LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 21, 2003) – Pole sitter Collin Jackson, of Langley, British Columbia, won his first GT3 National Championship at the Valvoline Runoffs at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Dave Humphrey, of Langley, British Columbia, and Wolfgang Maike, of Santa Barbara, Calif., finished second and third, respectively.
Jackson, who dominated much of the race, passed race leader Pete Peterson, of Lumberton, N.C., in turn two on lap six and never looked back. Jackson piloted his No. 53 BM&M Screening Solutions Nissan 240SX to victory lane with a 6.511-second margin of victory at an average speed of 85.360 mph on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course.
“The day was interesting, I must say,” Jackson said regarding the race. “I started on the pole. The gentleman beside me wanted the first corner more than I did. And, I decided that rather than to take evasive action I better let him have it. We proceeded, for five laps, to have a pretty physical race. It was a more physical race than I have had in 51 pro races. I got hit on the straight and I have never been hit on the straight before. I was passing him and he did not want that to happen. He thought the grass would have less traction. And, I figured I had had enough of that. So, basically I upped the pace big time.”
Humphrey, who qualified fifth in his No. 73 BM&M Screening Solutions Nissan 240SX, maneuvered his way through the field and settled into second-place on lap 11, a position he would never relinquish.
“Once things started to unfold, I sat back and waited just to see what would happen,” Humprey said describing the start of the race. “A couple of opportunities opened up. Paul Young made a little bit of a mistake coming out of the keyhole and then I got by him going down into the ‘Esses.’ Once I cleared him, Wolfgang [Maike] and I chased each other for a couple of laps. I got a good run into turn one and was I was able to get up beside him. I don’t think there was a lot he could do about it. It was a great race.”
Maike, driving the No. 15 TRD Toyota Paseo, was running steadily in fourth position for much of the race when he caught a lucky break on lap 19 thanks to Pete Peterson, who was running third at the time, who spun in the carousel allowing Maike to finish third.
“I saw a lot of action going on in front of me,” Maike said. “I figured I had better keep it clean for a while and do my racing thing,” Maike said. “I had a lot fun and I am happy to have wound up in third-place. That was the best that we could do.”
Paul Young, of Commerce Township, Mich., drove the No. 79 Ford Probe to a fourth-place finish and Gary Bockman, of Portland, Ore., piloted the No. 69 Bockman Son Inc./FMR Industries to a fifth-place finish.