In September 1996, the International Motor Sports Group purchased the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). On March 14, of the following year IMSA became the Professional Sportscar Racing, Incorporated. The sanctioning body focused on converting the growing popularity of sports cars racing into a solid fan base and developing long-term marketing partnerships. Two of Professional Sportscar Racing’s major partners were Virgin Interactive, a technology and entertainment company and the petroleum giant Exxon.

Championships were contested for two major categories – World SportsCars and GTS, which consists of three classes.

  • World SporsCars (WSC) – These are open cockpit, two-seat prototypes powered by production-based engines. Five-liter motors are limited to two valves per cylinder, whereas a four-liter powerplant may be equipped with four valves per cylinder. Rotary engines are also permitted, but the series does not allow turbocharging. These engine options produce approximately 675-horsepower. The chassis used in the championship are manufactured by Ferrari, Riley & Scott, Spice and Courage.
  • GTS-1 – This is the fastest of the three GTS categories. The cars are two-wheel drive-production-based vehicles. Tube frame chassis cars are powered by a normally aspirated engine with a displacement between 3.5 to 6.0-liters. Unibody vehicles are allowed to compete with an 8.0-liter normally aspirated engine or a 4.0-liter turbocharged motor. The Porsche 911 GT1, Panoz GTR-1, Dodge Viper GTS-R and Ford Mustang Cobra are examples of cars that race in this class.
  • GTS-2 – Introduced in 1997, this category is for two and four-wheel drive vehicles with a unibody chassis. Eligible powerplants include a 4.0-liter turbocharged engine to an 8.0-liter normally aspirated motor. The Porsche 911 GT2 Turbo is the most common car in this group.
  • GTS-3 – The best subscribed division is GTS-3, which is home to the BMW 3 and Porsche 993 Carrera RSR. A wide range of engine options may be used with these production-based two-wheel-drive vehicles depending on chassis design. Tube frame cars are limited to engines between 2.0 and 3.8-liter powerplants. On the other hand, a vehicle using a unibody chassis is allowed a 3.8-liter motor or a 3.0-liter turbocharged engine.

The eleven race season started in the first weekend of February and ended in late October. The WSC and GTS categories completed in separate contests with the exception of three events – Rolex 24 at Daytona, Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring and First Union Six Hours at the Glen.

  • Daytona International Speedway - Rolex 24 at Daytona
  • Sebring International Raceway – Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring
  • Road Atlanta – NAPA Grand Prix of Atlanta
  • Lime Rock Park – Dodge Dealers Grand Prix
  • Watkins Glen International – First Union Six Hours at the Glen
  • Sears Point Raceway – California Grand Prix
  • Mosport Park – Mosport Festival
  • Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Sportscar Grand Prix
  • Pikes Peak International Raceway – Festival of Road Racing
  • Sebring International Raceway – NAPA Sebring Octoberfest
  • Laguna Seca Raceway – Visa Sports Car Championship

Round seven of the 1997 Exxon Supreme GT series was held at Mosport Park. Competitors raced around the ten turn 2.459-mile road course in a fifty-two-lap contest.

The fifty-two-lap contest didn’t make it to corner two before a full course caution period was necessary. In fact, the race was red-flagged for thirty minutes while track services removed the cars and cleaned the circuit. The incident occurred when contact caused the No. 56 Porsche 911 of Peter Kitchak to spin. Kitchak spun into the Matco BMW M3 of Matt Cohen, which in turn collected the Porsche 911 of Larry Schumacher.
Jochen Rohr, the owner of Rohr Motorsports,imported the No. 01 630-horsepower turbocharged Porsche 911 GT1 just two weeks before round seven of the 1997 Exxon Supreme GT series at Mosport Park. Before coming to Mosport, Rohr and Andy Pilgrim tested the car at Putnam Park. Rohr stepped aside for the race and used the services of Dorsey Schroeder. Schroeder captured the pole and victory with Pilgrim.
Starting on the outside of the front row at Mosport Park and second fastest in the GTS-1 category was the No. 66 Panoz Motorsports Panoz GTR. The team entered round seven with victories at Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen and Sears Point. Sharing the Panoz were Doc Bundy and Andy Wallace, who qualified the car. Unfortunately, the team made the wrong tire choice and finished almost a lap behind the Porsche.
Derek Hill celebrates his fourth GTS-3 class victory of the season in the No. 6 Prototype Technology Group BMW M3. Hill and his co-driver, Javier Quiros, were gridded seventh overall and second in class for round seven. After the driver change, Hill chased down his teammate, Bill Auberlen, in the No. 10. However, Auberlen encountered a mechanical issue allowing Hill and Quiros to inherit the lead and grab the win.
Konrad Motorsport collected their third consecutive GTS-2 victory at Mosport Park and fourth of the season. Finishing in the runner-up position at round seven was the No. 97 Roock Racing Porsche 911 GT2 shared by Dirk Layer and Kelly Collins. The Roock Porsche started ninth overall and benefitted from the misfortunes of the Martin Snow Racing and American Signature entries to claim the second in class.
The 3.2-liter double overhead camshaft inline six-cylinder engine used in the No. 10 BMW M3 Prototype Technology Group entry was driven by Boris Said and Bill Auberlen. Auberlen qualified on the GTS-3 pole. Said drove the first stint and turned the car over to Auberlen in the class lead. While in the top spot, Auberlen lost a wheel bearing. The team would make repairs and he returned to finish seventh in GTS-3.
The only Canadian entry in the event was the No. 27 Multimatic Motorsports GTS-1 STP Ford Mustang Cobra of Scott Maxwell and Jason Priestley. The local driver, Maxwell, was third fastest during the qualifying session, while Priestley was given the honour of starting the event. Unfortunately, their race only lasted seven laps. The drivetrain broke with Priestley coming to a stop in Moss corner.

1GTS-1Schroeder / PilgrimPorsche 911 GT1Rohr Motorsports52-
2GTS-1Bundy / WallacePanoz GTRPanoz Motorsports52-
3GTS-2Konrad / HamPorsche 911 GT2Konrad Motorsports50-
4GTS-3Quiros / HillBMW M3Prototype Technology Group50-
5GTS-3Said / DuezBMW M3Prototype Technology Group49-
6GTS-1Sifton / VardePorsche 911 GT2Rohr Corporation49-
7GTS-2Layer / CollinsPorsche 911Roock Racing49-
8GTS-3Matthews / MurryPorsche 911Jim Matthews Racing49-
9GTS-2Pace / Pace / SnowPorsche 911ATFAB48-
10GTS-3Purner / LingnerPorsche 911Team A.R.E.48-
11GTS-3Lewis / BurgessPorsche 911Jack Lewis Enterprises47-
12GTS-1Schramm / HaynerChevrolet CamaroRock Valley Oil40-
13GTS-3Cervelli / WagnerPorsche 911Technodyne37Mechanical
14GTS-3Auberlen / SaidBMW M3Prototype Technology Group30-
15GTS-2Schumacher / O'SteenPorsche 911American Signature28-
16GTS-1Maxwell / PriestleyFord MustangMultimatic Motorsports7Mechanical
17GTS-2SnowPorsche 911 GT2Martin Snow Racing0Accident
18GTS-3CohenBMW M3Mattco Racing0Accident

Copyright Notice:
All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.

© Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016

Return to home page.