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2004   *  Event 1   *  Event 2   *  Event 3   *  Event 4   *  Event 5   *  Event 6   *  Event 6   *  Event 7   *  Event 8   *  Event 9   *  Event 10   *  Event 16   *  Event 11 * 2004 Standings

Vic Gandhi becomes First Repeat Winner in 2004 in Event 8

Englishtown, NJ, 10/09/04 - It took eight races before the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge had its first repeat winner for 2004. Vic Gandhi, drove the Blue 1989 C4 Corvette Coupe to his second final this season and third overall taking his second win (won Event 4 earlier this year). The points battle for 2004 Champion got tighter and our Rookie of the Year chase saw two drivers pull ahead from the pack. Drivers hopeful of a birth in the Top 16 $1,000 Gamblers jockeyed for position. John Panuzzo returned to the track after participating in the bracket finals and our very own Chris Young, not only won the SLP Corvette Class but went on to win the SLP King of the Track competition as well.

Runner-up Jim Kovitch Dennis Kazimir, Runner-up Jim Kovitch, winner Vic Gandhi and Bob Trieschmann Winner Vic Gandhi
Runner-up James Kovitch Dennis Kazimir, Runner-up Jim Kovitch, winner Vic Gandhi and Bob Trieschmann Winner Vic Gandhi

We will start today's wrap-up with big congratulations to John Panuzzo who represented all Corvette Challenge racers at the bracket finals in Delaware earlier this week. Rain pushed the race out but JP had a great start with two nearly identical time trials and was looking sharp as he has all season. Panuzzo made it to the third round before not seeing the win light when his reaction time was a little late forcing him to run it out and breakout. His two wins, however, helped Raceway Park capture the Track Championship so Raceway Park is the 2004 Division 1 Champion. Congrats to JP and the Raceway Park team.

Today's race was on an odd timeline line as we shared the track with SLP for their annual Customer Appreciation day. Our gates opened at 1 PM to allow for drivers who wanted to participate in both events a chance to get some rounds in SLP event while the Corvette Challenge was running time trials. Approximately 18 Corvettes entered the SLP event and were in for the long day, including today's finalists who did not fair as well in the SLP event but I am sure they rather had faired well with us. October and November present a great time for racing as the ETs get better because the weather gets colder but the points racing gets hotter.

Vic Gandhi started out the day with a .022 light in the first round against Bill Fischer Sr. Fischer's light was not too shabby at .036 but he was way off his dial and he did not get a good burnout or launch and Gandhi crossed the traps 12.854 on his 12.70 dial for the win. With under 65 racers today, we were on the ladder in round 2. Gandhi's first round light was only good enough for a number 6 seed in the ladder based on the drivers reaction time in the prior round. Round 2 dialed 12.70 against James Peins at 13.93, Gandhi was the benefactor of a red. Peins pushed the tree and lit the win light for Gandhi with a -.033 red. Gandhi made the full pass to see if the weather change had him off his dial and it did as he crossed the finish in 12.680 seconds. With the new dial on the car of 12.68, Gandhi would be in the race that almost got away in round 3. Up against Neil Vernirelli, (Corvette Lou's son), Gandhi laid down his worst light of the day. Vernirelli's was not better than Gandhi's but both drivers still had to push to the finish. At the top end, Vernarelli found some shifting prowess and got around Gandhi, Gandhi lifted and the win light came on for Gandhi as Vernarelli broke out by .1706 on the 13.72 dial. It was a good thing Gandhi changed the dial as even with the lift, the car ran 12.692 which was good for this dial but would have been too quick for his prior dial. Gandhi next faced rookie Rick White from New Hampshire in a hot streak. Gandhi shook off his bad light in the prior round and cut a .003 and ran a 12.698 on the 12.68 dial leaving White in the catch up roll and forcing him to break out with an 11.457 on an 11.49 dial. Gandhi came into the race in third place in points and the next race would be an opportunity for him to gain on second place racer Rob Farley. Gandhi stayed on his game with a .055 light as Farley chirped the tires at the start. That was more than enough for Gandhi as he crossed the strip .0738 ahead of Farley with yet again another 12.698 on 12.68 dial. And now Gandhi was ready to go to his second final of the season looking to further close the points gap.
Event 8 Ladder

Jim Kovitch, our other finalist, had yet to make a Corvette Challenge final though he has won other events at Raceway Park. Kovitch drives the 1988 35th Anniversary White Coupe. In round 1, Kovitch faced Ron Leader who dialed it in at 12.02 to Kovitch's 13.38. Leader left first but Kovitch left better with a .101 and he caught him and took the stripe by .1359 running 13.411 @ a 98.51. Kovitch's light placed him on the ladder in the 20 spot and he would face Tony Buonassisi in round 2. This one was almost heads up with Kovitch dialed 13.39 to Tony's 13.10. Kovitch would have to chase on two counts as he gave Tony a .066 starting line advantage. Kovitch ran a dead-on 13.393 and Tony was a little off running only 13.336. On to round 3 where Kovitch would face Ralph Blauvelt. Coincidentally, this was the "Blauvelt Battle" as Kovitch is from Blauvelt, NY. I have been waiting for years to so that! Kovitch kept his 13.38 dial against Blauvelt (not the town in NY but the racer from NJ), dialed at 13.95. Starting line advantage went to Kovitch with a .055 and he kept it crossing the finish line with a little help form the brake pedal at 13.421 @ 94.17 to Blauvelt's dead-on 13.958. In round 4, Kovitch would get the points leader, John Panuzzo. Panuzzo was coasting along doing his winning thing when he came up against Kovitch. Kovitch would leave first with the 13.38 dial to JP's 12.80. Kovitch hit the tree hard and cut it down with a .035. Panuzzo, in an attempt to do the same, hit it on the other side with a -.004 red light. One more round to the final and Kovitch will have to face the other hot rookie, Jerry Muniz. Again Kovitch would do the chasing this time dialing up to 13.42 to Muniz's 12.60. Kovitch left first and again gave up the starting line advantage as Muniz was better at the tree by .010. However, his car did not leave as expected and could only run 12.795 on the .60 dial and Kovitch made up the tree loss with and more slowing it down to 13.595 on the .42 dial. And now Kovitch is in his first career Corvette Challenge final

Once again we are looking at an all C4 final with the '88 against the '89. Both drivers kept there semi-final round dials with Gandhi in at 12.68 and Kovitch at 13.42. They say there is a lesson to be learned in every race so let's pay close attention. Kovitch leaves first and cuts his worst light of the day giving Gandhi a huge advantage when he cuts a stellar .017 light. At the top end, it was way too much to give Gandhi and he hit the brake pedal and took the win by .1574 running 12.755 at 95.67 MPH. Kovitch did everything he could to catch him but couldn't with a 13.455 @ 98.13 MPH. What is the lesson to be learned? After the race while talking to Jim he mentioned he was listening to the announcements on the radio when the announcer was mentioning how great Gandhi was hitting the tree today. It caused him to think he should hit the tree extra hard but then he thought not too hard so he doesn't go red and that caused him to ease up on the tree too much resulting a bad light. The lesson is, stay within your routine!!! Kovitch was having just as good a day as Gandhi but Gandhi did NOT have the radio on. Good job by both drivers nonetheless.

Discuss this race here.

Summary of driver Dial-In times

Time 11 12 13 14 15 16 Total
# 6 21 18 6 1 1 53
% 11.32% 39.62% 33.96% 11.32% 1.89% 1.89% 100%

Clubs and Rookies

Team CCDV continued dominance of the Club Challenge Cup standings with the newest member of the club, Jerry Muniz, earning the team the bonus points by when he made it to the fifth and semi-final round. Team CCA1 had five drivers at the race and only James Kilpatrick managed getting out of round one. CCDV gained seven points for attendance to CCA1 earning five. Good job to the CCA1 for finally getting the Voshell's to the track although CCDV counteracted by signing up Jerry Muniz. Club Challenge Standings.

We may have seen the beginnings of separation in Spectrum Voice & Data Rookie of the Year chase today. Two drivers are tied for the lead now but have but they put a three point gap back to the third place drivers. Jerry Muniz holds a slight tie breaker point advantage over Rick White with both drivers having 17 points now. Jerry "The Boogieman" Muniz, got Dan Swadis Jr. and Glenn Murphy to red-light before taking out former champ, Ralph Savarese in a nail biter by .0041. Jerry's RT of .029 to Ralph's .033 showed promise for an exciting race and they delivered when Muniz went 12.626 on 12.61 dial to Savarese's 11.314 on 11.30 dial. Jerry went on to get a bye in the next round before finally being put out by Jim Kovitch. It appears our childhood nemesis, "The Boogieman", is back to haunt the Corvette drivers. See rookies denoted with (r) in the standings.

Other Awards Handed Out at this Event

  • Event winner Vic Gandhi went home with $250 cash, a $100 gift certificate from Pro Torque and winner trophy.
  • Runner-up Jim Kovitch went home with $125 cash, a $50 gift certificate from Pro Torque and runner-up trophy.
  • Semi-finalists included Jerry Muniz and Rob Farley who won $60 cash.
  • Ken Rammer won the 'John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial' trophy and $50 cash was presented by Team Panuzzo Racing for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. Ken Rammer was quickest on the tree in the 1st round when his RT was .009.
  • Ioannis Hadjiioannou won the 'Almost Perfect Award' with a loss in the 1st round with the red light closest to .000 (Almost Perfect). Ioannis Hadjiioannou's light was -0.011 and was rewarded a trophy from Old Bridge Township Raceway Park recognizing the effort put forth to try and capture a perfect light but just slightly red.
  • John Hadyniak won the 'Closest to Dial Award' by running only .008 off his dial. John Hadyniak was awarded a trophy from Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
  • Ohh so Close Award of Zaino productsDave Tortolani won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Zaino when being edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0014. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although suffering a loss in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, Dave Tortolani earned a Zaino starter package that includes Z1, Z2, Z6, Z7 and a polish pad.
  • All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy sponsored by United Racing. With 55 cars making this event, United Racing gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.

Next race

We race again in two weeks on October 23rd with gates opening at 9 AM for us. With just one more points race after this one, it is time to make your move in points. This date will also feature the return of The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout heads-up racing. This will be the last Pro 8 race for the season and the one at which the Pro 8 Champion will be determined. Visit to view the schedule.

East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge helps Toys for Teens & Tots

The 50/50 raffle was held at the track and the racers and spectators hopeful of winning the money while helping out a worthy organization put together $187. The winner of the 50/50 was Tim Blair himself. naturally he donated the entire, $187 to the St. Peters church in Jersey City to Sister Grace for the Toys for Teens & Tots fund from the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge. To date we have donated $131, $258, $186, $146, $125, $485, $126 and $187 for a total of $1,644 to the organization for 2004. Thank you for your continued support.

Corvette Challenge Multimedia

To see pictures of the event click on David Levine's pictures


Videos from the starting line by Edgar.

We couldn't do it without our sponsors

The Corvette Challenge gives thanks to all of its supporting sponsors for whom without this series cannot be possible. Thanks go out to East Coast Supercharging | United Racing | The Vette Doctors | Team Panuzzo | Spectrum Voice & Data | Simple Man | Marotta Racing | CCDV | Mufflex Performance | Quick Time Performance | Neverlift Racecraft | SLP | | CFM Racing | Tortolani Racing | Anger Management Racing | FINEST RACING | Pro Torque | Zaino Bros

modified: December 31, 1969 - 7:00 pm

Series Sponsors
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East Coast Supercharging

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Simple Man

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CFM Racing

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Pro 11.50 Index

Fisher Automotive
Fisher Automotive, 506 East Main Street
Bound Brook, N.J. 08805
(732) 469-0986

AMP Racing
AMP Racing

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Thrust Performance, 928 Route 9 South
South Amboy, N.J. 08879
(732) 952-2238

Cool-Aid Company
Cool-Aid Company

Best Western, East Brunswick
Best Western,
East Brunswick, NJ

Pro 10.50 Index

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Anger Management Racing

Van Wickle Auto Supply NAPA

Point Pleasant

Spring Lake Heights


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