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Louis Calicchia Takes The Win in 2009 Event 5

Edgar Perez

June 6, 2009 - Englishtown, NJ - The East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters completed its fifth race of the 2009 season today. Louis Calicchia went the six rounds needed to capture the win defeating Rookie of the Year contender Gary Hillen. Hillen went to his first final in the Corvette Challenge and also won the EFI 11.50 index class on the same day. He did this while driving a manually shifted 2008 Z06 Corvette which makes it an even more astounding feat. It was a beautiful for racing and we had our Corvette Challenge running in conjunction with our Pro 10 Double Index.

For today's Cartek Performance Engineering Pro 10 Double Index presented by J&M Motorsports coverage click here.

Runner Up Group Winner
Runner-up Gary Hillen Bob Trieschmann, Marshall Brown, Gary Hillen, Louis Calicchia, Al Salanitro, Edgar Perez. Winner Louis Calicchia
Photos by Mike Roberts. For over 7,000 Corvette Photos, click here.

Round 1: 48 Corvettes made the call for first round today meaning we will go six rounds. Gary Hillen, 2008 Corvette, was in the first pair out for the round. He would face Frank "Mr Mojo" Schear. Schear would leave first with a 13.13 dial and a .099 light. Hillen's light would be better at .080. He was dialed 11.50 and would take the win on the brakes with an 11.564 @ 101.29. Schear had a good run with a 13.251 on the 13.13 dial but he should probably stay away from dialing multiple 13's if he has any superstition in him at all. As usual several drivers would get to advance thanks to their opponent's relights. Today there were 8 of those out of the 24 pairings. Gary O'Connell came the closest with a -.005 that sent Joel Fellman to the next round. Incidentally, both of these drivers were driving a 1976 Corvette so it was sure there would be at least one 1976 in the second round. Vic Gandhi sent Dave Tortolani to the next round with a -.006 red-light. Dave cut the best light of the round with a .003 green and used the red-light win to run 11.183 on 11.20 dial. The worst of the bunch was Bill Fischer Sr who left -.275 early against Mike Bogdan. Mike did not need that kind of help as he went .004 green and ran 12.460 on 12.30 dial with the win. Weird the two best lights of the round were from drivers who had wins by red-light. That is not to say there were not other great lights in the round. Vick Perosa, driving a 1973 Corvette, went .023 green against points leader Eric Fischer. Eric however was .056 and closer on the dial of 11.80 going 11.820 to take the win. Ralph Savarese was driving his nephew's Blue Corvette dialed 10.08 and would race Edgar Perez dialed 10.45. Both driver's lights were similar with Perez going .041 to Savarese's .042. Ralph took the win going dead-on with a 6 while Perez was .023 over in the .0165 margin of victory race. Michael Archibald and Doug Bereczki had an even better pair of lights. Mike went .024 to Doug's .029. These two drivers, however, could not help breaking out with Archibald breaking out by .05 on the 12.51 dial while Doug went .068 under on his 14.39 dial with Archibald coming out on top for the win. East Coast Supercharging co-owner Chris Coriell, who normally runs our 11.50 index, took a shot at the brackets and came away with a first round win on the strength of an .023 light. His opponent Dennis Kazimir had an issue with the car and slowed considerably so Coriell slowed as well in taking the win. Kazimir's charging system had an issue (maybe he needs a "super" "charger") and did not have power to finish the run. Ralph Blauvelt went .033 green with his '88 Corvette while his opponent, sponsor Russ DeLibero, went red making it a done match. Anthony Cupolo brought out a new-to-him 1975 Corvette he plans to campaign in the 11.50 index as well. He would face Don Peppler Jr. in the first round. Peppler had a lead with his .111 light to Cupolo's .261 and was lucky to come away with the win he ran under his index by .003. He got the win because Cupolo went under by more going 11.692 on 11.80 dial.

Our eventual winner, Louis Calicchia would start his day facing Rookie of the Year contender Artie Chin. Both drivers coming from New York though Louis is from that win producing town of Mahopac and Artie from the "Island" in Massapequa Park. Chin was late on the tree, .302 with his 12.10 dial Corvette while Louis was all business with a .080 on his 11.57 dial. The tree advantage allowed Louis to close the gap and run a safe 11.659.

Other drivers who did not advance to the next round included David Hollingshead, who after a great start still remains in the top 5, Tony Abruzzi, John Hadyniak, Ray Sztabnik, Ken Tyler, Jerry Muniz, Bob Bearn, James Peins, Ron Higgins, (still in the '66), Ken Gallassio, Sheila Murchan, (have you noticed she is in the 12's?), Bill Young and Greg Errion (Eric Fischer's brother-in-law). Greg is a new addition to the series and plans to race his 1999 Black FRC as often as his work schedule allows.

Round 2: Rob Farley got us started when he defeated Mike Bogdan in the first match up of the round. Farley took an .063 to .178 starting line advantage to take the win running 11.538 sliding across the line at 107.58 in typical "Farley Slide" fashion on the 11.43 dial. Points leader Eric Fischer breathed a sigh of relief when he got away with a win on a .228 light. He did this because Joel Fellman could not go better than that with a .294. With the advantage on the tree, even in that territory, Fischer was able to advance slowing to an 11.886 on 11.80 dial. The second-best light of the round went to Louis Calicchia who laid down on our number seed, Dave Tortolani. Dave was late at .127 and Calicchia finished his day within 11.634 on 11.62 dial. The best light went to Chris Coriell, yes ECS Chris. He went .003 on the light againt Paul Bogdan who went red. Coriell moved on with an 11.588 on 11.50 dial. There were four reds this round with Ralph Blauvelt, Ralph Savarese and Ellis Gray each eliminating themselves from competition. Gary Hillen advanced when Jay McCardle broke. Ken Rammer put together solid package running 13.060 on 13.03 dial and .060 light to advance to the next round. He would send Shawn Cavanagh to an early shower (or shall we say recital as he was to attend his daughter's first dance recital later today) with a 10.555 on 10.50 dial and .137 light. Don Peppler Jr. would also advance with a better package over Michael Archibald.

2009 Event 5 Ladder

Round 3: With twelve drivers left for round three there would be no bye run yet. Calicchia would be on the track first against former class Champion, Bob Trieschmann. Bob T. would leave first with a 12.85 dial and .081 light. Louis would follow with an 11.62 dial and .061 light. Calicchia got the better on both ends of the track running 11.635 on the11.62 dial. Next up would be Peppler Jr and Alfred Salanitro. "Nitro" was in the trouble as Peppler tree'd him .008 (tie for best of he round) to his .126. A tenth is too big a window to give one of our better drivers and Pepp took the win on the brakes with a 13.587 on the 13.44 dial though Nitro was closer on the dial, 13.686 on 13.65. A name we had not heard in a while, Jason Anderson, showed no signs of being rusty as he was in the third round and would draw our point's leader, Eric Fischer. Fischer dialed 11.80 would leave first with Anderson dial 11.10. Fischer was red and Anderson was moving on with a free pass at 10.908 @ 132.56 on his 11.10 dial. Hillen would face Ken Baranski next. Baranski dialed 14.73 would leave first and Gary would follow with an 11.50 dial. Baranski wins the battle on the tree, .037 to .081 but not the important round battle. He drove too quick, 14.716 and Hillen was on the way to the next round. Still a good day for Ken. Rookie of the Year contender Bruce Kopcko would face multi-time Champ Rob Farley this round. He did a great good getting the reaction time advantage over Rob with a .044 to .079. The famous Farley Slide would be in trouble and Kopcko would run 13.092 on 13.08 dial. Farley would run under trying to catch him, ending his day. Kudos to Bruce for saving his best pass of the day for the right time. The final pair was Rammer and Coriell. Coriell continued his annihilation of the tree with a .008 light. Rammer was away with a .094. He ran a 13.07 on 13.05 dial and took the win when Coriell fell off pace on his 11.50 dial only managing an 11.665.

Round 4: Six drivers left in it and half of them have not won a Corvette Challenge in the past. Hillen hits the track first with Jason Anderson. Hillen kills the tree with a .018 on his 11.50 dial. Anderson, dialed 11.10 would leave next but went red. His -.009 dial puts an end to his return. Both drivers use the pass to run under their dials with Anderson going 10.792 @ 133.48 and Hillen going 11.265 @ 126.76. Calicchia is up next against Peppler Jr. Pepp would leave first with a 13.40 dial and .145 light. Calicchia would follow with 11.62 dial and .104 light. He would finish the pass going dead on 11.623 to take the win over Peppler who broke out going 13.290. The final pair would be Ken Rammer again Kopcko. This one was near heads-up. 13.08 for Kopcko and 13.05 for Rammer. Rammer creamed the tree with a .014 to Kopcko's .109. That was enough to allow Ken to take the win and advance to the semi-final round.

Round 5 - Semi-final: Now there are only three left. The bye would go to Louis Calicchia by virtue of his knocking out the number one seed, Dave Tortolani. He made a half pass and did not get a full time in his single. Hillen would face Rammer for the other spot in the final. Rammer dialed 13.08 to Hillen's 11.50. The tree comes down and Rammer rolls out and lights the red by only four thousandths of a second. Red is red however and Hillen was on the way to his first Corvette Challenge final with a .055 and 11.489 on 11.50 pass.

Round 6 - Final: Gary Hillen, is a Rookie in this series. He also drives a manual transmission Corvette which is not a common combo to have in the final. On top of that he is doing double duty running in the GM EFI 11.50 index which he went on to win. He is doing great up till now. Louis Calicchia is also doing great going dead-on twice today thus far. This is Louis' third trip to the finals in the Corvette Challenge so you have to think the odds are in his favor. He dials his Silver Corvette in at 11.62. Hillen would follow closely behind with an 11.50 dial. Calicchia is off green with a .090 light. Shortly after Hillen moves and he lights the red light!! Tough break to lose your first final that way going -.009 red. Calicchia runs it out with the win light on and goes 11.564 @ 118.47. This makes Louis a perfect 3-0 in Corvette Challenges finals. He defeated Rob Farley in 2003 Event 11 and Jeanne Linke in 2008 Event 8 previously. If it is any consolation for Hillen, those are both former champions and could be an omen of things to come for him. It was a great day of racing and both drivers did a good job slicing through the field to get to the final. Congratulations to both.

Corvette Challenge Points Update

Eric Fischer came in and leaves with the points lead. He picks up three points to move to 19 with the two event wins for the lead. Calicchia's win today catapulted him from 7th to 2nd place. His seven points bring him to a total of 16 with the event win. David Hollingshead and Bob Trieschmann are effectively tied for 3rd place with 14 points each. Ellis Gray falls to fifth with 13 points and one event win. Ralph Savarese and Don Peppler Jr move up to a tie for sixth place, each with 13 points and no event wins this year. You will notice all drivers now have a negative number for the tiebreaking system. Here is a refresher on the points system if you need help on what the negative number means.

2009 Points information

The 2009 East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge, Anger Management Racing Pro 8 Shootout, Cartek Racing Pro 10 and Anger Management Racing Pro 11.50 class points will be officially kept by Raceway Park and will also appear on this website.  You MUST sign up for points if you wish to compete for the Championship.  You do not have to sign up for points to participate but you do have to sign up for points to be eligible for POINTS prizes.  The 2009 East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters is a part of the Raceway Park Sunoco Saturday Points Series.

Points are earned only for the class in which you compete. Any driver can chose to sign up for any and all classes (Corvette Challenge or any of three "Pro" classes), separately. If you plan on competing in the Raceway Park Points Series for 2009 the points will be as follows;

Please Note, this points system only applies to the Corvette Challenge (Bracket) series. Pro 8 Shootout, Pro 10 Double-Index and Pro 11.50 Index have a different points system.

  1. By signing up for points by the first points day you will receive 1 point.
  2. By staging your car in the first round of eliminations, you will receive 1 point.
  3. For each round you win during eliminations, you will receive 1 point.
  4. Tie breaker positions are as follows
    1. Number of elimination wins
    2. The rating point system (also called power points) will be in effect at the end of our fifth race on our schedule.  At the end of each race starting with the fifth, you will be assigned a number based on what position you are in the points standings(or tied for).  That number will be represented as a negative number next to your total points. Lower number is better. For example if in the first week of the rating system you hold the number one position, you will be assigned a -1.  If the following week you are in 3rd place you will be assigned a -3.  Your total negative number will be -4.  If a driver finished in fourth place (-4) week one and then first in week 2 (-1) and you both have the same number of points, you will win the tie breaker because you have a -4 vs. his/her -5.  Confused? Contact Edgar Perez and I can try to explain better .
    3. A Run-off on the last day of Points.

Raceway Park is the official keeper of points. On the Saturday after a race, we will post preliminary point standings on this website. Complete and official points will be posted here after Raceway Park posts them on Tuesday following a race. Power points will not be updated until Tuesday. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure points are calculated correctly. Discrepancies must be reported to Raceway Park before the next race's points are calculated in order to get credit for the points

2009 Corvette Challenge Standings
Corvette drivers page with more driver information

Rookie of the Year Update

Two of our Rookies did well this race. Gary Hillen's runner-up performance vaulted him to the top of the Rookie standings with 11 points total. This gives him a three point lead over rookies Artie Chin, who came in the leader, and Bruce Kopcko who's performance today moved him into that tie for second place with 7 points each. Bob Bearn and Mike Bogdan are each tied for 4th in this five man chase with 4 points each. Best of luck to the rookies along the way.
Rookie of the Year Standings

Spectrum Equipment Service Gear Jammer Award Update

Don Peppler, Jr continues to lead in the category he has won three years in a row. His total of 13 points is two more than Gary Hillen though Gary's runner-up performance today did close the gap some. Tom Smith is in third with nine total, two back of Hillen. Michael Archibald follows Smith trailing by 1 while Peter LoPresti trails Archibald by 1 as well. 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 their manual transmission Corvette.
Gear Jammer Standings.

Awards Handed Out at this Event

  • Dave Tortolani won the 'Best Winning Reaction Time - 1st Round' plaque presented by Raceway Park for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. Dave Tortolani was quickest on the tree with the win light in the 1st round when with a .003 reaction time.
  • Gary OConnell won the 'Almost Perfect Award' with a loss in the 1st round with the red light closest to .000 (Almost Perfect). Gary OConnell's light was -0.005 and was awarded a plaque from Old Bridge Township Raceway Park recognizing the effort put forth to try and capture a perfect light but just slightly red.
  • Ken Rammer won the CCDV 'Closest to Dial Award' by running only .000 off his dial. Ken Rammer was awarded a plaque and free tech card for a future race from Corvette Club of Delaware Valley.
  • Edgar Perez won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Zaino when being edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0165. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although suffering a loss in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, Edgar Perez earned a Zaino starter package that includes various Zaino products.
  • All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy. With 59 cars making this event, we sure gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.

Next Two Races

July 11, 2009 with gates opening at 9:30 AM. This will be our fifth points race of the year. Race day will also feature the third race of the year for the Pro 8 Shootout and Pro 11.50 Index. Come be a part of the excitement with three classes running on the same day.

July 25, 2009 with the gates opening 9:30 AM. This will be our sixth and final points race to determine the driver who will be invited to the Wednesday not PC Richard & Son Show on August 5th. Best of luck to all the drivers.

Visit the Drag Schedule at to view Raceway Park's schedule for other events and days for test and tuning. Come out and race or just enjoy the racing action.

As always, we couldn't enjoy our passion for racing without the tireless efforts of our coordinators - Edgar Perez, Bob Trieschmann, Dennis Kazimir and Rob Farley. 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 | 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 | | | Zaino Bros | Pro Torque | Perez Web Design

Pro 8 Shootout - American Racing Headers | Carroll's Rod & Racecraft | PM Construction

Pro 10.0 Index - Cartek Performance Engineering | J&M Motorsports | Best Western, East Brunswick, NJ | M & B Performance

Pro 11.50 Index - Anger Management Racing | Russ DeLibero Emerald Financial Resources | Wild Rover Racing | DeFelice Chevrolet Parts

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