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2004   *  Event 1   *  Event 2   *  Event 3   *  Event 4   *  Event 5   *  Event 6   *  Event 6   *  Event 7   *  Event 8   *  Event 9   *  Event 10   *  Event 16   *  Event 11 * 2004 Standings

Vic Gandhi Captures First Challenge win in Event #4

Englishtown, NJ, 06/26/04 - Corvette racers, fans, enthusiasts, and a geeky Raceway Park announcer geared up and headed to the track on the overcast Saturday, June 26th for the 4th installment of the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge, and another points event in the series. The day included exciting and close bracket racing, way too many jokes about John Panuzzo's age, and a Keith Brownlee memorial Vette Doctors Pro 8 race, which will be covered in a separate article (click here for Pro 8 Shootout results.

Gandhi and Betz prepare to battle John Mackey, Winner Vic Gandhi, Runner-up Al Betz and Bob Trieschmann Winner Vic Gandhi
Gandhi and Betz prepare to battle John Mackey, Winner Vic Gandhi, Runner-up Al Betz and Bob Trieschmann Winner Vic Gandhi

There were over 80 Corvettes on the property, with over 75 of them making the call for round 1 of bracket eliminations. Coming into the event, there had already been 3 different winners at each of the events, making for a tight chase early in the season, led by the crazy and senile John Panuzzo, butt of all jokes in the Corvette Challenge.

Round one was run pretty much the way it worked out on paper, with most all of the heavy hitters advancing with a few exceptions, including coordinator and past event winner this season, John Mackey. John gave up his bid to Ken Lynch from Ambler, PA, as he went -.018 on the tree.

Event 4 Ladder
Speaking of red lights in the first round, one of them earned an award. Of course, I'm talking about the "almost perfect award", a plaque presented by Raceway Park to the racer in the first round with a red light closest to .000. This week it was David Tortlolani, who posted a -.002 reaction in the first round.

Another award given away every weekend is the "ohh so close" award, to the racer with the first round loss by the smallest margin of victory. This weekend it was Tony Buonassisi who lost with a margin of victory of .0024. For winning, Tony received a Zaino Starter Kit courtesy of Zaino.

Let's cover these last two awards together, as they're both John Panuzzo related. First is the award he won this weekend, the "closest to dial" award. In round 1, John dialed a 12.99 and ran 12.993 to get the Raceway Park plaque for being the closest to his dial in. The second John Panuzzo related award, is of course, the one he sponsors. It's the John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial Award, given to the racer with the best winning reaction time in the first round. This time it went to James Kovitch for his .002 light in the first round.

Looking at my watch, it's time to jump around a bit, as I'd like to skip to the 3rd round. This was big as we saw the point's leader go out relatively early in eliminations. John Panuzzo lost to Vic Gandhi as Vic cut an awesome .002 light to John's sluggish .153. That was all it took to get the hole shot victory as Vic ran .09 over his number to John's .043 over. Would anyone have enough rounds left to catch and pass John Panuzzo for the lead?

When the semifinals rolled around, with Al Betz, Vic Gandhi, and Rob Farley still in the running, our points gurus in the tower determined that Rob Farley and John Panuzzo were in a tie for the lead, and for Panuzzo, it was now up to Vic to take out Farley for him to hold onto a tie for the top position. Vic came through for John, ousting Farley with a .012 light to Farley's .071. Vic ran 12.833 on a 12.82 to Farley's losing 13.783 on a 13.77 dial.

That brought us to the final round, Vic Gandhi and Al Betz, meaning we'd have another first time winner for the 2004 season. Al Betz, from Warrington, PA, driving his '99 C5 dialed a 13.27, to Vic's C4 dialed a 12.80. At the start, Vic annihilated the tree, a .014 reaction to Al's not too shabby .036. Vic also ran closer to the dial, 12.806, forcing Al to post a 13.200 breakout run. Congratulations Vic Ghandi, this week's champ in the East Cost Supercharging Corvette Challenge.

Looking at the updated points, there's a tie for the lead between John Panuzzo and Rob Farley at 21 points, each with one event win. They're trailed closely behind by John Hadyniak with 19.

Discuss this race here.

Next race

We race again on July 10th, 9 AM. Visit to view the schedule.

East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge helps Toys for Teens & Tots

The 50/50 raffle was held at the track and the racers and spectators hopeful of winning the money while helping out a worthy organization put together $292. Half of the collection, $146, was donated to the St. Peters church in Jersey City to Sister Grace for the Toys for Teens & Tots fund from the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge. The 50/50 is held at each of the ECS Corvette Challenges. To date we have donated $131, $258, $186 and $146 for a total of $721 to the organization for 2004. Thank you for your continued support.

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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 | Marotta Racing | CCDV | Mufflex Performance | Quick Time Performance | Neverlift Racecraft | SLP | | CFM Racing | Tortolani Racing | Anger Management Racing | FINEST RACING | Pro Torque | Zaino Bros

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Cool-Aid Company

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