Unbridled enthusiasm, rule changes and new trends upend Group 6 Corvettes in the Championship Race at CoTA
Starting on the front row in the dash for the Group 6 national championship (Bell Helmet), # 46A Gary Klutt took out # 46 Jody O’Donnell in turn 1, ending their day with sanctions for reckless driving most likely in store for Gary.
# 59 Peter Klutt car failed after 2 laps making it a race to forget for father and son.
That left the race up for grabs among # 84 Jim Sandberg (listed on entry); and # 33 Mike Donohue and # 37 Clair Schwendeman in small blocks. Extra weight and smaller tires, a decision by the technical director re the highest performing Corvettes, are part of a new trend to equalize the competition.
# 05 Scott Borchetta emerged the fastest in a small block. HSR upgrades (aluminum heads) may have been overlooked by officials familiarized with its milder CVAR configuration until recently sold by SVRA Chief Tony Parella.
Adding to the intrigue, (a) behind the wheel # 84 was not Sandberg but John Heinricy, GM Development Engineer, pro racer & multiple SCCA runoffs winner; and (b) the withdrawal of # 36 Jim Kitzmiller, to be piloted again by last year’s winner Edward Sevadjian.
A massive F1 complex like CoTA which literally swallows up club racing; and with entries in several vintage groups on the wane, SVRA now adds a diverse mix of Trans Am, the International GT Porsche/Ferrari series and motorcycle racing that is drawing bigger crowds.
# 11A Colby Hillman/Edward Sevadjian were class winners in Colby’s ex - Mecca test car that performed perfectly in Vintage enduro.
37 Clair Schendeman and Alan Sevadjian were sidelined by electrical problems following a botched pit stop.
# 99 Tony Bosworth (trailing # 64 Jim Heck) watch qualifying onboard here.
Jim Gessner, our co-founder, visited with # 16 Steve Cole in his ex Doug Rippie small block.
We are grateful to assistance from folks on hand that shaped our observations and understanding of the outcomes.
And also for the action photography provided by David Gillen. firstname.lastname@example.org
All 47 cars took the green flag for the regular Group 6 race Saturday afternoon made it through turn 1 without incident however there were mechanical failures during the race won by Jody O’Donnell. John Heinricy finished 6th in Jim Sandberg’s big block Corvette.
# 11 Jon Miller WC Group 12A and # 46 Michael Zoch GT1 Group 10.
This Corvette race report is the product of information and observations from a variety of sources. It is intended to be informative and enjoyable however we make no claims it is objective, accurate and complete.