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 car 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 Grand Touring (GT), 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.
  • GT1 – This is the fastest of the three GT 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.
  • GT2 – 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.
  • GT3 – The best subscribed division is GT3, 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 eight-race season started in late March and ended in October. Unlike last year, the WSC and GT categories completed in the same contests with the exception of round three at Lime Rock Park.

  • Sebring International Raceway – Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring
  • Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Toshiba Nevada Grand Prix
  • Lime Rock Park – Dodge Dealers Grand Prix
  • Road Atlanta – Sports Car Grand Prix of Road Atlanta
  • Mosport Park – Mosport Festival
  • Sebring International Raceway – NAPA Sebring Classic
  • Road Atlanta – Petit Le Mans
  • Laguna Seca Raceway – Visa Sports Car Championship

Round five of the 1998 Professional Sports Car Racing Championship was held at Mosport International Raceway. Teams would compete in the two-hour, forty-five-minute contest around the ten turn 2.459-mile road course.

Fifteen starters assemble on the grid at Mosport International Raceway for round five of the 1998 Professional Sports Car Racing Championship. On the pole is the No. 27 Doran Enterprises prepared Ferrari 333 SP shared by Didier Theys and Fredy Lienhard. Beside the fastest qualifier is the first of two Dyson Racing entries - the No. 16 Riley & Scott MK III driven by Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver.
Starting on the outside of the front row was the No. 16 Dyson Racing Riley & Scott MK III of James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger. Leitzinger was the team’s points leader with seventy-nine markers. He trailed the championship leaders, Wayne Taylor and Eric van de Poele, as the result of the team not participating in Las Vegas. Weaver and Leitzinger would capture the victory at Mosport, their third win of 1998.
There were just two GT1 entries at Mosport International Raceway. Both were from the Panoz Motorsports racing stable. David Brabham and Andy Wallace shared the No.4 6.0-liter V8 powered Panoz GTR-1. They were unbeatable at the being of the season, earning victories at Sebring, Las Vegas and Lime Rock. However, the pair failed to score points at Road Atlanta but was back on the winning track at Mosport.
A dominant pairing in the GT3 division was Bill Auberlen and Mark Simo. Auberlen led the standings after winning at Sebring, Las Vegas and Road Atlanta. The No. 10 Prototype Technology Group BMW M3 was gridded ninth overall and first in class at Mosport International Raceway. Auberlen and Simo would claim the GT3 category victory and finish one lap ahead of their teammates, Ross Bentley and Peter Cunningham.
The Prototype Technology Group also prepared a car to GT2 specifications. At Mosport International Raceway, the No. 6 BMW was piloted by Marc Duez and Ross Bentley. The team did not enter the BMW until round three at Lime Rock, where Duez and Boris Said claimed the victory. In the next event at Road Atlanta, Duez drove to a solo and collected the win. In race five, Duez and Bentley grabbed a first in class.
The second Dyson Racing entry was driven by Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Dorsey Schroeder. The No. 20 Riley & Scott MK III earned a season-best runner-up finish in the previous race at Road Atlanta. At Mosport International Raceway, the duo started third – just 0.272-seconds behind their teammates. Forbes-Robinson and Schroeder would finish second overall and on the same lap as the winners.
Driving the second Panoz Motorsports entry were Eric Bernard and Raul Boesel. They shared the No. 5 Panoz GTR-1 and started the contest seventh overall and second in the GT1 category. The duo was no match for their teammates, Andy Wallace and David Braham. The only time they finished ahead of them was at Road Atlanta, where Wallace and Brabham retired. At Mosport, the pair finished second in class.
Finishing second in GT3 were Ross Bentley and Peter Cunningham in the No. 1 Prototype Technology Group BMW M3. Bentley and Cunningham won at Lime Rock and collected runner-up results at Sebring, Las Vegas and Road Atlanta. They were gridded thirteenth overall for round five and started third in class. Issues for the Alex Job Porsche of Cort Wagner and Darryl Havens allowed them to finish second in GT3.
The WSC points leader entering Mosport was Wayne Taylor, who held a comfortable margin over Butch Leitzinger. Taylor and his teammate, Eric van de Poele, co-drove the No. 7 Doyle-Risi Racing Ferrari 333 SP. Taylor ‘gained the upper hand’ in Las Vegas when he and van de Poele won and Dyson Racing wasn’t entered. Unfortunately, his championship lead slipped to five markers after a fourth place finish in round five.
Despite not recording a class win, Larry Schumacher led the GT2 title chase. Consistency paid off for Schumacher and his teammates. Before the round at Mosport, he had three runner-up finishes. At race five, Schumacher shared the No. 99 Schumacher Racing Porsche 911 GT2 with John O’Steen. In the race, the duo could not maintain the pace of the Prototype Technology Group entry and collect another second.

1WSCWeaver / LeitzingerRiley & Scott Mk III Dyson Racing128-
2WSCSchroeder/Forbes-RobinsonRiley & Scott Mk IIIDyson Racing128-
3GT1Wallace / BrabhamPanoz GTR-1Panoz Motorsports127-
4GT1Bernard / BoeselPanoz GTR-1Panoz Motorsports127-
5WSCTheys / LienhardFerrari 333 SPDoran Enterprises, Inc.126-
6WSCvan de Poele / TaylorFerrari 333 SPDoyle-Risi Racing123-
7WSCField / MuchaRiley & Scott Mk III Intersport Racing119-
8WSCSmith / DowningKudzu DLM-4 Downing Atlanta119-
9GT3Auberlen / SimoBMW M3PTG112-
10GT3Cunningham / BentleyBMW M3PTG111-
11GT2Duez / BentleyBMW M3PTG111-
12GT2Schumacher/O'Steen/PilgrimPorsche 911 GT2Schumacher Racing110-
13GT2Morton / GrahamPorsche 911 GT2CJ Motorsport110-
14GT3Wagner / HavensPorsche 911 CarreraAlex Job Racing102-
15GT2Friedman / LonghiPorsche 911 TurboDavid Friedman53Drive Shaft

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