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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

Rob Farley wins the 2003 ECS Corvette Challenge Top 4 Race

August 6, 2003 was a special day for the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge racers who held the top 4 spots in the 2003 points standings after 4 events. It was the day they were invited to participate in the 33rd Annual PC Richard & Son ALL AMERICAN JET CAR NATIONALS & MONSTER TRUCK CRUSH JAM at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ. This was the second year in which Corvette Challenge racers were given this opportunity to race in front of thousands of race hungry fans.

2003 points leader, Ralph Savarese returned to the Top 4 race, this time seeded number 1 as opposed to his number 2 seed last year. In a very odd situation, Rob Farley was earned a spot to the Top 4 race last year but gave it up in order to take his spot in the Heavy class. This year he missed the Top 4 by one position but was selected to replace Edgar Perez in the number 3 spot for 2003, who could not attend the race due to business travel. Making their first Top 4 race appearance were Joe Blass (#2) and John Panuzzo (#4). Panuzzo was in a points tie with Farley but was awarded the #4 spot due to winning the tie breaker. For the Corvette Challenge series the first tie breaker is number of events won. Both Panuzzo and Farley have each have one event win in 2003 so they were still tied. The second tie breaker is the negative number assigned to the drivers that determines a driver is holding a higher position in the standings, longer, which Panuzzo has.

Your participants were:

  1. Ralph Savarese, Mahopac, NY
  2. Joe Blass, Saugerties, NY
  3. Rob Farley (#5, Staten Island, NY) replacing Edgar Perez, Howell, NJ
  4. John Panuzzo, Somers, NY

John Mackey, Joe Blass, Ralph Savarese, John Panuzzo, Rob Farley, Bob Trieschmann

The Top 4 competitors head out for round one

Mackey, winner Farley, runner-up Savarese, Trieschmann

Drivers were given one time shot. Event winner Rob Farley used it to get rid of his worst light of the event with a .635. The first round saw Farley against Blass who came down with his usual supporting family and friends including wife Jeanne. Farley left first with a 13.68 dial to Blass' 12.42. He used a reaction time advantage of .534 to .596 to force Blass to breakout. Blass never did not quite catch Farley at the top end, missing the stripe by .0283. The other first round race featured Team Panuzzo with points leader Savarese against "The Boss" John Panuzzo. Panuzzo was reluctant to race a teammate, and this may have led to his not being able to advance to the final as Savarese took the win.

So we are ready for the final and have Farley on the right dialed 13.66 to Savarese's 12.04. Farley would leave first and leave well he did with a .510 reaction time. Savarese knowing Farley would be on his game hit the tree hard as well. Unfortunately for Ralph, a tad too hard as he left early with a .475 red light turning on the win light on the right for Farley. Both drivers ran it out nonetheless and Savarese ran 12.015 to Farley's 13.714. The winner and runner-up were each presented with a wall plaque featuring a clock, from Raceway Park.

A few interesting facts from today's Top 4 race were that each of the four participants have won one event this season. Also, all four drivers came from the neighboring state of New York with three of them driving over an hour to get to the race. Lastly, three of the four, Panuzzo, Savarese and Farley, race under the Team Panuzzo Racing flag. Team Panuzzo brought its support team in John's grandson and Ralph's daughter, cousin and his son and they all "had a ball". Our congratulations go out to all the participants of this event and great series and we look forward to doing it again in 2004.

For additional Event photos click here



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