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2003   *  Event 1   *  Event 2   *  Event 3   *  Event 4   *  Event 5   *  Event 6   *  Event 7   *  Event 8   *  Event 9   *  Event 10   *  Event 11 * 2003 Standings

Ralph Savarese wins Event 8 Corvette Challenge

10/11/03 - We would have thought that the last event would have been tough to top but in the excitement arena, but the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge again provided suspense and entertainment far better than the Yankees beating the Red Sox 4-2, taking a 2 to 1 game lead in the American League Championship series, including the bench clearing melee. The Vette Doctors Quick 4 gave us an extremely close final round and the bracket final was settled with by a mere twelve thousandths (.0012) of a second. Add to that the SLP Customer Appreciation Day race in which or very own, Ellis Gray, won the Corvette Class and went on to win the "King of the Track" runoff and a change in the lead for Rookie of the Year and we have yet another thrilling day.

Last year, our points season ended at the eighth event. If you recall, Ralph Savarese and Edgar Perez battled for the championship, round after round, but not meeting that night. We know now, Savarese came out on top. Today, Savarese and Perez did meet in the final. On the way to the final, Savarese collected some spectacular lights, .533, .554, .579 and .524 and cause havoc for a few opponents. Savarese and Perez have met in the finals three times before, Perez leading 2-1, till today. Savarese dialed in his 1985 Black Corvette with 96 body panels at 11.82 and took the right lane after winning the coin toss and selecting the left lane then deciding to move to the right lane. Perez dialed 11.60 in his 1999 Torch Red Coupe and would ride the left lane as he had all event. You expect a close race from these two bracket racers, but one could not have expected it to be this close. With Savarese leaving first, Perez was on the chase. Savarese said he thought he had nailed the tree and was feeling very confident when he looked over and saw Perez approaching then catching him. He was thinking Perez was on the way to a breakout when he took the lead at the very top of the track. Both drivers anxiously looked up to see who got the win light. It was on the right! Raceway Park announcer called out the margin of victory, a slim .0012 and the closest final round ever in our series. When the drivers looked at the time slips they saw Savarese cutting a .566 light and running 11.839 on the .82 dial and Perez, cutting the better light at .516 but not running the number crossing at 11.67 on the 60 dial.
Runner-up Edgar Perez Runner-up Edgar Perez, John Mackey, Winner Ralph Savarese Winner Artie Sabatino
Runner-up Edgar Perez (also won Closest to Dial Runner-up Edgar Perez, John Mackey, Winner Ralph Savarese Winner Ralph Savarese

Top 4 in the Final 4

Coming into the race, we saw Joe Blass, Rob Farley, Savarese and Perez in that order in the points chase. As luck would have it, or skill one might say, it was these four drivers in the semi-finals. The way the bracket worked out it was number one Blass vs. number four Perez. Points leader Blass dialed his DRM 450 C4 at 12.13 after sitting out the bye in the quarter finals to Perez's 11.61. Blass took off first in the right lane cutting a .640 light, which was no match to Perez's .516. Perez caught him early and sat on the brakes crossing the stripe at 104 MPH. The second matchup, saw a similar result. Farley dialed in at 13.54 cut a .663 light giving Savarese the opportunity to hit the brakes when he cut a .524 light crossing the strip at 103 MPH setting the stage for the very close final.

Maddox and White have their first 3 round win day

Again proving that the Corvette Challenge is for racers of all levels of experience and distances, Ryan Maddox and Rick White each managed to win three rounds for the first time in the Corvette Challenge. For Maddox, in only his third attempt at bracket racing in the Corvette Challenge, he managed three wins before facing Farley in the quarter finals. Maddox took out a couple of accomplished racers when he defeated Sheila Murchan in the first round and John Panuzzo in the second. The future looks bright for Maddox in the this series. On the other hand, Rick White towed his bright Orange 1986, roll bar equipped, 11.70 running, Corvette from Nashua, NH some 300 miles away from Englishtown. Rick was visiting with his girlfriend's family and was racing in his second Corvette Challenge and will be with us for at least one more his year. White is an accomplished racer and took out Ellis Gray in the second round en-route to a showdown with Perez in the quarter finals where his 11.77 dialed C4 decided to run quicker at 11.70 in a double break out race where Perez went 11.59 on an 11.63 dial. White had the advantage at the tree but was taken by surprise by the breakout. Congrats to Ryan and Rick.

Chris Young takes the Rookie Points Lead

Joe Signore's strong hold of the race for the Rookie of the Year was broken today when Chris Young drove his Quasar Blue C4 to the fourth round before losing to event winner Savarese, going red by .027. Signore, though he fared well in the SLP event, lost first round in the Challenge, also at the hands of Savarese, when he could only muster a .645 light. Young now leads Signore by 2 points in a very tight Rookie chase.

Ellis Gray....King of the Track

Today the Corvette shared the track with SLP and their Customer Appreciation Day and some of our Corvette Challenge drivers were doing double duty running both the Challenge and the SLP event. In the SLP Corvette Class, Ellis Gray defeated Joe Signore to win the final. SLP invited the winner and runner-up of each of their 4 classes to face off in a King of the Track event. Three more rounds later, Gray lined up against a Grand Prix for the title. Gray got the quick win when the GP went red. This was quite a feat for Gray who is only racing in his second season. Yes he probably would have traded it for a couple more round wins in the Corvette Challenge but he will take the title of SLP King of the Track just as well. Look for magazine coverage of the SLP event and Gray wining the title, in the future as we did spot a writer for GM Hi Tech at the event.

Brian Miller wins Vette Doctors Quick 4 Event 4 with a 10.04

The Quick 4 was back in action for its fourth race and it was Brian Miller from the third qualifying position taking out Bill Maloney in the final. John Carter and Paul Major were the other two qualifiers. Complete details with pictures and videos can be read at www.corvettechallenge.info/2003quick4-4.php.

Today's event featured 52 Corvettes making first round.

Other Awards Handed Out at this Event

  • Event winner Ralph Savarese went home with $250 cash, a $100 gift certificate from Pro Torque and the winner trophy.
  • Runner-up Edgar Perez went home with $125 cash, a $50 gift certificate from Pro Torque and the runner-up trophy.
  • Semi-finalists included Joe Blass, Rob Farleywho won $60 cash.
  • John Gurrieri won the 'John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial' trophy and $50 cash presented by Team Panuzzo Racing for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. John Gurrieri was quickest on the tree in the 1st round when his RT was .008.
  • Dave Tortolani won the 'Almost Perfect Award' presented by Marotta Racing when he took himself out in the 1st round with the red light closest to .500. Dave Tortolani's light was 0.00 and for that he earned a $25 Tech Card gift certificate usable on a future to Raceway Park courtesy of Lenny Marotta and Marotta Racing .
  • Edgar Perez won the 'Closest to Dial Award' Trophy presented by Boweryboy Racing by only .004 off his dial.
  • Ohh so Close Award of Zaino productsLynwood King won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Zaino when he was edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0554. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although he lost in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, Lynwood King earned a Zaino starter package that includes Z1, Z2, Z6, Z7 and a polish pad.
  • All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy sponsored by United Racing. With 52 cars making this event, United Racing gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.

Next race

Saturday October 25th is the next Corvette Challenge. This will be the next to last points race with the last race following the next weekend. Visit http://www.racewaypark.com to view the schedule.

Corvette Challenge Multimedia

Edgar Perez's pictures |Mike's photos | Video of the day by Mike

We couldn't do it without our sponsors

The Corvette Challenge gives thanks to all of its supporting sponsors for whom without this series cannot be possible. Thanks go out to East Coast Supercharging | United Racing | The Vette Doctors | Team Panuzzo | Spectrum Voice & Data | Simple Man | EnviroLution | CCDV | Mufflex Performance | CFM Racing | Tortolani Racing | Boweryboy Racing | Marotta Racing | RMS Racing | Pro Torque | Zaino Bros | Perez Web Design |

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