David Donohue, Randy Pobst and Honda Win Super Touring Championships

11 September 1997

The battles for the three championships (Driver's, Independents and Manufacturer) of the North American Super Touring were fought over the past six months. After visiting 9 venues and competing in 18 races David Donohue, Randy Pobst and Honda have emerged as champions.

The challenge for the over-all driver's championship was pretty much a foregone conclusion. Going into the last two races, Donohue held an almost insurmountable lead over Peter Cunningham. After Friday's qualifying Donohue grabbed another point for being the fastest qualifier in Race #1 putting the championship even closer to his grasp.

The first race turned out to be the Neil Crompton show. In fact both races turned out to be the Neil Crompton show. The start for race #1 was interesting. Donohue relinquished the lead after a miserable start. Crompton sitting on outside pole grabbed the lead and basically never looked back. Behind him Cunningham, Dobson, Donohue and Independent Challenge driver Randy Pobst were engaged in a four-way battle. Cunningham mounted several charges to try and take the lead from Crompton. Each time Crompton found a way to make his Honda as wide as dump truck. Donohue never challenged for the lead. Even after a miserable start that pushed him back to fifth, Donohue worked his way back to finish third clinching the championship. With Crompton's victory Honda secured the manufacturer's championship

In the Independent's Challenge Randy Pobst and Bob Schader were locked in a very tight points battle. Schader holding a slim three point lead over Pobst had to be concerned over the new found confidence that Pobst's team found after Vancouver. Pobst drove a really good race and took fifth place. More importantly Pobst whittled two points from Schader's lead.

Results Race #1
Driver                  Marque  Laps    Qualified
1)Neil Crompton         Honda   17        2
2)Peter Cunningham      Honda   17        3
3)David Donohue         Dodge   17        1
4)Dominic Dobson        Dodge   17        4
5)Randy Pobst*          BMW     17        6
6)David Welch           Ford    17        5
7)Bob Schader           Mazda   17        7
8)Ron Emmick            Mazda   16        10
9)Dave Jolly            Pontiac 15        9
10)Paul Charsley        BMW     12        8
11)Forrest Granlund     Honda    0        0-No Time
12)Darren Law           BMW      0        0-No Time
13)Roberto Quintanilla  Honda    0        0-No Time

Margin of Victory:1.197 seconds
Fastest Race Lap:Neil Crompton
Lap Leaders-Neil Crompton 1-17
*Independent's Challenge Winner:Randy Pobst

The second race was more of an exhibition race for Crompton, Donohue, Cunningham and Dobson. Crompton drove another brilliant race perhaps hoping that Cunningham would break thereby opening the door for second-place in the championship. Crompton swept the week-end's races but ended up two points shy of Peter Cunningham.

The Independent's Challenge battle for Pobst and Schader was coming down to the last race of the year. The anticipated fight never materialized as Schader's Mazda broke a CV joint at half-distance. Schader continued on to fight for points but his race was run. Pobst continued on to finish fourth and clinch the championship by three points.

Results Race #2

Driver                  Marque  Laps    Qualified
1)Neil Crompton         Honda   17      1
2)Peter Cunningham      Honda   17      3
3)David Donohue         Dodge   17      2
4)Randy Pobst           BMW     17      4
5)David Welch           Ford    17      6
6)Dominic Dobson        Dodge   17      5
7)Ron Emmick            Mazda   16      9
8)Bob Schader           Mazda   16      7
9)Dave Jolly            Pontiac 15      10
10)Paul Charsley        BMW      8      8
11)Forrest Granlund     Honda    0      No Time
12)Darren Law           BMW      0      No Time
13)Roberto Quintanilla  Honda    0      No Time

Margin of Victory-9.59 seconds
Fastest Race lap-Neil Crompton
Lap Leaders-Neil Crompton 1-17
Independent's Challenge Winner-Randy Pobst

1997 Final Championship Standings

Driver                  Points  Marque
1)David Donohue         304     Dodge
2)Peter Cunningham      282     Honda
3)Neil Crompton         280     Honda
4)Dominic Dobson        230     Dodge
5)Randy Pobst*          188     BMW
6)Bob Schader           185     Mazda
7)David Welch           159     Ford
8)Darren Law            136     BMW
9)Forrest Granlund       88     Honda
10)Ron Emmick            37     Pontiac
11)Mark Jonak            36     BMW
12)Rod Millen            26     Toyota
13)Tom Finnelly          24     BMW
14)Desire Wilson         18     Mazda
15)Roberto Quintanilla   17     Honda
16)Walt Puckett          11     Mazda

Manufacturer's Championship

Honda   311
Dodge   290
Toyota   26

David Treffer-The Auto Channel

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