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Mahopac Express Scores Yet Another Win in Event 4

By Eric Fischer

April 26, 2008 - Englishtown, NJ - The second session of the double header for The East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters would lead to a familiar face in the winners circle. In an all-Ralph final, "take no prisoners" Ralph Savarese, hailing from Mahopac, NY, freight-trained his way to yet another event win over competitor Ralph Blauvelt. The threat of rain and a long grueling day of double header action seemed to have taken its toll on today's racing with only 56 Corvettes making the first round call.

For today's Vette Doctors Pro 11.50 coverage click here.

Round one: Bob Trieschmann, the winner of event 2 and Dave Tortolani, #4 in the points for 2007 got us started in Round 1. Tortolani, using his back up car (1995 C4), runs dead on his dial with a 12.547 on a 12.54, but Trieschmann takes the stripe first by .019 due to his better reaction time. Tortolani has had a rough start to the 2008 season, and faced with 3 consecutive first round losses luck has not been on his side, and he is anxious to leave rowing the gears behind and get back into his 1999 Nassau Blue A4 coupe. Ron Higgins, with his beautiful 1996 Collector's Edition LT4/A4, drilled Ken Gallassio at the tree, .053 to .238, but Gallassio gets the win when Higgins runs .633 over his dial. In a double breakout race, Bob Hollingshead nails a .051 RT advantage over eventual finalist Ralph Blauvelt, but Blauvelt breaks out less to take the win; 13.712 on a 13.80 to Hollingshead' 12.788 on a 12.90. Chris Young, in his 10.0 ride, hits the tree hard with a .054 to Kimberly Rudolf's .208 effectively ruining and then ending her day. Chris runs it out to 10.086 on a 10.00 to Rudolf's 13.967 on a 14.05. Jerry Muniz advances when Joe Signore goes red by a mere .010. Al Betz gets a very nice RT advantage over Mike Campbell (.076 vs. .199) but takes a bit too much win stripe and breaks out by .023, handing the win to Mike Campbell. In the biggest winning breakout of the round, Gary Hurta breaks out by .132 but Tony Buonassisi breaks out more (.162) and Hurta takes the win. Hurta's reaction time made the difference, his .045 light was the fourth best of the round, Hurta runs an 11.668 on an 11.80 to Tony's 12.438 on a 12.60. In a very tight race, Alfred Salanitro and Tony Abbruzze left dead even at the tree and both run very close to their dial, but Salanitro gets the nod over Tony running a 13.528 on a 13.50 to Tony's 12.892 on a 12.86. It was all over at the starting line, as Louis Calicchia posted a third best of the round RT of .031 to take the win over Erik Mosholt's leisurely .336 light. Frank Fiori advances when Dave Buddendorff goes red and uses the run as a free pass to check his dial running 12.578 @ 113.29 on a 12.66. Eric Fischer (yours truly) gets revenge over Alan Eckert. In the earlier session Eric went red against Alan. This time around Alan had trouble running the number, and Fischer takes the win with a 0.080 RT vs. Alan's .223 and Fischer running 11.648 @ 99.11 on an 11.56 to Alan's 13.48 @ 99.97 on an 11.5.

Runner Up Group Winner
Runner-up Ralph Blauvelt Corvette Challenge racer Vic Gandhi who won Raceway Park's Real Street Eliminator tonight. Winner Ralph Savarese
Photos by Edgar Perez. For over 5000 Corvette Photos, click here.

The Champ, Ralph Savarese is out next vs. Mike Calicchia. In the battle of the Mahopacites the Champ has his work cut out for him as they both hit the tree hard with a slight advantage to Calicchia (.050 to .055). The Champ plays the top end better running 1 over his dial (11.403 @ 114.97 on an 11.41) while Calicchia runs under by a mere 7 thousandths (11.403 @ 114.97 on an 11.41). In the process the Champ logged the best winning package of the round with a RT and ET package of 0.066. That's why he is the Champ. Next out, even though I gently encouraged him not to, Shawn Cavanagh with his hole shot advantage beats up on my Dad, Bill Fischer Sr. to take the win running an 11.567 @ 114.07 on an 11.45 to my Dad's 11.566 @ 118.24 on an 11.50. Fischer Sr., won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Zaino when being edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0138. Rob Farley, having some growing pains adapting to the new found power of his Easter Egg, runs way off his dial, with the win going to Joe Latona. Both drivers left almost dead even at the tree but Latona runs closer to his dial, 10.831 @ 119.52 on a 10.78 to Farley's 11.597 @ 112.99 on an 11.44. Jeanne Linke, fresh off her event 3 win, takes her match at the tree with her .055 light vs. Mike Hoffman's .370 light. Ron Leader scores the 3rd best RT of the round with a .036 and in a double breakout race, takes the win over hot shoe Steve Pistilli. John Trescott, the points runner-up from 2007, does his job at the tree (.092 vs. .218) but takes way too much win stripe and breaks out by .030 handing the win to Stephen Schawaroch. Trescott was on the brakes running 11.86 @ 103.38 on an 11.89 to Stephen's 11.539 @ 126.91 on an 11.50. To finish out the round in style, Rich Shuleski hammers the tree with the best reaction time of the round with a .019 to take the win over Martin Ganjoin of Brick NJ. Shuleski runs an 11.46 @ 121.81 on an 11.2 to Martin's 12.908 @ 101.38 on a 12.97.

Round two: Round two and we are on a ladder. We'll call Round 2 the red light round, as more than ¼ of the pairings were decided at the tree by the dreaded red light: Gallassio, Linke, Unnamed driver 6801, and Salanitro all advance when their opponents went red. One of those red lighting drivers included Frank Fiori, who must have been kicking himself when he went -.006 red, and then proceeded to run dead on his dial with a 12.555 @ 113.74 on a 12.55. Joe Latona and James Kovitch advance when they bury their opponents at the tree with .027 and .009 reaction times respectively. Pete Lopresti betters Eric Fischer at the tree, and Lopresti crosses the finish line by .022 to take the win, running 12.882 @ 104.89 on a 12.88. Savarese gets a .030 advantage at the tree over Muniz, and Muniz proceeds to make up the difference by breaking out by a whopping .317 seconds. [Jerry, don't play with that Nitrous button during the run]. Chris Young gets an awesome .025 RT vs. Paul Bogdan's .083, Young gets to the finish line first, both driver's break out, but Bogdan breaks out less to get the win. Bogdan ran 11.274 @ 118.17 on a 11.30 to Young's 10.021 @ 132.435 on a 10.05. Blauvelt and Ellis Gray have similar RT's but Blauvelt gets the win when Ellis goes under his dial by .023. Shuleski, Louis Calicchia and Hurta all advance by virtue of the much better reaction times over their opponents.

2008 Event 4 Ladder

Round 3: Linke and unknown driver 6801 are out first. Linke gets a better reaction time over her opponent (.060 vs. .083) and runs closer to her dial to take the win. Linke runs a 12.791 @ 103.36 on a 12.73. The competition is getting tighter as Blauvelt hammers the tree with a .003 light, Latona answers with a .029 light, Latona crosses the finish line first but breaks out running 10.779 @ 124.41 on a 10.81 to Blauvelt's 13.814 @ 97.24 on a 13.73. Hurta fouls out and Gallassio advances. Kovitch has a slightly better reaction time and runs closer to his dial to take the win over Salanitro, but it was a close one, the MOV was .007 seconds. Louis Calicchia and Vic Gandhi are out next. Gandhi fires a warning shot over the bow by scoring a .009 reaction time. Louis Calicchia was on fire today, and in previous round cut lights of .031, .049 and answers Gandhi with a .030 light. Calicchia has some ground to make up, and pulls off the win by running dead on his dial 11.401 @ 12.86 on a 11.40 to Gandhi's 11.523 @ 115.52 on a 11.50. This was some great racing boys: Calicchia's package .030; Gandhi's package .031; The MOV on this race .001 with the win going to Calicchia. Great job guys! Next pair out in a near heads up race Paul Bogdan gets a .018 RT advantage and opponent Shuleski can't run the number and Bogdan advances. The Champ and Lopresti are out next; Lopresti leaves first and gets a better reaction time over Savarese (.085 vs. .099). But Savarese plays the top end game better and gets the win running 11.179 @ 102.64 on a 10.97 to Lopresti's 13.087 @ 103 on a 12.80.

Round 4: Into the quarter-finals now, Linke leaves first and cuts an .096 light and is handed a gift when Gallassio must have been distracted at the tree and cut an .474 light. Linke gets the win, slowing to a 12.828 @ 99.34 on a 12.76. Ralph Blauvelt nails the tree with .039 light and runs .020 over his dial while Calicchia breaks out. Blauvelt advances. Paul Bogdan takes the bye run and slows to a 15.368 @ 73.98 on an 11.30. Savarese and Kovitch are out next and similar to last round, Savarese's opponent has a better reaction time. But this time both drivers break out, the Champ breaks out less to get the win. Savarese runs 10.969 @ 118.62 on a 10.97 to Kovitch's 13.685 @ 98.08 on a 13.69.

Round 5 - Semi-final: Into the semi's now, I guess maybe I should call this the red light round as both pairs were decided by the dreaded red light. They were "ooh so close" with Linke going -.006 and Bogdan going -.012 to allow their competitors Blauvelt and Savarese to advance. What an emotional roller coaster indeed it was for John Panuzzo (and for those within earshot) as Panuzzo is not shy about screaming out his emotions. First an "awwwwwww" and then moments later a "yeeeeeeeaaaahhhhhh!"

Round 6 - Final: The stage was set, two black C4's in the finals, two Ralphs, both of them on their game all day. Blauvelt dials in with a 13.74 and leaves first with a .095 reaction time. Savarese is out next with a 10.95 and cuts a slightly better .084 reaction time. Blauvelt runs it out the back door and records a 13.768 @ 99.57, only .028 over his dial. But Savarese drives around him and on the brakes records a 10.963 @ 113.95, running a tighter .013 over his dial. The MOV was .026 and Savarese takes the win. This is 8th consecutive year that Savarese has won one or more points events in the Corvette Challenge. With three championships under his belt, the Champ seems well on his way to win a fourth. Make way for the Mahopac Express.

Corvette Challenge Points Update

Rookie Jeanne Linke ended the day in with the points lead on two strong performances. She leads with an 18 to 14 point lead over defending champion Ralph Savarese who event win has moved him there. Coordinator Bob Trieschmann, along with Steve Pistilli and Paul Bogdan are all tied with 12 points each for the third spot. With some new names in the top mixed with some old, this should be a great points season to watch for the Corvette Challenge series in its 10th season.
2008 Corvette Challenge Standings
Corvette drivers page with more driver information

Rookie of the Year Update

Wow! All we can say is this is the biggest points lead this early we have seen for the Rookie of the year chase with Jeanne Linke opening up an 18 to 5 point lead over fellow lady racer, Shay LaScalla. To the rookie class of 2008, do not despair, it not over till it is over. Keep at it and let's see where the chips fall at the end of the season.
Rookie of the Year Standings

Spectrum Equipment Service Gear Jammer Award Update

Steve Pistilli remains in the gear jammers lead with 12 points so far this year. Ken Tyler, Ken Gallasio and Gary Hurta trail with 8 points each. Spectrum Equipment Service once again sponsors the "Gear Jammer of the Year" award, presented at year-end banquet to the racer with most points in his/her manual transmission Corvette.
Gear Jammer Standings.

Corvette Challenge Team Challenge Cup

Ralph Blauvelt's runner-up finish help carry his Bracket Masters team to the first place in the team challenge cup race. The team picked up 6 from Ralph, 5 points from Linke and three more from Latona to take the lead. John Trescott's Eliminators moves to second from first and trails by only one point in the very tight team chase. Chris Haase's Mistress and the Mayhem team held their third place position at the end of this race aided by Paul Bogdan’s 5 points and 4 each from Louis Calicchia and James Kovitch. Ralph Savarese's Ridin Dirty team moved two spots into fourth on the strength of his win. Chris Young, Shawn Cavanagh and John Policastro each scored two points for Ridin Dirty but only two are counted as only three members are counted at each race.

Current Team Standings

TeamTeam NameTeam CaptainPoints
T01 Ridin' Dirty Ralph Savarese 96
T08 Bracket Masters Ralph Blauvelt 93
T02 The Eliminators John Trescott 91
T07 Mistress and the Mayhem Christopher Haase 87
T04 Vapors David Tortolani 86
T06 SKAM ARTISTS John Hadyniak 81
T05 CCDV Douglas Bereczki 67
T03 Sgt Peppler's Donald Peppler, Jr. 64
click to see drivers on each team
Click if you cannot see Team Challenge Cup Standings

Awards Handed Out at this Event

  • Rich Shuleski won the 'John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial' trophy presented by Team Panuzzo Racing for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. Rich Shuleski was quickest on the tree in the 1st round when his RT was .019.
  • Joe Signore won the 'Almost Perfect Award' with a loss in the 1st round with the red light closest to .000 (Almost Perfect). Joe Signore's light was -0.019 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.
  • Ralph Savarese won the CCDV 'Closest to Dial Award' by running only .018 off his dial. Ralph Savarese was awarded a trophy and free tech card for a future race from Corvette Club of Delaware Valley.
  • Bill Fischer won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Zaino when being edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0138. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although suffering a loss in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, Bill Fischer earned a Zaino starter package that includes various Zaino products.
  • All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy . With 73 cars making this event, we sure gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.

Next Two Races

May 31, 2008 - The fourth points race of the season for Corvette Challenge bracket races. It will be a full day with two additional classes. The American Racing Headers Pro 8 Shootout returns to attempt its first full event and The Vette Doctors Pro 11.50 goes at it for their second race of the year. Gates to open around 2:30 PM. If you are looking to make it a full day of racing, check out the EFI Series running in the morning session. This series feature two dot tire bracket classes, on slick tire bracket and a heads-up QuickTime 8 class. Cars must run EFI and the Quick Time 8 must be LS motor based. Our racers always do well in these.

June 28, 2008 - The fifth points race of the season for our Corvette Challenge racers. We will also host the third point race for The Cartek Racing Pro 10.0. Gates to open around 2:30 PM.

Visit the Drag Schedule at to view Raceway Park's schedule for other events and days for test and tuning.

As always, we couldn't enjoy our passion for racing without the tireless efforts of our coordinators - Edgar Perez, Bob Trieschmann and Dennis Kazimir We'd be reduced to time shots only without our sponsors - many thanks for the continued support of

Corvette Challenge - East Coast Supercharging | Yank Racing Converters | Team Panuzzo | Corvette Club of Delaware Valley - CCDV | Spectrum Equipment Service | The Blair Family | Simple Man | QTP - Quick Time Performance | Carroll's Rod & Racecraft | Kooks Custom Headers | CFM Racing | Tortolani Racing | Anger Management Racing | | | Romar Fabrication | Zaino Bros | Pro Torque | Perez Web Design

Pro 8 Shootout - American Racing Headers | Carroll's Rod & Racecraft | PM Construction

Pro 10.0 Index - Cartek Racing | J&M Motorsports | Best Western, East Brunswick, NJ | ECSracing | M & B Performance

Pro 11.50 Index - The Vette Doctors | Russ DeLibero Emerald Financial Resources | Wild Rover Racing | DeFelice Chevrolet Parts .

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