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Archer Third at Laguna, Wiens Sixth and Out

 

 Monterey, Calif.  October 16, 2005 3R Racing driver Tommy Archer finished in third place today in the final round of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT race held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  Archer’s finish secured second place in the drivers championship, 242 points to Cadillac driver Andy Pilgrims 248.

 

In a caution filled 45-minute race, just eight green laps, Archer was able to move up consistently with every restart.  Trading paint was the order of the day as the major manufacturers represented in the series had their top cars running at the front and fighting for championship honors. 

 

The pivotal moment for Archer was the restart on lap 14 when the Duluth, Minnesota based driver was able get beside Angelelli’s Cadillac coming down into turn 11.  Angelelli defended the position, but Archer stood his ground.  On the final restart in a first turn melay, Henzler’s Porsche was shoved aside and Angelelli was able to repass and go to second

 

“I lost count of the amount of times that I got hit,” said Archer.  “It was a busy and hard eight laps, the guys at the front all were driving for something.  We had a good car, I wish I had about 10 more laps to prove it.  We ended up losing the championship by six points.  In hindsight if I had my ten back from the penalties I would have won by four.  I have never lost a championship on penalties, which makes it tough.”

 

Teammate and team owner Tim Wiens drove the wheels of his the number 3/FirsTier Bank/3R Viper from his fifteenth qualifying position to come home in sixth for his last time behind the wheel in competition.  “I told the TV guys that I was going to leave my shoes on the track, they are sitting on the main straight.  It was an action packed eight laps.  I was able to stay out of trouble and make up places.  We had a good car today and sixth is a satisfying result for my last race.  I was able to finish in the top ten in the driver standings.  Tommy had a lot of issues this year and ran a strong race, but we just came up short.  The 3R team is strong and we are looking to come back next and finish one place higher in the championship and get the number one plate back.”

 

Speed GT Top Laguna Finishers:                                      

1.       Max Papis                Cadillac        

2.       Max Angelelli            Cadillac

3.         Tommy Archer          3R Viper      

4.       Andy Pilgrim             Cadillac        

5.       James Sofronas        Porsche        

6.         Tim Wiens                  3R Viper        

7.       Leighton Reese         Corvette

8.       Mike Davis               Mustang

9.       Tony Gaples             Corvette       

10.     Lawson Ashebach     Porsche

 

 

Speed GT Final Point Standings:

1.       Andy Pilgrim             Cadillac         248

2.         Tommy Archer          3R Viper         242

3.       Robin Liddell             Porsche         214

4.       Wolf Henzler            Porsche         210

6.       Max Papis                Cadillac         188

7.       Leighton Reese         Corvette        166

5.       Stu Hayner              Pontiac         158

9.       Tony Gaples             Corvette        154

8.       Lou Gigliotti             Corvette        150

10.      Tim Wiens                  3R Viper         143

 

3R Racing Viper Competition Coupe Weight and Restrictions for Laguna:

·         Base weight 3,100 lbs.

·         35% air restrictor

·         Archer R.E.W.A.R.D.S. weight is 165 lbs.

 

3R Racing 2005 Results

Track

Driver

Qualify

Finish

Sebring

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

2

3

11

1

6

9

St. Petersburg

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

3

7

15

1

6

7

Road Atlanta

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

6

11

16

4

5

12

Mid-Ohio

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

7

10

22

6

14

25

Cleveland

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

8

14

11

12

8

11

Lime Rock

Archer

Wiens

9

12

9

12

Infineon

Archer

Wiens

9

16

3

17

Portland

Archer

Wiens

6

10

4

7

Denver

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

9

12

14

6

7

10

Mosport

Archer

Wiens

9

13

6

19

Laguna Seca

Archer

Wiens

9

15

3

6

 

3R Racing would like to thank sponsors c3controls, Sirius Satellite Radio, FirsTier Bank and partners Red Line Oil, Performance Friction brake pads, Ron Davis radiators and Dodge Motorsport.

 

For more information or photos, please refer www.3RRacing.com or contact Kyle Chura at chura@aol.com or (248) 821-0468.

 

As seen through the Woodhouse windshield

A race report from the Laguna Seca Finals -  Woodhouse Viper Comp Coupe windshield

 

First thank you all for your calls, those who watched the live broadcast Sunday, you know things got ugly, but no bones and no bruises.  I can’t start there, let’s back up, we will get to the race in a few moments. 

 

That feeling , the one you get from a track driving experience, when you, the car, and the track all come together; oh what a feeling it is.  Most of you know that feeling.  It makes you love the world you are in, it makes you happy to be alive, exhilarating, your fingers and toes tingle.  (Hey hey, don’t go there.)  Friday, the second day of practice, I have that feeling, Rick and Nancy have the car dialed, I am one with Laguna Seca and this wonderful #13 Viper Competition Coupe.  If this were music it would be Bach, if it were dance; ballet, if it were romance; the first time.  You also know it is as addictive as smoking.

 

I ran across another guy who knows that feeling.  If you ran across  Jonathan Martinez, fellow Viper Club member and west coast racer, you saw the joy in his eyes.  He was giddy, having the greatest time living out a dream, pro racing his red 97 GTS Viper clothed in the makeup of the winning 2000 ALMS Viper.  He teaches school.  “I am so delighted to just be here, this is my alter ego, nobody would believe this at work.”  With him in the paddock were other California Viper racers, John Deering, Al Bacera, Ted May and Joe Brigante.  A vibrant group of folks that make you appreciate their presence.  They coordinated with Maurice Liang and mad scientist John Penn to get us all together for a Club Dinner with the Northern California Viper Club.  Good people, good time.

  

Our Saturday qualifying times told us we had matched the pole sitting time of 2004, that was then, this is now;  we are still off by 1.5 seconds from this year’s pole.   This game is being played by teams of people no less professional in their roles than those that launch a moon shot.  I have respect since I understand what it takes to bring another second to the game.  This gets past the “oh what a feeling” and into serious business (pressure); from all directions: sponsors, team members, competitors, sanctioning bodies.

 

 

Now for the race:  Leighton Reese said it best Sunday night at the  SCCA Speed W.C. banquet.  “I came to a bar room brawl this afternoon and somehow a race broke out.”  If you were expecting gentlemen racing this was not the day.  Testosterone, anxiety,  grudges, and the price people are willing to pay for winning all exposed their demonic chemistry for this final race. Both Manufacturers Championship and Drivers Championships for 2005 were still up for grabs.  Rookie of the Year was the only done deal in the record books.  (won by Sonny Whelen, a man of character that red mist will not compromise)..  I must spare you the details, for you will find them elsewhere but understand that these Championships came at a price; that of exposing the character of individuals under pressure.  Not pretty.  The phenomena of the desire to win is called “red mist”. Familiar Lou, yes?

 

 There was mist everywhere Sunday afternoon  It. helped end my day after one entire lap of racing.  The back half of the Woodhouse Auto Family sponsored Viper CC #13 had the likeness of humpty dumpty at the base of the wall when Jimmy McCann’s yellow Viper CC came careening downhill out of control, fresh off of an altercation with the Mike Davis Saleen Mustang.  I was told they went to war at the top of the hill where Mike attempted a pass on Jimmy.  That piece of track referred to as corner one, is actually part of the main straight at a 130 mph hillcrest.  Mist? Racing incident? Who knows but that bull fight ended with both cars spinning sending Jimmy cart wheeling along the exit lane concrete wall, across the gravel trap into the center of  corner two, then explosive deceleration as his Viper torpedoed ours in the middle of the turn. 

 

It was like getting a shock from a light socket.  When you were a kid and your. brother blew into a paper sack then popped it next to your ear?  That’s the sound. What the ……?  “There’s nobody behind me, this didn’t happen” as my brain fumbles with the obvious.  This was just the first of several full course yellows that  “red mist” influenced.  In Nascar, where the driver gets out of the wreck and throws his helmet as the other car passes; yeah it entered my mind.

 

I love this car, slammed sideways by a 3300 pound anvil that produced around three full rotations that your attention but I felt protected.  The helmet slapped that ear on the racing seat designed for this very purpose.  Safety crews do not like you climbing out of your car so I stayed put causing a few  friends to call that were watching this “live”.  After the crew  pulled the car to safety and they efficiently got Jimmy and I out of there.  

 

Mike McCann had said earlier that he felt Laguna was a Viper friendly track and that our brakes were a strength that displayed well here.  He set out to prove it, making some passes under braking that put your neck hair at attention.  He was in second when the bullfighting got serious and the three car Cadillac team decided to eliminate the competition.  Mike got punted to the sand as did Robin Liddell in the Porsche leaving Tommy to his own battles with the Caddies.  It does us no good to judge, that is for SCCA.  Tommy’s patience/aggression and skill were show cased in the few green laps available but it was all he could do to find the last podium spot.

 

Got to hand it to the Cadillac team and their effort, they proved they had what it takes.  They also proved that they had one professional driver, Andy Pilgrim, the other two missed kindergarten, they never learned to play well with others.  Rules of combat, not their agenda.  Top 10 Finishers:  Max Papis, Max Angelelli, Tommy Archer, Andy Pilgrim, James Sofronas, Tim Wiens, Leighton Reese, Mike Davis, Tony Gaples, Lawson Aschenbach     

 

It has been a heck of a year for the Woodhouse Auto Family Viper Competiton Coupe # 13.  Trouble clung to us like smell to garlic.  Kenny Hawkins diagnosed our incidents this year and determined we need a number change for number next year.  Could be.  Just keep going to www.woodhouse.com, and keep being our friends, thanks for caring.  See you next year, and stay tuned, there could be a surprise coming.

 

 

NORTHEAST’S LARGEST VIPER DEALER – HUGE DISCOUNTS – NATIONWIDE DELIVERY

 

Denver Based 3R Racing Finishes Sixth, Seventh and Tenth at Home Race

 

Denver, Colorado   August 14, 2004 - 3R Racing was able to put all three of their Viper Competition Coupes in the top ten today at their home race in Denver.  Tommy Archer, Phil McClure and local driver Tim Wiens finished sixth, seventh and 10th, respectively, in today’s running of the SPEED World Challenge GT race, part of the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver.

Archer, behind the wheel of the number 1/c3controls/3R Racing Viper, started from the fourth row and was able to navigate the streets and finish the day strong in sixth position.  The Duluth, Minn. resident lost some ground today to series points leader Andy Pilgrim. Archer now trails Pilgrim by five points with 197 points.


“I got punted pretty good at the start, but there was really no damage,” said Archer.  “With the restrictor I was having some trouble getting off of the turn.  In the waning laps I was trying to get by the Corvette and even got up along side but I couldn’t make it stick.  The car got better and better with every lap, I credit the Will Moody (team engineer) setup with that.  We took a slight hit in the points to the Cadillac, but with two races remaining we have not given up.”

 

McClure making a return to the team after a three race sabbatical was able to cruise to a seventh-place finish.  “It was a fun race,” McClure said of his seventh-place run.  “The car was really good. I was fighting either end, on a street course that says a lot about the team.  I had an interesting moment with the McCann Viper, I was pressuring him to get by and we had a good dice for a couple of laps.  It was a nice event this weekend, it was good to get back behind the wheel and work with the 3R guys again.”

Westminster, Colorado resident Wiens, driving the number 3/FirsTier Bank/3R Racing Viper, raced hard from his 14th place qualifying position to come home in 10th and receiving the Coolest Move of The Race for his pass on the Mustang on lap 24 in turn nine.  To top it off, Tim and wife Jan celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary today.

 

“It was a typical street course race,” Wiens said of his top-10 finish. “It was really tight racing. Anytime I’m in the top-10, I am a really happy guy. I was glad to see Tommy [Archer] and Phil [McClure] both do as well as we could with the Vipers. All in all, it was a pretty good day. The 3R Racing Viper, as always, was solid. The guys prepared the car so well. You can count on the car. It is as good at the end of the race, as it is in the beginning of the race. I couldn’t be more proud of the crew.”

 

Today’s race will be televised on SPEED Channel, Saturday, August 20th at 2:00 p.m. EST.  Round 10 of the series will be run at Mosport Park in Canada on September 3rd.

 

Tonight on SPEED Channel, Archer will be live on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain.  Archer will be at the 3R Racing shop to discuss the Viper, the SPEED GT championship and take caller questions live via satellite.  He is scheduled to appear at approximately 10:30 p.m. EST.

 

·         Base weight 3,150 lbs. minus 50 lbs. post Portland adjustment

·         35% air restrictor

·         Archer R.E.W.A.R.D.S. weight is 165 lbs.

 

Speed GT Top 10 Denver Finishers:

1.       Wolf Henzler            Porsche        

2.       Robin Liddell             Porsche        

3.       Lawson Aschenbach  Porsche        

4.       Andy Pilgrim             Cadillac

5.       Leighton Reese         Corvette       

6.         Tommy Archer          3R Viper      

7.         Phil McClure              3R Viper

8.       Mike Davis               Mustang       

9.       Stu Hayner              Pontiac                  

10.      Tim Wiens                  3R Viper        

 

3R Racing 2005 Results

Track

Driver

Qualify

Finish

Sebring

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

2

3

11

1

6

9

St. Petersburg

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

3

7

15

1

6

7

Road Atlanta

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

6

11

16

4

5

12

Mid-Ohio

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

7

10

22

6

14

25

Cleveland

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

8

14

11

12

8

11

Lime Rock

Archer

Wiens

9

12

9

12

Infineon

Archer

Wiens

9

16

3

17

Portland

Archer

Wiens

6

10

4

7

Denver

Archer

McClure

Wiens

9

12

14

6

7

10

 

3R Racing would like to thank sponsors c3controls, Sirius Satellite Radio, FirsTier Bank and partners Red Line Oil, Performance Friction brake pads, Ron Davis radiators and Dodge Motorsport.

 

For more information or photos, please refer www.3RRacing.com or contact Kyle Chura at chura@aol.com or (248) 821-0468.

 

 

As seen through the Woodhouse windshield

A race report from the #13 Woodhouse Viper Comp Coupe windshield.

 

Denver Grand Prix, 8/15/2005 Round Nine of the Speed World Challenge GT.

A race report as seen from the windshield of the Woodhouse Viper Comp Coupe

 

How do you measure the quality of an event?  If it is something like the Denver Grand Prix; perhaps just check your fun meter to see if it got pegged.  My bench mark for a  street race are those small rooms called Port A Potties, yes those little green plastic huts .  They tell you if the city is sincere about presenting a world class event.  Denver; you win.  The Port A Potties were awesome; hundreds of them; and new.   As long as we are being impressed, how about the racing venues: Champ Car, World Challenge, Trans Am, Formula BMW, Toyota Atlantic, Drifting (Formala D), Boxing, MotoX jumping, Extreme Sports.  

 

Now imagine the logistics nightmare of getting all of these racing venues on track for practice and testing.  That left our practice very minimal and our down time high, or so we thought.  Those voids got filled to intensity with Viper club members, and race fans full of passion for automobiles, and not the kind with a six pack in one hand and a toke in the other.  The support team of SCCA people came from all over, including our Nebraska Region SCCA team, the Whoomah gang, Frank Sofranek pres.  (OK explanation here.)  Frank is a racer and corner worker and along with his wife and friends has taken the word whoomah and infamized it with his constant full volume vocalizing and stickers that show up on race cars. 

 

The 1.657 mile track was created from the streets around the Pepsi Event Center next to down-town Denver with the race track sides lined with our perennial favorite; concrete and chain link.  Visualize your race car as a dime that is inserted into a vending machine. Have ever seen the channels and chutes that a dime flows through before it hits the coin box?  That was the impression left by my first reconnaissance lap of the track.

 

Bob and Holly Raub and Tim Wiens representing 3R Racing and First Tier Bank launched the week-end in grand fashion by inviting the entire World Challenge paddock to the 3R race shop for an evening of food, beverage, music and cars.

The gesture proved priceless to the SCCA World Challenge community, establishing relationships and strengthening those that competition erodes. Touring the shop left no question that 3R is a professional builder of championship capable cars.

 

 Phil McClure of the 3R Viper team, and one of the finer drivers out there, took some after-practice ribbing on Friday.  Known to appreciate a good spinner knob on his steering wheel, he was asked if he would like two installed on his Viper Competition Coupe. Apparently he was doing some drifting and left a bit of wall evidence on his rear quarter.  OK, I guess you had to have been there.

 

 Here’s a few of the many Viper people who said hello: Jim Johnson local pres., Bob Cloutier, John Johns, Gar, Jay Popp, Dave Fisher, Kip Partridge, Dennis Quela and it goes on, don’t hit me for leaving you out.

 

Now for some dirt:  After the noon Saturday qualifying sessions I received a visit from Mr. story teller and Corvette driver Lou Gigliotti.  He took me aside and invested the next 5 minutes on his opinion of my character flaws as a race driver and general menace to my competitors.  I was so floored.  What motive would he have here?  It defies gravity to think I or anyone would want to accommodate his requests after such a lengthy character trashing. Reflecting back; it may be his way of saying I hope you won’t try to even up a grudge (let’s not go there, I wasn’t  carrying one).  Since I am gridded directly behind him for the start of the race maybe he thought the opportunity to punt him would overwhelm me.  It was known too that Lou had notions of sand bagging much of the race to play the “lose the rewards weight” game.  Lou can espouse multiple paragraphs without breathing, so conversation gaps to question his flawed information weren’t too available and those that were just seemed to escalate his emotional state, so I threw in the towel and said: “Lou it looks like you will need to watch your back” and walked away.    

Lou was a good test of self control and I didn’t score an A.  But I do recognize a competitor’s fantasy world when his Corvette looks like a Saltine cracker put together with super glue due to his own aggression.

 

The race had an eerie feeling to it as the cars came to grid for the standing start.  Maybe it was Rick’s words ringing in my ears, “Just go up and bump Lou on the grid and get it out of the way”.  I wouldn’t of coarse and I wouldn’t take a grudge into a race even if there was one.  What goes around comes around.  The bleachers were filled with impatient fans since we sat there for 20 minutes waiting.  Finally the lights go out, the car launches well and we go up the right side wall beside Lou until a Cadillac jumps into the lane in front of him. Lou makes a quick jerk right prompting me to back out and follow carefully as the four wide first corner becomes a two wide in the next until some reasonable room develops as the laps begin to unwind. 

 

Short of seeing someone’s rear wing along the outside wall there was little drama until lap ten when a long brake pedal took over a big part of my life.   It continued a downward trend for the next couple of laps but I was confident it was stabilizing and that I could continue at a reasonable pace.  Not.  Double pumps weren’t timely enough and I left too much speed on the car in the short chutes landing a wall hit between 7 and 8.  The right front suspension was damaged but the car would move enough to maneuver out of the racing line. Humility got pretty deep thinking of how I cheated competitors and race fans out of three laps of racing.  I learned later several cars were losing brakes as well and the full coarse yellow allowed them to recover.  Don’t thank me please.

 

How did the other Vipers do?  Tommy came in 6th with Phil McClure on his tail and Tim Wiens in 10th.   Considering all the politics, which I will get to shortly, that was a commendable job for the 3R team to have all top tens.  Wait till you hear the rest of the politics. Mike McCann had power train issues, Jimmie’s car isn’t finished so it didn’t run.. 

 

But alas fellow Dodge lovers, I think your Championship title, and Tommy’s has been lost for the year.    The political machinery nearly ground to a halt in the Pro SCCA corner of the world.  As mentioned before, races are won as much off the track as on.  The Viper Competition Coupe has been in an underdog position all of this year and hurrah, at last there has been some recognition of this. Thanks to Bob Raub, of 3R and the Dodge boys for their persistence in getting heard. Harry Turner of SCCA personally came to each of the teams and apologized since their data used to evaluate the competitiveness of each of the different marques has been flawed.  Recognizing it, is good although it comes too late in the season to rescue a championship.  

For Harry to come and apologize makes him a man we can respect.  It gives the human race some balance since we have to include Lou in that category. Oops, I am so bad.

Up front the top three finishers were Porsches, then a Cadillac and a Corvette.  A great job was again turned in by the Moxlow/Trenton Forging Pontiac GTO team.  Driver Stu Heynor finished 9th giving much of the credit to his new hair color.  Stu, I bruise easy.

 

Next up Mosport.  Then the finals at Laguna Seca.  You know where to go for details and for transportation of any kind go here www.woodhouse.com.

 

May god bless.     Bob Woodhouse

 

As seen through the Woodhouse windshield

A race report from the #13 Woodhouse Viper Comp Coupe windshield.

                             

Portland International Raceway 7/30/2005 Round Eight of the Speed World Challenge GT.

 

Still awash in “feel good feelings” from the 6th place finish at Infineon and qualifying 9th for today’s Portland  Speed World Challenge GT race;  had us pumped about garnering a top 10 finish.

 

To bolster that thought, I had the strongest fan club/cheering section in town.  Twenty five Woodhouse “Kicken Grass” T-shirts were being sported about by these sincere supporters.  Did I mention they were all relatives?  (Hey, you do it your way, this works for me.  The paybacks could be brutal though, you know, attendance at weddings and such.)  So the stands were prepared to make as much noise as the cars.

 

The waiting for race time is excruciating, nerves feel like 10# fishing line with a 15# fish hangin on the end. Mid-afternoon comes and so does the starting ceremony rituals.  The anthem is sung, the flag girls clear grid, and the race cars take their start boxes. The red lights glow on, my clutch foot starts to shake, breath deep, better; lights are out!, clutch drops, we go, Stu, our friendly GTO driver in front me is growing bigger in the windshield,  throttle stays down and we slip past on the right, then the Volvo, this is good, we can do this, then the Cad CTS of Pappis makes an aggressive move to the right that chops our unfettered acceleration.  At the top of 3rd gear around 100 mph entering turn three, comes the unexpected. 

As if a giant sea-gull with diarrhea made a windshield hit with the mother of all butt loads.  The windshield went opaque white.  I began thinking the car in front blew up.  As the wipers take a sweep, it looks like old faithful coming through the hood louvers.  During the next few nanoseconds my brain is saying,  “this is gonna get wild”.  The back end of the car is swinging around like the loose end of a garden hose as the cooling system pukes liquid everywhere.    There are race cars in close quarters on all sides. “Damn, I’m gonna wreck em all.”  I try to stabilize the car with the throttle and spin to unoccupied territory. 

Dan Lacy, the Motorsports Chaplain would tell you “it was the grace of god”.  Somehow all those spinning cars managed to stay apart and get back to racing.  They flew off every direction.  I wonder if Speed Channel got it. Sorry guys, it wasn’t on purpose. 

 

Radio to crew chief Rick:  “We just blew something big in the cooling system, I spun, we’re done. I will nurse it to the pits”.  As the emotion subsided, the rational comes back and Rick finds and repairs a separated hose connection.  No water for refill, to the trash cans, where a dozen plastic water bottles are refilled and used by Nancy and Scott Rogers as a water brigade that keeps Rick pouring as fast as the engine will accept it.  We’re re-fired and the Motec dash is reading like “man your battle stations” with blinking words and flashing red lights. Finally the temperature drops to 225 and Rick says, I can’t burp the air out so go run a couple laps and see what happens.  Out we go for a half lap till the Motec goes back into a “Red Alert”.  Next time we leave the pits the engine acts like it can deal with it, stabilizing around 230 degrees. 

Even though we are now 5 or 6 laps down I am enjoying the ride, the car is an angel, entering and leaving corners well; well enough to place the fastest race lap for the Vipers. Just wait, the politics side is coming.      

 

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 out of the 33 lap no full coarse yellow race, I end up on the back side of Mike McCann.  Mike’s Viper seems to be struggling and I notice drops of fluid hit my windshield so I pull off line and watch in my mirror as he creates possibly a Guinness record in white smoke plumes for the entire straight away.  Later we learned he lost the engine.

 

Some time after passing one of the Cadillacs (being piloted respectfully) I became the trailer tow ball on the back of Jon Grooms’ AXA Porsche lap after lap.  Jon had some creative lines in his corners, let’s see, you can zig but not zag?  Let’s not start that, I will just say, Jon found a way to place his car in front of mine regardless of how far off line it was.  OK insert politics here.  The Porsche, has the ability to out accelerate the Viper, (SCCA “can you hear me now?”) leaving me with three full laps of high evaporation rate on my patience.  So it is that we met in the last of the esses when Jon’s car again came off line and across my bow to find it nudging his rear bumper just an eensie bit.  Jon spun and I went to the grass to stay clear of any heavy hitting.   No regrets on my behalf Jon, I think you understand.

 

Portland International Raceway has two distinctions that set it apart from other tracks.  The lap times are extremely temperature sensitive, changing as much as 2 seconds from morning to afternoon.  The other is how slowly she offers up her speed secrets.  This track is reasonably flat, looks easy to learn, but alas, she is devious, making you look hard for the last two to three seconds.  The local racers are usually a leg up on the out of towners.  

 

On the politics:  I usually say something about the balancing act being administered by SCCA to keep all the teams potentially podium material.  Vipers were the underdog earlier this year, Cadillac was out front, with the rest of the professional teams between.  Then came an adjustment to the Cadillacs which left them competitive but not dominate to the Viper.  Now this is one man’s opinion who happens to drive a Viper, and I also know little about strategy for Championships and these are smart people. All three of the CTS-V Cadillacs are not being driven to potential at all times.  Championships are not won on the race track alone.  We’ll leave it there since I am so ignorant and stand to learn from all maneuverings. At present almost all of the race teams agree that the Corvette and Porsches are dominant and thinking an adjustment is eminent.  We can hope.

 

How’d the Viper people fare?  Rich Marziale popped a motor in practice.  Al Becera came up from San Jose and ran a clean race finishing 14th.  Al’s car is in new paint, lookin good.   John Dearing did an admirable 18th in his GTS after a mechanical issue took him out 6 laps from the end.  Mike McCann is probably the most disappointed since he was up front before his motor expired.  Tim came in 7th and Tommy 4th, thirteen seconds back of the leader.  And he owns this place shall we say, taking Championships here in the past, so you can relate to the dominance of the other brands.  Jon Brobst, Doris, Don Roberts and his wife along with a host of other Northwest Viper Club people made our Portland experience peg the fun meter.  Don is incredible, he hosted a Viper Supper with Kobe beef and Lobster.  I had to miss due to family obligations, hey I’m not stupid. But Don if you could dry ice that and send………..naa, there’s next year.

 

This race is broadcast Aug 7th, you know where to check www.speedtv.com

 

3R Racing Finishes Fourth and Seventh at Portland

Portland, Oregon  July 31, 2005   3R Racing drivers Tommy Archer and Tim Wiens finished fourth and seventh in round eight of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT series race run today at Portland International Raceway. 

 

Tommy Archer, driver of the number 1/c3controls/3R Viper, started from the third row on the grid and was not able to improve on his qualifying position after lap one.  On lap six the Duluth, Minnesota resident was able to get bye the Volvo going into turn one.  The field then began to spread out and he was able to cruise to a fourth place finish.

 

“I thought I had a good jump at the start, but was on the outside row and just couldn’t make up any positions,” said Archer.  “The race played out and I was hoping that the front three would slow each other down, or take each other out.  By the time they really started battling the weight of my car had played out on the tires and I couldn’t get into the fray.  We were able to make up some valuable points on Pilgrim for the championship.”

 

Tim Wiens behind the wheel of the number 3/FirsTier Bank/3R Viper, went away from the grid from the fifth row.  Wiens was embattled in a three way fight the entire race with a Pontiac and a Cadillac, but was able to come home in seventh, equaling his best finish of the season. 

 

“Bob and the 3R crew really put good cars us,” said Wiens.  “My car was very consistent and confidence inspiring the whole race.  I was having trouble getting through the esses in practice, but today I had no issues and that what kept me ahead from my pursuers.  I am a little peeved that I fell asleep on the last lap and the Pontiac got by me.  This is a good weekend, Tommy made up some points and had a clean race, and I had a good day.  We are looking forward to the next race in my hometown.”

 

Archer’s finish puts him just two points behind Pilgrim, 177 to 179, in the fight for the series drivers championship.  Tim Wiens has reasserted himself in the top ten.

 

Today’s race from Portland International Raceway will be televised on the Speed Channel, August 7th at 3:00 p.m. EST.

 

Round nine of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT series will be run through the streets of Denver on August 14th.

 

3R Racing Viper Competition Coupe weight and restrictions:

·         Base weight 3,200 lbs.

·         35% air restrictor

·         Archer R.E.W.A.R.D.S. weight is 135 lbs.

 

Speed GT Top 10 Portland Qualifiers:

1.       Dino Crescentini        Corvette

2.       Leighton Reese         Corvette                

3.       Wolf Henzler            Porsche                 

4.         Tommy Archer          3R Viper

5.       Michael Galati Volvo                     

6.       Stu Hayner              Pontiac                  

7.         Tim Wiens                  3R Viper

8.       Max Papis                Cadillac

9.       Robin Liddell             Porsche                           

10.     Andy Pilgrim             Cadillac

 

3R Racing 2005 Results

Track

Driver

Qualify

Finish

Sebring

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

2

3

11

1

6

9

St. Petersburg

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

3

7

15

1

6

7

Road Atlanta

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

6

11

16

4

5

12

Mid-Ohio

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

7

10

22

6

14

25

Cleveland

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

8

14

11

12

8

11

Lime Rock

Archer

Wiens

9

12

9

12

Infineon

Archer

Wiens

9

16

1

17

Portland

Archer

Wiens

6

10

4

7

 

3R Racing would like to thank sponsors c3controls, Sirius Satellite Radio, FirsTier Bank and partners Red Line Oil, Performance Friction brake pads, Ron Davis radiators and Dodge Motorsport.

 

For more information or photos, please refer www.3RRacing.com or contact Kyle Chura at chura@aol.com or (248) 821-0468.

 

3R Racing Heads to Portland

 

Englewood, Colorado July 27, 2005    3R Racing continues the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT series West Coast swing by traveling to Portland for round eight to be run at Portland International Raceway on July 31st.

 

When the checkered flag flew at Infineon two weeks ago the meetings began.  On lap six when Tommy Archer passed Max Papis, rendering the Cadillac stricken with bent rear suspension pieces, this incident drew the ire of the SCCA Pro Racing Officials.  They determined that it was avoidable contact and Archer was fined $3000, docked five championship points and put on probation for two races.

 

Tommy Archer, driving the number 1/c3controls/3R Viper, continues to hold down second place in the GT series driver’s points standings, just nine behind the series leader.  If Archer had not been penalized 10-points so far this season, the battle for championship honors would have Archer leading by one point. “We are appealing the ruling from Infineon,” said Archer.

 

The Duluth, Minnesota resident is heading to one of his most successful tracks.  In his last two races at Portland, in 2004 in World Challenge Archer won from the pole.  In 2003 in Trans Am he also won, even though he had to pit out of sequence with a flat tire on lap two.  “I am excited to got to Portland.  Even though it is not necessarily my favorite track, it just happens to be one that I do well at.  It is not a very technical layout, but I have always done well there, maybe because it is on the water and I like to fish.  We are carrying 135 lbs. in reward weight, the same is last year, I just wish I had the horsepower down the straight that we had last year as well.”

 

Tim Wiens, team owner and driver of the number 3/FirstTier Bank/3R Viper, finished in fifth place last year in Portland. “The whole team ran really well at Portland last year, all three of us finished in the top five.  I am ready for a good weekend.  I have had a few issues the last couple of races and I would like to get some momentum going that will carry into our home event in Denver in a few weeks.  I like Portland, there is no real magic to get around there, we just need our car to handle and run strong all weekend and take advantage of every opportunity in the race.”

 

Round eight at Portland International Raceway run on Sunday, July 31st and televised on the Speed Channel, August 7th at 3:00 p.m. EST.

 

Speed GT Top 10 Drivers Points:

1.       Andy Pilgrim             Cadillac         163

2.         Tommy Archer          3R Viper         154    

3.       Robin Liddell             Porsche         151

4.       Wolf Henzler            Porsche         127

5.       Max Papis                Cadillac         126

6.       Lou Gigliotti             Corvette        109

7.       Mike McCann            Viper             105

8.       Stu Hayner              Pontiac         100

9.       Max Angelelli            Cadillac         96

10.      Phil McClure              3R Viper         88

11.      Tim Wiens                  3R Viper         88

 

3R Racing Viper Competition Coupe weight and restrictions:

·         Base weight 3,200 lbs.

·         35% air restrictor

·         Archer R.E.W.A.R.D.S. weight is 135 lbs.

 

Speed GT Manufacturers Championship

1.       Cadillac         42

2.       Porsche         36

3.         Dodge             23

4.       Chevrolet       13

 

3R Racing 2005 Results

Track

Driver

Qualify

Finish

Sebring

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

2

3

11

1

6

9

St. Petersburg

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

3

7

15

1

6

7

Road Atlanta

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

6

11

16

4

5

12

Mid-Ohio

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

7

10

22

6

14

25

Cleveland

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

8

14

11

12

8

11

Lime Rock

Archer

Wiens

9

12

9

12

Infineon

Archer

Wiens

9

16

3

19

 

 

3R Racing would like to thank sponsors c3controls, Sirius Satellite Radio, FirsTier Bank and partners Red Line Oil, Performance Friction brake pads, Ron Davis radiators and Dodge Motorsport.

 

For more information or photos, please refer www.3RRacing.com or contact Kyle Chura at chura@aol.com or (248) 821-0468.

 

 

NORTHEAST’S LARGEST VIPER DEALER – HUGE DISCOUNTS – NATIONWIDE DELIVERY

 

3R Racing Finishes Ninth and Twelfth at Lime Rock Park

 

Lime Rock, Connecticut – July 2, 2005 - 3R Racing drivers Tommy Archer and Tim Wiens raced their 3R Vipers to a ninth and twelfth place finish today at Lime Rock Park in the 50-minute SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT series race.

 

Both Tim and Tommy endured a spin and recovery to complete the race.  The event witnessed two caution periods equaling nine laps, abbreviating the time that the 3R pilots had to come back from their off track excursions.

 

Archer, driver of the number 1/c3controls/3R Viper, had a difficult start being held up by a stalled Volvo and then was punted out of sixth place by a Corvette.  “The start was not so good, the Volvo stalled in front of me and then I had to hesitate as the Cadillac negotiated around him.  On the first restart I had a good run up the inside into one and was able to improve a few positions.  Then on lap 34, I was going into one and was hit by a Corvette and spun putting me back to ninth.  It was tough; he wasn’t even close to completing the pass.”

 

Wiens had a similar story regarding his race.  The Englewood, Colorado resident had a good start and was running up toward the top ten when oil laid down from a stricken Volvo in turn one and two caught him out sending him into the Connecticut country side.

“I had a good start; I was heading into the top ten taking every advantage to move up.  The car was good all race and the field was coming to me.  On lap eleven, I hit the oil slick in one and two and became a passenger.  I was able to recover, but ran out of laps trying to get my positions back.”

 

Round seven of the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge GT series will be run at Sears Point on July 17th.

 

3R Racing Viper Competition Coupe weight and restrictions:

·        Base weight 3,200 lbs.

·        35% air restrictor

·        Archer R.E.W.A.R.D.S. weight is 120 lbs.

 

Speed GT Top 10 Lime Rock Finishers:

1.       Max Angelelli            Cadillac        

2.       Max Papis                Cadillac        

3.       James Sofronas        Porsche        

4.       Stu Hayner              Pontiac        

5.       Wolf Henzler            Porsche        

6.       Andy Pilgrim             Cadillac        

7.       Lou Gigliotti             Corvette       

8.       Robin Liddell             Porsche

9.         Tommy Archer          3R Viper                    

10.     Tony Gaples             Corvette

-----

12.      Tim Wiens                  3R Viper        

 

3R Racing Looks for Better Fortunes in Cleveland

 

Englewood, Colorado  June 22, 2005   3R Racing will take to the 2.1-mile, 10-turn circuit at Burke Lakefront airport in Cleveland for round five of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT series race to be run on Sunday, June 26th.  Tommy Archer leads the series driver’s points with teammate Phil McClure in sixth and team owner/driver Tim Wiens in ninth.  The series last visited the laser flat airport circuit in 1992. 

 

The team had an uncharacteristic race weekend at Mid-Ohio four weeks ago.  Tommy Archer was able to finish seventh to keep his overall series lead, with teammate Phil McClure coming home tenth and Tim Wiens having two incidents of contact finishing in the twenty-fifth position.

 

Tommy Archer, driver of the number 1/c3controls/3R Viper, last raced at the Cleveland Grand Prix in 2002 driving a Viper Trans-Am car.  The Duluth, Minnesota resident had the fastest car on the track that day, only to be put down a lap due to a scoring error.    Archer went on to lap the field to get back on the lead lap and finish fourth.  “Getting through turn one at the start of the race is biggest hurdle.  The track is wide at the turn in and doubles back on itself, so if you try to go to the inside you virtually have to make a u-turn.  You have to concentrate because there are no land marks on this track to mark your critical braking and turn-in points.  I am hoping that my experience with the track will prove to an advantage.”

 

Phil McClure, driving the number 2/FirstTier Bank/3R Viper, is looking forward to the challenge of a new track.  “It looks like it is going to be a fast and exciting track.  Turn one is infamous for action and bad decisions.  I need to focus on being in the top ten.  At Mid-Ohio we struggled with handling and it felt really odd going backward in the race.  I am looking forward to a little redemption in the state of Ohio next week.”

 

Tim Wiens, team owner and driver of the number 3/FirstTier Bank/3R Viper, is ready for Cleveland.  “I had a tough weekend at Mid-Ohio.  The Cleveland track layout is wide open, it makes Sebring look like a street course.  I have been flying planes for eight years and I hope that my pilots experience will help me to navigate around the Burke Lakefront airport circuit.”

 

Round five of the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge GT series will be run on Sunday, June 26th starting at 4:00 p.m. and will be televised on Speed Channel the same day at 5:00 p.m. EST.

 

3R Racing Viper Competition Coupe weight and restrictions for Mid-Ohio:

·        Base weight 3,200 lbs.

·        45% air restrictor, change from 50% at Mid-Ohio

·        Archer R.E.W.A.R.D.S. weight is 150 lbs.

 

Speed GT Top 10 Driver’s Points:

1.         Tommy Archer          3R Viper         108

2.       Andy Pilgrim             Cadillac         100

3.       Wolf Henzler            Porsche         85

4.       Max Papis                Cadillac         83

5.       Robin Liddell             Porsche         79

6.         Phil McClure              3R Viper         70

7.       Mike McCann            Viper             62

8.       Lou Gigliotti             Corvette        53

9.         Tim Wiens                  3R Viper         50

10.     Tom Oates              Corvette        50

 

Speed GT Manufacturers’ Championship

1.       Cadillac         26

2.         Dodge 22

3.       Porsche         22

4.       Chevrolet       10

 

3R Racing 2005 Results

Track

Driver

Qualify

Finish

Sebring

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

2

3

11

1

6

9

St. Petersburg

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

3

7

15

1

6

7

Road Atlanta

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

6

11

16

4

5

12

Mid-Ohio

Archer

McCLure

Wiens

7

10

22

6

14

25

 

 

3R Racing would like to thank sponsors c3controls, Sirius Satellite Radio, FirsTier Bank and partners Red Line Oil, Performance Friction brake pads, Ron Davis radiators and Dodge Motorsport.

 

For more information or photos, please refer www.3RRacing.com or contact Kyle Chura at chura@aol.com or (248) 821-0468.

 

 

3R Racing Finishes Fourth, Eighth and Twelfth at Road Atlanta

Braselton, Georgia  -  Under near perfect weather conditions of 70-degress and sunny, 3R Racing drivers finished today's round three of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT series race in fourth, eighth and twelfth. 

Following the teams second straight victory at St. Petersburg, the SCCA added an additional 100 pounds to the Vipers base weight and an additional 5% air restriction.  The car now runs with a minimum weight for the Viper is now 3,300 lbs. and is required to run a 50% air restrictor. 

In addition to the 100 lbs. SCCA has mandated, Tommy Archer had an additional 150 lbs., 75 for his win at Sebring and 75 for the victory at St. Petersburg.  Going away from the sixth place grid position, the Duluth, Minnesota resident driving the number 1/c3controls/3R Viper finished is fourth place.  "The weight of the car really shows here, with just one yellow we were really working the tires.  With ten laps to go the shifter was getting a little stiff and the tires were going away.  Angelelli was wounded in front of me, but I just couldn't catch him.  Fourth is not bad considering our weight handicap, once again the top guys at the front helped us a lot with their mistakes."

Phil McClure, driving the number 2/FirstTier Bank/3R Viper, started from the fifth row and was quickly shuffled back to eighteenth at the start.  "I had a good launch, but came up along side a Corvette who then turned toward me and I had to go to the grass to avoid contact and that put me back a few positions.  I had to really charge and use up the car to make the positions back up.  The car was good, but the weight shows itself on the straight and out of the corners.  Starting eleventh and finishing eighth is all we had today."

Tim Wiens started from the eighth row and brought the number 3/FirstTier Bank/3R Viper home in twelfth.  "It is amazing how these cars become sluggish with the added weight.  You just watch people go by down the straight.  After the caution period I was pretty much running around by myself.  I just wanted to set good consistent laps.  The car behaved and drove well; we just cannot compete at the front like we should be.  We will regroup and be ready for Mid-Ohio next month."

Round four of the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge GT series will be run on May 21st.

Speed GT Top 10 Road Atlanta Finishers:
1. Max Papis Cadillac
2. Andy Pilgrim Cadillac
3.
Max Angelelli Cadillac
4. Tommy Archer       3R Viper
5.
Leighton Reese       Corvette
6.
James Sofronas       Porsche
7.
Mike McCann       Viper
8.
  Phil McClure      3R Viper
9.
Rob Foster      Viper
10.
Tony Gaples     Corvette
--------
12.
Tim Wiens       3R Viper

3R Racing would like to thank sponsors c3controls, Sirius Satellite Radio, FirsTier Bank and partners Red Line Oil, Performance Friction brake pads, Ron Davis radiators and Dodge Motorsport.

For more information or photos, please refer www.3R-Racing.com or contact Kyle Chura at chura@aol.com or (248) 821-0468.

3R Racing's Tommy Archer Wins St. Petersburg!

St. Petersburg, Florida - Carrying over an excellent run at Sebring just two weeks ago, Tommy Archer won the second round of SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT series race run at St. Petersburg this morning.  Teammates Phil McClure and Tim Wiens also had a competitive day coming home in sixth and seventh.

Starting from the third position, his qualifying position was corrected later Saturday; Archer sped into the lead on the first lap.  Archer was only out of the lead twice for the 50-minute timed race, with the Lidell Porsche only leading for less than one lap.  The close confines of the St. Petersburg street course caused five caution periods helping the Duluth, Minnesota based driver cool his tires, win the race and keep the overall series points lead. 

"I had a good start and was able to get up to second by turn one," said Archer, driver of the number 1/c3controls/3R Viper.  "I wanted to be aggressive from the start; if I could gain a couple of places I knew we would have a good day.  On the first lap into turn ten I was able to get under Henzler in the braking zone and then the front washed out a little pushing him toward the wall; I made it stick.  The five yellows helped a lot.  My tires were heating up and I was getting all kinds of pressure from the Porsche.  The team did a great job to stay on top of the cars setup all weekend."

Phil McClure, piloting the number 2/FirstTier Bank/3R Viper, finished in sixth from his seventh place qualifying effort.  "Not a bad day.  I was giving up a lot going into the braking zone in turn one. I am not quite comfortable with the Viper's brakes just yet.  There was a lot of rubbing going on and I bumped the wall once.  We will take it and look forward to Road Atlanta in two weeks."

Driving the number 3/FirsTier Bank/ 3R Viper is team owner Tim WiensWiens had a disappointing qualifying effort, but made up for it in the race.  "I had a really good start and was able to move up six places on the first lap.  On lap nineteen I was setup to pass the McCann Viper into turn twelve and ended up going across the grass in thirteen, but made the pass.  I touched the wall and grass had filled the radiator vent, so the motor temperature was increasing and I had a front vibration.  The yellows helped or I would have had to back off and give up positions.  The team had a great day.  Tommy winning and Phil and I in the top ten keep us in line for the championship and Dodge there for the manufacturers' title."

The St. Petersburg race will be televised on Speed Channel, Sunday, April 10th at 2:00 p.m. EST.  Round three of the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge GT series will be run at Road Atlanta on April 17th.

St. Petersburg Speed GT Top 10 Finishers:
1. Tommy Archer 3R Viper
2. Robin Liddell Porsche
3. Lou Gigliotti Corvette
4. Andy Pilgrim     Cadillac
5.
Wolf Henzler Porsche
6. Phil McClure 3R Viper
7.
Tim Wiens 3R Viper
8.
Tom Oates Corvette
9.
Jon Groom Porsche
10.
Rob Foster Viper

Speed GT Top 10 Driver's Points After Two Rounds:
1. Tommy Archer 3R Viper 65
2. Robin Liddell Porsche 53
3.
Andy Pilgrim Cadillac        51
4.
Wolf Henzler Porsche 46
5.
  Phil McClure 3R Viper 40
6.
Tim Wiens 3R Viper 36
7.
Max Papis Cadillac        35
8.
Tom Oates Corvette 34
9.
Mike McCann Viper 29
10.
Sonny Whelen Corvette 26

3R Racing would like to thank sponsors c3controls, Sirius Satellite Radio, FirsTier Bank and partners Red Line Oil, Performance Friction brake pads, Ron Davis radiators and Dodge Motorsport.



For more information or photos, please refer www.3R-Racing.com or contact Kyle Chura at chura@aol.com or (248) 821-0468.

 

Archer Wins Speed GT at Sebring!


March 18, 2005 Sebring, Florida  -  3R Racing driver Tommy Archer drove his number 1/c3controls/3R Viper to victory today in round one of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT series race at historic Sebring.  Teammates Phil McClure and Tim Wiens completed the 3R top ten run coming home in sixth and ninth.

Sunny skies and cool 70-degrees at race time was the setting for the beginning of Archer's title defense.  Starting from the front row in second position, he was able to get the jump on the pole sitting Porsche to lead into turn and never looked back.

"I got a great start," said Archer.  "The clutch was warm and when the lights went out on the starting stand this new Viper just launched down the straight.  I knew I had to get the Porsche at the start because he is too light and too fast to chase down.  The first few laps, my teammate, Phil McClure was helping by mixing things up behind me.  The group that was pursuing made my job a little easier, second place had to race with eye on his rear view mirror.  The car was great.  We did not do any off season testing, Will Moody had this set for a nice Friday afternoon drive."

Phil McClure, piloting the number 2/FirstTier Bank/3R Viper, started his race from third on the grid.  "I had a pretty good start and was able to maintain my run third place on the first lap.  Then going into the hairpin I went inside for a pass and then a Viper came inside of me, we were three abreast and he was able to make it work.  I was having some handling issues through the esses and I am still not completely confident with the brakes, I felt I was leaving a few feet in each corner."

Piloting the number 3/FirsTier Bank/ 3R Viper, Tim Wiens started eleventh and came home ninth.  "I was able to get a really good start.  The exit of the first turn on lap one was exciting, I had to take to the grass to get around the Cadillac making up a few positions.  Mid race I caught some traffic and I was locked in a battle with two Porsches.  Tommy had a great drive today.  The 3R guys finished is the same positions as we ended the season in points last year.  Hopefully that is an omen for the rest of the year."

The race will be televised on Speed Channel, Sunday, March 27th at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Sebring Speed GT Top 10:


1. Tommy Archer                 3R Viper
2. Andy Pilgrim                   Cadillac
3.
Robin Liddell                   Porsche
4.
Wolf Henzler                  Porsche
5.
Max Papis                      Cadillac
6.  Phil McClure                     3R Viper
7.
Mike McCann                  Viper
8.
Leighton Reese               Corvette
9.
Tim Wiens                         3R Viper
10.
Tom Oates                   Corvette

3R Racing would like to thank sponsors c3controls, Sirius Radio, FirsTier Bank and partners Red Line Oil, Performance Friction brake pads, Ron Davis radiators and Dodge Motorsport.

 

As seen through the Woodhouse windshield

Sebring 2005 Round One of the Speed World Challenge GT

 

Just shoot me.  Take me out of my misery.  But not yet; first hear the story.  I am gridded 13th at the Friday afternoon GT race in a field of 28 race cars.  When the red start lights go out, my engine has been hovering at 3500 rpm for 10 seconds preparing for that perfect standing start launch.  I went from hero to zero in a nano-second; yup, killed it.  I must be clueless, did this twice last year.  Crew chief Rick says all of our practice sessions from here forward will include a stop and go in the pits every lap until I can do them in my sleep. 

To the story.  Position 13 turned into position 28 instantly.  As this was taking place a fellow Viper driver Mike Hartley, gridded behind me, showed his surprise by crumbling the right rear quarter on his way by.  I saw a lot of Mike in the next few moments since on the back side of turn one he and two Porsches got caught off guard by some fluid spills.  Be aware you can’t see the back side of turn one from the front side due to concrete walls. Here I come like hell shot out of a cannon to find these three doing beautiful ballet slides in all directions.  I was scrambling to find the word “control” in my rolodex, ( how fast it feels the brain is computing) the options were but one: a piece of grass between the Hartley Viper and the wall which is what eventually stopped me; the wall.  I’m bummed; dead stick staring backwards at the race track, white painted guard rail tires peeking in my driver side window. My hope of any kind of a race finish is hanging by a spider thread when the engine re-fires and the car shows movement.  Dirt starts falling out of the wheels and grass starts blowing out of those big beautiful hood vents but all gauges moniter normal.  Can it be, maybe the day is not done.   

 

Traffic is beginning to show up on my windshield, and one at a time the cars slowly begin to disappear out the back side over the next 19 laps.  Despite the early frustration; we gain back a bit of self respect by clicking off some consistent times comparable with the top ten allowing a 14th position finish.  So that’s my story.  If you don’t shoot me now I’ll tell you the rest. 

 

Tommy Archer Won!!!!!!!!  Of course you know this by now, and the television coverage will be twice as good as anything I could write.  Just let me say he is a class act in every way, as are the people that put the car out there for him, Bob Raub, Will, the crew and co-drivers.  The Viper community is fortunate to have them.  So we are at pre-grid and Tommy comes strolling over to offer advice.  He says “Bob all you gotta do is stay on the track, drive conservative and you will move up”.  I don’t hear so good do I

 

The Viper community was well represented.  We had 10 out of the 28 cars on the starting grid.  I get such a hoot from Kenny Hawkins, the yellow and grey comp coupe from the Raliegh area.  He always tells us, “you can’t put a price on your fun”.  Saying it as much for himself as us.  The self sponsored have to be prepared for a good dent in the wallet.  Stan, wish you were here.  You all know  Dodge Motorsport is not involved in team sponsorship.  I can respect that, but they are doing one heck of a job of technical support.  Dan Knott and Gary Johnson are key to this cause.  Thank em if you get a chance.  We need them there dearly and they are committed for the season.  Two of their engineers will be at every race.  Great help when the electrical and chassis gremlins attack.  Matt or Peter or Jeff are there to help your crew through it.  Problem is they will never tell you the hot set-up the other teams are running (kidding).

 

The people I meet seem to know everything about Sebring since 1952 or nothing at all.       Somebody has learned about it though  In the neighborhood of 50,000 show up for this spectacle of racing venues that culminates with the running of the 12 Hours of Sebring. This year the crowd came late. Perhaps influenced by five inches of rain that fell Thursday.  We used practice times for gridding since qualifying wetted out.

 

Now for the inside scoop, this is top secret stuff so you can’t tell anybody OK?  Remember that last year we finished the year realizing we did not have the fastest cars in the WCGT field.  As you remember the manufacturer’s championship went to Audi, with Cadillac narrowly losing and this whole game is played with rules that are meant to make everyone equal.  OK that is an oxymoron, not possible.  PRO-SCCA is doing everything they can to attempt that, however, this year they felt it would be nice to lower the speed potential of most of the field to allow slower cars a competitive chance.  EX: Volvo R60 and possibly Nissan.  While this is a virtuous idea, it goes against a race car drivers mind set.  Take a Viper owner, he buys a Comp Coupe, which is near stock, short a fire bottle and steering wheel.  Then we remove the stock engine horse power of 520 to around 400 by pulling off the headers and giving it a 45% air intake restrictor.  Every race driver I know loves going slower, NOT. Most of the field has been affected in varying degrees. 

 

Throughout last winter there has been hard work put into all of the brands to maintain their lap speeds.  Since it isn’t available in horsepower we are forced to find it elsewhere.  And most of the teams have found good improvements as this year straightaway speeds went down and cornering speeds came up giving comparable lap time. 

 

Now here is our secret stuff, we spent hours with our chemical engineers developing a polymer wax that is so darn slick the wind barely grabs our car.  In fact Nancy spilled some of it on my racing seat, got so bad that Rick had to hold me in while I got the harness buckled.  What? You expected nitrous oxide? 

Pre-race some Viper folks were teasing Mr. Wonderful, Sonny Whelen.  Since I was gridded behind him, they told him he should be ready to be punted forward about three car lengths going into turn three.  I am not saying for sure but this may have been based off of some questionable reporting by Speed TV at Road America last year and deftly promoted by our friend Erik Mesley.  We were standing there thinking it was kinda funny so I went to the transporter, got a pillow, wrote Sonny’s name on it and taped it to the front of our Viper CC. 

As you know Sonny switched to a very fast Corvette this year.  We forgave him for that but we thought it might be jolly humor.  Our car was headed for pre-grid with our new pillow bumper but questioned whether Sonny would think it was as funny so we privately invited his crew over and everybody got a good chuckle.

More to come: April 3rd, round two, St Petersburg street race.  Check it all out at www.world-challenge.comAnd link to the broadcast times on SpeedTV.  And if you need any kind of vehicle go to www.woodhouse.com   Shameless pun, I hate myself. God bless you all.

3R Racing Ready to Starts 2005 Season at Sebring!


Englewood, Colorado -  3R Racing has spent the off season celebrating their SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge Speed GT series driver's championship and preparing their, now three, Viper Competition Coupes for the 2005 schedule.

Following the team's success with Tommy Archer's championship last year, 3R has purchased a third Viper for Phil McClure and is ready to defend their driver's title and make some waves in the manufacturer chase for Dodge.

"The 2004 season was great, but that is behind us now," said Tim Wiens, 3R Racing owner and driver of the number 3/First Interstate Inns/3R Viper.  "I am looking forward to getting back behind the wheel after a long winter in Colorado.  Bob Raub and the crew have done everything to update the Vipers and get them ready for the new season.  All three of us were able to finish in the top ten at Sebring last year, we are looking to finish the race a few more places toward the podium in the finishing order next weekend."

Tommy Archer, driver of the c3controls/3R Viper has enjoyed being the champion and will carry the number one on his car for 2005.  "It was nice to represent 3R and Dodge as the champion," said Archer.  "Tim has done a great job to keep the team together for this year and improve the cars.  The car is different, the rules have changed the car somewhat including a 50% restrictor, but that is the nature of the series.  We will go to Sebring with the same attitude as we did each race last year, take every position we are given and complete every lap.  I hope to improve my fourth place finish from last year."

Driving the number 2/Aggregate Industries/3R Viper is returning World Challenge GT veteran Phil McCLure.  "I've had the opportunity to drive the Viper, it will be fun.  It seems bigger and heavier.  The brakes on the car are really good and will take some getting used to.  The sound of the motor is a very different.  In the Corvette I could hear the shift point.  Bob Raub and Will Moody have a good handle on the car and we have a year of development to lean on.  Porsche, Cadillac and the new C6 will be cars that will be really strong.  Sebring rewards horsepower, so we are hoping to be right there in the top eight looking for a good finish.  I am looking forward to getting some quality seat time in the Viper."

Round one of the World Challenge GT schedule at Sebring will be run on March 18th at 3:45 p.m. EST and televised on Speed Channel Sunday, March 27th at 3:00 p.m.

For more information or photos, please refer www.3R-Racing.com or contact Kyle Chura at chura@aol.com or (248) 821-0468

As seen through the Woodhouse windshield

September 24, 2004 Round 9 of the Speed TV SCCA World Challenge GT race

 

Laguna Seca, Speed TV World Challenge GT Race: The Final Round Ten of 2004

 

On the day of the race, waiting for it to begin is like the feeling you get when you are building toward a highly romantic evening with your favorite person of the opposite sex.  The anticipation, the anxiety, of what is to come, gets almost unbearable.  This is the final; this is the famous Laguna Seca, the race that everybody prepares to do their very best.  Championships to be settled.  Finally the red lights go out on the starting grid and the race begins.  How sweet that moment; a head rush of endorphins all telling you the sacrifices were worth it.   Let’s try to savor the moment with focus and intensity; for like the comparison above; it won’t last long, a short 28 laps, just 50 minutes. Then fulfillment and satisfaction, then days later, a need to do it all over again.  Oh what fools we are, to be addicted to our own passions in such a predictable way.  How lucky we are to experience both of these sensations; and mostly legal.

 

For those not familiar with Laguna Seca, this race track is possibly the most famous of all US road race tracks.  Just 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay, located in a very hilly bowl shaped area of earth that grows a few trees and little else.    Vertical elevation changes, corners of many types and degrees of banking, all add to the challenge and thrill.  Famous for the Cork Screw which needs no explanation, a track that can intimidate yet provide extreme feelings of satisfaction when done right.  Californians love their road racing, this week end was a testament to that, throngs of people, but the California Viper owners are the most enthusiastic of all.  Both Viper Club Regions; Southern and Northern were there in force to support the fanatical fringe, (yours truly included) in their World Challenge GT attempts at what is now billed as the best Road Racing Series on the planet.  The Viper fringe included the local boys of  Al Bacera, Joe Brigante, John Deering, Ted May and others along with the series regulars of Tommy Archer, the new drivers champion, Tim Weins, Rob Foster, Mike and Jim McCann, and Peter Tonnelli. Viper support came all the way from Tennessee with Stan and Sheryl Wilson who also campaign a CC were there.  Stan did some commentating with Tom Hnatiw and our own Bill Pemberton and son Ryan came to cheer on all the Viper teams including ours of Rick, Nancy, myself, oh and Louise, my wife who hates this racing but came cause she loves me.

 

The Race: Two people lay victim to the “I killed it at the start virus” when the lights went out on the start grid.  The black Corvette at the back was used as a launghing ramp for Derek Bell to two wheel his Volvo down the side of.  The other was none other than our own hero, Tommy Archer.  It wasn’t me this time, surprised?  Alas, my Viper friends Tommy made for a spectacular race to win the drivers championship, going in to this race he needed to finish 4 positions in front of Michael Galatti to win.  The deed was done, but I shall leave that to SpeedTV and now take you behind the Woodhouse windshield. 

 

Starting in 15th position on the inside was not the worst place to be considering the first turn first lap drama that unfolds on these standing start races.  I got a good launch and due to having an Audi in front of me we made great head way up the inside flying up to turn two (turn one is not actually a turn, just a kink in the front straight on the way to the tight 180 degree turn 2).  When we arrived at the turn it was astonishing to see all of these cars bunched up so tightly it looked like   the parking lot of Wal Mart on a 75% off sale.  With tapping pushing and shoving the field mostly made it through to turn three where things got a little rougher.  I watched Mike McCann get shunted and slowed up which put me up beside him going into four.  Apparently he was a bit bit busy and saw none of me.  He drove the racing line to the apex of corner four with me on the inside of him forcing me up and over the concrete bumpys.  “Ouch” as they slid down the center of the belly of the car, later to find the oil pan took a thumping and was slowly dripping oil through the duration of the race (no engine damage). 

 

By this time the field was bunched up with yours truly around 11th  when the full coarse yellow comes out to remove carnage, the main one was the Davis Mustang that caught fire in turn 5.  Back to green on about lap four I caught debree in turn three and went wide giving Max Angelleli in the Cadillac the inside line.  We ran door to door up through turn 4 and into turn 5 where I dropped in behind him.  His forward momentum on corner exit was less than mine and I found plenty of speed to pass him back on our way to turn six.  Max was having none of it as I moved up along side he kept driving to the left until I was out of asphalt to give.  I was so surprised by this it took me a while to digest it.  I wasn’t expecting that kind of treatment from a pro but the Cad/Audi battle was down to the wire so one should expect it perhaps.  He was still pushing on my side sill when I decided to return the favor.  About the only time a heavy race car has an advantage is in a pushing match.  (the Viper is required to be the heaviest car in the series)    Max volunteered the spot with my encouragement and a lap or so later he made the pass, this time it was professional.

         

A couple of laps later, Tim Weins did a great job of taking advantage of a goof I made in one of the corners he immediately went to work on the Audi (Galati I think) in front of us, meanwhile I look up and incredulously realize Tommy had somehow gotten behind us.  Later I learned it was the motor kill thing.  Tommy was cooking.  We made room at the appropriate time and watched him motor out of site.   Tim made it around the Audi, then it was my turn, (“oh what a feeling” oops, sorry that’s Toyota).  Tim’s tires seemed to be going off.  As he exited the cork screw, his car was picking up some yaw.  Tim had my full attention as the next two laps I concentrated on being the master of smooth.  I came through the cork screw and on to the two 90 mph down hill sweepers the opportunity was there.  With Tim behind me and Mike McCann a several seconds in front, Rick comes on the radio “good pass now go catch Mike, you got about 5 laps”. We closed up on him going up the hill from turn six and thought if any opportunity would come it had to be here since the white flag was out.  It was the entry of the corkscrew.  Mike is a good racer, he puts his car where you would if you were in front.  He shut the door as I tried about 3 inches harder than I wanted giving Mike a love tap at the top.  He held to take the checker for  8th position, 9th for me and 10th for Tim to put 4 Vipers in the top 10 spots at the final World Challenge Race of 2004.  I hope you enjoyed my race tails this year.  It was a steep learning experience.  In another couple of weeks we will make our decisions about next year and I will be able to tell you if these stories will continue.  God Bless you all.  Enjoy the holidays.  Bob Woodhouse

 

October 17, 2004
Immediate Release

Tommy Archer Wins Speed GT Championship!
Englewood, Colorado - 3R-Racing driver Tommy Archer won the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge GT series driver's championship today by finishing in third place in the final round of the series at Laguna Seca.  The final standings have Archer over Galati by six for the title.

Archer, driving the number 22/c3controls/ Whelen Engineering/3R Viper, dug himself a hole by qualifying tenth - only for that hole to get deeper at the start where he tried a different launch tactic.  This misjudgment caused him to fall back four positions to 14th on the first lap, while his competitor for the title, Michael Galati raced by into seventh position before the first turn.  "I tried to start with a little lower rpm, which wasn't a good idea.  I then thought that the race and championship was gone.  Will Moody and I put a setup under the car that was just great.  That gave me the confidence to move through the field.  The car was the best it has been all weekend.  I was able to drive hard the whole race until the tires started to fall off with about five laps to go.  The team has worked hard all year, Dodge has been a big help along with c3controls and Whelen Engineering."  Archer also won the Remus Power Move of the race by passing the Pobst Audi for third position.

Viper teammate and 3R team owner Tim Wiens, driving the number 33/1st Interstate Inns/3R Viper, finished in tenth with an excellent run from his 14th place qualifying effort.  "At the start I almost rear ended Tommy when he was slow to get away on the grid.  It took me a little bit to get over the shock of seeing a championship go away.  I had a good run today, the car was consistent up until about six or seven laps to go and then it started to fall off a little.  The championship is the result of a nice team effort and an excellent drive by Tommy."  Wiens consistency throughout the season is rewarded with an eighth place in the season ending driver's point standings.

Phil McClure, piloting the number 73/Aggregate Industries/3R Corvette, started from the fourth row and finished in twelfth today.  McClure was able to hold fourth position for half of the race until he made a passing attempt on the Audi heading into the Cork Screw.  "I was watching Tommy pick off these cars going into the Cork Screw and I had a run on the Audi up the hill and tried him on the inside but didn't get a good bite with the brakes and spun.  We had a good car, we were not very good in practice all week and we took a gamble on the setup and it paid off.  We had a better car than where we finished today."  McClure finished in sixth place in the final season point standings.

Rob Foster, driving his number 71/LTI Contracting/Foster Motorsports/3R-Viper, had a good race starting in 21st and coming home in thirteenth in his best finish in the series to date.  "I was able to get a good start, picking up three places at the start.  I was dicing with two Corvettes about half way through the race and then the tires started to go away.  We had a good handling car all weekend."


Speed GT Top 10 Laguna Seca Finishers:

1.  Wolf Henzler       Porsche  
2.  Boris Said Mustang
3.  Tommy Archer 3R Viper
4.
  Randy Pobst Audi
5.  Peter Cunningham Audi
6.  Michael Culver Porsche
7.
  Max Angelelli Cadillac
8.  Mike McCann Viper
9.  Bob Woodhouse Viper
10. Tim Wiens       3R Viper
12.
  Phil McClure 3R Corvette
14.
  Rob Foster 3R Viper

As seen through the Woodhouse windshield

September 24, 2004 Round 9 of the Speed TV SCCA World Challenge GT race


Pre-race: It is called Promoters Day, a practice day in advance of the SCCA sanctioned event. Tuesday prior to the Friday race. It is the second of four sessions, Panoz race cars are practicing with the WCGT series cars. I am under the bridge at turn twelve in the Woodhouse.com Viper Comp Coupe #13; a red panoz race car with the same car no. as mine, #13, (huh, anybody superstitious?) is beside me. The red Panoz driver spots a green Panoz car that spun on the down hill side and flings his car into the side of mine. Kawhump! Aaargh! Still mobile I manage to drive it back to the pits on three wheels dragging the left rear that is sticking out sideways.
Sobering: It took just a nano-second to put a $5000 bullet hole in the check book.
What a great bunch of Viper guys: between all of the teams and our Tom Francis, we had all the parts to put it together. Rick and Nancy got right on it and we were patched together by 11am the following morning.

Yes, I had to go over and visit my young Panoz driver friend who was hiding out in anticipation. I was cool about it, (surprised huh?) I asked him what was he thinking and he said he didn’t see me and I said “that was not fresh news”, I wanted to know if that helmet was carrying any brain activity at the time. Actually I wanted to know if he had an attitude or if he was remorseful and apologetic. We started with the attitude and ended with the latter.

I qualified 10th which felt pretty good since the next Viper on the chart was Tommy in third. Still carrying his extra weight too. Rick and I might be learning a bit about qualifying vs. race set-up. Shocking.

The Race: The Viper Nation had 8 Comp Coupes and Sonny’s GTS on the grid. Great showing. Leading up to the late afternoon race start on Friday were a lot of edgy drivers as they had to sit around all day thinking about the race. Finally it’s time; the red lights on the grid go out and all the cars were off into turn one except Rob Foster’s beautiful lime green Viper Comp Coupe. It was a very short race for Rob but no lack of drama! Welcome to this year’s World Challenge Rob.

As we focused on our own car-to-car battles on the first lap, Rob was left sitting in the middle of the front straight. The wrecker driver heard us coming over the hill and left hastily only to return and hand Rob his tow hook after it pulled off. The drivers were so pre-occupied with the raging first lap war that the late waving yellow flag did little to slow the field as we all came down the turn 12 hill with foot on firewall, then going “EEE-GAD” as we each moved to the inside of the straight to clear Rob’s car. What happened behind Rob at the start of the race must have been a drama of its own. I saw Tom Oates car after the race and he had a bite out of his fender from John Groom, each attempting to avoid Rob’s car.
An engine issue, a brake issue, and this a drive train issue? A lot for one outing. Rob is Irish ya know. There will be a lot of four letter expletives in his speech for the next few days. I would wait a week before calling him.

Three laps under full coarse yellow while Rob’s car is cleared; the battle resumes. I am having a blast, cars on all sides to grapple with: Tim Wiens the 3R/Comp Coupe #33 is in front of me doing a great job. Three, yes three not two Audis have a congo line just behind me. We swapped positions a couple of times before they started falling back around lap 6. They are scary fast through the twisties and can gain on Vipers through there but the straight away is our friend today. Remember they got some intake size reduction, of coarse you remember we got 20% intake reduction a couple races back along with the Vettes.

Around lap 15 of this 29 lap event Peter Tonelli in his Red Comp Coupe finds the gravel trap at the bottom of the big hill, turn 12. The yellow flag comes out and we circulate for the re-start. I notice Carol Hollfelder with her Mustang, is caughtin the line just in front of Tim Weins #33 Viper. Carol is as nice as they come but somehow, trouble follows her. Not to be denied this time. When the front cars get to the re-start cones the entire field goes green and for some reason Tim does not go back to attack mode, he lays behind Carol waiting, perhaps he thinks he can’t pass until his car is past the start cones.
The field in front of Carol is leaving, all the cars behind us are bottlenecking. Tim and Carol come down the big turn 12 hill side by side. I am having an anxiety attack. Tim is squeezing us to the left at the bottom of 12 when a huge cloud of red dust appears in front of Carol’s Mustang blocking any forward vision short of the back end of two cars that disappeared into it. Brain says: “bleep bleep, full alert, crash underway”. I have no desire to partake so I point the car left which should have been the long wide green exit curb but instead caught the dirt patch just prior to the curbing.

From there the world went hyper-speed. You know the feeling when you hit grass? Like the car just got rocket boosters. Brain says: “this is a red alert. I'm calm but remember concrete wins.” I steer and countersteer thinking I am contributing to my good fortune. Who knows, maybe both feet in would have been just as good. Do you remember the Octopus ride at the state fair? Yeah, similar except I could see the pores in the concrete on this ride. I was dizzy by the time this thing quit acting like a helicopter rotor. Two 360 rotations? Maybe three, hell I don’t know, each tire took a turn at a piece of pavement while the rest were doing grass and dirt. As the rotation stopped, fortunately the car ended up facing straight down the track. I found low gear and hi-tailed it outta there before things got worse. One more lesson learned from World Challenge racing: Pack extra underwear.

Unfortunately the front splitter did not recover from its temporary use as a backhoe. When the car went over 90 mph it would begin this vertical vibration that was violent enough to whip the hood into a blur that covered half of the windshield view.

Into the pits while Rick took his battery powered sawzall to any front splitter lip left. Back on track with no improvement. I had decided to call it a day when Rick gets on the radio and says, “Hey you are only a lap or two from the checker, stay out there”.

Round 9 race results left Cadillac, Porsche, and Vette up front. You had to go to fifth to find Tommy, our first Viper, then 10th for Tim Weins, who drove a fine race. Our consistent and aggressive McCann brothers did well considering they wrestled with less than perfect car set-ups. Proudest of all should be Kenny Hawkins who started near the back and moved up 6 positions to be awarded the Sunoco Hard Charger Award of the race. They do not come any nicer than Kenny. Final race; round 10, Laguna Seca. Keep the faith.

 

 

3R-Racing Finishes Fourth, Fifth and Tenth at Road Atlanta

 

September 24, 2004 - Braselton, Georgia - 3R-Racing drivers Phil McClure, Tommy Archer, Tim Wiens finished in fourth, fifth and

tenth today in round nine of the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge GT series race at Road Atlanta. 3R

new comer Rob Foster finished in 32nd after losing the transmission at the start of the race.

 

Phil McClure, piloting the number 73/Aggregate Industries/3R Corvette, qualified in second and was able to

hold his position until lap fourteen when the Liddell Porsche got past. "I had a good car. Liddell was strong

and I was using up my tires trying to keep him behind me, so I let him go. I could hold off Gigliotti for fourth,

but we caught traffic in the wrong place and he went past. I really didn't have anything for him down the

straights at the end of the race."

 

Tommy Archer, driving the number 22/c3controls/ Whelen Engineering/3R Viper, who is currently locked in

a points battle for the championship improved his championship outlook today, leaving him just four away

from the top spot. "The race felt like a 50-minute qualifying session. I was able to get a good start and then

was boxed in going up the hill and the Porsche was able to get past. I was being pursued by Pilgrim in the

Cadillac and was driving every lap hard. The car developed a loose feeling at the entry of the corners.

Based upon points leader Galati finishing in eleventh, Laguna should be pretty exciting."

 

Viper teammate Tim Wiens, driving the number 33/1st Interstate Inns/3R Viper, qualified in eleventh place

and ran as high eighth until finishing tenth behind premier road racer Johnny O'Connell. "I had a good run.

O'Connell couldn't quite get close enough early on to make a pass. I went down into the esses on the last

lap and there was some oil there and I slid off line which allowed him to get past me along with the two

Audis. I was able to make up the places on the Audis down the long straight. The car was good all day."

 

Rob Foster's weekend of discontent continued into the race. Driving the number 71/LTI Contracting/Foster

Motorsports/3R-Viper, he was lined up on the grid and when the lights went out for the start the car didn't

move. "I pulled into my position after the parade laps getting ready for the standing start. I revved the car

to 3500 rpms, dropped the clutch and didn't move. I tried a few other gears, but had a fist full of neutral. It

was a tough weekend with our blown motor on Wednesday. Now I will have a new drive train for Laguna."

 

The race from Road Atlanta will be televised on Speed Channel Sunday at 1:00 p.m. eastern time.

Speed GT Top 10 Road Atlanta Finishers:

 

1. Max Angelelli Cadillac

2. Robin Lydell Porsche

3. Lou Gigliotti Corvette

4. Phil McCLure 3R Corvette

5. Tommy Archer 3R Viper

6. Andy Pilgrim Cadillac

7. Leighton Reese Corvette

8. Michael Culver Porsche

9. Johnny O'Connell Cadillac

10. Tim Wiens 3R Viper

32. Rob Foster 3R-Viper

 

For more information reference the team web site at www.3r-racing.com or contact Kyle Chura at

chura@aol.com or (248) 821-0468.

 

As seen through the Woodhouse windshield

August 21, 2004 -  Round 8 at Road America as seen through the Woodhouse Windshield.

 

My crew lady Nancy Shanno placed us in a “put up or shut up” position at Mosport last Aug. 8th .  She told Tom Hnatiw, the announcer that she would have our original Viper Competition Coupe back at Road America.  He did what any good announcer would do and gleefully rubbed her nose in it over the p.a. whilst she was standing on the grid with the 24 other flag bearers at race start.  In the 8 day work window between the two races she proved that she could make good on a promise. (You remember from earlier windshield reports that this car hit the turn 10 wall at Infineon.) We were all pretty grouchy with no sleep but the car was there gleaming in the morning sun at Road America Thursday morning before practice.  Was it done?  Not quite; 10 tick list items left, including stabilizer bars but we could run practice without them! (Amazing what a car can do with no bars).  Jump to Sunday morning, The first chance to tell Nancy and Rick how proud I was of them came on Sunday morning as I watched the tears roll down her cheeks.

 

 

We qualified the car twelfth Saturday morning with a time under the pole sitting time for this race in 2003.  That dramatizes the competitiveness this series has seen in one year. 

 

Derek Bell with the Volvo team showed up for this race.  We have expected them since January.  As results show, it will be a daunting task to get competitive.  Even with the air restrictions and weight added to the rest of the field. 

 

Audi made everybody scratch their heads when their qualifying times came in at a ballistic 4 seconds below last year.  No I ain’t speculating so don’t ask.

 

Our Corvette friends had some engine difficulty this week end so it was an honor to be asked if we wanted to help out by loaning the blue and silver Viper Comp Coupe to get Leighton Reese a seat in the race.  I can’t say we converted him but he was pleased with the mid-range torque!  Given about one lap to familiarize he finished an admirable 15th.

 

With a “race start vs engine kill” ratio higher than anybody in the GT series I was pleased to see the curse leave me.  Unfortunately the curse infected Tony Gaples Corvette and while he was in re-crank mode several competitors attempted to occupy the same space as he and Adam Malmquist were evaluating their getaway plans.   Adam got the worst of it in his blue #9 Corvette making his total race about 29 feet from start to finish.  He told me he thinks he got hit three separate times.

 

          I managed to arrive at turn one ahead of Ron Fellows in the Cadillac leaving me feeling excited about being in the herd with the big dogs.  After circulating a half dozen laps with a confidence that I was not holding him up, it was time to keep my wits in my helmet as the brake zones were picking up a sort of snake wiggle at the ends of the long straights.  It was time to be courteous and drop a half second a lap and make things work to the end. Ron made a clean pass at Canada Corner with my blessings.  Meanwhile the Audi’s, the McClure Vette, the Cad’s, Tommy Archer and Mike McCann were all looking like a conga line out front.  How Tommy even kept that lead sled (250#s in rewards weight) moving was amazing.  He had the largest cornering arches in the history of Road America, starting the corners near the dirt and exiting them the same way trying to keep from dropping corner speed. 

 

          The white flag just flew and I am picking up a red spot in my rear view mirror, fondly known as Stan Wilson the #92 Viper CC, one of two of the most talented young drivers in this series (the other would be Chip Herr).  Stan is doing a fabulous job of closing on me.  By turn 5 at the end of the second long straight he is on my rear bumper.  Ya know if the man and the car are that dominant I should breath it and let him go, so corner six I go wide and drop off a bit, hmm, no pass, corner seven, OK he takes the pass, I fall in behind and go back to business.  As we leave the carousel and pucker up for the kink I can tell I have a decent run going and approaching Canada corner I am closing quickly with an inside pass on my radar.  .  Stan is as competitive as any and he places his car in front of my intended inside pass.  No problem I think as I squeeze in a small amount of brake so as not to lose the passing momentum that may still be useable as I switch to the outside of the corner.  What surprised me was the early brake check from Stan’s car.  What takes place next felt like something out of a Star Wars movie.  Full brake pedal could not prevent the nose to tail contact.  EEE-GAD! I watched Stan’s car do a tank slapper.  I can’t be sure what made the car react so violently, perhaps some wheels were in the dirt.  It was like the car was shot out of a cannon.  Stan spins around backwards and tails it into Canada corner butt first ignoring the sand trap altogether and stopping via the use of the tire wall on the far side.  I was just sick.  I finished the lap, took the checker and waited as a tow truck brought Stan and his car in.  It looked like a dirty piece of  red christmas wrap after a Rottweiller tore the package open.  Oh did I mention I felt pretty awful?  I hope I am speaking for Stan, but neither one of us felt very proud of this.

 

          I spoke with Stan today and he is hell bent to get the car re-incarnated by VOI8 where we are both looking to be part of the races on Sat and Sun noon.  But without this much drama of course!

 

          Thank you all for enduring my antics and for the support you give the Vipers and this Woodhouse Auto Family.  Next WC race is Road Atlanta.  Bob Woodhouse

 

 Corner 5 at Rd Am Aug 20 2004, Stan Wilson in Red #92

AutomobloxTM  announces SPEED World Challenge sponsorship

“This sponsorship is a natural fit. It’s an excellent way to introduce Automoblox to an audience that is as passionate about cars as we are,” says Patrick Calello, Automoblox president. “The Automoblox building system gives youngsters a high-quality play experience, while helping them to develop important skills in problem solving, giving parents the confidence they’re making good playtime choices for their children.”

Automoblox’s sponsorship of the GT Class SPEED World Challenge continues through the rest of the season.  “We’re really excited about our affiliation with the SPEED World Challenge. This is our first step in automotive industry related promotion for Automoblox,” says Callello.  “Think of Automoblox as America ’s newest car company. We’re commited to the development of children hoping to inspire the next generation of car designers and engineers.” 

 

 

The Automoblox building system is an educational, skill-building toy that uses interactivity and interconnecting components that both challenges and inspires children to create unique vehicles.

For more information, visit www.automoblox.com, call (973) 364-8090 or info@automoblox.com

 

  

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

3R-Racing Takes Points Lead to Road America

August 13, 2004  Englewood, Colorado -- 3R-Racing is taking their slim points lead for driver Tommy Archer to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin next week for round eight of the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge GT series race to be run at Road America.  

Archer leads the GT driver's standings with 174 points, two points ahead of second place.  3R teammates Phil McClure and Tim Wiens are also in the top ten in GT points with McClure in sixth with 122 and Wiens in tenth with 97.  

Road America is the longest track on the schedule with its 12-turns and slightly over four miles in length.  The track rewards horsepower and an aerodynamic shape.  The Archer Viper is carrying 255 lbs. in REWARDS (Rewarding of Equalizing Weight Assigned to Reduce Driver Sensitivity) weight and the McCLure Corvette has a 20% restrictor, both affecting the overall performance of the racers.

Tommy Archer, driver of the number 22/c3controls/ Whelen Engineering/3R Viper, said, "the weight of our car won't help us at Road America.  We are having to really work hard on the setup so we can maximize the use of our tires with the weight.  The Viper performs well when it can use its V-10 on the long straights and Road America has three of them.  On the other hand the long turns are not a plus for us and this track has almost six of those.  So we will have to work hard during the practice sessions.  We need to keep our focus on the championship and keep getting top five finishes."

Phil McClure, piloting the number 73/Aggregate Industries/3R Corvette, returns to Road America with some trepidation.  Last year at this time McClure was in the thick of the points chase for the GT driver's championship when on lap 17, while running fourth, he was involved in a crash in turn eight.  The wreck wrote-off his Corvette and combined with the hard-hit, he had to miss the next round, ruining his chances at the 2003 GT driver's championship.  "Thankfully I don't remember too much about the wreck.  I am definitely hoping for a better result this time.  The 20% restrictor we have will show up at Road America in our straight line performance.  The fast turns will be good for us, then down the straights we will need to hold our own.  We had some motor issues at Mosport which the 3R guys have solved, so I am looking forward to a good run next week."

Viper teammate Tim Wiens, driving the number 33/1st Interstate Inns/3R Viper, finished eighth last year at Road America.  "I like the track, it is fast and has a lot of road racing history.  The Viper will be a ball to drive there, the horsepower and torque of the V-10 will be a real asset.  I am looking forward to improving on my eighth place finish from last year."

The race will be run on August 21st and televised on Speed Channel August 29th at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time.

The double header from Mosport last week will be televised on Speed Channel this weekend,  August 15, at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Speed GT Top 10 Drivers Point Standings:
1.  Tommy Archer 3R Viper 174 Points
2.   Michael Galati Audi 172
3.
  Andy Pilgrim Cadillac       160
4.
  Randy Pobst Audi 138
5.
  Max Angelelli Cadillac       131
6.
  Phil McCLure 3R Corvette 122
7.
  Leighton Reese Corvette 112
8.
  Mike McCann Viper 103
9.
  Lou Gigliotti       Corvette 103
10.
Tim Wiens       3R Viper 97

 

As seen through the Woodhouse windshield

 

August 11, 2004 - Rounds six and seven at Mosport  - The famous Mosport Racing Circuit; immortal in road racing circles. 

 

What a kaleidoscope of experiences we had this past four days of August 5 – 8 at this track near Toronto Ca.  My perception of this track before coming was that it was fast, famous, unforgiving and difficult to master.  I was also informed that a who’s who of road racing had dealt with their fate here.   But even with that weighty thought, if all those racing greats had dealt with today’s customs and security at the Toronto, Canada airport there would have been a much smaller loss of life, as many would not have maintained the patience to deal with travel challenges.

           

I remind you that this experience comes just  two weeks after balling up my #13 Viper Comp Coupe in practice at Infineon.  I wasn’t getting good sleep but I did not want to miss a chance in a lifetime to run at this famous place. Tommy Archer said it straight as he passed along some advice that was given to him here years ago.  “Go out there in your first practice session and commit to being the slowest car there”.  I won’t say it took away the “fear” of the place, but it turned out to be great advice.  We never visited any grass or track picnic areas all week-end.  And this track has lots of them. 

 

The fans at Mosport seem unique, they love this sport, in this order: watching racing, drinking beer, being with friends, camping out, and some want to be close to the cars and teams.  In contrast is Florida’s Sebring where the crowds are into “Spring Break” style partying.  Mitch Wright of SCCA told me that the crowd would number between 30 and 50 thousand, not bad for north of the border!  Wow, those woods hold a lot of tents and campers.

 

Mitch also said that the World Challenge Series is growing in television viewer ship and is staged to be the most significant road racing series of our time.  That makes this important to manufacturers and guess what; Dodge has been quietly gaining on the big dogs, Caddy and Audi in the point race.  Check results on the www.world-challenge.org

 

What stands out about this 2.5 mile road circuit are the high speeds and large doses of elevation change. The average lap speed for GT cars reaches 104 mph.  That is pretty high for 10 turns in 2.5 miles.  Interpret that as meaning that the corners are very fast.  Amazing too is that the speeds of the top 20 cars in the field range from 104 to 102 mph looking at the Sat race results.  SCCA is getting what they planned for, tight racing by controlling car potential. 

 

Corner numbers two and four are the first to be brought up in Mosport bench racing conversation.  You approach those corners at over 100 mph, which is no big deal; it’s the fact that you cannot see over the crest of the hill as the corners drop away. You know that feeling your stomach gets when the floor falls out from under you? Combine that with a g-load multiplier at the bottom that makes your head sink into your lap.  Wow! 

 

The first few quick laps here remind you of the story about the drowning swimmer that asks the lord that if he were to get one more chance he would do anything in return?  Once you become aware you survived; all promises muttered in your helmet during the lap tend to evaporate.  

 

 

Round Six, the Saturday race: For the first time this season there were no full coarse yellows.  And get this; the top nine cars finished within 5 seconds of each other after 30 laps.  This will be fantastic television viewing.  I wish we could hear all of the drivers stories as they hugged each other (hmm, poor word choice) for the entire race.  One Viper; Tommy Archer finished in the top 10, in fact Tommy made the podium once again finishing third despite faster cars in back of him and despite the 200 extra pounds (Rewards weight as it is called) he is carrying.   Tommy gets our full respect for the skill and experience he brings to the table each time. The Audi two car team came home 1st and 2nd.  Tommy has a narrow lead in the points chase.  I was surprised to see just one Coupe make top 10, unlike Portland where the Viper Comp Coupes did Dodge proud by having 5 Vipers in the top ten. My personal result on Saturday was underwhelming, 18th yet personally acceptable with the lack of track experience and strong will to stay alive. 

 

The standing start came off well with a hole shot up the outside using the grass/pavement combination to pass a couple cars before turn one.  The congo line formed soon thereafter and by the middle of the race things were getting uneventful until it began to rain on one half of the track which included the tight corners of 5a and 5b.  I found a nice combination of oil, water, and off camber that created a crowd pleasing pinwheel effect, about a 640 degree rotation.  Landing eventually at the inside of 5b a couple of gracious corner workers took mercy and pushed on the rear wing to get the car moving on the wet grass adding but a mere 30 seconds extra to the lap time.   The back side of corner 5 had so many race fans that I spent another 15 seconds in a later lap attempting to impress them with a duplicate pirouette.  It was a small 270 degree spin, but with enough tire smoke to rival a large pyrotechnic show on the 4th.  So any attempt for a good result was thwarted by my ingenious entertainment antics.

 

Round Seven the Sunday Race:

 Contrary to what you may think, I did not kill the engine on the race start on purpose just to have the opportunity to pass all my east coast Viper Comp Coupe buddies.  But, it is true I have mastered the art of 3200 rpm dead stops.  Most racers have creative excuses. Here’s mine: 

 

During the staging process at the start of the race, the Silver Corvette of Tony Gaples just in front of me staged a bit shallow in his start box.  Smart.  No problem, until the frantic arm flailing of the SCCA official left me a miniscule four feet of space between he and I, (imagined or not).  So the light goes out, I, being the crack clutch/throttle man personally trained by Adel Asayed himself instantly release the clutch at the prescribed rpm.  As the car begins to shudder (at this moment I am so tickled with my quick reflexes) I witness the lack of movement on the part of Mr. Gaples leading me to the conclusion that snake fangs are about to take a bite out of the back of his Corvette. A release of the throttle is prudent, at least for him.  Sparing you the agony of what happened next, I had the car re-fired just in time to see the last car in the race drop over the hill into turn one.         

 

With a 250 yard gap it was easy to concentrate on a good lap.  Shucks I may end up with nobody to race I thought as I could just imagine the look on Rick and Nancy’s face about now.  At the end of lap one I had rejoined the rear of the pack since they all were slowing each other up a bit.  As the laps began to add up I had gotten back a few positions when a full coarse yellow allowed the field to regroup.  Phil McClure was the victim of engine trouble. On the restart the cars stayed pretty tight allowing for some great racing and an opportunity to see a few grudges being played out in front of me. 

 

At the finish we were back to 11th position which was reasonable given my knack for insisting on leaving last at the beginning.  This race will hang in my memory as one of the most exciting yet one of many that will keep me humble.  Let’s see how it plays on SpeedTV this Sunday the 14th.  Remember this is the Blue Viper with Silver Stripes down the middle.  Hope I didn’t bore you.  Next is Road America

 

 

3R-Racing Finishes Third, Eighth and Thirteenth at Mosport


August 7, 2004  Bowmanville, Canada - 3R-Racing drivers Tommy Archer, Phil McClure, and Tim Wiens drove to a strong third, eighth and thirteenth finish today for the first of two SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge GT series races at Mosport International Raceway this weekend.  

The race started under cooler temperatures with a threat of rain.  The 3R trio was running conservatively with McClure in seventh, Archer in ninth and Weins in thirteenth for the first half of the race.  On lap 21 McClure began battling with the Pilgrim Cadillac and going into Moss corner, Archer made a pass on the two assuming sixth place.

On lap 24 it began to sprinkle rain.  Archer, driving the number 22/c3controls/ Whelen Engineering/3R Viper, continued to take advantage of other drivers mistakes and was able to move up for a podium finish. "We were three wide and I saw an opening and was able to pass two cars," said Archer.   "I was able to make up some time under braking into five; the Viper was really transitioning nice in that section of the track.  When it stated to rain I just dug into a little ice racing history and brought it home in third. A great finish for us with the extra weight."

Phil McClure, piloting the number 73/Aggregate Industries/3R Corvette, had an exciting battle with the Cadillac.  The pair swapped positions three times in a matter of two laps.  "Wow was that ever fun!  I was trying everything, everywhere and some worked and some didn't, but what a race.  Pilgrim raced me clean and when you have a battle like that it makes for an entertaining race.  I unfortunately got into Leighton in five-B, but at that point I was going for every position that I could."

Teammate Tim Wiens, driving the number 33/1st Interstate Inns/3R Viper, followed up a fourteenth place qualifying effort with a thirteenth place finish.  "I had a few moments, especially in turn five; it got really slippery in the rain.  Other than that the car was very consistent all race and I wanted to focus on bringing it home as we have another race tomorrow.  The 3R team is doing a great job keeping up with the weather and making sure the cars in excellent shape for this double race weekend."

On the strength of his third place finish, Archer retains the lead in the Speed GT driver's standings by one point.

The first race will be run this afternoon and the second on Sunday, August 8.  The races will be televised on Speed Channel on August 15 at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Speed GT Top 10 Mosport Finishers:
1.   Michael Galati    Audi    
2.   Randy Pobst    Audi    
3.
  Tommy Archer    3R Viper
4.
  Max Angelelli    Cadillac    
5.   Andy Pilgrim    Cadillac    
6.
  Leighton Reese    Corvette
7.
Michael Culver    Porsche    
8.
  Phil McCLure    3R Corvette    
9.
  Ron Fellows    Cadillac
10.
Lou Gigliotti        Corvette    
13.
Tim Wiens        3R Viper            

For more information reference the team web site at www.3r-racing.com or contact Kyle Chura at chura@aol.com or (248) 821-0468.

Archer Wins Portland in 3R Viper!


Portland, Oregon -- Tommy Archer, driver of the number 22/c3controls/Whelen Engineering/3R Viper, drove to victory today at Portland Raceway in round five of the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge GT series.

Teammates Phil McClure and Tim Wiens finished third and fifth, resulting in all three 3R racers in the top five.

Archer led every lap from his pole position. The Duluth, Minnesota based driver was never challenged in the 50-minute race. Three yellow flags allowed Archer to conserve his tires and win his first event of the year. "Will Moody and the 3R crew did a great job all weekend. The car was awesome; it pulled real nice down the straight even though the weight of it appeared when I went through the turns. My competitors helped me a lot today with the yellows, it really aided with my tire wear. This is a good win for me, 3R and everyone associated with the Viper."

Teammate Phil McClure, driving the number 73/Aggregate Industries/3R Corvette, started in fifth place and moved into third from the start on lap one. "The car stayed good throughout the race. I had to be careful on the right pedal or I would loose my rear tires. The yellow flags benefited everyone. I opened up the lead to fourth so I could be more cautious with my tires, but I couldn't get into a passing position on Randy, third is a good result. The cooler weather today was a real blessing; the track was a lot less greasy."

Tim Wiens, driver of the number 33/1st Interstate Ins/3R Viper, started from the fifth row in tenth and moved up through the field all race to finish in a career best of fifth place. "The car was strong down the straight. The weather man gave us a break today so that helped with our tire wear, but the track was getting greasy towards the end. The Cadillac got into me a little and was able to get by towards the end. It was a great day for the 3R team, Tommy's win from pole is fantastic!"

The race will be televised on Speed Channel at 1:00 p.m. on August 1st. The next event for the Speed World Challenge GT Series will be a double race weekend at Mosport on August 7th and 8th.

Speed GT Top 10 Finishers at Portland:

1. Tommy Archer 3R Viper
2. Randy Pobst Audi
3. Phil McCLure 3R Corvette
4.
Andy Pilgrim Cadillac
5.
Tim Wiens 3R Viper
6.
Mike McCann Viper
7. Leighton Reese Corvette
8.
Greg Brockman Viper
9. Michael Galati Audi
10.
Jim McCann Viper

For more information reference the team web site at www.3r-racing.com or contact Kyle Chura at chura@aol.com or (248) 821-0468.

 

As seen through the Woodhouse windshield

 

7-18-04 Speed World Challenge GT Round four Infineon Raceway in Sonoma Valley CA. 

 

Accept my apology for a lack of the usual report last week on the Infineon Race.  If you were following the event you would understand. Dale Earnhardt Jr. deserves the front page news on his crash in practice, mine, a day earlier seemed more dramatic to me of course; but I skipped the barbecue part. 

Yeah really; its Thursday afternoon in the third practice session here at Sears Point, (now called Infineon); I am enjoying the lapping and approaching corner #10 at about 120 mph. (Corner 10 has a bit of infamy for making race cars into scrap).  In retrospect a bit more speed than I or the car were capable of when the rear end steps out a bit. Yes a catchable mistake, but one that causes corner exit to be wide,  hey still not a problem, I’ve got this thing under control, or so I thought.  I needed just 6 more feet of run-off……..dang!!  That tire wall put its big black hand out and swatted me like an irritating fly on the back of your neck.  It was an immediate stop; two rows of tires bursting out in every direction, car parts departing in the same fashion.  I equate it to a dandelion seed pod when a gust of wind hits it. 

What a fantastic emergency and rescue crew.  About 10 uniformed professionals swarmed in, with one keeping an eye on me the rest went scurrying in all directions picking up these huge pieces of shrapnel and piling them gently in the back of one of a pickup while the balance of them swiftly pulled the biggest chunk, the chassis onto the rollback and out of there we got.

Surveying the carnage later revealed that the impact was absorbed by the wheels on the driver side keeping frame damage minimal.  But oh my,  we have a few parts to round up.  The passenger door will go again, that is about it.

 

Now it is Thursday night and I can’t sleep, what a mess I created.  Friends, competitors, and crew people are all concerned and supportive but I have to make a quick decision on what to do with the rest of the season:  1)Quit altogether, as I am doubting my ability to even be behind a steering wheel at this point, 2)pull off the west coast, go home and fix the car, or 3)purchase another car and finish the season as planned.  Friday morning at 7:30 AM, after soul searching conversations with my wife Louise and partner Lance, we go ahead and make a deal with Rich Marziale who is there with his blue comp coupe, now our blue comp coupe.  Crew chief, Rick Maxwell immediately goes to work fixing blown fuses and cracked mufflers and working with the alignment to give us a reasonable race end result.  We qualified 14th and finished 11th.  Acceptable I suppose but you know, nothing in racing is ever quite good enough. 

 

7-25-04 Round Five  PIR at Portland Or.

 

With two races on back to back week-ends we quickly pack up and head for  Portland International Raceway.  The couple days in between are used to do some upgrades and modifications to the car. Portland, from a racers point of view is in the corner of the US.  But from a Viper enthusiasts point of view, it is the center of where you want to be.  The Viper folks made this event an incredible time.  Thanks Jon B. Don and Darla Roberts and Doris Rose, Or. Chapter Pres. You guys made us feel like we were home but with better food.  Perhaps that was a small part of the inspiration given to Tommy Archer.  He was so dialed in at this track he was untouchable.  Tommy put his car on the pole and wrestled Randy Pobst through three re-starts to give the Viper Competition Coupe its first win of the year and the 2nd WC win ever.  Lots of people will give the Viper credit for being able to dominate.  Being around these professional drivers including Tommy, there is your reason for the win as much as anything.  He has numerous championships here at PIR going all the way back to 1981.  But none of these pros were slow here last week-end.  Tommy, his team, his car all deserve a hats off salute for such impeccable performance.  The Bob Raub 3R team, and drivers all did a fantastic job, with two podiums and a top 10. 

 

The race for the Woodhouse team was no where near the same result but we gave it good effort:  A few race start issues caused us to be off our game, for some reason the radio refuses to work for the whole race, and the staging for the start got rushed. None the less, at the start I am so pumped; when the red light went out  the cars around me had no chance, I had the strategy all worked out on how to move up before the first turn. Just one thing foiled the plan; I pulled a “Stan Wilson at Mid Ohio” and killed the beast!  Yup, nice move Bob you idiot.  I fumble for the start button and watch the entire field scream off into the distance. All is not lost however as you race drivers know, first lap red mist has the field scrapping hard with each other so I catch up within the same lap and begin what seems to me, a slow process of moving past several cars.  No longer dead last, and managing to move up every now and then we are in 13th position on the 9th lap when I get a significant love tap from the “notorious” Lou Gigliotti #28 Corvette as I am negotiating around the Veditto Corvette in front of me as he went wide in festival corner.  A love tap is nothing unusual in this series, heavens, I received four of them at Sear Point.  But this one sent us to the sand trap on the left side of corner one.  So now I am dug in on what appears to be a long stay.  I am thinking this is where I get to watch the balance of the race from, when along comes the tow truck, hustles me out of there and says.  “Get going!”  No need to ask twice.  I am outta there leaving a wheel barrow worth of sand but doing the best I can to keep it off the race line.  I put the spurs to the coupe and catch the field just as the green comes out. 

 

Being a lap down left me with little opportunity to resurrect a good finish but 17 beats DNF in any card game.  Watching the #28 Corvette that initiated the sand trap event now in front of me and slowing was a hard opportunity to resist but I was a good boy.  What one gives is eventually returned and I don’t need to rush that process. The McCanns got thumped and bumped but did fine along with good finishes from Tim Wiens and Jerry Bockman driving Don Roberts car.  You can see this race on television August 1st at 1:00 eastern, but check.  Both west coast races had high body contact so look for some exciting entertainment. Tell your friends too, this series is becoming the hottest thing to watch in road racing, the ALMS folks are glad to have us as their race week-end companions I feel sure.  Mosport next.

 

Viper Competition CoupeViper Competition Coupe

 

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