This yearís National Championships saw the first post restoration race of Duntovís 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!
Susie Patterson after her first session in her Spitfire ? The second session didnít 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 Schwendemanís 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!
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. Tonyís winning small-block Corvette had a fastest lap of 2:26.2, making it the third fastest Group 6 lap of the weekend. Itís interesting that two out of the three fastest Corvettes in vintage racingís biggest weekend were small-blocks.
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
Edward Sevadjian in Jim Kitzmillerís Corvette at the start of the qualifying race.
Jim Kitzmiller brought his incomparable big-block Corvette to defend last yearís Group 6 National Championship. Jim again put Duntovís 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.
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 Tonyís small block got pumped! Of course, all was well with the Duntov cars and with everyone else in Group 6 that Rick checked.
Sami Schwendeman on the glass floor of the COTA tower!
Sunday ended with a torrential rain and a rainbow over the tower Ė it was a hell of a weekend!