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2000 North American GT Season

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2000 North American GT Season
Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.
Champion Constructor: ORECA Viper (FR,2,2)
Putative Constructor: ORECA Viper (FR)
Champion Driver: Olivier Beretta (MC,2,2), Karl Wendlinger (AT,1,0)
Putative Driver: Olivier Beretta (FR), Karl Wendlinger (AT)
Putative Constructor Entry Specification: Model GTS-R, 7.99-liter, ten cylinder vee, aluminum alloy engine, OHV, fuel injection, six-speed, ventilated steel disc brakes, unitary steel chassis, double wishbone independent suspension, power assist steering, 625 horsepower (Tom Gale, Roy Sjoberg).

French ORECA and the Viper GTS-R behind drivers Olivier Beretta and Karl Wendlinger crush the opposition with ten victories over the 2000 season en route to its second consecutive ALMS GTS championship. Drivers' co-champion Beretta picks up the honor also for the second consecutive season. The Pratt & Miller Corvette C5-R rises to the fore with ALMS GTS class victories at Texas and at the Petit Le Mans in September. The USRRC endurance series under the SCCA folds midway through the 1999 season, and NASCAR supremo Bill France Jr. with ISC, unwilling to reunify under the ALMS and Don Panoz, promptly resuscitates the defunct series as the Grand American Road Racing Championship under its own aegis. The GTU-classified G&W Racing with its Porsche 996 GT3-R entry pulls off a mild upset with its class victory at Watkins Glen in August to seal the Grand-Am overall GT constructors' title by a narrow margin over Saleen Racing. Terry Borcheller of Saleen snares the GTS drivers' crown, yet the clutch class victory at Watkins Glen by G&W Racing lifts its pilots Darren Law and Mike Fitzgerald to the overall GT putative honors. The GT class rules the day at the Daytona 24 in February with an overall race victory by ORECA Viper behind drivers Olivier Beretta, Karl Wendlinger, and Dominique Dupuy.

HeM applies the Putative Model to all racing seasons for two primary purposes: First, to effectively normalize all racing seasons for empirical comparison across the decades, and second, to step clear of series organizers which score season championships primarily out of commercial interest or to attract manufacturer participation. The Putative Model simply scores all seasons in the same fashion as a standard track and field meeting, with the only purpose of tracking what takes place at the finishing stripe If the Putative Champion differs from the nominal Series Champion, please note the (SC) notation below.

ORECA Viper201     Beretta127
Barbour Porsche56     Wendlinger127
Pratt & Miller Corvette53     Archer T59
PTG BMW20     Donohue D53
AJR Porsche15     Pilgrim40
SRI Porsche7     Dupuy38
G&W Porsche78     Law D67
Saleen/Aln Mustang/SR Ford63     Fitzgerald M67
Genesis BMW40     Borcheller (SC)64
ORECA Viper20     Johnson R63
TRG Porsche19     Fairbanks R33
TVW Viper18     Pilgrim20

Noteworthy 2000 Races

2000 XXXIV Daytona 24 Hour Daytona Beach, Florida2000 2000 XXXIV Daytona 24 Hour At Daytona for the 24 Hour in February in cold conditions (32 degrees at night), the race comes to a GTS-class French Team Oreca Viper GTS-R under Olivier Beretta (MC), Karl Wendlinger (AT), and Dominique Dupuy (FR) that covers 2573.9 miles (average 107.21 mph), under thirty-one seconds ahead of a Chevrolet driven by Ron Fellows, Justin Bell, and Chris Kneifel. The faster LMP prototypes begin to falter in the small hours on Sunday morning, and the Oreca Viper moves out front afer passing the struggling race leading Dyson entry, suffering from a cracked exhaust valve, with only two hours remaining. The Chevrolet Corvettes put on a final rush in an attempt to run down the ORECA Viper, yet come up short by a half minute, the closest finish in event history, and the first overall triumph for an American-based production entry. Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.
2000 Grand Prix of MosportBowmanville, Ontario2000 2000 Grand Prix of MosportAt Mosport for the Grand Prix (three hours) in August, the class race comes to a French ORECA Viper GTS-R under Olivier Beretta (MC) and Karl Wendlinger (AT) that covers 91 laps (average speed unposted), under a second (.353) ahead of a Corvette driven by Ron Fellows and Andy Pilgrim. The ORECA Viper beneath Wendlinger moves out front after passing the race leading Pratt & Miller Corvette driven by Andy Pilgrim with less than six minutes remaining before holding off the latter for a slender and dramatic victory. Photo Credit: zoompics.com.
2000 III Petit Le MansBraselton, Georgia2000 2000 III Petit Le MansAt Road Atlanta for the Petit Le Mans (1000 miles) in September, a Pratt & Miller Corvette C5-R under Andy Pilgrim (US), Kelly Collins (US), and Franck Fréon (FR) takes class honors and covers 358 laps (average 99.42 mph), under seven seconds ahead of a Viper driven by Tommy Archer, Patrick Huisman, and Boris Dorichebourg. The P&M Corvette beneath Pilgrim moves out front in dramatic fashion after throwing a feint before shoving its way past the ORECA Viper driven by Archer on the inside line at Turn 1 and forcing the latter off the circuit with only two laps remaining. Photo Credit: Corvette Racing.