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Woman killed in qualifying for June Sprints

June 23, 1997

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) _ A 54-year-old woman was killed Sunday during qualifying for a sports car race at the Road America track.

Mary Wollesen of Clarkston, Mich., was fatally injured when her Austin Mini Cooper was struck broadside by a Chevrolet Camaro after she spun on the high-speed portion of the 4-mile course.

``Unfortunately, the hit was driver’s side, resulting in multiple internal injuries,″ said Barney O’Connor, chief steward for the Sports Car Club of America’s Chicago Region.

Wollesen, a legal administrator, was an 11-year veteran of SCCA racing. She finished third in the Central Division GT5 standings last year. Her husband, Ted Wollesen, was also entered in the GT5 class.

The group Wollesen raced in included a wide variety of cars in terms of size and speed. The fastest cars in the group, GT1, such as the Camaro, are by some estimates 50 percent larger than the car Wollesen drove.

``We don’t believe the size of the cars had anything whatsoever to do with the incident,″ O’Connor said. ``It wouldn’t have made any difference what size it was.″

Wollesen was the fourth driver to die in 42 years of June Sprints competition. The last time a driver was killed in any event at the track was two years ago.

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