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2005   *  Event 1   *  Event 3   *  Event 4   *  Event 5   *  Event 2   *  Event 6   *  Event 7   *  Event 7   *  Event 8   *  Event 9   *  Event 10   *  Event 11   *  Event 12 * 2005 Standings

The Rookie Takes the Cash In the 2005 Top 16 Invitational

Englishtown, NJ, 11/12/05 - Ninety four drivers signed up for the points championship in 2005 for the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge Corvette Challenge presented by Romar Fabrication. The 16 drivers with the most points at the end of the 10-point season would get invited to today's Top 16 Invitational Gambler's Race. Repeat Champion Ralph Savarese led the field of the toughest 16 drivers in 2005. There was only one-week before the Top 16 was determined before they would have at it in a bracket race that not only would feature spectacular reaction times and tight dials but the winner would go home with $1,000 cash. The concept of the race is slightly different form the rest of our Corvette Challenges in that the drivers of the Top 16 fund the payout, thus making it a "Gamblers" race. Each driver put an additional $75 into the purse that was split, $1,000 to the winner and $200 to the runner-up in the biggest payout of our series. The drivers get put on a pro style ladder where the number one driver races the number 16 driver, 2 vs. 15 and so on.

Unfortunately some of our Top 16 qualifiers could not make today's event. Third place finisher John Hadyniak, forth place Bob Sebrowski, sixth place John Panuzzo, seventh place Dan Swadis and eleventh place Al Betz all had something that kept them out of this race. Ken Rammer, Tony Buonassisi and Frank Fiori made it into the ladder in place of those that declined. In addition to the Top 16 drivers getting invited to this race, we also invite the top 4 alternates to be present in case spot opens up after the ladder is drawn on Friday night. This year, two of those alternates, Ioannis Hadjiioannou and Martin Cavanagh made it into the show.

Runner-up Winner
Runner-up Rob Farley Winner Bob Korreck and Runner-up Rob Farley and Dennis Kazimir Winner Bob Korreck and wife Mary

Top 16 Ladder

Round 1

Rob Farley (3) vs. Martin Cavanagh (14)
Rob Farley did not make our last points race of 2005. He came to the Top 16 race with big surprise. He had traded in the championship winning Maroon and White C4 for a 1998 Purple and Yellow Indy Pace Car convertible Corvette with A4 transmission. With this being only the second day at the track with it, you had to feel it would hurt his chances to win this event. Martin Cavanagh, Spiral Gray '03 Coupe, came to the event without having a spot in the ladder as an alternate. He was inserted when Swadis and Finnessey did not make it. Cavanagh had the task of racing Farley. With expectation of needing a good light against Farley, Cavanagh, dialed 11.50, watched the yellow wheeled vert leave driven by Farley with a 13.63 dial. Cavanagh came up just a tad short on the tree when he went -.014 red giving Farley the pass to round two.

Chris Young (2) vs. Tony Buonassisi (15)
Buonassisi would leave first with a .094 on 12.76 dial in the Silver C4 convertible with white hard top sporting a road runner emblem and lots of win stickers. Chris Young would follow with an off kilter .183 light on 11.16 dial giving Buonassisi a chance. This one ended up being very close as neither driver lifted and both drivers broke out. In a double breakout, the driver that breaks out the least, gets the win. Young was .04 under to Buonassisi's .06 under. Young gets the win with a .02 margin of victory.

Bob Trieschmann (7) vs. John Trescott (10)
Bob Trieschmann would leave with his Blue '04 Corvette with a 13.30 on the window and a .043 on the tree. Trescott would follow wit his '04 Torch Red C5 dialed 12.48 and a .104 RT. Trieschmann completed the package with a dead-on 13.30 with a three. Trescott was just .03 off his dial but it was not enough to defeat the former ECS CC Champion.

Eric Fischer (6) vs. Bob Hollingshead (11)
One of two C2's in the Top16, Bob Hollingshead would leave first in this one with a 12.84 dial and .066 reaction time. Eric Fischer, fresh off two consecutive spectacular race events with a win and quarter final appearance, followed with an 11.86 dial and .086 reaction time. Fischer took the lead and did not give it back when Hollingshead could not run his number and was more than a tenth off his dial which is not much but in this race, more than enough.

Vic Gandhi (5) vs. Louis Calicchia (12)
This pair would be very close to heads-up with Calicchia dialed 12.67 to Gandhi's 12.50. Only .17 seconds would separate the trees. Calicchia was away first but immediately lit Gandhi's win light as he was -.027 seven red. The close races can make a driver push on the tree and sometimes we end up on the wrong side of the green. Gandhi finished the run with .091 light and 12.515 on the 12.50 dial.

Ken Rammer (14) vs. Ioannis Hadjiioannou (4)
Rammer finished the season in 17th place and was out of the Top 16 until drivers announced they were not going to make it. Ioannis came in to the event out of the ladder as an alternte and took over Dan Swadis' spot when he could not make it. Rammer would leave first with the White C4 dialed 12.93 to Hadjiioanous 12.05 Black C5. Rammer was away and Ioannis followed but went red -.049. We looked at Rammer's slip, it was going to be hard for him to be caught as he pulled off another perfect .000 reaction time. Rammer stated it was his tenth this season. Man, can he live by the tree.

Ralph Savarese (1) vs. Frank Fiori (16)
Series Champion Ralph Savarese got a win in a way no one wants to. When Frank Fiori left the line with a .023 light in the Black C3, things were looking good. They immediately went bad as something broke, and parts flew out of the rear of car and he immediately moved it out of grove to the wall. We watched as Savarese was sure to get the win provided he did not break out. Dialed 11.04, he cut a .072 and was focused on his pass rather than his opponent. He was a little close to breaking out with an 11.065 seconds before he realized Fiori was not making the trip to the finish line.

Bob Korreck (8) vs. Don Peppler Jr. (9)
After the clean up from the Fiori breakage, Don Peppler Jr., the other C2 in the race, would line it up and leave first with a 13.15 dial and .055 light. The '05 Rookie of the Year, Bob Korreck was focused for today's race too. Korreck completed an almost perfect package of .005 when he cut the second perfect light by a Challenge driver in this event and then went 12.775 on 12.77 dial. He was smokin',... not on the track of course, but he was walking around with that cigar in the pits.

Round 2

Rob Farley (3) vs. Eric Fischer (6)
I predicted a '98 Corvette would win this one as both drivers have '98 Corvettes and either driver was capable of the win. Farley would leave first with 13.55 dial and .084 light after a light street tire burnout. Fischer, with Green C5, waited for his tree and left at what was to be the most opportune moment. It was not, as it was -.009 red and his day was done.

Chris Young (2) vs. Bob Trieschmann (7)
I went out on a limb with this one too as I was thinking it would be a Blue Corvette to get this win. Trieschmann was out of the gate first with the C5 and .120 RT on 13.25 dial. Young would follow with a .087 and the race was on for the top end challenge with the 11.11 dialed C4. Young got the better of them as he slowed to 11.187 to Treischmann's 13.304. That is a .011 margin of victory.

Ken Rammer (13) vs. Vic Gandhi (5)
The next pair would have one of our two perfect light drivers, Ken Rammer have it it again. He was away first with 13.91 dial and he backed up the perfect light with a .010. Gandhi gave it his best shot with a .107 light and 12.528 on 12.45 dial, good enough to win many races, but not this one. Rammer took advantage of the tenth on the tree to ride out the win with a 12.960 on 12.91 dial.

Bob Korreck (8) vs. Ralph Savarese (1)
Our second perfect light driver Korreck was not going to shown up by anyone on the tree. Not even the champ, Ralph Savarese. Korreck was away first with a .011 light on 12.73 dial and Savarese was on his game with a .023 light on 10.99 dial, his dial in the 10's. Well unfortunately for Ralph, he lit the tires up just after the .023 light and had to peddle it. He ran 3 tenths over and that was more than enough to allow Korreck to move on.

Round 3

Rob Farley (3) vs. Chris Young (2)
With only four cars left, the drivers can really feel the pressure of having just two more round wins to go to get the biggest payout of the year. Farley would leave first with a 13.60 dial and .107. Both drivers were cautious with the tree as Young dialed 11.15 and walked it out, as if you can do that with this wheel lifting C4, with a .137 light. Farley would get the better of Young this time as Young could not run his number. He can only manage an 11.272 and Farley was closer to his dial at 13.685 and the Pace Car had earned at trip to the final.

Bob Korreck (8) vs. Ken Rammer (13)
It is simply amazing these day on the tree these two drivers were having. Each had won two rounds already and their four reaction times add up to .021.....not average, but total!! How does the story go, I did not chop down that apple tree? Well not here...not today. That tree was coming down so get outta the way. Almost heads up, Rammer would have to go first with 12.91 dial to Korreck's 12.72. You can almost mentally picture it in slow motion, Rammer was gone but a too early at -.038 and Korreck, the Rookie, was gone with .001 and a 12.876 on the 12.71 dial as the car slowed some. And now, another cigar and a crack at being "Grand" in the final.

Round 4 - The Final

Bob Korreck (8) vs. Rob Farley (3)
How do you call this one. Rob Farley, seasoned racer and Rookie of the Year in 2002, now driving a totally different car. Bob Korreck, 2005 Rookie of the Year and riding an astounding total Reaction Time for three rounds today of .012 and an average of .004 for the eliminations. Farley would leave first with a 13.68 dial and would run under at 13.599 but it did not matter, he had left red and rode the entire pass with Korreck's win light on the board, I am sure in the shape of dollar signs in his eyes. While it is hard to gauge if Korreck caught the win light before he left, he could not be happier because he cut his worst light of the day at .138 and it did not matter. He was going home with the big bucks. After the race, Korreck and wife Mary and Joe Donnelly had set up some food for all. You would think with $1,000 it would have been filet mignon but the burgers were just fine too.

Congratulations to all of the Drivers

Congratulations go out to all the drivers who qualified for the Top 16 Gamblers invitational. Thank you goes out to all who participants, alternates and spectators. This event has been a big success and very popular with our drivers. Good luck to all in getting into the Top 16 in 2006.

Congratulate the drivers on the Corvette Forum


Visit and view the section for Top 16 videos.

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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 | Romar Fabrication | United Racing | The Vette Doctors | Team Panuzzo | Corvette Club of Delaware Valley - CCDV | Silly Goose Racing Stables | Simple Man | Marotta Racing | QTP - Quick Time Performance | Neverlift Racecraft | SLP Performance Parts | Pro Torque | Kooks Custom Headers | CFM Racing | Tortolani Racing | Anger Management Racing | FINEST Racing | Speed Dawg Performance Apparel | East Coast Corvettes | PCM for Less | Zaino Bros | Perez Web Design

modified: December 31, 1969 - 7:00 pm

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