Mennen top GT Corvette at Texas
G.J. Mennen posted the highest Corvette finish during the opening round of the 2001 Speedvision World Challenge GT Series at Texas Motor Speedway, Sunday March 4. The ...
G.J. Mennen posted the highest Corvette finish during the opening round of the 2001 Speedvision World Challenge GT Series at Texas Motor Speedway, Sunday March 4. The #08 Kelly Bradley Inc./Greased Lightning Corvette C5 placed 8th. The Grand Sport Racing driver expressed high hopes for the team at future events.
"The car is better than last year and we are happy to pocket the points," stated Mennen. "We are making steady progress in the development of this car."
Mennen's teammate, rookie Bobby Sak, also had a strong race until a clutch failure ended his day. Bobby Sak, son of the Trans Am veteran Don Sak, started his first GT race from 17th and by turn three, was right on his Mennen's bumper. He was the third fastest Vette in the field.
"I was encouraged that I could run with G.J.," said Sak. He described his first ever standing start.
"Terry Lackey gave us great advice right before we went out. I focused on the lights, brought the revs up to almost 3000 RPM and dumped the clutch. The wheels broke loose a little, but I modulated the throttle until I could get the Toyo's to bite. A big hole opened up and I shot through. I was right behind GJ, then Boris came screaming by. After I passed G.J., I could feel the clutch starting to go by the delay when I shifted. It just got worse and worse until I had no drive at all."
Team owner Kelly Bradley and Team Manager Terry Lackey maintain their optimism for the 2001 season.
"We've been working day and night getting these cars right for the season," Terry explained. "We have a 1.1 mile test track behind our shop. We've spent hours and hours finessing this car. We feel that right now, the cars and drivers are as strong as any in the field. Yet, there is not parity with the European cars. We hope that SCCA Pro Racing will make recognize that the rules for the Corvette's should be revisited."
The team is based out of Hitchcock, TX. That is also where they are developing Grand Sport Racing Speedway, a new 2.25 mile road racing facility. The Grand Sport Racing team cars are part of the Corvette racing heritage that Kelly Bradley has dedicated his track to. The #08 and #04 team cars are two of only 20 C5 racing "kit" cars built by GM.
The next stop for Grand Sport Racing is Sebring, March 16 for Round Two of the SVWC GT Championship. GJ Mennen will do double duty. In addition to contesting the #08 Corvette, he will be driving in the Trans Am series for Victoria Motorsports.
This will be Bobby Sak's second visit to Sebring. He last competed there in the Pro Spec Racer event in 1999. His father, Don Sak, is also entered in the Trans Am.
Grand Sport Racing