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Consistency Leads to First Win for Doug Bereczki in Event 8

By Edgar Perez

August 21, 2010 - Englishtown, NJ - Since joining the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters series in 2005, Doug Bereczki has continually improved his skill at bracket racing. Taking advantage of being able to enter multiple classes on the same day as often as he can gives Doug the seat time he needs to be one of our top contenders year after year. After going to the semi-final round three times and the final twice since that season, he finally had his day in the Corvette Challenge. Bereczki was paired with Tony Cupolo in the final in this second weekend in a row that the Corvettes were racing. This was our eighth race of the season, seventh for points. There were 38 racers entered in the Corvette Challenge today though two did not make round one. We had an additional 25 entries in our three index classes for a total race entry today of 63.

Round 1

We had two drivers run dead-on their dials in round one. Only one was able to advance to the next round after accomplishing the very difficult feat. Eric Fischer was able to run 11.545 on 11.54 dial to defeat Edgar Perez to advance to the next round. Fischer was away .118 green (the color of his car) while Perez lit the red (the color of his car) making it a no risk pass for Fischer to be dead-on. The other driver, Ray Sztabnik was not as lucky in his match with Ellis Gray. Sztabnik was dead-on his dial running 13.258 on the 13.25 dial but Gray ran the better package to take the win. Ray's .091, while good, hurt him. Gray was off .018 green and ran 11.540 on 11.50 dial to take the win by a margin of .041. Speaking of great lights, Louis Calicchia used a .013 reaction time to advance to the next round with his silver C5 defeating Jerry Muniz who was well off his game with a .539 reaction time make it an easy round for Louis. Our current points leader, thee-time Champion, Ralph Savarese was on with a .025 reaction time and ran 11.191 on 11.18 dial to take the win over Tony Abbruzze who had a good light at .058 but broke out by running 13.067 @ 103.63 which was quicker than his 13.09 prediction of elapsed time. Last week's runner up, Adam Brandt was out early today with a -.003 red light which sent Andrew Volponi to the next round.

Red lights were common again with 9 or our 36 first round racers getting caught sneaking away early. Fortunately for two of the nine red racers, they were second to go red and thus were able to advance. Rich Shuleski in the '96 Grand Sport Corvette and Vincent Cupolo in the C3 Corvette were able to survive their -.144 and -.027 reds respectively as their opponents, Peter LoPresti and John Panuzzo went red before them. This is one of those advantages of having the quicker Corvette.

Our event winner was actually the first on the track and that was Doug Bereczki. He was paired with Ken Tyler, back in his familiar Torch Red manually shifted Corvette. Bereczki's .026 green light and 14.405 on 14.39 dial was too much for the still healing Tyler who recently had hip replacement surgery. Tony Cupolo was paired with Dennis Kazimir and would advance to round two when Kazimir went red. Cupolo, 11.432, was quicker than his 11.45 dial and would still advance because of Kazimir's red light.

There were several other drivers who did not get out of round one but with our ladder (linked below) now having ET, Dial in and reaction time, we will let you take a look at those racers on that linked image.

Runner Up Group Winner
Runner-up Tony Cupolo Group Winner Doug Bereczki
Photos by . For over 7,000 Corvette Photos, click here.

Round 2

Four of the nine pair this round would be decided by red light. Adam Brandt's red would be the closet. He dialed the white C5 Corvette in at 12 flat but left with a -.003 red advancing Andrew Volponi, dialed 11.75, to the next round. Ken Baranski went red to Vincent Cupolo by -.030, Rich Shuleski to Anthony Cupolo by -.040 and Ron Higgins to Frank Fiori by -.090. In a battle of Championship contenders, Eric Fischer and Ralph Savarese would square off this round. Fischer would leave first with 11.54 dial and Savarese would chase with an 11.18 dial. Fischer was late and Savarese was not, so Savarese was moving on with a .046 green light and an 11.225 @ 114.07. Rob Farley and Tom Smith near even off the tree with Farley taking a .091 to .099 edge. Smith fell off pace on his 12.49 dial running 12.664 and Farley was moving on as well. Bob Trieschmann would put an end to Louis Calicchia’s day when he beat him on the tree .106 to .142. The late light led to Calicchia breaking out on his 11.70 dial running 11.678 giving the win to Trieschmann. Doug Bereczki would get a gift when Artie Chin left with a .403 light proceeded to run under his 11.50 dial trying to harness his new 10-second power. Lastly, Ellis Gray would use a 11.521 run on 11.50 dial to defeat Bill Fischer Sr. who ran slightly under his 11.61 dial with a 11.597 pass @ 116.63 mph.

2010 Event 8 Ladder

Round 3

Nine racers left for round three. Tony Cupolo would face Andrew Volponi. Volponi dialed his C5 Corvette in with an 11.75 while Cupolo would dial 11.45 with his C3 he shares with his son Anthony. Tony would nail Andrew to the tree with a .009 light while the rookie Volponi was .188 green. Needless to say, Cupolo would get the win with that stellar light. Doug Bereczki was up next with his C4 up against Tony's brother, Vincent Cupolo. Vinnie would get the tree advantage .035 to .102 but unlike his brother, he did not come away with the win light. Vinnie, dialed 10.18, would run too quick with a 10.164 @ 122.73. Bereczki would run 14.422 on 14.41 dial with the win. The best light of the round belonged to Rob Farley with a .026 but he would not get very far past the light. Turns out he broke the rear in the car and his opponent, Ellis Gray, was able to coast to a win. Meanwhile, Ralph Savarese was doing the Ralph Savarese thing going dead-on his dial, 11.186 on 11.18 dial, coupled with a .030 reaction time. The package forced Frank Fiori to show all his cards as he broke out trying to stay ahead of Savarese running 12.810 on 12.87 dial. Bob Trieschmann would get a single this round. He made a clean pass running 12.774 on 12.71 dial with a .103 reaction time.

Round 4 - Quarter-Final

Working 9 to 5 as we are now down to five Corvette racers for the Quarter final round. Bereczki and Trieschmann are out first with Bereczki dialed 14.42 getting the head start. He was off with a green light, .061, Trieschmann proceeded to cut a better light with a .034 but then ran under his 12.76 dial chasing Doug down. The breakout allowed Doug to advance to the next round. Ellis Gray would get the bye run and run out the free pass going 11.46 on 11.52 dial. Tony Cupolo would face Ralph Savarese in he next pair. Tony would leave green first with a .026 on 11.36 dial. Savarese would follow with .023 light on 11.17 dial. This was to be a real nice race with neither driver taking the tree lightly. Neither took the 1320 lightly either as both went on to run under their indexes. Cupolo was able to do it by less getting him the win and advancing him to the semi final round.

Round 5 - Semi-Final

Bereczki would face fellow CCDV club member Ellis Gray. He adjusted his dial slightly to 14.43 and was out of the hole with a .092 light. Gray would adjust his dial as well to 11.50. He was out of the hole green as well with a .066 light. The advantage on the tree did not help as Gray ran under his dial running under by only .002. Tony Cupolo would get the bye this round and would sit it out as on the other side of the track, his son Anthony was on his way to his second 11.50 Index race win of the year so they used the bye to cool the car.

Round 6 - Final

So we are down to the final with Doug Bereczki's red C4 and Tony Cupolo's blue C3 with some red and white mixed in as well. Bereczki would adjust the dial again now at 14.44. Cupolo kept the 11.35 on the car and would chase. Doug was off green with a .093 green light. Cupolo would end the race at the tree lighting the red light with a -.070. This capped off a tremendous day for both driers. Two finals in the day for the Cupolo C3 and the first Corvette Challenge victory for Doug Bereczki. It is Bereczki’s perseverance and consistency that finally got him to the winner’s circle. If you are counting, that is 6 rounds with the first five won by breakout and the final won by red-light. No one takes Bereczki lightly in our series and the respect for his ability to lay a tight package in the quarter mile that put him in position to get the round wins needed to finally capture his first win.

Corvette Challenge Points Update

Nothing seems to be able to derail "The Mahopac Express", Ralph Savarese, who went to the fourth round today scoring four points moving his leading total to 37 with three event wins. He now holds a 12 point lead with three points races remaining. If he keeps up the pace, he may be able to clinch his fourth Corvette Challenge Championship before the final race. Ellis Gray went to the fifth round today before being eliminated and cut Savarese's lead by one but at that pace there are not enough races to catch. Someone has to slow the express. Gray holds second place with 25 total points. Our top rookie, Vincent Cupolo is next in the overall bracket class standings with a total of 23 points and the tiebreaker, and event win over three-time Champion Rob Farley each with 23 points. Rounding out the top 5 is our current event winner, Doug Bereczki. His win and total of 7 points scored today brings him to a total of 22 points. Louis Calicchia (21), Ken Tyler and Eric Fischer (20 each), Rich Shuleski (19) and Frank Schear (16 and the tiebreaker) round out the top 10. Three races to go; time to get serious.
2010 Corvette Challenge Standings
Corvette drivers page with more driver information

Rookie of the Year Update

With three points races to go, Vincent Cupolo has opened up an 11 point lead over Russ DeLibero. Russ was not able to make it today and lost quite a bit of ground as Cupolo won two rounds today and scored three points. Vinnie now has a total of 23 points and an all important tiebreaking event win. DeLibero holds second position with a total of 12 points. Peter Huff remains in third place despite a first round exit today with a total of 8 points. Andrew Volponi leap frogs Rob Petyo (who is still without his car and did not make it out today) with a third round exit today and a total 7 points for the season now. Our three remaining rookies, Petyo, Marc Marsico and Greg Errion each have 5 points.
Rookie of the Year Standings

Gear Jammer Award Update

Category leader, Ken Tyler, still healing form his recent hip surgery was back in his own manually shifted Corvette. Despite not advancing to the second round, he remains the leader with a total of 19 points for the season. He is followed by Gary Hillen who also failed to advance to round two today with a total of 14 points. Frank Fiori was able to improve his position in the rankings with a third round appearance today. His 3 scored today brings him to 12 for the season which moves up several positions to third. He is followed by Don Peppler Jr. (4th) and Peter LoPresti (5th) each with a first round loss today and each with 10 points total rounding out the top 5 in the category.
Gear Jammer Standings.

Awards Handed Out at this Event

  • won the 'Best Winning Reaction Time - 1st Round plaque presented by Raceway Park for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. was quickest on the tree with the win light in the 1st round when with a reaction time.
  • won the 'Almost Perfect Award' with a loss in the 1st round with the red light closest to .000 (Almost Perfect). 's light was and was awarded a plaque from Old Bridge Township Raceway Park recognizing the effort put forth to try and capture a perfect light but just slightly red.
  • won the CCDV 'Closest to Dial Award' by running only off his dial. was awarded a plaque and free tech card for a future race from Corvette Club of Delaware Valley.
  • won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Raceway Park when being edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of . That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although suffering a loss in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, earned a plaque from Raceway Park.
  • All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy. With 63 cars making this event (combined Corvette Challenge and Pro class(es)), we sure gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.

Next Two Races

The series takes a rather large break after today's race and returns to action on October 16,2010. After the that race, we return to the track two weeks later on October 30th. These will be our 8th and 9th points races of the season For more information about the schedule visit You can discuss the series on , the Drag Racing section of The Corvette Forum where you can find news, updates and polls.

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 our sponsors;

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