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Paul Ziajski Wins Championship With Runner-up Finish in Race 6 to Mike Mitchell

Qualifiers - The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout presented by Neverlift Racecraft
1Angelo Valla 8.669 164.71 
2Paul Ziajski 8.785 152.47  
3Paul Major 8.912 153.88  
4Michael Mitchell 9.297 97.52 
5Bill Maloney 10.143 125.71 
6Mike Conway 10.404 130.48  
7Doug Ring 10.485 132.66  
8Jason Anderson 10.774 128.64 NP
9Chris Young 11.334 121.00  
10Ralph Savarese 11.422 120.00 D
11Tom Sabolevsky 11.452 119.90  
12Edgar Perez 11.471 119.52  
13David Busch 12.212 114.17  
  D - Declined, NP - Non Points
11/05/05 - Englishtown, NJ - In the culmination of a three-car battle for the Championship in the Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout presented by Neverlift Racecraft Paul Ziajski came out victorious by one point over 2005 Champion Mike Mitchell, who took 3 of 6 (five really as one was a four way tie due to rain) in 2005. Angelo Valla went through an exhaustive week rebuilding his motor that blew up just last week. Valla came in tied in points with Ziajski and needed to win the event to capture the championship. We had a strong finish to he the season with semi-final in which all four drivers made 8-second passes.

Qualifying

With Mitchell coming into the event in third place two points behind both Ziajski and Valla, his strategy was to try to race them both before the final round. Since they usually qualify 1, 2, 3, Mitchell would need to qualify in the 7th or 8th spot to try to get one of them in the first round. The strategy would immediately fail as after the first round of qualifying were Ziajski at 1 with and 8.796, Valla at 2 with an 8.985, Paul Major at 3 with a 9.041 and then Mitchell in the 4 spot with a 9.568. It did not appear as if any driver below Mitchell in the 4 spot was going to bump him down to the 7 or 8 spots. He would have to hope one of the two did not get past first round if he was to have a chance to win another Championship. After the third round of qualifying, Valla had taken the number one spot on his third pass with an 8.669, moving Ziajski to the 2 spot with Major, Mitchell, Bill Maloney, Mike Conway, Doug Ring and Jason Anderson rounding out the eight car field. Doug Ring had made the field again, with yet another customer test vehicle. However, he had to bow out due to a fuel pump problem and the 9th qualifier, Chris Young, was put into his place. Jason Anderson also bowed out of the event (non points) so Tom Sabolevsky, the 10th quickest, was instated into Anderson's slot.

Pro 8 Winner
Paul Ziajski's Twin Turbo Z06 (photo by Alex Voronoff) Champion and event runner-up Paul Ziajski and his daughter's with Dean and Mike Mitchell Race 6 Winner Mike Mitchell with brother Dean

Round 1

Paul Ziajski led the Pro 8 cars onto the track in the 2 v. 8 race. Ziajski would stage carefully knowing his opponent, Chris Young, was only capable of low 11's. He would go easy on the tree to not risk red-lighting his Championship hopes away. He was off with a bright green and an error free pass of 8.809 @ 154.35 while Young followed at 11.375 @ 118.15 (video). Next up were the 3 and 6 pair. Paul Major, sporting a Sting Ray inspired freshly painted black striped hood which had been unpainted all season, would take the win with a 9.090 @ 153.89 to Mike Conway's 11.981 with an apparent problem at 91.05 MPH (video). The next two pair carried Championship implications. Angelo Valla staged against Tom Sabolevsky in the 1 v. 8 match up. This one was one wild ride for Valla. When he left the line his car immediately went right and left the grove. He peddled it to get it back in the grove after nearly hitting a cone. Sabolevsky saw the whole thing first hand from what looked like a scary vantage point (video). In the end, Valla crossed the finish line first with a 10.201 @ 111.04 and Sabolevsky followed with 11.589 @ 118.14. Ziajski and Valla had kept the pressure on Mitchell by taking their first round wins and now Mitchell needed to win the event and both Ziajski and Valla not to get past round 2. But first we, we have on more race in round 1. With qualifying out of the way, Mitchell was back to full throttle and running full track in the 4 v. 5 race against Bill Maloney. The 4 v. 5 pair is normally closer but since Mitchell was not all out in qualifying, it should not be close and he needed just a clean run to make it past Maloney (video). A clean run is what he made with an .031 light and 8.444 @ 195.15 pass to easily handle Maloney's impressive but short, 9.945 @ 140.9. Mitchell's hopes were still alive along with Valla and Ziajski.

Round 2

The way the ladder formed, 1 would race 4 and thus Mitchell would face Valla this round. Valla needed to defeat Mitchell to set up a Championship run against Ziajski, provided Ziajski beat his second round opponent, Paul Major. Ziajski would clinch the Championship with a round win and a Valla loss. Neither race was going to be easy. Mitchell and Valla staged first. With the burnouts complete, the driers would stage for this very important battle. Mitchell got the lead from the tree and had no plans of giving it up. He crossed the finish line ahead of Valla in a the first of our side by side 8-second semi final pair. Mitchell ran a round and event best of 8.394 @ 164.06 to Valla's 8.738 and event fastest 164.49 MPH (video). Valla made a great effort this season and especially this past week but and his Championship hopes were gone. Mitchell still had hope for the moment. Mitchell would now become Paul Major's number one fan because if Major could defeat Ziajski, Mitchell had a chance to win the Championship in the final round. Major, long time friends with Valla, would love to put the hurtin' on Ziajski as the two have built a friendly rivalry and Major had gotten the better of Ziajski in their last matchup. Of course, Ziajski knows only Major and that darn tree stand between him and achieving his season goal of winning the Championship. We have seen Ziajski cut .00 lights this year but a sprinkling of reds. He would make certain not to go red and take his chances against Major, who was loaded for the match, on bettering his ET. Ziajski was away with a very safe .168 light. It was good enough to get out of the gate first against Major and the chase was on. Paul Major clocked an 8.958 @ 155.81, however, Ziajski was better at the other end as well taking a half second win with a quicker ET of 8.651 @ 154.16 (video). Exciting is all we can say with four 8-second passes in this round. The win clinched the 2005 Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout presented by Neverlift Racecraft Championship for Ziajski who could not be happier. Congratulations to you Paul Ziajski.

Final Round

With the Championship decided, only the event was left to decide. That and a little pride as each driver had won two events this year. No laxing on the tree this time as Ziajski wanted the win and was ready to hit that tree with everything he had. The lights flickered and Ziajski was gone but too early. Ziajski had been bitten by the red again. Mitchell coasted to the event win for the second race in a row and clocked a 15.780 at 57.57 MPH. He had taken his third event win of the year, yet it was not enough to overcome the two events he missed this year.

Thank You Pro 8

The Pro 8 has certainly given us lots of thrills this year and we thank the people that make it possible. We espcially thank The Vette Doctors, our title sponsor, who have been with us from the beginning even before there was a Pro 8. In addition we thank Neverlift Racecraft for joining forces with The Vette Doctors as the Presenting Sponsor helping bring a cash payout back to our Pro 8 racers.

Congratulate the drivers and sponsors on the Corvette Forum

Awards and Payouts Today

  • Winner Mike Mitchell earned a payout of $100 Cash courtesy of The Vette Doctors and Neverlift Racecraft.
  • Runner-up Paul Ziajski earned a payout of $50 from The Vette Doctors and Neverlift Racecraft
  • Number 1 Qualifier Angelo Valla received a plaque for his 8.669 qualifying run.
  • Mike Mitchell received the Best Reaction Time plaque for the best winning reaction time in the first round at .031

Paul Ziajski Takes 2005 Pro 8 Championship

Paul Ziajski has become our 2nd Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout Champion edging out Mike Mitchell and Angelo Valla by 1 pt in this highly contested class. Ziajski treated us to some exciting runs in his first year with the twin turbo 346 CI Z06 Corvette. In a message excerpt from Ziajski he said "I have to give HUGE props to Leo Barnaby of Neverlift Racecraft and the entire Cartek crew. Leo did an amazing job at keeping my ass safe and straight and enabled the gobs of Cartek power to propel this car to the Pro 8 Championship in its first season. There were many people few months ago that doubted I'd run more than 16 lbs of boost on an LS6 motor. I had the boost controller set at 26 lbs in the finals against Mike Mitchell (unfortunately, I didn't get to use it ). The motor and tune are just unbelievable. Julio, Dave, Rich, Roy, and Mike have worked very hard to give me such a reliable engine. I am amazed that I have not had any breakdowns this year and the car made over 130 passes. It is one fast, reliable, and consistent mo-fo. I could not have been pleased with the car more. I think a lot of racers have seen what my car can do and I would not hesitate to recommend either one of the shops. Without Neverlift and Cartek, I'd still be running with bolt ons."

2005 Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout Points Standings
FirstLastTotalWins
PaulZiajski15**
MikeMitchell14***
AngeloValla14 
PaulMajor7 
JohnCarter6 
BillMaloney6 
MichaelConway5 
ChrisCoriell4 
MarkShaw4 
ThomasSabolevsky3 
JoeIervolino2 
ChrisYoung2 
EdgarPerez1 
DaveBusch1 
2005 R1 R2 R3
2005 R4 R5 R6

Next Race

The 2005 Pro 8 Season is over. We look forward to continued exciting racing in this class next year. Several drivers are in process of building and upgrading cars to be competitive in this class. Check back for the schedule for 2006. We are considering separating this class from the bracket racing though on the same dates still. This would be a technical change to more closely represent where the Pro 8 has gone. Stay tuned for announcements by the end of the year. Visit Pro 8 rules (there is a link on the header of every page in case you cannot remember where you saw the link). Come on out to race or watch.

All Are Invited to Our 2005 Awards Banquet

Please join us in celebrating the season and awarding our drivers at our Awards Banquet to be held February 11, 2006 at 6 PM at the Holiday Inn in Monroe, NJ. Tickets are $35 per person, (must be purchased before the Banquet) and a block of rooms for $89 a night is being held. For tickets email edgarperez@corvettechallenge.info. Visit www.corvettechallenge.info for updates on the banquet.

Pictures and Videos


To see video of Pro 8 and other races visit www.challengevideos.com. Look for the P8 in the description for Pro 8 races. All runs captured including qualifications.

Picture gallery

Photos by Joe Donnelly
Photos by Alex Voronoff
Click for Edgar and Gary's Photo Gallery

Click here for Bracket Results

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