Super Touring Series Heads for Vancouver
27 August 1997With two races left in the Super Touring Series Dodge driver David Donohue holds a twenty point lead over Honda driver Peter Cunningham going into this week-end's race at Vancouver. The ten-turn, 1.73 mile temporary street circuit, like most street circuits, requires an optimum on set-up rather than speed. Finding the right compromise will be the key to victory. A maximum total of 92 points are left in the season. 20 points to the winner of each race, 1 point for pole position, 1 point for leading a lap and 1 point for leading the most laps. Should Donohue sweep the week-end, like he did at Mid-Ohio three weeks ago, he will eliminate third place Neil Crompton (192 points) and fourth over-all Dominic Dobson (191 points) from the championship chase.
The manufacturer's Michelin Cup battle will go down to the last race at Laguna Seca. Honda holds a five-point(251 to 246) lead over Dodge. A maximum of eighty points are left in the season. Points are awarded to the top finishing marque. Three manufacturer's (Honda, Dodge and Toyota) are involved in the championship. Toyota's late entry (fourth race of the season) removed any chance for the car manufacturer to compete.
The tight and twisty circuit which winds around the Concord Pacific Place has earned a reputation as a physically punishing circuit. With precious few places to pass it will be interesting to observe how each driver will approach the week-end.
In last year's event Dominic Dobson and Peter Cunningham split the week-end. Donohue finished in fourth and second place in the two-race format. Should Donohue's week-end reflect last year's results then the championship chase will go down to the wire at Laguna Seca next week-end. A lot is at stake.
In the Independent's Challenge Championship a new leader has emerged. Mazda driver Bob Schader holds a slim eight point lead (146 to 138) over Darren Law. Following closely behind in third place in the IC Championship is Randy Pobst with 135 points. In fact five of the drivers involved in the IC Championship are still mathematically in the hunt for the Independent's Challenge. Randy Pobst will be looking to ammend for his showing at Mid-Ohio. Mechanical difficulties required Pobst to go to his back-up car. By rule he could not score any championship points.
Three championship battles on a tight, twisty circuit. Who could ask for more? The two races will be held on Saturday August 30.
The races will be tape-delay broadcast on ESPN2 September 5th, 1997.
David Treffer -- The Auto Channel