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Scarallo Gets Best Of Weather, Other Drivers

Source: Toronto Sun
May 22, 2006

BOWMANVILLE -- Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail kept Joey Scarallo from his appointment in victory lane yesterday in the American GT Challenge series at Mosport International Raceway.

The native of Smithtown, N.Y., had to battle all three as well as the rest of grid before taking the checkered flag in his No. 06 Baucom Motorsports Corvette, turning in a record setting race lap of one minute, 19:893 seconds along the way.

The race was started under threatening skies but by halfway through the first of two sessions at Mosport's 3.957- km road course a steady rain had brought the big horsepower sports cars to a near crawl.

The rain turned to hail and when Scarallo passed under the starter's stand for the final lap the hail had turned to snow.

And not just any snow, but the big fluffy stuff children make snowmen out of in the back yard in January.

On the track Scarallo, who started on the pole, had to battle Edison Lluch of San Juan, Puerto Rico, the whole race before taking command with four laps to go.

Finishing third was the No. 05 Leifort Motorsports Cutlass of Jack Busch of Burlington, Vt.

The lone Canadian in the race, Charlie Webster of Dundas, Ont., started third in his No. 94 Corvette, but lost an engine just three laps into the event.

"It was the craziest weather I've ever been through in a race," Scarallo said."There was rain and then sleet in Turns 4, 5 and 6 and then sunshine on the same lap when we got to Turn 10 and the start-finish line."

Despite the weather Scarallo pulled off the near impossible on his record setting lap.

"I didn't think we were that fast," he said. "I certainly didn't think we were on a 1:19 pace."

Lluch's Coor's Light No. 1 Corvette had managed a pass for the lead but Scarallo was able to retake top spot on a subsequent re-start.

Lluch's Puerto Rican crew, however, looked to be celebrating at the end of the race when the snow was heaviest, but it turned out it was more bewilderment than joyousness as none had ever seen snow before.