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Sportscar Vintage Racing

Duntov Motor Company

For the first race of 2020, we brought two vintage Corvettes to Sebring along with the TA2 Camaro we debuted with a third place finish at COTA last year.  It was going to be a busy weekend of the Duntov team, as both Corvettes had new engines, so there would be an oil change during the weekend on both cars, and the TA2 car hadn’t been run at all since COTA, so we didn’t know what to expect.

We were also tasked with taking care of Jim Heck’s Corvette at Sebring.  We had literally brought it back from the dead after Lynn St. James totaled it at Indianapolis six months earlier, in August of last year.

2020 Sebring
2020 Sebring

The pic above is from the pre-Sebring test at Eagles Canyon. The car was perfect right out of the trailer.

Jim had said his fastest lap in the car at Sebring had been a 2:28.8, so he was thrilled when Edward did a 2:18 in the car in the first practice session.  Jim eventually got down to a 2:25.3, three and a half seconds faster than he had ever gone before.

2020 Sebring

Jim Heck and his ‘new’ racecar that he has raced for thirty years, and the rest of our compound at Sebring.

Edward drove both Clair’s and Pat’s Corvettes in practice and both were exceptionally fast.  In Clair’s car, on old tires, Edward ran a 2.17.1, besting Scott Borchetta’s 2019 National Champion big block Corvette by half a second.  Edward ran a 2:21.5 in Pat Sessions 327 cubic inch 1963 split window coupe.  Typically, a 2:21 will win BP at Sebring, and to run that with a mid-year 327 coupe is pretty unusual.
Clair ended up qualifying 6th with a 2:22, just ahead of his perennial rival Gary Moore in his Cobra Automotive Cougar.  Borchetta was on the pole with a 216.4. 

The first vintage race of the weekend was the enduro, and that race kind of snuck up on the crew, who had been feverishly working on the TA2 Camaro.  Alan was to start the race and was sitting in the car ready to go while it was still on jack stands being fueled.  It was obvious the car was about to be late to the grid, so they abruptly quit the fueling operation, dropped the car on the pavement and Alan headed off for what turned out to be an empty grid.  He had to enter the track via the pit lane and catch up to the back of the pack, a couple of hundred yards behind the spot where Clair qualified the car.

In the race, Borchetta just disappeared into the distance, but Alan had no idea who was leading as he was busy going through the pack until he saw a BMW and the #23 Cobra Automotive Mustang dueling it out in the distance.  Within about 10 laps he had caught the pair when his tires and his talent ran out simultaneously and he spun in the hairpin, having just passed the BMW.

2020 Sebring
2020 Sebring

It was time to hand the car off to Clair, who immediately spun as well, as the tires were truly gone by then.  Before the race, the veteran teammates made the executive decision not to mount new tires for the enduro – not a great idea at Sebring, a track notoriously hard on tires.  Another lesson learned, but they did have the second fastest lap of the race, a 2:21.

Edward qualified 5th in Colby Hillman’s TA2 car and finished a strong 7th, having run the third fastest lap in the race.  Edward qualified with a 2:07.8, which was a second off the Mike Skeen’s pole time, but 3 tenths faster than Rafa Matos’s pole time last year.  The TA2 class is getting way more competitive!

Both new engines in the vintage Corvettes showed some indicators that were less than ideal, and both owners wisely decided to park the cars for the remainder of the weekend and have them checked out back at the shop. 

No one knew at the time that Covid would intervene and cause these Corvettes to sit on the sideline for the rest of the year.

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Duntov Motor Company is the exclusive licensee for the continued production of the authentic original Corvette Grand Sport.  Duntov Motor Company is the exclusive licensee for the manufacturing and distribution of the updated street version of this famous car. We service what we sell. We also restore and service 1963-1982 Corvette race, street and performance cars using original and replacement parts including front and rear suspension, brake calipers, brake rotors, brake pads, both J-56 and stock brake caliper pistons, and Corvette stainless steel parking brake parts. We offer the finest original U.S. built Corvette spindles and GM stub axles, along with remanufactured Corvette differentials for both street and race cars. We build both new and rebuilt Corvette trailing arm assemblies for 1965-1982 Corvettes, and offer Corvette street and racing springs and both steel and composite leaf springs in a wide selection of spring rates. Check out our Corvette parts section for shocks, sway bars, upper and lower A-arms, Corvette ball joints, tie rod ends, pitman arms, idler arms, shocks and U-joints.

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