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Borkowski wins Trans-Am race

September 28, 1997

FOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) _ Mike Borkowski, the 1997 Trans-Am rookie of the year, held off previously unbeaten series champion Tom Kendall by 10.45 seconds Saturday for his first Trans-Am victory.

Borkowski, who drew the No. 1 starting position, averaged 77.201 mph in the Textron Ford Mustang Cobra in the 73-lap, 94.097-mile race at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

``When we drew the No. 1 ball, I knew I’d just go for it once the green flag flew,″ Borkowski said. ``We knew we had a good car and I just had to put my head down and focus on racing.″

Kendall, the first four-time Trans-Am champion and winner of two straight titles, won the first 11 races of the season for the longest documented winning streak in road racing history.

In the 42-lap SCCA World Challenge T1 Class race, Peter Cunningham of West Bend, Wis., extended his series lead with a 6.604-second victory over Rob Fellows. Cunningham averaged 76.053 mph in the Comptech-RealTime Acura NSX.

``This was a race of survival,″ Cunningham said. ``My NSX handles a little better than the Mustangs, but they’ve got the power on me. When my handling started to go away, I thought I was in trouble, but I got a break in the traffic, and that was the difference.″

Pierre Kleinubing of Brazil won the T2 class, averaging 71.629 mph in the Comptech-RealTime Acura Integra R.

Also Saturday, Andrea Montermini of Monte Carlo took the pole for Sunday’s Exxon World SportsCar race with a lap of 95.254 mph in the MOMO Ferrari 333SP. Butch Leitzinger of States College, Pa., led qualifying for the Exxon Supreme GT race, averaging 90.949 mph in the Ford Panoz GTR1.

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