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The 2016 Nola Mardi Gras in October

COTA was Duntov’s biggest race of the year, as well it should be. This year Duntov serviced seven cars.

This will be Duntov’s last race of the year. There are several cars to build at the shop and all the cars that Duntov maintains will be getting a thorough going through getting ready for SVRA Sebring in March 2017.

The 2016 Spring Vintage Festival at Road America

This year’s National Championships saw the first post restoration race of Duntov’s 1988 Trans-Am Corvette. The car had not been raced since 2004, and had spent most of the intervening years in Australia. With two ocean voyages under its belt, the car needed a complete and total restoration, and it got one. The car showed plenty of speed during practice, but a leaking oil pump and time demands relative to the other cars forced us to park the car for the rest of the weekend. It will be at Sebring with a new oil pump and lots of mid-winter testing, and it will be plenty fast!

Road America International Challenge

Susie Patterson after her first session in her Spitfire ? The second session didn’t go as well.

Susie Patterson had a race weekend from Hell. Her normally reliable Devin blew a freeze plug, lost its water and quit running. She then bought a Triumph Spitfire that was supposed to be ready to race. Edward took it out as a safety check and it blew its differential on the first lap. The Duntov crew came up with a Spitfire differential, but it looked like it had been buried in the ground for decades. It took until midnight to get it cleaned up inside and out and installed in the car

Clair Schwendeman’s car was down on power again, not dramatically, but enough that he was outside the top ten in Group 6 for the first time in recent memory. The crew changed everything, and even ran a session without the air cleaner to no avail. It was time for an overhaul anyway, so by Sebring 2017, Clair will for sure have his horses back and more. Clair did lead the Group 6 enduro, but a late and unfortunately missed pit stop call caused him to run out of gas with ten minutes to go in the ninety minute race. What a waste!

Road America International Challenge

Tony Parella and his co-driver Edward Sevadjian win the Vintage Enduro National Championship

Tony Parella did better in the Vintage Enduro, winning the 60 minute race by 1:48. There were twenty-six starters. Tony’s winning small-block Corvette had a fastest lap of 2:26.2, making it the third fastest Group 6 lap of the weekend. It’s interesting that two out of the three fastest Corvettes in vintage racing’s biggest weekend were small-blocks.

Road America International Challenge

Tony Parella in his 1958 Corvette

Tony Parella was able to spend more time in his racecars at COTA this year than he was able to in the past, no doubt because of the excellent work by his SVRA support staff! Tony finished ahead of all the Corvettes in his class, and ended up third in Group 4 to a multi-million dollar Lister Corvette and a Lotus 17. It was a great job by Tony who still missed several sessions getting up to speed

Road America International Challenge

Edward Sevadjian in Jim Kitzmiller’s Corvette at the start of the qualifying race.

Jim Kitzmiller brought his incomparable big-block Corvette to defend last year’s Group 6 National Championship. Jim again put Duntov’s Edward Sevadjian behind the wheel, and again Edward put the car on the pole, this time by 1.2 seconds over runner up Peter Klutt. Edward won the qualifying race over Klutt and backed that up in the feature race where he turned a 2:23.085, a full 1.7 seconds quicker than Klutt, and the fastest Group 6 lap ever turned at Circuit of the Americas. Curt Vogt was third in his Mustang.

Road America International Challenge

Rick Parent, just doing his job.

Before the feature race, SVRA Technical Director Rick Parent came by the Duntov trailer and told the crew to prepare for a displacement check! He said he was checking all the fastest Group 6 cars, not just the three Duntov prepared Corvettes. Even Tony’s small block got pumped! Of course, all was well with the Duntov cars and with everyone else in Group 6 that Rick checked.

Road America International Challenge

Sami Schwendeman on the glass floor of the COTA tower!

Road America International Challenge

Sunday ended with a torrential rain and a rainbow over the tower – it was a hell of a weekend!

The 2016 Nola Mardi Gras in October

Edward Sevadjian about to take the Devin on a test run Sunday Morning

SVRA and Trans-Am teamed up to put on a great show at the recently repaved NOLA Motorsports Park. Just like last year, the racing was good, the party was terrific and New Orleans is always a great place to spend a weekend.

Duntov brought Tony Parella’s 1958 Corvette, Susie Patterson’s Devin-MG and Clair Schwendeman’s 1968 Corvette. Tony’s ’58 is getting faster with every race. As usual Tony missed most of the sessions tending to SVRA business, and when he took the car out for the Group 4 race a shock broke, and the car instantly went from neutral handling to impossible.

Susie brought her whole family along with her newest baby kangaroo. The Devin was prepared for a Gold Medallion inspection, but unfortunately the Gold Medallion transmission expired on the second day! The Duntov team drove all night to deliver a new transmission from the Duntov factory and the guys installed it at the track the next morning. All went well; Susie got her Gold Medallion logbook and the car made the next session and was perfect for the rest of the weekend.

The 2016 Spring Vintage Festival at Road America

Duntov mechanics Tim Gutowski and Clete Weldon prepare Susie’s back up transmission.

Clair qualified second to a lightweight original 427 Cobra driven by Phil Mulacek. Clair won the Saturday race as Mulacek spun, then worked his way back to second. In Sunday’s feature race, Clair started on the pole but was beaten by Mulacek to the first turn, but then exited turn one in the lead. Mulacek said his mirror fell off and he didn’t know where Clair was, so he went wide and let several cars by before rejoining. Again he worked his way back, this time to fourth overall and second in class A Production. Clair won by over twenty seconds and turned the fastest lap of the race. Third in A Production was Jim Sandberg in his immaculate 1969 427 Corvette.

Two weeks before the race Tony Parella announced the 2017 schedule and the New Orleans race didn’t make the cut. It is unfortunate, as it is a great track, and everyone enjoyed racing there. The COTA National Championship race is only three weeks from the NOLA event and many racers skipped NOLA to be ready for COTA.

Road America International Challenge

Susie Patterson celebrates her silver medal with class winner Tony Parella after Saturday’s race. Susie’s kangaroo was again front and center, and was by far the most popular pet in the paddock.

Road America International Challenge

At impound after Sunday’s feature race ?race winner Clair ‘s Corvette and Phil’s original big block Cobra

Road America International Challenge

The Big Block Podium – L-R Phil Mulacek, Clair Schwendeman and Jim Sandburg

The 2016 VIR

Dawn at VIR in the Duntov paddock

Every year the Duntov team has put VIR on the schedule but this year was the first time we actual made it, but it won’t be the last. What a fantastic racetrack, and what a beautiful facility. There is not a straight section on the track more than a few hundred yards long. The straightaways defy their designation. It is a serious track for serious road racers, and it is especially challenging for big-bore production cars that typically don’t like rapid direction changes at high speeds.

The Duntov crew consisted of the father and son team of Alan and Edward Sevadjian taking care of Susie Patterson’s Devin MG and Tony Parella’s 1972 small block Corvette. Tony knew he wouldn’t have time to get in much more than a practice session or two and then hopefully run the enduro. There was a lot going on and Tony’s time at the races is always short.

Tony drove one session on Thursday and almost a third of a lap on Friday. During the out lap of Friday’s first practice session, Tony got rammed by a red Mustang. It was a hard hit, and we were fortunate to have installed a heavy chrome moly bumper that protected the fuel cell. The impact destroyed the tail light section of the fiberglass body and both dented and bent in the .120 wall inch-and-a-half fuel cell protective frame.

The 2016 VIR

On the list of bone-head moves you can make on a racetrack, smashing into another car on the out lap of the first practice session has to be pretty near the top. Fortunately that almost never happens in SVRA racing.

Trackside repairs were made and Edward took the car out in the next session to make sure everything else was OK, and it was. Susie Patterson had raced at Coronado Island the weekend before, only 2533 miles west of VIR. Her car ran OK at Coronado, but had a major low RPM miss during the first session that had the crew busy for the rest of the day.

The SVRA VIR race weekend is last event of the East Coast SVRA racing season as well as the site of the annual awards banquet. The banquet was outstanding with great food, ample bar service, and a fast-paced program. The Duntov table took home a lot of trophies! Susie Patterson won the Rookie of the Year award along with the Group 4 point’s championship. Clair Schwendeman was the winner of both the Group 6 point’s championship and the Group 6 enduro point’s championship. The trophies were really nice!


Susie Patterson gets a standing ovation as she is presented the Rookie of the Year Award.

Sunday morning was the sixty minute “little enduro.” It had some interesting sub-plots. For one, John Koch, who ‘Pro Mechanic of the Year” at the awards banquet the night before not only got the recognition and a nice trophy, he also got to drive his bosses racecar in the enduro. In fact he started the super fast Curt Vogt Boss 302 Mustang from pole position, and did a great job. Tony started on the outside of the front row and followed Koch for a couple of laps before passing him for the lead. Tony’s lead didn’t last long, as first Travis Engen in his Lotus 23 passed him and then Bill Keith in a Porsche 911 RSR did as well. Tony ran eleven laps and brought it in for fuel and a driver’s change.

Edward got in and after a 5 minute 9 second pit stop he joined the race in seventh place. In the next 15 laps Edward lowered his lap time almost every lap to eventually pass for the lead on the dirty line on the outside of the kink on the front straightaway. He went on to set the fastest Group 6 lap time of the race and of the weekend. It was a thrill to watch not only because of the clinic Edward was putting on, but because Curt Vogt had taken over the Mustang after 13 solid laps run by his mechanic, and he immediately headed for the lead as well. This was Edwards first time at VIR and only his third session on the track, so he was still learning the track as Curt was turning fast lap after fast lap trying to catch up. In only five laps Curt passed for third, and in five more laps he passed Travis Engen for second, but by this time, Edward was turning faster laps than Curt and the race was over. It was by far the race of the weekend.


L-R John Koch, Curt Vogt, Tony Parella and Edward Sevadjian ? Curt not quite as happy as the others!

Susie ran again in Group 4 at VIR, in class 4FM. The winning car was also in class 4FM, but it was a 1960 rear engined Elva racecar that was 40 seconds a lap faster than Susie’s 1952 MG-TD special. It seems illogical to put those two cars in the same class!

Road America International Challenge

Susie Patterson with Joey Bojalad, first and second in class 4FM

One of SVRA’s sponsors is Texas-based Royal Purple, manufacturers of a terrific line of synthetic lubricants for high-performance cars. They were shooting a commercial at VIR and chose Duntov’s Edward Sevadjian and Cobra Automotive’s Curt Vogt for on camera interviews.

Road America International Challenge

SVRA’s Ben Cissell (right) directing the Royal Purple commercial shoot with Edward Sevadjian

Road America International Challenge

Susie Patterson with her second place silver medal after the Group 4 feature race at VIR.

The SVRA U. S. Vintage Grand Prix is always one of the best events of the year. It has it all – a fantastic and historic track, usually beautiful early fall weather, tremendous local spectator turn out and one of the largest entries of the year. The race wasn’t on the calendar in 2015, as the track was being repaved, so the turnout for the 2016 race was huge.

Duntov brought Tony Parella’s 1958 Corvette, his 1972 Group 6 Corvette, and Clair’s 1968 Corvette. Tony planned to run his Group 6 car in the enduro, the Group 4 car in the two sprint races and Clair planned to run everything.

The 2016 Spring Vintage Festival at Road America

Clair and Tony on the false grid

For the enduros, Group 6 has been split up so the small block cars run in the 60-minute “little enduro,” and the big block cars run in the 90-minute “big enduro.” It’s unfortunate, as Clair is normally the only big block Group 6 car that runs the enduros and with the split group, he doesn’t have anyone in his class to race.

The 2016 Spring Vintage Festival at Road America

Tony and his daughter Adrienne ready to head to town and the reenactment of the early fifties city street races.

Road America International Challenge

One way to look at it – Perhaps Clair all the year’s negatives over with at Watkins Glen.

The 2016 U. S. Vintage Grand Prix was a race Clair would like to forget. After a run of nine straight races during which he had zero problems and never missed a session, everything seemed to go wrong this weekend. All weekend the engine was way down on power, and the crew didn’t discover the problem until they got back home. After two and a half years in the car, the differential blew up and the spare wasn’t plumbed for a diff cooler. It is not a good idea to run an endurance race in a big block Corvette without a diff cooler, but they did it anyway and blew that one up as well! Oddly, many Corvette differentials blew up at the recently repaved track this weekend, in fact after Clair’s second diff blew, no one had a spare because everyone who had brought a spare had had a failure and had to put it in the car. The widespread and unprecedented diff failures may have been related to the new pavement.

Road America International Challenge

ard refuels Tony’s car during the “little enduro” with Tony manning the mandatory fire extinguisher

Tony’s cars both ran perfectly all weekend. His ’58 Corvette qualified on the Pole in BP. He wasn’t able to run the first Group 4 race, but he ran the second one and finished second in BP, fourth overall. In the enduro with his Group 6 small block car, Tony again finished fourth overall, but was first in Group 6.

Road America International Challenge

SVRA’s Kim Hoxie hangs the bronze metal on Clair after the first enduro. He looks quite happy, but not really!

In Saturday’s Group 6 sprint race, Clair finished 7th overall and third in AP. The car was about 100 horsepower down on power. After blowing up the second differential during the enduro, Clair had to miss the Group 6 feature race that was won in spectacular fashion by Peter Klutt.

Klutt had blown up his differential in the first Group 6 race, so he had to start at the back in Sunday’s feature race and sliced through the field to pass for the lead on the last lap. It was good to see Klutt take the win after the miserable race he had at Indy, and it sets the stage for the next race at COTA where he will get to race the Duntov team for the National Championship.

Road America International Challenge

Ashley Patterson, David Hobbs and Susie Patterson at the Siebkens Hotel in Elkhart Lake

Tony didn’t make the Elkhart Lake event, so there was no reason to change differentials and get his big-block Corvette back on track. Garin and Edward had Susie’s Devin to attend to, and Edward had been offered a drive in a Trans-Am 2 Camaro for the weekend. It was definitely light duty for the minimum crew Duntov team.

As was the case in Portland, the Duntov crew hung with the VIP’s. This time it was David Hobbs, who politely accommodated every photo request.

Road America International Challenge

Susie is assisted by her daughter, Ashley and Duntov’s Dennis Kramer and Edward Sevadjian

For Susie, the racing at Road America was not the greatest. The event draws a great field of powerful big bore cars, but not much in the smaller classes. The Devin-MG’s peak power is 95 horsepower, and it is a peaky power curve at that! Under acceleration, at every gearshift the RPM’s drop off to where the engine only makes about 50 horsepower, and there weren’t many cars at Road America that were that handicapped in the engine department.

Road America International Challenge

During practice, Susie leading one of many Corvairs that at the event.

Road America International Challenge

Edward ended up only getting one session in the Camaro.

Road America International Challenge

Ashley and Susie preparing to do the Elkhart Lake parade

Sebring HSR 2015

Al Unser Junior, Garin Ungerman, Al Unser and Edward Sevadjian at Portland

Portland was the first stop on Duntov’s annual 6,000 mile two-race July road trip. This year they brought Tony Parella’s 1965 big block roadster that Ray Evernham and Bill Elliott drove at Indy. Tony had taken the car in on trade and it was supposed to be race-ready. They never are! The car threw a driveshaft at Indy, and backed that up with another DNF at Portland.

Four-time Indy 500 winner, Al Unser was the Grand Marshall of the event, and he was joined for the weekend by his son, two-time Indy 500 winner Al Junior. The Unser’s turned out to be great people, and they spent most of the weekend with the Duntov guys. Al Senior even got in a few laps in Tony’s blue roadster.

Susie Patterson ran her Devin-MG, and of course it was her first time there, so she was just learning the track. SVRA sponsor Robert Talbot’s CEO, Bob Corliss drove the blue roadster through Saturday, and Tony took it over for Sunday’s feature race as Corliss had to leave early. It was Tony’s first time in the car and he started at the back and turned the third fastest Group 6 time as he cut through the field right up until the differential blew up.

It was then on to Road America for the annual Brian Redman event.

Sebring HSR 2015

Susie Patterson with Edward Sevadjian and the Devin-MG Special at Mid-Ohio

With only the two Group 4 cars making the trip from Indianapolis, Mid Ohio was almost an off week for the team. None of the Duntov Group 6 regulars were able to make the race.

It was Susan Patterson first visit to the iconic track, and she made steady progress all weekend. Tony Parella was able to drive almost every session in his ’58 Corvette, which is rare for Tony. His SVRA CEO duties always come first, so it was great seeing him make all the sessions and give himself a fighting chance in the races.

In Saturday’s Group 4 race, Tony finished fourth overall and third in B Production. The crew changed his differential after the Saturday race, and the shorter ratio helped. Tony went a full second faster on Sunday and finished second overall in Group 4, and first in class.

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The Duntov garages at dusk at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The third annual Brickyard Invitational was well run as usual, with lots of good weather and no luck whatsoever for the Duntov race team.

Indy is always an ambitious event, but this year it was over the top. We had Jim Kitzmiller’s National Championship winning 1969 Corvette that was scheduled to be driven by Edward Sevadjian and Willie T. Ribbs in the Celebrity Pro-Am. Along with that we had two other big block Corvettes for Clair Schwendeman and Ray Evernham. The Evernham car was owned by Tony Parella, and was to be co-driven by NASCAR legend Bill Elliott. Duntov also had two other Parella cars to service, the red number 05 small block 1972 Corvette and his black 1958 Corvette. Duntov also serviced Susie Patterson’s blue Devin MG and Alan was asked to drive (and of course service) Sam Lecomte’s blue 1967 Camaro. Tony had Duntov bring the 05 car in case it was needed for the Pro-Am. That turned out to be the case.

The drama started for us on Wednesday. Edward was first out in Kitzmiller’s Corvette and he immediately turned what would be the fastest Group 6 lap of the weekend. The car was perfect. Its last race was the Group 6 feature at COTA last year, which Edward won by a whisker with an engine that was slightly off song. Following an engine overhaul, Edward and Jim tested the car at Eagles Canyon almost every week in preparation for Indy. Willie came up for the final test and he was clearly impressed. The prep work had paid off, and the car was a rocket ship.

It was Willie T. Ribbs’s turn in the car, and as he drove it he didn’t seem to notice the water and steam coming out from under the hood. When he came in, the crew noticed and traced the problem to a faulty water pump. The engine was cooked and the car had to be retired for the weekend. Edward and Willy moved to the backup car, Tony’s 72 Corvette.

Clair was matched with Richie Hearn who flew in from his full-time job at the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School at Spring Mountain, Nevada. Ron turned out to be a real ringer – he was quick right off the bat, while many of the other Indy pros were not all that comfortable in the vintage hot rods. The pairing of Schwendeman and Hearn ended up finishing second in the Pro-Am, but only because they were black flagged for taking an inch or two off the chicane and had to serve a drive-through penalty. That cost them almost 40 seconds. Without that, they would have won. It is a tribute to the two drivers that they finished second in spite of the penalty!

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Clair leads Al Unser, Jr. in the Pro-Am. Peter Klutt and Unser Jr. finished third.

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Clair Schwendeman and Richie Hearn pose with their traditional bottles of milk.

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Edward standing with Willie T. Ribbs in their backup car during Pro-Am practice

Edward didn’t bother to run the 05 car in the first qualifying session but in the second session he qualified the car on the pole. Duntov had four of the thirty-three cars in the Pro-Am race. Edward and Willie finished 18th when their engine went off-song about the time the green flag fell. Amazingly, they came in second among the Duntov entries. The Evernham / Bill Elliott big-block 65 Corvette only made five laps when the driveshaft broke. Tony had taken this car in on trade and was assured it was “race-ready,” and it was, as long as it was a four lap race. The car, however, did not finish last. Last place went to Sam Lecomte’s Camaro that Alan got a whole four laps in before its engine exploded. Alan coasted to and stopped in the middle of Indy oval Turn One, a perfect place to watch the race safely out of everyone’s way.

Sebring HSR 2015

The Evernham / Elliott big-block 1965 Corvette. It was OK when it was running, but it didn’t run for long.

Sebring HSR 2015

Neither Bill Elliott nor Jaques Lazier got in their cars during the race, but both took it like the pros they are.

After the Pro-Am, the Group 6 races didn’t seem all that important. Three of the four cars Duntov had in the Pro-Am were out, so only Clair 1968 Corvette made the grid. He turned his fastest lap of the weekend and finished third on Sunday, so Clair got another trip to the podium and another memorial bottle of milk.
The enduro was typical of how the whole weekend went for Alan. After Sam Lecomte’s Camaro blew up and finished last in the Pro-Am, Alan was looking forward to a repeat of last year’s Indy enduro win as he was again teamed with Clair Schwendeman. Alan was suited up and ready to go when an alert crewmember noticed the left front caliper was leaking. A replacement caliper was fitted to the car and the bleeding process was underway as the field left the false grid. There would be no repeat win tor the Clair Schwendeman / Alan Sevadjian team this year, as they never even got on track.

Sebring HSR 2015

Tony in his beloved 58 Corvette

Unfortunately during major events Tony rarely gets a chance to enjoy driving his cars and competing on the racetrack. He is under constant attack from all directions as SVRA’s CEO and as the default court of last resort for every driver with a beef. This weekend he got in exactly two sessions in his black 58 Corvette. He retired after running in the lead pack during the first Group 4 race.

Sebring HSR 2015

Susie Patterson in her 1952 Devin MG Special.

Susie Patterson had a ball at Indy. Her car is an MG-TD with a Devin body. The car only has 95 horsepower, and those horses only show up in a narrow RPM band. Below 5000 it makes about 40 horsepower. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have enough power to get up to a speed where the Devin’s aerodynamic shape could make a difference. The book slots the Devin in Group 4, but it really should be in Group 1 where it would still be a challenge, even for the likes of Ayrton Senna. Group 1 is supposed to be way slower than Group 4, but at Indy the pole time in Group 1 was three seconds faster than the pole in Group 4!

Susie qualified 45 seconds off the Group 1 pole time of a 1961 Lotus 20. The amazing thing about Susie is she doesn’t seem to mind. She is always a pleasure to be around, and she loves that Devin. If only she would let Duntov put a Chevy in that car. Then Susie would have something for that Lotus.

Saturday’s Group 6 race saw Jody O’Donnell’s big block Corvette stay extremely wide for almost an entire race, much to the irritation of a determined Peter Klutt in his A Production small block Corvette. Finally Klutt went off trying another pass and seemed doomed to second when Jody looked in the mirror for Klutt while going down the main straightaway and missed his braking point for Turn 1. He spun and gave the race back to Klutt.

Klutt had had enough and didn’t run on Sunday, and the top three were the same without him – O’Donnell, Wall (Cobra) and Clair Schwendeman in his Duntov Corvette. Larry Ligas just beat out Andre Ahrle’s Cobra for fourth.

The spring race at Road America is always a little early for the local weater pattern. In the past SVRA racers have experienced snow, torrential rain and hurricane force winds. This year it was extreme cold mixed with a light dusting of snow.

The 2016 Spring Vintage Festival at Road America

Qualifying went about as expected with Clair Schwendeman taking pole position by two seconds over the Camaro of local veteran racer Ray Mulacek. In the Saturday feature, Clair went to sleep on the first lap and let Ray get by in Turn 6. That got Clair’s attention and he got around Mulacek and went on to win by 7.6 seconds, with the Group 12 Corvette driven by Kirk Blaha third overall.

SVRA has a new podium procedure for Group 6, with big-block AP cars on one podium while everyone else competes for a separate podium. It is rather bizarre, because in the case of the AP podium for the first Group 6 race at Road America, Rick Mooney was in the third place position on the podium, but actually finished fourth overall.

The 2016 Spring Vintage Festival at Road America

L-R, Proud Trump supporter Ray Mulacek, Clair Schwendeman and Rick Mooney

Road America International Challenge

Clair Schwendeman being interviewed for local TV after the race.

Road America with its long straights is the worst possible track for the underpowered Devin MG, and SVRA moved Susie from her normal Group 4 into the slower Group 1 where she was still thirty-eight seconds off the fastest lap of the Group winner. Susie never made a mistake and drove the car as fast as it could go. It just doesn’t have enough power to mix it up at a long and fast track like Road America.

Road America International Challenge

Susie ready to rumble in her 1952 Devin-MG

Road America International Challenge

Susie Patterson at Turn 5 in her 1952 Devin MG Special

Alan and Clair hoped to erase their only enduro loss in 2015. At Road America last year, the team chose not to stop for a second mandatory pit stop during an extended yellow flag period, which caused them to finish third behind a Porsche and a Camaro who both stopped twice under yellow. This year Alan found a new way to lose a Road America Enduro when he started the pit stop timer almost 10 seconds before the official pit entrance timing cone. The result was a pit stop several seconds short of five minutes and a black flag.

In the Sunday Group 6 race, Clair did not give Mulacek another chance and was on the ball from the green flag. He won by 10 seconds with Mulacek again second and Rick Mooney finishing third this time.

Road America International Challenge

This time the politically correct asked Mulecek to lose the Trump hat.

Tony Parella never got a chance to run a lap in his Group 4 1958 Corvette. Sometimes that is the way it goes in the racing life of the SVRA owner and CEO.

After Sebring, the Duntov crew drove 1210 miles back to the shop in Dallas, and a week later headed back out to Amelia Island, Florida for the second race of the season.

The race was held on an active airport, and more than a few SVRA drivers flew their own planes right on to the racetrack. SVRA went all out on this inaugural event and most competitors thought it was a winner. After this year's good vibrations, next year should be special.

Tony Parella had both his 58 Corvette and his Pre-War car and he drove both of them harder than they have ever been driven.

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Tony's Pre-War car got a thrashing as well, as this normally mild mannered group got a collective case of Amelia Island red mist. They put on quite a show for the approximately 15,000 spectators.

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No roll bar, mechanical brakes, and suspension built during the depression – No problem!

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Colby Hillman ran his beautiful Corvette on Saturday but skipped out on Sunday.

For us the 2016 racing season got underway at Sebring, Florida the first of March.  The paddock was jammed with racecars.  SVRA was the main event but the weekend also featured both the Trans-Am and the Historic Trans-Am series, as it was the 50th anniversary of the Trans-Am series. 
The 2016 Sebring Trans Am winner was old enough to have won the first race as well.  79 year Kenny Bupp took the checker, and 70 year old Kerry Hitt finished second.  If that is not inspiration for all the old guys in vintage racing…

Our own Clair Schwendeman won both the Group 6 races, making this the 4th win in the last 5 years for Duntov at the Sebring SVRA season opener.

Sebring HSR 2015
Sebring HSR 2015

After Clair's Saturday win, a spectator came up to Clair's car in the Duntov tent and loudly proclaimed "Whoever set this car up is a God!" He was apparently impressed!

We prepared and provided trackside service on Tony Parella's immaculate 1958 Corvette. It ran better than ever and Tony leaned on it pretty hard.

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We also brought two other C3 Corvettes for Colby Hillman and Mark Hilderbrand. 

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Colby Hillman in his famous "Mr. Feathers" that he raced back in the 70's

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Mark drove his streetcar into Duntov's shop and out came this race car!

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This was an unusual event for the Duntov team in that we planned to go only because we were delivering a new car to new customer, Guy Lamon.  All the other Duntov customer cars except Clair’s were being overhauled following the end of the SVRA season. Clair had a can’t-miss company Christmas party Friday night, so he was out, or so we thought.  At the last minute Clair decided to have his car shipped to Florida and he caught the first flight out Saturday morning.

Sebring HSR 2015

Alan took Clair’s car out on Thursday and found everything to be in order.  He took it out again for the third qualifying session Saturday morning and qualified fourth with a 2:22 on the same tires he and Clair ran during the enduro at COTA.  Guy was just getting used to his new car.  His last Sebring race was in a high revving 289 Mustang, and he had to break a habit of taking every turn in 1st!  Guy qualified 15th with a 2:32 in his new car. 

Sebring HSR 2015

Clair showed up an hour before the first sprint race on Saturday and decided to start at the back of the pack since he didn’t actually qualify the car. It would be Clair’s first session in the car and he went right through the field and finished 5th, with the second fastest lap time in the race, a 2:20. Guy knocked three seconds off his lap time with a fast lap of 2:29, which was good enough for 11th place.

Sebring HSR 2015

Guy planed on painting his car in New Jersey, so he ordered it in primer.

The 90 minute GT enduro was the last race of the day. Alan and Clair were planning on teaming up as usual, but this time Clair was going to start.  Edward was to start Guy’s car and turn it over to Guy at the first stop.  When the cars got to the false grid the grid steward announced the race would be 45 minutes with no mandatory pit stops!  The race was up against nightfall, and many of the cars had no lights, including both Duntov entries.

Sebring HSR 2015

Edward’s race was a short one as he blew a power steering hose on the pace lap and retired.  Clair took the lead at the start with Mike Banz in a Porsche right behind him.  Mike had won every HSR GT enduro of the year and he planned on winning this one, but it didn’t happen.  On the podium after the race he congratulated Clair and told the world he just knew that Corvette couldn’t keep up that pace for the whole race, and that eventually Clair would have to bobble somewhere, but he didn’t.  Clair drove a perfect race for the win.  Mike Banz showed amazing class and sportsmanship for a Porsche driver!  It was much appreciated

Sebring HSR 2015

In Sunday’s Group 5 feature race, both Clair and Guy took a step backwards.  Clair’s fast lap was a 2:21, and Guy’s was a 2:30.  They finished second and ninth, respectively.

Sometimes its automatic, and sometimes you can’t make it happen.  It’s one of racing’s mysteries.

Sebring HSR 2015

This year’s National Championship came very close to being cancelled by an act of God.  Three days before the rigs were scheduled to set up in the COTA paddock, the circuit experienced a tornado with torrential rains and flooding.  Many of the temporary buildings set up for the Formula One race were lifted off the tarmac and smashed onto the racetrack.  The track entrance tunnels were almost completely filled with water.  Several grandstands collapsed and retaining walls were crumbled. Members of the track maintenance crew were swept off the road leading from the track and drowned.

On Sunday, November 1st, the track ownership informed Tony Parella that there was no way they could get the track in shape for the race and it had to be cancelled.  Tony wouldn’t allow it, and volunteered to head up the track clean-up operation.  Thousands of man hours later, the trucks rolled in and the event took place as scheduled.

The weather continued to be a factor for the rest of the weekend, but through it all 500 racers from around the country were treated to a first class event.

Sebring March 2015

The Duntov team brought Clair Schwendeman’s 68 Corvette and Jim Kitzmiller’s 69. Jim designated Edward Sevadjian to race his car in this year’s National Championship event. Jim planned to only run a couple of test sessions and the enduro on Sunday. Other than that, Edward would take the car out for every session. This would be the first event in which Edward would run every session since July, 2013.

COTA National Championships 2015

Garrett Waddell’s last race, and it was a good one.

Duntov also serviced Garrett Waddell’s fuel injected 1963 Z06.  It would be Garrett’s last race and the team was dedicated to making the experience a good one for Garrett.  Also on hand was Mark Hilderbrand who did most of his own work but was as always an unofficial Duntov team car.

Sebring Start

Mark Hilderbrand’s immaculate Corvette

COTA National Championships 2015

Group 6 Qualifying saw Edward put Jim’s car on the pole by one and a half seconds, with a lap record 2:23.852.  Clair was 10th with a 2:30.6

COTA National Championships 2015

Clair in the mist during the qualifying race

There was a steady rain before the qualifying race and there was some question whether the race was to be for grid positions in the feature race or not.  The rule is if more than 50% of the field shows up for the qualifying race, then the race results count for grid positions.  If less than 50% show up, the times are taken into consideration along with the times from Qualifying 1, but since it was wet, the times would be worthless.

We set up the cars for rain and waited.  The Duntov rig was right behind the false grid, so we counted the cars as they showed up and when it became clear that more than 50% were going to participate, we rolled.

Needless to say, the Porsches went straight to the front, but so did Curt Vogt in the Cobra Automotive Mustang.  Curt had Hoosier rain tires and our cars were running hand grooved dry tires.  Edward finished 6th behind four Porsches and Curt.  Clair finished 10th. Edward did have the second fastest time in the wet, but that didn’t count for anything.

COTA National Championships 2015

Edward picked the wrong setup but still won. This Porsche was this close the whole race.

In the feature race the conditions looked better than they were in the qualifying race, but how much better was the question.  The Duntov team waited until the very last minute to decide which tires to run – dry or hand grooved.  Finally the choice was to go with the hand grooved tires and no rear sway bar.  That decision almost cost Edward the race, as the car understeered badly, but it was good enough to win the National Championship. Following Edward were three Porsches and Clair in 5th.

COTA National Championships 2015

Edward’s fist pump after a hard earned victory

The enduro was the last race of our event. Edward and Jim had won the enduro last year in a race that was featured in Robb Report Magazine. They planned the same strategy this year with Jim starting and Edward finishing up. Alan started in Clair’s car. Since Jim was starting in Edward’s qualifying position, he was right in the middle of some very fast sports racers. Unfortunately he got caught up in their braking zone and spun in turn one. By the time he got himself sorted out, he had gone a lap down. That was all Alan and Clair needed to cruise to a National Championship. Edward managed to un-lap himself, but he couldn’t chase Clair down a second time in spite of a pace that almost matched his pole qualifying time.

COTA National Championships 2015

Clair Schwendeman and Alan Sevadjian won by making no mistakes

COTA National Championships 2015

Edward accepting his second National Championship trophy helmet

COTA National Championships 2015

Alan and Clair got National Championship helmets, making it five for Duntov in two years.

This race was one of the most fun events of the year.  Unfortunately, it was not well attended, especially considering locally based CVAR was a co-host.  The timing of the event was great for weather but bad for racing budgets.  With the COTA National Championships only four weeks away, most of the CVAR people passed up on New Orleans for COTA.

Tony Parella may have invited CVAR to co-host, but he personally planned the event and the special added attractions which were nothing short of spectacular.

SVRA Marti Gras

On Friday evening during rush hour, Tony had the police block off the freeway including the Greater New Orleans Bridge for a parade of racecars that made the 26 mile trip from the NOLA racetrack to the French Quarter.  The tour wasn’t just Point-A to Point-B.  It circulated through the entire French Quarter, with police motorcycles passing and re-passing the racecar parade, boldly blocking off side streets and startled pedestrians with drinks in hand.  The parade finally stopped at Harrah’s Casino where everyone from the race got free gambling money.  A huge crowd descended on the parked racecars, and much goodwill was spread.  Everyone had a ball except those Friday evening commuters who were stacked up on the freeway entrance ramps!

Who would have thought that possible, much less pull it off?

SVRA Marti Gras

On Saturday night, the party was a mini Marti Gras with traditional New Orleans jazz musicians strolling through the crowd with instruments blaring.  There were beaded necklaces, doubloons and smiles everywhere.  It was by far the best race party in years.

The racing was as good as it could be with so few entrants.  Group 6 had a decent field, but some of the other groups had twos and fews.

Duntov brought two Group 6 cars for Tony Parella and Jim Kitzmiller.  Tony also had us bring his 58 Corvette that had just gotten a major engine upgrade.  Many times Tony has had Duntov bring cars to the track, but he rarely has the time to run them.  This weekend he ran his cars and had a ball doing it!

SVRA Marti Gras
SVRA Marti Gras

Tony’s 58 Corvette is his favorite, and when it is running strong, Tony is at his happiest.  This time out, the engine was making so much more power; the headers heated up the carpet, and it started smoking!  Tony didn’t even mind, but we did wrap the headers and insulated the footwell before he took the car out again.

SVRA Marti Gras

Jim Kitzmiller led every lap in the first Group 6 race and notched his first win ever. It was not easy as Jim had a Mustang on his rear bumper every lap as he nursed a sick engine. Jim had dropped a valve, but he soldered on to the checker. That was it for Jim for the weekend as there was no fixing his engine in New Orleans.

SVRA Marti Gras

In Saturday’s Group 4 race, Tony beat all the normal Group 4 cars, but he didn’t beat a 289 Cobra inexplicably classified in Group 4.  The Cobra was slow for a Group 6 car, but that is hardly a reason to put him in Group 4 where he dominated.

Tony and Alan ran the enduro together.  Because he didn’t qualify, Tony started at the back of the pack.  He worked his way up to Steve Seitz’s Mustang and the battle was on.  Lap after lap Tony kept pressing and finally Steve spun and Tony took the lead.

Both cars pitted and changed drivers and when Alan rejoined he was behind!  Steve’s pit stop was 5:00.94 and Tony/Alan’s stop was 5:10.96.  The Duntov crew had relied on careful calculations as to pit lane RPM to get a perfect 5:00 stop while Steve Seitz used a stopwatch velcroed to the steering wheel.  Duntov would be getting some stopwatches and Velcro!

SVRA Marti Gras

It didn’t matter, as Alan passed the Mustang on his out lap and maintained about a seven-second margin to the finish.

In Sunday morning’s Group 6 feature race, Tony again started from the back of the pack and caught up with Steve, but the race ended before he could make the pass.

SVRA Marti Gras

Jim comes through with a tough flag to flag win. Notice the beaded necklaces.

SVRA Marti Gras

Tony and Alan got beads too!

September 18-20, 2015

Coronado Vintage Speed Festival with Navy Fleet Week

This was SVRA’s first year with this event.  It was co-promoted by the San Diego Fleet Week Foundation, and it is a complete blast for all involved.  The race is run on the runways and taxiways of the Navy’s North Island airfield.  Temporary course markers consisting of cones, hay bales and barrels give the event a distinct old-school appeal.

The race is a main attraction, to be sure, but it shares that honor with the base itself.  This front line defense facility is completely opened to the public during Fleet Week, which seems odd given current levels of terrorist activity.  It was an honor to be welcomed aboard.

Coronado Vintage Speed Festival

The racecars and the military aircraft were in close company!

In addition to our races, there was a mammoth car show, a pit stop competition among the various Navy squadron teams, and vendors for everything from ice cream to insurance.  The race drew a record 300 entries and the crowd for the three day event was estimated at 100,000.

Coronado Vintage Speed Festival

This is just one grandstand. Thousands of people are behind it.

Duntov brought Clair’s 1968 Corvette, Tony’s 1934 Chevy engined Indy Car and his Historic Trans-Am Camaro. Tony chose not to run the Camaro and only ran the Indy Car on Saturday.

Colby Hillman brought his 1968 Ohio State Corvette that had just undergone a major restoration at Duntov’s shop.

Coronado Vintage Speed Festival

Colby Hillman’s small block Corvette - his big block car is pictured on the side of his trailer

Coronado Vintage Speed Festival

Tony Parella on the false grid in his aluminum bodied, Chevy engined, 1934 ‘Big Car’

The racing itself was a bit different. The grid included several unusual cars not normally seen at SVRA events in the East.  There was a real shortage of big block Corvettes; Clair had the only one!

Coronado Vintage Speed Festival

Clair on the pole in the only big block Corvette in the field

Coronado Vintage Speed Festival

As mentioned above, there were some unusual Group 6 cars at Coronado!

Coronado Vintage Speed Festival

Tony at speed in his Pre-War car

In the qualifying race, Colby finished seventh in a field of 33 cars in his Gold Medallion Ohio State Corvette.  It was a great first outing for a car that last raced in the seventies.  Colby had business to attend to and left the track before the Sunday feature race.

Clair qualified on the pole and won the feature race with a 10 second margin of victory.  Behind him was a spirited race between four cars passing and re-passing each other, much to the delight of the crowd. 

On some circuits a big block engine is not an advantage.  Coronado is not one of those circuits.

Delmo Johnson

In association with Rick Mancuso, Burt Greenwood has announced a comprehensive Certification program for Greenwood racecars. The program was launched to authenticate the cars that were actually built and or raced by John Greenwood and company back in the day. In honor of his late brother John, Burt intends to separate the real Greenwood cars from those that were substantially built by others

Not only will the Greenwood Certification program authenticate the handful of original Greenwood cars that remain today, but will also designate a second and third classification of Greenwood cars that were either authorized by Greenwood or partially built by the original Greenwood team. This includes Continuation cars authorized and built under license issued by Burt and John Greenwood, as well as the cars that were completed by others on frames built by the original Greenwood team.

Duntov Motor Company is proud to have been awarded the exclusive license to produce the Continuation Greenwood cars. Duntov will also work under the direction of Burt Greenwood to recognize and bring up to Greenwood original specifications Greenwood Heritage cars; Greenwood customer cars that were not completed by Greenwood back in the day.

The certification team of Greenwood, Mancuso and Alan Sevadjian of Duntov Motor Company hope to clarify and bring closure to several anomalies where multiple cars claim identical origin and history. Burt and Rick were there from the beginning and have retained the drawings, specifications and company records necessary to set the record straight.

With tributes already scheduled for the late great John Greenwood at Daytona, Sebring and Amelia Island, it is the immediate mission of the certification team to timely clarify and dignify the handful of real Greenwood cars, as well as to recognize the Greenwood Certified Continuation and Greenwood Heritage cars.

The July race at Road America in 2015 was called The Hawk, after the sponsor by the same name that makes brake pads.  It is the biggest annual event at Road America and Duntov had a thoroughly forgettable race weekend.

First there was the storm, and it was a big one.  The guys with the rig across the track from ours knew a storm was coming so before they left the track the night before they strapped their awning down securely to their golf cart.  When they arrived the next morning the golf cart was upside down sitting on their racecar, and the awning was gone.  At least two dozen tents and awnings were destroyed.  Our good fortune for the weekend was our spot in the paddock – we were parked on the leeward side of a building and suffered no damage.

The Duntov crew came directly from Portland.  Their mid-summer odyssey was Dallas to Portland to Road America to Dallas; 6200 miles in two weeks.  They took Clair Schwendeman’s Corvette and Tony Parella’s Historic Trans-Am Camaro to Portland, but only Tony raced in that event.  At Elkhart Lake, Clair drove but Tony didn’t!

Sebring March 2015

Rick Mancuso’s Grand Sport was delivered to us at the track for its driver, Chicago area Ferrari dealer Rick Mancuso, but Mancuso didn’t make it! We worked on the car, but it was never fired.

Duntov Team Indy 2015

Our good friend Ron Ramsey brought his recently restored C2 Corvette roadster and asked us to look after it.  Ron showed up but his fuel pump failed, so he didn’t even make the grid.

Our one competitor was Clair, and for whatever reason, Clair did not bring his A game to Road America this weekend.  Had he run the July race as he had in May, it would have been close, but he never got it together.  Clair had a race long dual with Larry Ligas’s Jag while the leaders slowly pulled away.  Normally Larry’s Jag is not that much of a threat at Road America because of the track’s long straightaways, but this time Larry was able to stay just far enough ahead of Clair to avoid being passed on the straights.

Sebring Start

The start with Clair in his 5th place qualifying position.

As always it was a crowded field and Clair didn’t get a clean qualifying lap.  After that his race was in traffic.  The next race weekend Clair made up for it!

If anything, the Second Annual Brickyard Invitational was even more exciting than the first.  To what was already their biggest event of the year, SVRA added an Unser racing family reunion, an Indy Legends Pro-Am race, a Jaguar Driving Experience along with a world class auction, to solidify the event as one of the premier vintage motorsports events in the world.

Duntov brought Rick Mancuso’s Corvette Grand Sport, Clair Schwendeman’s 68 Corvette as well as Tony Parella’s 71 Corvette, his 58 Corvette and his 1934 open wheel pre-war car.

The weather forecast was iffy, but with only one exception it was not a factor; Saturday’s delayed start of the Celebrity Pro-Am being the only exception. 

Once again, Rick Mancuso was not able to attend due to other business commitments, and Alan Sevadjian was pressed into service as Rick’s back up driver.  The Grand Sport runs in SVRA Group 5 with Can-Am cars and Lotus 23’s, as well as an assortment of similar era GT cars including GT40’s, Cheetah’s, etc.  It is not a race group that a GT car can win overall, so we were content to run for the class win.  The team was confident Rick’s Grand Sport was up to the challenge.

The Pro-Am race gridded on pit lane at 1:00 Saturday, just as the skies unloaded.  Virtually all the serious teams arrived at their grid positions on dry tires and changed to rain tires when it got very wet.  The rain lasted 30 minutes and then the Indy track drying equipment took over for another 45 minutes. By the time the track was dry, everyone on the pit lane had changed back to dry tires!

Sebring March 2015

The Duntov Pro-Am driver lineup was again Willie T. Ribbs and Edward Sevadjian

Just like last year, the Duntov team again ran Tony’s 71 Corvette. Edward’s qualifying session was his only session in the car prior to the race, and he ended up 10th. The plan was for Edward to drive until the first full course yellow and then hand it over to Ribbs. This was the same strategy as last year when Ribbs and Sevadjian finished third.

Duntov Team Indy 2015

The start of the Pro-Am race, with Curt Vogt of Cobra Automotive on the pole

The plan went south in the first turn when Edward was first rammed and turned around by an overly aggressive Mustang, and then tagged head-on by an innocent Corvette with nowhere to go. Edward came out of the first turn in 33rd place, but passed six cars on the first lap.

Edward’s battered racecar in for a driver change


The race ran quite a while before the first full course yellow, and Edward was up to 6th by the time he turned the car over to Willie T.  That’s where they finished. 

The pole sitter, Curt Vogt had motored away from the field at the start but pitted under green, handing the win over to Texan Jim Caudle and Indy Pro Bob Lazier.

As the Group 5 race was Saturday’s last race of the day, and as such it was an unfortunate victim of the Pro-Am rain delay.  As the sun was setting on the speedway, the first lap drew a full course yellow after a racecar stopped on the racing surface.  No sooner had that car been cleared than a second car, a GT40, coasted to a stop and another full course yellow was thrown after less than a half lap under green.  This yellow brought out the pace car and after several slow laps the pace car driver picked up speed, pulled away from the leader and then turned his lights off and abruptly dived into the infield.  The local corner worker simultaneously dropped his double yellow flags. 

Sebring Start Alan Sevadjian in Rick Mancuso’s Grand Sport mixing it up with some fast company

The pole sitter either couldn’t or wouldn’t follow the pace car as it exited the oval.  Instead, he stayed on the oval and went to full throttle between the Indy Oval Turns 1 and 2.  The rest of the field followed in hot pursuit.  Alan’s Grand Sport accelerated past 130 MPH through the Indy Oval’s banked Turn 1 and onto the front straight.  By the time the starter’s flag station was in visual range, the Grand Sport was at well over 160 MPH, just as the Can-Am cars in front stood on their brakes!  Incredibly, the start finish flag stand was showing double yellows!  Needless to say the lightweight sports racing cars stopped way faster than the GT cars, so the fans along the pit wall were treated to an exciting accordion effect as big cars blew past smaller cars, all with brake lights blazing.  What a cluster!

The beleaguered Competition Director called for a Black Flag All.  By the time he had aired his complaints at the assembled drivers, there was no time for another restart, as it was now too dark to play.  Everyone’s race was over before it really started.  Afterwards, Alan said that in 50 years of racing, he had never seen such a screwed up race.

Sunday’s 90 minute Historic GT-GTP enduro was our last race of the weekend.  It was another case where we would be racing for the Class win (in this case the Group win) rather than the overall win.  The field included a LeMans winning Audi as well as Indy cars, winged turbo Porsches, etc.  There were 13 Group 6 cars out of 34 total starters.  Again Clair and Alan would be sharing the No. 37 Corvette, with Alan starting and running until the first full course yellow. 

Group 6 winners. Sebring 2015
The Sevadjian/Schwendeman Corvette leading a pesky Ford to a Class win at Indy

Alan had not driven Clair’s # 37 car at Indy prior driving it to the false grid. The #37 car was gridded one spot ahead of the XKE of Larry Ligas and his Le Mans winning co-driver Davey Jones. Larry’s Jag is always fast, and he is one of the best drivers and nicest guys in all of vintage racing. We couldn’t recall ever seeing him run the XKE in an enduro, although he often is a co-driver in other cars. Frankly, Clair and Alan rarely fail to win Group 6 enduros, but with Larry in his XKE with a world class co-driver, this was going to be anything but a cake walk!

The race turned out to be largely decided on the second lap. A Corvette blew up big time on the front straight at about the braking zone for turn one. Race Control called for a full course yellow and almost everyone chose to pit. Alan did not. He made one more lap and then came in. In the mean time the pace car was called out and was gathering up the rest of the field. While Alan was sitting in the Duntov pit box waiting for the 5 minute pit timer, the pace car appeared on pit road, with the rest of the field in tow! Edward hurriedly gestured for Alan to go and he left the Duntov box, getting out just ahead of the pace car. At the far end of the pit road, pit exit was closed. Larry Ligas and everyone else who had pitted on that earlier lap sat waiting. Alan was right behind them, and right behind Alan was the pace car. Alan was already one lap ahead of Larry!

The cleanup took about 30 minutes, after which pit lane opened. The cars ahead of the pace car raced around the track and caught up to the back of the field which was still being led by the pace car. This made almost another full lap on the field!

By the first round of pit stops, Alan was up to 2nd overall, but the only important thing was ‘where is Larry?’, and Larry was still a lap down which is exactly where he finished. It could have been a hell of a 90 minute wheel to wheel race, but as it was, Alan and Clair were on cruise control and happy to get the historic win.

Group 6 winners. Sebring 2015
Clair Schwendeman and Alan Sevadjian win Group 6 at the 2015 Brickyard Invitational

Delmo Johnson

Delmo in 2005 testing our first Continuation Grand Sport

I was at Road America when I heard the news. Delmo had been a friend for over 50 years. He was recently confined to a wheel chair, and he died while taking a nap in that chair. First and foremost, I was a fan of Delmo. As a teenager I watched him race a C1 Corvette, a Mini-Cooper, an XKSS, a 63 Corvette and two Grand Sports. His last race as a professional was in my Grand Sport at Sebring in 1965. He ran his last race at only 32 years old. I ran my first at 34.

Delmo Johnson Jr

Delmo shooting a photographer the bird during Sebring 1964

My first visit to Johnson Chevrolet was in December 1964. I had just bought Grand Sport 003, and I went there to talk to Delmo about driving it at Sebring the following March. Delmo was the sales manager there; his dad ran the dealership. The front door of his office opened to the showroom floor, and he had a back door that opened to the service department. Delmo sat at his desk not saying much as I, at barely 19 years old, tried to act like the big shot car owner. In the middle of my pitch and without a word he got up, walked out his back door into the service department, got on his motorcycle and did wheelies in the middle of the crowded shop floor. He then parked the bike, walked back in, sat down, said nothing, and waited for me to finish.


I was honored to be invited to Delmo’s 50th birthday surprise party in 1983. Although it had been 18 years since Delmo had last raced, the party was all about racing and his racing buddies. There I met Jim Hall, Lloyd Ruby and many others who traveled from all over the country to honor Delmo. The cake was decorated with the likeness of his XKSS, and his black helmet with twin lightning bolts was the table centerpiece.

Delmo, hung out in his XKSS

12 years later Delmo honored me by showing up at my 50th birthday party, also a surprise, this one starting at midnight! I had already gone to bed when the doorbell started going off like crazy and I ran downstairs to find Delmo and about 20 other couples on my front porch, all in their pajamas!

I believe Delmo was an even better pilot than he was a racecar driver. It was a lifelong passion and he was a natural. 20 years ago I bought a plane from Delmo, and part of the deal was 10 hours of flight instruction. It was 10 hours I will never forget! Among other things, Delmo shared with me his unique instrument approach procedure. When the approach calls for a 200 ft minimum altitude to execute a mandatory missed approach, Delmo said that’s when you start looking for the airport, not when you give up!

I have so many great memories of Delmo, and feel a great loss knowing he is no longer with us. That was one unique and special human being.

I will miss him from here on out.
Alan Sevadjian

Fifty years after fielding Grand Sport 003 at Sebring in 1965, the Duntov team returned and did a little better this time!

Sebring 1965-2015

Ed Sevadjian, GS 003, Sebring 65 and Walo Bertschinger, GS 006, SVRA Sebring 2015

The 12 Hour race in 1965 is often remembered as the rain race. The skies opened up at about 7 hours in, and the track was flooded with water a foot deep in some places. It rained again big time this year, but we had to deal with inches instead of feet!

Sebring March 2015

Duntov brought 4 Corvettes to Sebring; Tony’s 71, Walo Bertschinger’s Grand Sport roadster, Colby Hillman’s immaculate 69 and Clair Schwendeman’s 68.

Duntov Team Sebring 2015

Clair won the last event at Sebring, and we fully expected him to repeat. Tony has a new engine and other upgrades for 2015 and his car showed big improvement during testing on Thursday.

This would be Walo’s second trip to Sebring and he also brought some more horsepower this time around. Colby went the other direction by swapping out the big block he ran all last year for a small block. It was his first Sebring race and he figured ‘why punish the big engine learning the track? That turned out to be the right strategy, as the rain pretty much cancelled out the extra horsepower.

Fortunately we were parked next to Sasco Sports and were first in line to get tires grooved by Sasco’s Benjie Ray. Sunday’s Group 6 feature race saw nine of the top 10 qualifiers on hand grooved rain tires.

Tony had to fly back to Dallas on business so he never actually got in his car. Edward tested it on Thursday and said it was ready to go. Colby had sent us his new small block, but it came with no carburetor. By the time we got the car running on Thursday, Colby had missed what would turn out to be his only chance to run on a dry track.

Clair and Walo were both fast on Thursday and reported no problems.

Unfortunately, the only dry Group 6 qualifying session lasted only two laps! An accident caused a red flag and the session ended before Clair got on track, which meant he was gridded last for the first feature race!

Not only did Colby not have an opportunity to drive a dry session prior to qualifying, his new engine was running 350 degrees oil temp!

He also had an issue with his shifter (another new and untested part).

Eventually it all came together and the car ran well. Colby got his first Sebring race behind him and he never turned a wheel wrong in the most difficult conditions where even the winner spun!

Walo ran the night race Friday night which was supposed to start at dusk and run into the night. With all the rain related off track excursions in the events run prior to the night enduro, there was no dusk start. It was raining, the track was completely wet and it was very dark. Walo found a tire barrier in the esses on the first lap that ended his race. Fortunately the only damage was a broken left front acrylic headlight cover. The Duntov crew taped up the now exposed headlight bulbs, and Walo was back in business for daytime operations!

Sebring Start

Walo qualified second in Group 5, and started alongside the Lola but ahead of Ken Manella’s Grand Sport replica in Race 1. The Lola of course departed from the rest of the field, but Walo and Ken had a great race which Ken won by a whisker. The feature race on Sunday was all Walo, but Ken kept the pressure up right to the end.

Walo Podium Finish - Sebring

Walo is easy to spot in a crowd! This was his first podium finish in only his third race ever!

The two Group 6 races saw Clair go through the field to eventually finish fifth in the Sunday feature. He set the fastest lap on Saturday by almost two seconds but there were just too many cars to pass and too few laps to pass them in!

The 90 minute endurance race was one that we will remember for a while. Normally one driver starts and runs until the first full course yellow. There are two mandatory 5 minute pit stops, and if they can be made under yellow it pretty much saves a lap, so no one wants to come in under green. Alan started in Clair’s car and ran an hour before finally giving up on waiting for a yellow. While the car was being serviced and Clair was getting strapped in, the yellow finally came out. Unfortunately the incident that caused the yellow was Walo stuck on track out of gas! What a screw up! Walo was leading Group 5 when it happened, making it even worse. It was not the Duntov team’s finest hour.

Group 6 winners. Sebring 2015
A Group 6 win for Clair and Alan, but after a brilliant drive, Walo ended up with nothing

Clair Schwendeman wins the HSR Big Bore Feature Race

The 2014 vintage racing season was bookended by races held at historic Sebring International Raceway. Duntov Motor Company won the opening round; the SVRA inaugural event in March. In December, Duntov customer and friend Clair Schwendeman took care of business in the season finale with a convincing win against a strong field.

Along with Clair’s familiar red, white and blue 68 Corvette, Duntov brought two FIA Grand Sports for customers Walo Bertschinger and Chicago based sports car dealer, Rick Mancuso. It was Walo’s second race in his serial number 006 roadster, and it was to be Rick’s initial run in his matching serial number 007 coupe. Unfortunately, a last minute meeting called by Ferrari caused Rick to cancel his Sebring travel plans at the very last minute.

Walo planned on running every possible session scheduled for his car, which included Thursday test day, three sprint races, a one-hour endurance race, a night endurance race and Sunday’s four-hour endurance race. In total, Walo planned to run 9 hours on the rough Sebring track, and he almost made it!

3 Duntov Grand Sports were in the field at Sebring. That last happened in 1964!

Thursday test day went without incident. Alan took Rick’s car out in the second session and turned the fastest time of the day up to that point. It was the car’s first competitive run, and the car was almost perfect. As Walo learned the track, he brought his times down several seconds every session.

wicked fast

It only took one session to figure out that Mancuso’s 007 was wicked fast!

In the qualifying race, Clair followed Curt Vogt the whole race, finally challenging between the last corner and the checkered flag. He came up .034 seconds short! That set the starting order for the rest of the weekend; Curt and Clair side by side on the front row.

International American Challenge race

The International American Challenge race saw Clair follow Curt’s Mustang for half the race, and then pass for the lead. Unfortunately Gatesby Jones in a Porsche passed Clair for the overall lead on the last lap. Since Clair finished first amongst American cars, he had the top step on the podium.

Funny thing about the Porsches in HSR: they are now allowed to run 16 inch wheels and radial tires. On the International podium, Gatesby mentioned that his tires were two races old! It takes three sets of the bias ply tires that we have to run to make one race weekend. A set will not last 8 laps at 100%. In HSR, the Porsche game plan is to cruise around and wait for our tires to go away, and then make their move.

In the feature race, Jones waited too long. Clair again followed Curt through lap three, then passed for the lead and opened it up to almost 4 seconds at the end. Jones struggled to get past Curt, but had to settle for third. Walo finished 8th, with a fast lap of 2:23. For his second race ever and his first race at Sebring; Walo was very quick.


The enduros didn’t go as well as we had hoped. During the night enduro Walo suffered a transmission failure. He finished 16th overall and second in class in the one hour enduro, but again DNF’ed in the four hour enduro with an engine noise.

Clair and Curt end season with a 1- 2 finish. Chevy first, Ford second. Period correct!

Overall, Clair shook off his Sebring jinx in a big way, Mancuso’s car proved to be competitive right out of the box and Walo got his first Sebring race under his belt.

After the opener at Road Atlanta in late February, the 2015 SVRA season gets underway big time back at Sebring the very next weekend. Duntov will bring five cars, including one each for Clair and Walo.

October 12, 2014
Circuit of the Americas, Austin Texas

Duntov Enduro Team wins the National Championship

The 2014 SVRA season closed out at one of the most impressive racetracks in the world – Circuit of the Americas. It is the only place we race that is within 700 miles of our shop! It is a perfect place to afford the best drivers in vintage racing the chance to compete for a National Championship.

Circuit of the Americas

The vintage Trans Am cars on the false grid right in front of the blue Duntov awning

This year’s race drew almost 500 competitors, down a few from last year as the race was held on the same weekend as the SCCA Runoffs. In spite the track’s convenient location, we only brought 3 cars. Edward had sold the company’s #38 car, and several customer cars were grounded due to business commitments, engine overhauls or other issues.

We again took care of Tony’s 1934 Indy car, Clair Schwendeman’s #37 68 Corvette and the 69 Corvette of Jim Kitzmiller. We also shared out awning with our buddy Mark Hilderbrand who took care of his own car, old school style.

Clair’s car had been involved in a scrape against the blue Armco at Watkins Glen in September, so it was freshly painted. Jim hadn’t run his car since COTA 2013, other than in testing at Eagles Canyon.
The weather threatened rain all weekend, but the track was generally dry or at the worst just damp most of the time.

Vintage Racer

Tony used his Pre-War car for PR rides. It is a mid pack car anyway, so he wasn’t
going to be on the podium.

Clair had planned to run both the sprint race and the enduro, but unfortunately he couldn’t buy a break this weekend. In early practice he appeared quick enough to challenge for a podium finish. His plan for the enduro was to share the driving duties with Alan, who would therefore need to get in a couple of practice sessions. Both those sessions ended badly!

COTA practice

Edward practicing in Jim’s car with Alan following in Clair’s, just realizing he has no brakes!

While following Edward, the right front caliper on Clair’s car sprang a leak at the end of the long back straight. Alan had to spin the car to keep it off the wall. No problem; the Duntov crew changed the caliper and sent Alan back out to bed new brakes on a wet track Saturday morning.

That turned out to be the car’s last session of the weekend, as Alan brought the car back with a dropped valve! This was not Clair’s weekend, and for sure not Alan’s.

Clair - Duntov Racing

Clair’s car was wicked fast, but for the second year in a row, COTA proved tough to tame

For Duntov, the National Championship weekend was now down to the Sunday enduro, with only Jim Kitzmiller’s car still running. Jim teamed up with Edward and neither driver made a mistake.

Unfortunately, in SVRA enduros, Group 6 cars run with the fastest Prototypes and Can Am cars at the race meet. A Group 6 Corvette has zero chance of competing with 5 year old LeMans winning Audi’s, but cars like that make up much of the rest of the field. Although the Group 6 cars try to beat anyone in front of them, they actually only compete for the Championship against the other Group 6 cars in the field.

The race was 90 minutes long with two mandatory 5 minute pit stops. The plan was for Jim to start and to bring the car in at the first full course yellow. Jim came in on lap 8 for a driver change and a splash of gas, still on the lead lap. After the pit stop, Edward rejoined the field in 19th place overall and third in class.

SVRA Enduro

Clair, relegated to fuel man, gives the car a little shove as Edward rolls out of the pit box

What happened next was really cool! Edward started turning laps 4 seconds a lap faster than the class leaders. He was closing on them big time just as rain began to fall. It was only his second session on the track in that car, and on a damp track he turned his fastest lap, a 2:26.2. The next fastest Group 6 car’s fastest lap was a 2:30. The race ended under a full course yellow with everyone following the pace car in a steady rain; Edward was 7th overall and first in class!

SVRA Group 6 National Champions

Jim and Edward on the right; winners of the SVRA Group 6 National Championship

November 14, 2013, Dallas Texas

Rick Mancuso, John and Burt Greenwood appoint Duntov Motor Company to build Continuation Widebody 1976 Greenwood LeMans Corvettes

Greenwood Videbody

The all conquering Greenwood Widebody Corvettes will again see action in 2014 with the scheduled debut of the first Continuation Greenwood Factory Works Widebody Corvettes. Built to the exact specifications utilizing molds and fixtures built off the original tooling, these cars will no doubt reclaim their position atop big bore podiums at the major venues in US and European Vintage racing. The debut race is scheduled to be The Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, June 2015. The balance of the year will have the new Greenwood cars at every SVRA race right up to and including the season ending National Championships at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, in November.

Rick Mancuso's Lake Forest Sportscars will be the exclusive distributor of the Continuation Greenwood Corvettes. Mancuso has scheduled the Continuation Greenwood Narrow Bodied car to debut in 2016.

Greenwood Videbody

Duntov is proud to have been selected to produce these legendary racecars. The Greenwood Widebody joins Duntov's product line that includes the 1963 Corvette Grand Sport and Duntov's 1969 Corvettes to give Duntov cars three different race groups to run in SVRA vintage competition.

Greenwood Videbody

Just as they were back at LeMans in 1976, the new Greenwood Widebody cars will feature an aluminum 464 cubic inch fuel injected engine, alloy racing brakes, 15 inch wide rear wheels and significant aero downforce. They were clocked at 220 MPH back in the day, and they are not going to be a bit slower in 2014! X

Duntov President and Chief Driving Instructor Edward Sevadjian celebrated his marriage to Chelsea Nollner in front of 80 of their closest friends and family.  The couple will honeymoon at Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Duntov President and Chief Driving Instructor Edward Sevadjian celebrated his marriage to Chelsea Nollner in front of 80 of their closest friends and family. The couple will honeymoon at Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Tony Parella

Duntov customer and friend Tony Parella not only bought SVRA; he bought HSR West, and as a result he now owns the only truly national vintage racing organization in the country. In 2013, Tony plans on staging what will become the Vintage Racing National Championships. We are now really pumped up about the future of vintage racing!

Tony owns and drives two vintage Corvettes, both maintained by Duntov Motor Company. Tony plans to take full advantage of Corvette's 60th birthday next year with several events featuring the Corvette. Great news for vintage racing!

September 7-9, 2012, U.S. Vintage Grand Prix

Edward Sevadjian and Duntov wins at Watkins Glen!

Edward winning at Watkins Glen

Edward Sevadjian lowered the lap record on three consecutive laps on his way to winning the Dick Mooney Memorial Race at Watkins Glen. The event honored the popular and accomplished vintage Corvette racer who had recently passed away. The trophy was presented by Dick's wife.

Second place went to Peter Klutt, who had his string of 7 straight years of nothing but wins come to an end.

Clair Schwendeman and co-driver Alan Sevadjian won the Group 6 class in the Enduro.

Edward Sevadjian on the podium