After the heartbreak of the engine failure at Watkins Glen, we headed for another round of racing at this historic venue. Unfortunately we had to leave our engineless #38 Corvette at home.
We brought four customer cars; Dr. Clair Schwendemanís 68 Corvette, Sam Lecomteís historic 1970 Trans-Am Camaro, Jody OíDonnellís 65 Corvette roadster and Chad Courtyís 69 Camaro.
The only car we brought that we had race prepared beforehand was Clairís Corvette. We brought the other cars on faith that they were ready to race. That turned out to be a big mistake!
Clairís engine was ready for an overhaul. He had run the better part of two seasons since the last overhaul and we planned to upgrade his 427 engine to a 460 after this race. Although we knew it was time for an overhaul, we decided to run it one more time, as we were going to replace the block, crank, rods and pistons anyway, so even if it blew up at Sebring, it was unlikely we would ruin much more than what we were replacing anyway. It turned out we ruined a lot, as Clair blew up on the first lap of the International American Challenge race and that was the end of his weekend.
When it is time for an overhaul, itís time for an overhaul!
Sam had wrecked his 1970 Camaro at the Mitty and did serious damage. We repaired and repainted the car, but Sam had his personal mechanic do the race prep prior to Sebring. His old shocks were damaged in the wreck, so he bought and had his man install a set of used Penske shocks. Sam didnít get a chance to test the car prior to this event, and there was a lot to sort out. Unfortunately Sam had a rear wheel hop issue all weekend that finally did him in.
That turned out to be the only race for that car in black. We repainted it after the race back to its traditional color scheme.
Sam held off Jody most of the race until the wheel hop finally got out of hand.
Jody has been racing for about 5 years and decided to upgrade from primarily local races in Texas and Oklahoma and go to the major national races with us. This was his second trip to Sebring, but the last time he came here on his own and his car broke before he really got started. So with very little track time, he did a fantastic job by winning the first race.
Jody in his wicked fast ex Steve Collins 1965 Roadster
This was Chadís second year in racing and his first trip to Sebring. His car is very nice but really underpowered. It is actually a perfect car to learn in, and Chad planned on a weekend of learning. Nobody have him a shot at finishing the weekend in first place among our four, that thatís exactly where he finished, because he finished!
Chad drove a perfect race and finished ahead of a lot of Sebring veterans in high horsepower cars