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David Tortolani Wins First Points Race of '07 in Event 2

By Edgar Perez

March 31, 2007: After getting the original first points race snowed out, March 17, 2007, the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters and Gear Star Transmission was able to kick off the points season for 2007 today. 80 Corvettes came out for this race to partake in the bracket class and Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout. The buzz in the staging lanes was mostly about the new Team Challenge Cup which replaced the Club Challenge Cup. It was the buzz because it is a simple system and everyone is involved. The 2003 Season Champion, Joe Blass, was back at the track and signed up for points ready to give it another whirl. Defending and two-time Champion Rob Farley, Ralph Savarese (also a two-time Champion) and 2001 Champion Bob Trieschmann were all back as well. Another notable, Bill Martinson, who missed the championship in 2001 by 1 point was back with a new to him 1999 Torch Red FRC Corvette. These as well as other regulars and the new class of 19 points rookie (99 total points drivers thus far) and several other non-points drivers where filled with optimism for the new season.

This event would go 7 rounds with 77 racers making it to first round of the bracket race. Several making first round for the first time ever either in the Rookie of the Year points chase or just giving it a try for the first time. Three of our Pro 8 contestants failed to qualify for that class and were allowed to move over into the bracket class free of charge. Today would belong to Dave Tortolani who reached his third Corvette Challenge career final winning one of the prior two in 2006 Event 7 and Frank Fiori, also in his third career final taking a win in 2000.

For today's Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout coverage click here.

Runner Up Group Winner
Runner-up Frank Fiori Edgar Perez, Runnerup Frank Fiori, Winner Dave Tortolani, friend Ross Bartick and Bob Trieschmann Winner Dave Tortolani
Photos by Mike Roberts. For over 5000 Corvette Photos, click here.

Round one - As promised by the man, Rob Farley was at the head of the lanes in the right lane ready to take on any comers. It appeared the cars in the left lane did not want to move up so Raceway Park officials had to move 'em up and John Burbich would get to line up with the Holiday fitting Easter egg look-a-like Corvette. Determination is in Farley's eyes this season as he is on a quest for the third Championship and he proved it with a .007 reaction time to Burbich's .071. Burbich was well off his dial and Farley took the win with an easy 13.194 on 12.99. Incidentally, Farley no longer has to hold back for the 13.50 convertible rule as this year the Egg sports a rollbar so look out this thing will get quicker. We are all in trouble....NOT! A tough loss this round came to George Benson with the nitrous breathing 427 cid C6 Z06 which had just made its first voyage into the 9-zone with a 9.9 in the final time run of the day. Nice job George. However, against Bob Rosenberg this round, Benson would have to wait a while as Rosenberg was dialed 13.20 to his 10.65. He could not wait and went red with a -.031. The tough break is Rosenberg had a 7 reaction time, seven tenths! I thought that was rough, until I saw, rookie contender, Chris Haase went -.013 red against Rob Zona. Zona's light...about double Rosenberg's. Blass' return was ended early when he was late on the tree and the man on the way to final, Fiori, took an .081 and 13.659 on 13.20 dial to the win. Rich Shuleski broke something on the rear of his '96 Grand Sport and was in a borrowed car thanks to Bob Trieschmann, and wouldn't you know, he ended up with the first round bye and the win (random draw). Father and son racers Jim and Devon Bole were paired once again and it was the Sr. Bole in a double breakout where the youngster broke out by more. National Corvette Challenge co-coordinator, Bill Wilson, came up from Columbia Maryland but his transmission woe's continued and he took a first round loss when his C4 failed to shift and could not run his number allowing Joe Donnelly into the next round with his new to him White 1990 ZR-1 Corvette.

Former Rookie of the year Bob Korreck and his wife Mary were back in Northeast and at Raceway Park. Mary helped out by running the 50/50 and Tim Blair and all of us thankful for the help. Bob, however, was done this round when he went red, -.054, to Sheila Murchan allowing her to advance with a 14.790 on 14.57 dial. Of the three Pro 8 Shootout racers that rolled into the brackets, only Michael Conway was able to advance, when Charles Fay ran under his 11.95 dial going 11.889. Dave Shen and I went down at the hands of Vic Gandhi, 11.562 on 11.56 dial and .059 reaction time and Mike Campbell, 12.534 on 12.50 dial and .152 reaction time, respectively. Also done for the day this round were Laura Thomas, Jim Kovitch, W Tad Arcambault, Joe Signore, Richy Josephs, Bob Trieschmann, Steve Pistulli, Ed Mowton, Mathew Wesnofske, Ron Leader, Bob Sebrowski, Chris Pasterello, Mike Hoffman, Jim Peins, Bill Ehret, Pet Lopresti, David Hollingshead, John Hadyniak, Michael Archibald, Alfred Salanitro, Frank Schear, Bill Martinson, Tom Anderson, Tony Buonassisi, Al Raven, Bill Fischer Sr, Randolph Lane and Barbara Grippo.

2007 Event 2 Ladder

Round two - Rosenberg was late again to the prom but this time John Trescott was able to capitalize on it and advance to the next round with an 11.929 on 11.60 dial. Fiori took a close one over Tony Abbruzze. Fiori would have to overcome a .099 to .076 reaction disadvantage and did with a 12.545 on 12.52 dial to Tony's 13.076 on 13.00 dial. Don Peppler Jr did his best to stop Savarese today in tight battle of big hitters in the corvette Challenge. Savarese took a .050 to .059 reaction time advantage and a 10.992 on 10.98 dial to the win over Peppler's breakout 13.187 on 13.25 dial in this photo finish race. John Panuzzo was perfect on the tree with a .000 reaction time and carried that to win over Neil Vernarelli with a 13.030 on 12.82 dial on the brakes thanks to the light. Sheila Murchan was .014 on the tree but was done for the day when she ran 14.833 on 14.43 dial and Ken Gallassio was able to take the win in his '05 Vette with a .054 light and 12.627 on a 12.45 dial. There were seven reds this round and drivers making the early exit were Clifford Bray, (-.013), Gary Hurta (-.075), Michael Conway (-.006), Eric Fischer (-.032), Ron Higgins (-.065) and Rich Shuleski (-.039) who went red to Tortolani on the way to the final with a .106 RT and 11.604 on 11.54 dial.

Round three - The ladder round with 19 Corvettes left. Panuzzo's .000 reaction time in the prior round would earn him the number one seed on the and got him a bye run (how?). He ran 12.854 on 12.86 dial with a .076 reaction time. Ken Rammer left early against Rob Zona who had fixed his RT problems with a .054 RT and running 11.793, not pushing his 11.38 dial. Shawn Cavanagh got his Spiral Gray supercharged Corvette into the 10's toady and was dialed 10.92 then he went red to Rob Farley who was more than happy to take the red light win. Louis Calicchia was in a borrowed car and in the ladder round but this is as far as he would go in the White C4. He broke out on the 13.78 dial running 13.590 @ 97.15 sending Jim Bole on, who also broke out, 12.044 on 12.07 dial but broke out by less. Doug Bereczki used a .034 reaction time and 13.888 on 13.84 dial for a win over Gallassio who was off the tree and off the dial. Former champ Savarese was ousted this round when Mike Campbell used a dead-on 12.509 on 12.50 dial erasing the RT disadvantage when Savarese broke out by .006 running 10.974 @ 119.01 on his 10.98 dial. Tortolani faced Vic Gandhi on the way to the next round and on the strength of an 11.55 dial and .095 reaction time. Gandhi gave it his best shot with a better light at .061 but was further off on his 11.58 dial running 11.666 @ 114.90. Fiori would use a .008 reaction time and 12.590 on 12.52 dial to eliminate Joe Latona, trying to score his first E-town 10-second pass dial 11.06 and running 11.33 @ 122.47. Latona had to have the help of a friend as he realized on his first pass of the day that his ET street had a flat. His buddy Mike's wife Mary jumped in her truck and drove home to get Mike's drag radials to put on Joe's Corvette so he can make the race. Joe thanked Mike and Mary on The Corvette Forum.

Round four - On to round four and Campbell would continue his outstanding return to the Corvette Challenge by getting the better of Ralph Blauvelt. Campbell was late on the tree while Blauvelt was .038 but both drivers broke out. Blauvelt went 13.835 on 13.99 dial while Campbell was just .007 under with a 12.483 on 12.49 dial. After the race Blauvelt realized he wrote the wrong dial on his car and never checked it. In a super reaction time battle Farley got the advantage over Fiori with a .003 to .011. Farley was done here as The Farley Slide was not enough this round as he went 12.996 @ 106.69 on a 12.95 dial while Fiori was dead-on his 12.56 dial with a 12.563 @ 108.52 in the fuel injected black 1979 Corvette. Tortolani was next on the track against John Trescott. Trescott was off with an very unusual .181 light and it cost him as Tortolani went .108 and 11.582 on 11.56 dial for the win. Panuzzo and Bereczki also had a tight reaction time race with Panuzzo .029 to Bereczki's .031. It went to the finish line and Panuzzo was 12.918 on 12.85 dial while Bereczki broke out on his 13.86 dial running 13.811 @ 99.17. The final pair was done when Rob Zona went red, -.155 and Jim Bole would advance to the next round.

Round five - Panuzzo would spank the tree again with a .024 and did it on the track too with a 12.930 on 12.90 dial @ 95.09 and Jim Bole did not have a shot at him at all with a .190 reaction time. Fiori ended Campbell’s good day with a .039 reaction time and 12.839 on 12.52 dial making easy work of Campbell's worst light of the day. Tortolani would get the single this round and took a shot at the tree and went just under green with a -.005 RT and a fine tuned 11.527 run on 11.50 dial.

Round six - Fiori got the single into the final this round and ran it out he back do on the 12.51 dial a and ran 12.489 @ 114.24. In a becoming common match, it was Panuzzo and Tortolani again. Panuzzo was off first with a 12.86 dial and .050 reaction time. Tortolani followed with a .130 and 11.54 dial. As they reached the finish, Panuzzo had the lead and hit the brakes. Tortolani was near dead-on running 11.556 on the 11.54 dial @ 117.98. Panuzzo was across the finish first but just under his dial running 12.855 @ 99.35 on the 12.86 dial losing the round by a mere .005 on the break out.

Round seven - The final was set and no C4 would win this one. C4's have a knack for taking event wins but not today. Both drivers in their third final round and each with one event win were ready to finish the day. Tortolani would leave second with his 11.52 dial. Fiori, slower of the two, would leave first with a 12.50 dial. When he left, the dreaded red lit up and the win light went up on Dave's board. Both drivers ran it out and both went under with Fiori going 12.348 and Tortolani going 11.504. Tortolani, a supporting sponsor for the series, had captured his second career Corvette Challenge event win. Both drivers got off to a great points season with the finals appearance. Congratulations to the both drivers and all who participated today.

Corvette Challenge Points Update

71 of our 99 registered points drivers made it out to the first points race of 2007. We all came in tied at one but Dave Tortolani leaves in first place with his win and 8 points scored today. Fiori follows with his runner-up finish and trails by 1. Complete drivers standings can be seen on the web and in Raceway News.
2007 Corvette Challenge Standings
Corvette drivers page with more driver information

Rookie of the Year Update

This year's Rookie class begins with 19 rookies. Gary Hurta and Eddie Monari jump out to the lead with each making it into round two today scoring two points for the day and 3 total for the season after one of ten points races. This year's Rookie points battle promises to be as tight as the previous year's and is one we want to follow. Complete Rookie standings can be found on the web site for the Corvette Challenge.
Rookie of the Year Standings

Corvette Challenge Team Challenge Cup

The new Team Challenge Cup competition was under way. This replacement for the Club Challenge Cup, which was won by Corvette Club of Delaware Valley every year, involves all of the Corvette Challenge points racers. No signup is needed other than being a Corvette Challenge poins driver and no one is left out. Every driver is placed in one of 12 teams. The competition will count only the top 3 points earned for any race day for each team so not every team member has to make every race and no team should be at a disadvantage as each team has at least 8 members. The fun has begun with the naming of teams such as Ralph Savarese’s "Ridin' Dirty" team and Kim Rudolf’s "Mistress and the Mayhem". Several teams have yet to pick names but I am sure they will be creative. Each driver will have a team number next to their name in the standings to remind you of which team you are on. A separate table will show team number, name and points on the Corvette Challenge web site.

Rob Farley's team, Tree Trimmers, got off to the early lead on the strength of team members Mike Campbell and Jim Bole's 6 points and 5 for Farley himself for a total of 17 points. In second place is Dave Tortolani's team, not yet named so we call it Team 02. Tortolani led the way with 9 pts while Latona scored 4 and two drivers socred 3 so one was counted. In third is Fiori's team, "CFYA!" with 8 pts for Fiori, 4 for Gallassio and 2 each from three drivers but only one counts for a team total of 14.

Current Team Standings

TeamTeam NameTeam CaptainPoints
T01 Ridin' Dirty Savarese, Ralph 105
T08 The Eliminators Trescott, John 100
T02 The Vapors Tortolani, David 95
T06 Going Rounds Fischer, Eric 84
T10 Tree Trimmers Farley, Rob 81
T09 Mistress and the Mayhem Rudolf, Kimberly 78
T05 More Meds Higgins, Ron 73
T07 The Trap Shooters Kovitch, James 65
T03 Sgt Pepplers Lonely Racers Peppler, Donald 64
T04 CYFA! Sebrowski, Robert 64
T11 Devon's Demons Bole, Devon 62
T12 Mad Dawgs Muniz, Jerry 53
click to see drivers on each team
Click if you cannot see Team Challenge Cup Standings

Spectrum Equipment Service Gear Jammer Award Update

Frank Fiori takes the lead in the Gear Jammer chase with his runner-up finish. He is followed by Rob Zona with 5 points and Ken Gallassio and Joe Donnelly in his new ZR-1 with 4 each. Spectrum Equipment Service once again sponsors the "Gear Jammer of the Year" award, presented at year-end banquet to the racer with most points in his/her manual transmission Corvette.
Gear Jammer Standings.

Awards Handed Out at this Event

  • Rob Farley won the 'John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial' trophy presented by Team Panuzzo Racing for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. Rob Farley was quickest on the tree in the 1st round when his RT was .007.
  • Jim Kovitch won the 'Almost Perfect Award' with a loss in the 1st round with the red light closest to .000 (Almost Perfect). Jim Kovitch's light was -0.004 and was rewarded a trophy from Old Bridge Township Raceway Park recognizing the effort put forth to try and capture a perfect light but just slightly red.
  • Vic Gandhi won the CCDV 'Closest to Dial Award' by running only .002 off his dial. Vic Gandhi was awarded a trophy and free tech card for a future race from Corvette Club of Delaware Valley.
  • Ohh so Close Award of Zaino productsJoe Blass won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Zaino when being edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0035. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although suffering a loss in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, Joe Blass earned a Zaino starter package that includes various Zaino products.
  • All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy . With 80 cars making this event, we Racing gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.

Next Two Races

April 14, 2007 happens to be our next two races as we make up our rain out in our first ever double header day where we will race one race in the first session and the next race in the second session. The day will also be a double header for our Cartek Racing Pro 10.0 index class. Gates open at 11 AM

April 21, 2007 - This will be our fourth points race of the year and second week in a row we race. The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout will return at this event for its second race of the season.

Visit the Drag Schedule at to view Raceway Park's schedule for other events and days for test and tuning.

As always, we couldn't enjoy our passion for racing without the tireless efforts of our coordinators - Edgar Perez, Bob Trieschmann, Dennis Kazimir, Joe Amodea and Paul Ziajski. We'd be reduced to time shots only without our sponsors - many thanks for the continued support of Corvette Challenge - East Coast Supercharging | Yank Racing Converters | Gear Star Transmission | Team Panuzzo | Corvette Club of Delaware Valley - CCDV | Spectrum Equipment Service | Simple Man | QTP - Quick Time Performance | Carroll's Rod & Racecraft | Kooks Custom Headers | CFM Racing | Tortolani Racing | Anger Management Racing | East Coast Corvettes | | Zaino Bros | Pro Torque | Perez Web Design

Pro 8 Shootout - The Vette Doctors | Carroll's Rod & Racecraft | PM Construction | Marchese Homes, LLC | Lucid Diagnostic Imaging Services, LLC

Pro 10.0 Index - Cartek Racing | Silly Goose Racing Stables | Best Western, East Brunswick, NJ | Marchese Homes, LLC .

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