-114,000! More than most people’s piggy bank can hold, that’s for sure. Plus then there’s the expense of a huge team truck, racing fees and charges and maintaining the car. Here we’re talking tyres, fuel, pads, etc. In terms of spares, Kevin has only a windscreen, two axles and some replacement lower control arms. He does plan on getting some more parts behind him though, but at the moment there’s a possibility Ford Australia might decide to bring in guards.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

So you can see why sponsorship is so important. Cost is a killer. It’s actually Price Attack and various other sponsors that really own the car, truck and equipment. And, of course, sponsors want to see their products being paraded around on a top lookin’ car. The Mustang keeps its factory red paint work but it’s now crazed by crisscrossed silver pin-striping, sponsor logos and a black/yellow bonnet.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

So if Price Attack owns just about everything, what’s Kevin’s position? He’s the mechanic, truck driver and race driver – that’s what! He’s a very dedicated man. But he’s up against some tough opposition in the Nation’s Cup series. As he puts it, “The Porsches are breeding like rabbits and there’s some incredible cars here.” And when we asked him where on the track he’d like to be running, he jovially replied “hopefully just running on the track!” Kevin’s not expecting to be an outright contender – not just yet anyhow. The near future will see the team develop improved handling, more hp and solve a chronic fuel starvation problem.

While running at the Clipsal Adelaide 500, the Mustang was forced to retire due to it “melting a couple of pistons”. The cause is thought to be related to that dreaded fuel surge, or excessive combustion temps. Either way, Kevin says they’ll probably miss the next round, but they’re aiming to be back for Canberra. That’s racing.

[Source: autospeed]


By: N.A. on March 6, 2000
Original Article: AUTOWEEK, VOL. 50, ISSUE 11

Michelin will start testing its Formula One tires on a Williams-BMW next month. The French tiremaker will re-enter Formula One in 2001 (AW, Dec. 27, 1999) and has already signed Williams and, when it enters, Toyota. A Williams test team will do the tire development this year at several F1 tracks.

Tony Brunetti has been named Forsythe Championship Racing vice president and general manager, more or less replacing Steve Horne, who resigned (AW, Feb. 28). Brunetti joined Forsythe in 1993. And where’s Horne going? Hottest rumor has him about to land a full-time job at CART, overseeing all racing activities.

The Turin race car and prototype specialist Italtechnica is building a limited run of Ferrari 550 Maranellos called the Millenio, for the Le Mans 24 Hour and the FIA GT Champion-ship. It is a purely privateer venture with no backing, either financial or technical, from Ferrari. The project is backed by a group of wealthy investors under the title GT Racing Development. They include Swiss sports car racer Jean-Denis Deletraz, whose FIRST Racing team will enter up to three Millenios in the FIA series.

Ford tuner Steve Saleen has linked up with last year’s British Touring Car Championship team Ray Mallock Limited to develop its next-generation Mustang GTS. The deal means that the British team will be involved in both the road and the race car. The British-built Saleen RS should make its race debut toward the end of the American Le Mans Series schedule. Saleen’s U.S. team, Saleen-Allen, will run the Grand-Am series, starting with round two at Phoenix in April. Ray Mallock Limited is still in the running to become Opel’s fourth team in Germany’s DTM 2000 series.


On February 23, 2000 at 11:45 PM
Original Article: MOTORSPORT.COM

Another hot contender for the new Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup motor racing series has been confirmed with the launch of a supercharged Saleen Ford Mustang for former V8 privateer Kevin Heffernan.

Heffernan unveiled the car at the Gold Coast this week, featuring the familiar red and white livery of his long-time sponsor, hair-care retail group Price Attack. Fudge hair products will provide additional sponsorship .

The Mustang is one of around 25 ultra-high performance production GT cars that series organizer PROCAR Australia expects to have on the grid for the first round in Adelaide on April 9th.

Others include Monarch Motors’ Lamborghini Diablo SVR, which will arrive from Italy this week for driver Paul Stokell, four new competition-specification V10 Dodge Vipers and a Jaguar XK-R under construction in the United States for Queenslanders Mark Trenoweth and Bob Thorn.

Two Porsche 911 GT3s, a Ferrari F360 Modena Challenge, a Chevrolet Corvette C5 and a Toyota Supra RZ already have competed in pre-season races.

Heffernan is confident the Price Attack Mustang, bought new from a California Ford dealer, is a potential front-runner.

“It should have around 500 horsepower and our racing weight will be 1425 kg. It’s got a six-speed gearbox, four-spot front brake calipers and has been ordered with the optional 18 x 9 and 18 x 10 wheels,” he said.

Heffernan mentioned he was looking forward to the eight-round series, which will feature some of the world’s fastest and most desirable production cars. “We thought Nations Cup would be able to give us a good television package for our sponsors.” He continued, “I still love V8 touring cars, but I don’t think we’re stepping back from them so much as side-stepping into an elite car market. I think the fans will relate strongly to a name like Ford Mustang.”

GTP Nations Cup manager Steve Bettes has been advising Andy Kritikos, of AKG Motorsport, in Zion, Illinois, on the specifications required to build Trenoweth’s Jaguar supercharged V8 coupe.

[Source: motorsport.com]


By: LARRY ROBERTS on October 30, 1998
Original Article: www.theautochannel.com

Sometimes when I get Steve Saleen’s press releases about his Team Saleen endeavors both on the race track and in the showroom, I get the feeling that he was born after his time. He should have been in the business of building specially-built sports cars in the ’60s when Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney and the other Southern California hot-rodders-turned-car-constructors were in their hey-days. They built cars for the SCCA Trans Am series for pony cars and became house-hold names to American road racing fans.

It’s not that Saleen has done badly. Quite the contrary. Starting in ’84 with the “Fox” platform Mustang, he’s built a successful business of modifying Ford Mustangs into Saleen Mustangs that are changed enough cosmetically so that buyers of his slick speedsters won’t have their mounts mistaken for the Dearborn version and souped-up enough so that the drivers of most other cars on the street will only get a view of Saleen tailpipes. And he’s done it with the approval of our federal government, a daunting task in itself.

But the promotional venue that Saleen shines in is his participation in racing. In his early years, Saleen himself drove sports car races in semi-pro SCCA events, branched out into driving Saleen-prepared Ford Rangers in the now defunct SCCA series for mini-pickups and even into an unsuccessful stab at the Indy 500, as I recall.

Saleen’s fortunes took a quantum leap a few years ago when he took in Tim Allen, star of the TV series “Home Improvement,” as a partner and formed Saleen/Allen “RRR” Speedlab to build and campaign Saleen SR351 Mustangs in various road races. Allen himself did some of the driving in these events but it quickly showed that simply enjoying cars and owning part of a racing team doesn’t qualify a person to strap himself into a racer and get into the thick of the action. When I saw Allen drive a Saleen/Mustang at Sears Point Raceway in Northern California a few years ago, he was nine seconds off the pace and the regular Saleen pilots had a task in hand to make up the time. I haven’t heard of Allen driving for a while and I suspect that it dawned on him and his TV producers that a guy can get hurt in professional racing if he’s not up to the pace. He did drive at Grand Rapids, Michigan this year where he placed 14th.

For 1998 Steve Saleen and his Saleen/Allen “RRR” Speedlab team pretty much concentrated on the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) World Challenge T1 series for more-or-less production-based sports cars (as opposed to the purpose-built SCCA Trans Am “tube frame” cars), and to say that Saleen was a big fish in the fairly small pond is an understatement. His star driver, Terry Boscheller, won five of the nine races outright and placed second enough times to win the Manufacturer’s Cup for the Southern California-based company as well as the Driver’s Championship for himself.

Although the World Challenge is considered a Saturday warmer-upper race for Trans Am and other more premium events, the Saleen team won against such classy car-and-driver combinations as Bobby Archer, a long-time Chrysler driver, piloting a Dodge Viper GTS and Peter Cunningham in a factory Acura NSX.

For ’98, Steve Saleen is branching out into other auto fields like videos, jackets and tee-shirts, club memberships and other booster merchandise. He also produces a line of special Saleen/Mustangs for a Budget rental fleet in the Los Angeles area.

On second thought, I think that Steve Saleen is in his correct time frame. He’s too much of a business man to have been able to acclimatize his organization to those wild and loose days of the ’60s.


LEXINGTON, Ohio — 13 June 1998 — Terry Borcheller, in the No. 56 Saleen/Allen Racing Saleen Mustang, checked out early in the 30-lap, 67.5-mile Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic World Challenge T1 race for 9.005-second margin of victory over the No. 65 Saleen/Allen Racing Saleen Mustang of teammate Ron Johnson, while Hugh Plumb scored his first series win in the T2 Class.

Borcheller, of Phoenix, Ariz., rocketed from his start on the pole and had a comfortable lead until a lap 12 full-course to clean up debris on the circuit. On the restart, Borcheller checked out for good in the 50 minute, 37.624 second race, leaving the rest of the field to battle for the remaining podium positions.

“It’s real nice having the horsepower to get around traffic,” said Brorcheller. “I love driving the Saleen Mustang. The power is much better, but I really have to take care of the brakes to keep the handling balanced. This was a good race for the Saleen/Allen team.”

Behind Borcheller, teammate Johnson was in a tight battle with David Schardt, in the No. 94 Toyota Motorsports/The Wheel Source Toyota Supra Turbo and Neil Hanneman, in the No. 31 Viper Speed Dodge Viper.

“At the start the Toyota really took off,” said Johnson. “He was pulling me down the straight — and straight-line speed is my strength. I was a little worried but as the race went on I was able to get a handle on the car and be competitive.”

Hanneman also chased Johnson the entire race, but was never able to mount a serious challenge for the runner-up spot, finishing third to capture the final podium position. Paul Brown in the No. 96 H.P. Motorsports Ford Mustang and Jeff Conkel in the No. 7 Kurlin/Applebee’s Porsche 911 followed Hanneman in fourth and fifth, respectively.

“We’re happy to be here on the podium,” said Hanneman. “This is the first race that we felt like most of the bugs were worked out of the car in our setup.”

In the T2 Class, rookie Hugh Plumb raced his No. 16 European Racing Technologies BMW 328is to a 0.411-second margin of victory over veteran Michael Galati .

“This is a dream of mine to race in the World Challenge,” said Plumb. “It’s definitely a bad feeling to drive with them (Galati and Pierre Kleinubing) in your mirrors, but to win is a great feeling, and it’s an honor to be racing with these guys.”

Galati, in the No. 44 RealTime Racing/Comptech Acura Integra R, started on the pole and led until Johannes Van Overbeek, in the No. 23 Last Minute Racing BMW 328is, made a lap-three pass, holding the top spot for six laps until Galati slipped back into the lead on lap 10. For the next nine laps Galati led the 24-car T2 field, but Plumb used his horsepower advantage to take a lead he would never relinquish on lap 20.

“Our car was good the entire race, we just did not have as much straight-line speed as the BMW,” said Galati. “When he passed me, we came into the Keyhole side by side under braking and it was real tight. He had the edge coming onto the straight.”

Earning the final T2 Class podium spot was Kleinbing, in the No. 43 RealTime Racing/Comptech Acura Integra R. Second-fastest qualifier Kleinubing lost several positions in the opening lap, and spent the rest of the race driving his way back onto the podium, ahead of the VanOverbeek in fourth and Jeff McMillin in fifth.

After three races, Johnson leads the T1 Class Drivers’ Championship standings with 84 points, followed by Peter Cunningham, 56, and Borcheller, 53. In the T2 Class, Kleinubing leads with 93 points, followed by Galati, 89, and Van Overbeek, 71.

LEXINGTON, Ohio — Results from Saturday’s 30-lap, 67.5-mile World Challenge race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, class, car, laps and reason out.

1. (1), Terry Borcheller, Pheonix, Ariz., T1, Saleen Mustang, 30.
2. (4), Ron Johnson, Wayzata, Minn., T1, Ford Mustang, 30.
3. (5), Neil Hannemann, Livonia, Mich., T1, Dodge Viper, 30.
4. (7), Paul Brown, Omaha, Neb., T1, Ford Mustang Cobra R, 30.
5. (20), Jeff Conkel, Lincoln, Neb., T1, Porsche 911, 30.
6. (8), Jerry Isaacson, Long Grove, Ill., T1, Porsche 911 RSR, 30.
7. (13), Walter M. Swick, Concord, Ohio, T1, BMW M3, 30.
8. (9), David Farmer, Albemarie, N.C., T1, Chevrolet Camaro, 30.
9. (12), Hugh Plumb, Chadds Ford, Pa., T2, BMW 328is, 30.
10. (10), Michael Galati, North Olmsted, Ohio, T2, Acura Integra R, 30.
11. (11), Pierre Kleinbing, Erexim, Brazil, T2, Acura Integra R, 30.
12. (23), Johannes Van Overbeek, Pleasanton, Calif., T2, BMW 328is, 30.
13. (14), Jeff McMillin, Erie, Pa., T2, BMW 328is, 30.
14. (15), Chuck Hemmingson, W. Des Moines, Iowa, T2, Oldsmobile Achieva, 30.
15. (24), Will Turner, Newburyport, Mass., T2, BMW 328i, 30.
16. (17), Lance Stewart, Jupiter, Fla., T2, Acura Integra R, 30.
17. (18), Taz E. Harvey, Danville, Calif., T2, Honda Prelude, 29.
18. (28), Steve Lisa, Scottsdale, Ariz., T2, Oldsmobile Achieva, 29.
19. (22), Charlie Downs, T2, Mazda RX-7, 29.
20. (26), David Rosenblum, Langhorne, Pa., T2, Saturn SC, 29.
21. (16), Alain Chebeir, Pelham, N.Y., T2, BMW 328is, 28.
22. (45), Mark Reed, London, UK, T2, Oldsmobile Achieva, 28.
23. (31), Tom Baker, Wilmington, Del., T1, Eagle Talon, 28.
24. (30), Dick Reed, Hoopeston, Ill., T2, Pontiac Sunfire, 28.
25. (32), Walter Dethier, Warren, Conn., T1, Ford Mustang Cobra R, 28.
26. (35), Alex Krugman, Great Neck, N.Y., T2, Mazda RX-7, 28.
27. (39), Michael Sturm, Grafton, Wis., T2, Honda Prelude, 28.
28. (40), David Bruener, Port Edwards, Wis., T2, Honda Prelude, 28.
29. (27), Brad Creger, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, T2, Acura Integra R, 28.
30. (37), Fred Meyer, Dallas, Texas, T2, Acura Integra R, 28.
31. (36), Grant Lockwood, Cumming, Ga., T2, BMW3, 27.
32. (38), Brian Wade, Newfields, N.H., T2, BMW 328, 26, Mech.
33. (43), Denny Baglier, Butler, Pa., T2, Mazda MX6, 26.
34. (6), Grant Carter, Severn, Md., T1, Chevrolet Camaro, 23, Mech.
35. (21), Pat Nowak, Ann Arbor, Mich., T1, Mustang Cobra, 18, Mech.
36. (25), Jeff Demetri, Omaha, Neb., T1, Ford Mustang, 18.
37. (3), David Schardt, Dayton, Ohio, T1, Toyota Supra Turbo, 14, Mech.
38. (2), Peter Cunningham, West Bend, Wis., T1, Acura NSX, 3, Mech.
39. (19), Walter Puckett, Shelby, N.C., T2, Saturn SC, 3, Mech.
40. (34), A.J. Frank, Bluffton, S.C., T2, Honda Acord, 0, Mech.
41. (33), Chris Reinke, Wilmington, Ohio, T2, Ford Contour, 0, Mech.
42. (41), Alfred DuPont, Kennett Square, Pa., T1, BMW M3, 0, DNS.
43. (46), Reese Cox, Marietta, Ga., T1, Chevrolet Corvette, 0, DNS.
44. (44), Scotty B. White, Puvallup, Wash., T1, Chevrolet Corvette Z-R1, 0, DNS.
45. (42), Chris Wiehle, DeKalb, Ill., T1, Chevrolet Corvette, 0, DNS.
46. (29), Pierre Bareil, Cap Madeleine, Canada, T1, Ford Mustang LX, 0, DNS.

T1 Class time of race: 50 minutes, 57.264 seconds.
T1 Class average speed: 79.482 miles-per-hour
T1 Class Margin of victory: 9.01 seconds
T1 Class fastest race lap: Terry Borcheller, 1:35.019 (85.246 mph)
T1 Class lap leaders: laps 1-30, No. 56 Borcheller

T2 Class time of race: 52 minutes, 13.501 seconds.
T2 Class average speed: 77.549 miles-per-hour
T2 Class margin of victory: .485-second
T2 Class fastest race lap: Pierre Kleinbing, 1:39.260 (81.603 mph)
T2 Class lap leaders: laps 1-2, No. 44 Galati; laps 3-9, No. 23 Van
Overbeek; laps 10-19, No. 44 Galati; laps 20-30, No. 16 Plumb.

World Challenge Drivers’ Championship Points after three races

Touring One Class
Pos., Driver, Car, Points, Purse
1, Ron Johnson, Saleen Mustang, 84, $6,000
2, Peter Cunningham, Acura NSX, 56, $3,000
3, Terry Borcheller, Saleen Mustang 53, $3,500
4, Reese Cox, Chevrolet Corvette, 48, $2,000
5, Neil Hannemann, Dodge Viper, 46, $1,9506,
6, Jeff Conkel, Porsche 911, 42, $1,700
7, Paul Brown, Ford Mustang Cobra R, 41, $1,550
8, David Schardt, Toyota Supra Turbo, 39, $500
9, Bill Cooper, Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1, 134, $3,000
10, Chris Wiehle, Chevrolet Corvette 34, $1,200
11, Walter Dethier, Ford Mustang Cobra R, 34, $1,050
12, David Farmer, Chevy Chevrolet Camaro, 33, $1,050
13, Walter M. Swick, BMW M3, 31, $650
14, Grant Carter, Chevrolet Camaro, 30, $1,000
15, Jeff Demetri, Ford Mustang, 30, $500
16, Bobby Archer, Dodge Viper, 25, $1,200
17, Randy Roatch, Porsche 911, 21, $850
18, Stuart Jones, Pont Firebird, 20, $750
19, Jerry Isaacson, Porsche 911 RSR, 20, $750
20, Alfred DuPont, BMW M3, 19, $650
21, Kenneth Lubash, Chevrolet Camaro, 19, $650
22, Pierre Bareil, Ford Mustang LX, 17, $500
23, Tom Baker, Eagle Talon, 17, $500
24, Bob Schiesser, Ford Mustang, 14, $500
25, Pat Nowak, Ford Mustang Cobra, 14, $500
26, Michael Pettiford, Chevrolet Chevrolet Camaro, 14, $500
27, Scotty B. White, Chevrolet Corvette Z-R, 114, $0
28, Peter Polli, Chevrolet Corvette, 13, $0
29, Guy Pine Pavageau, Chevrolet Camaro, 12, $0
30, Darren Law, Ford Mustang, 12, $0
31, Cliff Nystedt, Chevrolet Corvette, 11, $0
32, Thomas Safar II, Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1, 9, $0
33, Kim Baker, Chevrolet Corvette Z-R1, 9, $0
34, Doug Johnson, Chevrolet Corvette, 8, $0

Touring Two Class
Pos., Driver, Car, Points, Purse

1, Pierre Kleinbing, Acura Integra R, 93, $7,200
2, Michael Galati, Acura Integra R, 89, $6,000
3, Johannes Van Overbeek, BMW 328is, 71, $3,050
4, Hugh Plumb, BMW 328is, 68, $4,150
5, Lance Stewart, Acura Integra R, 59, $1,950
6, Will Turner, BMW 328i, 54, $1,700
7, David Rosenblum, Saturn SC, 49, $1,750
8, Taz E. Harvey, Honda Prelude, 49, $1,500
9, Alain Chebeir, BMW 328is, 47, $1,250
10, Chuck Hemmingson, Oldsmobile Achieva, 43, $1,750
11, Mark Reed, Oldsmobile Achieva, 42, $1,000
12, Walter Puckett, Saturn SC, 38, $1,200
13, Jeff McMillin, BMW 328is, 35, $850
14, Steve Lisa, Oldsmobile Achieva, 32, $1,000
15, Jim Lovett, BMW 328i, 30, $650
16, Brad Creger, Acura Integra R, 27, $0
17, Fred Meyer, Acura Integra R, 25, $500
18, Steve Lisa, Oldsmobile Calis, 23, $500
19, Charlie Downs, Mazda RX-7, 15, $500
20, Tom Kelly, Volkswagon GTI, 14, $0
21, Dino Hamilton, Dodge Neon, 14, $0
22, Fred Pignataro, Ford Contour SVT, 12, $0
23, Dick Reed, Pontiac Sunfire, 11, $0
24, Alex Krugman, Mazda RX-7, 11, $0
25, Chris Reinke, Ford Contour, 10, $0
26, Manny Matz, Mazda RX-7, 10, $0
27, A.J. Frank, Honda Acord, 9, $0
28, Michael Sturm, Honda Prelude, 9, $0
29, David Bruener, Honda Prelude, 8, $0
30, Grant Lockwood, BMW Z3, 8, $0
31, Walter Markes Jr., BMW 325is, 7, $0
32, Hugh Stewart, Volkswagon Jetta, 6, $0
33, Richard Ellinger, Mercedes-Benz 190, 5, $0
34, Brian Wade, BMW 328, 4, $0
35, Denny Baglier, Mazda MX6, 3, $0


By: LARRY ROBERTS on November 07, 1997
Original Article: www.theautochannel.com

Almost every major auto racing event has one or two of what’s called for lack of a better name, “warm-up” races. They are events that fill in time before the major race of the day, and are designed to maintain spectator interest before the main event.

In the case of the Sports Car Club of America Trans Am races, the “warm-up” is the SCCA World Challenge race for Touring 1 and Touring 2 cars and might well be called “Trans Am Jr.” While the Trans Am cars are specially-constructed racers that pretty much look like domestic pony cars and carry V8 carbureted engines, the World Challenge is open to both foreign and domestic machinery. These races are also different from the Trans Am events in that there are actually two races in one.

Touring 1 (the fastest cars in the race) are large displacement, specially-built cars that have to remain fairly “stock.” As of today, the dominant car in this class is the Saleen Ford Mustang 351 SR. It won the manufacturer’s cup, though it was aided by sheer numbers. There were half a dozen of them running and points earned by any Ford car count towards that maker’s championship. By contrast, Acura is represented in Touring 1 by a pair of NSX coupes and it took second by virtue of four wins, three second place finishes and one fourth by Honda ace Peter Cunningham. It also celebrated a third place finish about mid-season by the very versatile Boris Said.

Other sportsters allowed to compete in SCCA World Challenge Touring 1 events are the Corvette, Camaro, Firebird, BMW M3, Mazda RX-7 Turbo, Porsche RSR and several others. All the cars have to be production- based, and while they are allowed a liberal amount of modification to make them go fast and handle well, the rules aren’t totally open. As an example, they are required to run on street-legal Department of Transportation (DOT) tires rather than special racing slicks.

Touring 2 World Challenge cars run in the same events as the Touring 1 racers but they’re less modified and carry lots less horsepower. Cars that qualify for the Touring 2 category are the Acura Integra, Honda Prelude, Olds Achieva, a couple of BMW models and the Saturn SC coupe. As if to prove how egalitarian Touring 2 racing is, Paul Boorher took second place in the Touring 2 driver’s championship piloting a Saturn SC, which helped that company capture the maker’s championship by having its drivers win points in all 11 races.

Over the years, the SCCA World Challenge championship has underwent many changes since its inception 25 years ago. The beginning can be traced back to a concept that the Sports Car Club of America developed in 1972 to provide a class for its members to race cars right off the showroom floor. It was labeled “Showroom Stock,” and was an instant success. But by the mid-’80s, the original idea of amateur drivers racing unprepared cars grew out of favor and the class developed into another program wherein the auto makers could showcase their products to non-participating spectators.

And now that the ailing SCCA Trans Am series has had a monetary steroid injection from the new-found major sponsorship of the National Tire & Battery stores (a Sears, Roebuck freestanding retail format), and BF Goodrich, the tag-along World Challenge races will no doubt profit as well. Brian Richards, a good friend who is a podium finisher in the Touring 1 class in his Mostly-Mazda Mazda RX-7 Turbo is elated. He could hardly keep the excitement out of his voice when he exclaimed that next year would be “…. very, very interesting..” for the SCCA World Challenge “warm-up.”


By: N.A. on February 17, 1997
Original Article: AUTOWEEK, VOL. 47, ISSUE 7

First lady. Desire Wilson, whose credits include stints in F1, Indy cars, prototypes and Trans-Am, will be the first woman to compete in the North American Touring Car Championship. She’ll drive a Mazda Xedos campaigned by Schader Motorsports.

A new horse at le Sarthe. Steve Saleen and comedian Tim Allen will enter the first Mustangs ever at Le Mans next June. Saleen plans a world tour with GT-2 Mustang Cobras to promote his street cars. Scheduled stops include FIA GT races at Suzuka, Silverstone and Laguna Seca, with Price Cobb and Rob Rizzo in one car, and Dave Warnock and Phil Smith, winners of the 1996 British GT Championship, in another. Considering that Allen was just about the slowest driver at Daytona (and that’s saying something), let’s hope that he’s smart enough to stay out of the car at Le Mans.

Leader of the pack. Robert “Buster” Auton has replaced Elmo Langley as the Winston Cup pace car driver. Langley died happy, of a heart attack while practicing for the NASCAR exhibition at Suzuka last November. Auton was previously a NASCAR inspector and support truck driver.

Oui, oui. Former Indy Lights champion Eric Bachelart has signed Frenchman Christophe Tinseau to drive for his new Indy Lights team. Tinseau raced in European F3000 last season; Bachelart may drive a second car.

Academic success. Jeff Shafer, 21, and Matt Sielsky, 18, former karting champions, have won the scholarships from CART owner Barry Green’s Team Green Academy. The two were chosen from 25 drivers after a series of tests They’ll get a fitness program, an Indy Lights rest and unspecified financial help for the 1997 season.

Black boxes return. Ford has stepped in to continue the black-box crash data program for CART. GM initiated the program several years ago, but switched its technical support to the. Indy Racing League last season. Ford’s boxes are an evolution of the units used by GM, and are made by the same company, Impact Sensor Technologies.


ANAHEIM, CA., October 20, 1989… The final round of the Escort Endurance Series took place October 14th at the new Heartland Park facility in Topeka, Kansa.

The #20 General Tire Saleen Mustang driven by Calvin Fish and Paul Dallenbach qualified sixth in the grid with an average speed of 75 mph around the 2.6-mile track. When the green flag dropped, starter Dallenbach kept the Saleen Mustang in contention. Fish, who also drove in the Racetruck Challenge and Formula series races, took over the driving duties on lap 33 and grabbed the lead on lap 42.

The Saleen performed flawlessly until two hours and twenty minutes into the four-hour battle when the #20 pitted for a costly brake change. Dallenbach brought the Saleen across the finish line sixth in class, despite driving his last stint with no clutch and only fourth gear.

In end of the year Championship standings the Saleen Mustang #20 finished forth with 100 points and first among the Fords in the Manufacturers standings.

The Saleen Racetrucks, driven by Trans Am Champion Dorsey Schroeder, filling in for Steve Saleen who was participating in the Indy Car event at Laguna Seca, Dallenbach and Fish farad better on the windy weekend than the Mustang Raceteam.

After consistently quick practice lap times, Dallenbach, Schroeder and Fish qualified their General Tire Ford Rangers fourth, sixth and eighth, all within hundredths of a second of the pole. After the inversion of the top six, Schroeder held the pole with Dallenbach directly behind. Into the first turn, Schroeder and Nissan independent Chuck Hemmingson made contact and spun forcing both to the back of the pack. Fish took over the lead on lap nine of the action packed raw followed by a two-some of anxious Jeeps who passed Fish two laps later.

After 15 of 20 laps, the Jeeps of the Archer Brothers were in the led followed by Fish, Dallenbach and Schroeder. One lap from the finish, Fish waived Dallenbach by in an attempt to pursue the Jeeps, who following post-race technical inspection were disqualified for illegal motors and stripped of all points and prize money.

The Saleen Team was awarded points and prize money for first, second and third and for his admirable pursuit of the field after his first lap incident, Schroeder was awarded the Rugged Liner “Move of the Race” Award.


ANAHEIM, CA., October 4, 1989… Just two short weeks after the Atlanta event, the Saleen Mustangs were again on the racetrack, this time at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Rockton, Illinois for a three-hour enduro, the first professional race at this facility.

Steve Saleen was on hand for his last drive of the season in the Endurance Series as he will be at Laguna Seca campaigning his Indy Car while the Mustangs are at their last event of 1989.

Saleen was joined in car #20 by Paul Dallenbach while Calvin Fish and Kees Nierop assumed their regular driving duties in #19. Dallenbach qualified the General Tire Saleen Mustang second on the grid, just three positions ahead of his teammates.

In addition to the first frost of the season and temperatures in the 30’s, the Saleen team was once again agonized with brake failure that led to the early retirement of Saleen #20 as well as #19 soon thereafter. Fish and Nierop had taken control of the event before the brake demise. When the checkered flag flew, the Saleen Mustangs were sixth and seventh in class.

The finale of the 1989 Escort Endurance Series will take place October 11 at the new Heartland Park facility in Topeka, Kansas.


ANAHEIM, CA., August 28, 1989… Night racing was the order of the month. But the month began in Connecticut at Lime Rock Park on August 5th. The Saleen Mustangs #19 and #29 were prepared for a three-hour enduro.

With a total of eight lead changes, Dorsey Schroeder and Paul Dallenbach finished only 20 seconds behind the #37 Camaro for a second place, finish. Keess Neirop and Calvin Fish were also on the lead lap and finished a very close third. After 4 races this season, this was the closest finish to date.

The next venue for August began our quest for “hot laps'” in the dark. On August 12 and 13 the Saleen Team returned to Mosport Park in Ontario, Canada to try to recapture the victory of the 24 Hours of Mosport. With perfect weather our ally, broken spindles our enemy, the team struggled through the night leading – then not leading until one too my brake failures, kept the team from a repeat win. The #19 Saleen Mustang succumbed early to a 1 ½ hour engine replacement pit stop due to a rock through the radiator. “Just completing s 24 hour race is a great accomplishment, especially with the problems we dealt with,” said team owner and driver, Steve Saleen. “The crew worked especially hard to keep the cars safe and running as hart as they could.” The results of 5th and 9th for the 2-car team were disappointing but kept the team in the top Ford position.

How about Saturday night, 10:00 under the lights, 5/8 mile banked oval in the “Heart of the South”? Sounds like a truck race to me! Nine Nissans and three Fords showed up to play. Steve Saleen was the fastest of the fast with Pete Halsmer and Calvin Fish showing the off-shore boys their taillights throughout practice and qualifying.

After the starter gave the Nissans a 3-truck head start at the flag, the Ford formation had a run toward the front. Right front tire wear was a dangerous complication suffered by every competitor.

After nudged into the wall, Saleen worked his way back to second place at the finish with Fish a close third. Halsmer had a pit stop which too him out of the run.

Next stop for the Mustangs and Rangers will be Road Atlanta, September 9th and 10th.