Super Touring Series Heads to Cleveland
8 July 1997The Burke Lakefront Airport will go through it's annual transformation from active runways to racing action this week-end. This will be the first visit to Cleveland for Round 5 of the Super Touring Series. Dodge driver David Donohue arrives in Cleveland with an 11 point lead over Honda driver Peter Cunningham. Donohue's teammate Dominic Dobson follows in third place, 22 points out of the lead. The series will also provide the largest starting field of the season with 15 cars on the provisional entry list.
The wide runways and bumpy conditions on the temporary 2.3 mile course should provide for some interesting racing conditions. The first turn (a sharp right hander) has always seen its share of wheel to wheel racing in other racing formats. The Super Touring drivers will no doubt be rubbing some paint to enhance their race position.
Donohue and Cunningham arrive in Cleveland fresh off of wins at Portland. Dobson, meanwhile will be looking to atone for his first-lap error in race #2. Granted the wet weather conditions that the drivers faced were abysmal at best, still Dobson's last place finish in race #2 pushed him from first to third place in the over-all standings. Look for a strong showing from Dobson.
Rod Millen's Toyota debut at Portland was excellent. In race #2 he finished in second place. Millen, has been a busy driver of late. A veteran competitor in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb he just missed eclipsing the ten minute mark by only four seconds. Millen will be a factor in this week-end's races.
Neil Crompton will also be looking to make up some ground this week-end. His team bypassed the Portland race. That move cost him dearly in the points standings dropping from 16 points out of the lead to 39 points behind current leader Donohue.
Randy Pobst is mirred in what many would call a slump. His T.C.Kline BMW team has yet to record a victory this season. Cleveland might be just the tonic for his doldrums. The wide open runways provide for some unique and original passing maneuvers. Pobst is one of the most creative drivers in the series. Maybe his turn will come this week-end.
The battle for the Independents Challenge is led by Mazda driver Bob Schader. His performances this year have been a display of consistency. He leads Pobst by five points.
ESPN2 will broadcast both races on July 27th at 11:00am.
David Treffer -- The Auto Channel