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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to see the Viper's side as a Vet person so I asked Eric Burch of American Viperacing and the Justin Bell school if I could help in the pits at the Petit Le Mans in Atlanta on 10/6.
I showed up in the pits Thursday morning and introduced myself.
Well it wasn't long before they put me to work, wiping the tar off the cars. Well this is not what I had in mind, detailing the #44 & #45 cars.
Later the crew chief Tony asked me what my abilities were.
Well as I tell most, Jack of all trades master of none.
There was 2 hour qualifying Friday night and they had no lights on the gas boom (which was 6" to low) or in the tents.
This was my pre-race job, give them light. Now I was feeling useful.
Friday morning I go to Home Depot and get some pipe to increase the hight of the boom and some light fixtures. Now they have light.
The rest of my duties during this 10 hour race was to help with the gas and air lines during the pit stops. (and get Eric's hard candy:) )
These were a great bunch of guys to work with and for, they knew I was a Z06/Corvette maniac yet no problems. I quess you can say this is how the pros are. Not once did I hear them bad mouth the competion. Things were quite hectic for days but once the flag went down they were like a wheel oiled machine, pit stops went like clockwork.
AVR is owned by Tom Weickhardt, not by a huge corporation so there is a limit to what can be spent running this team.
I congratulate them on their 3rd place finish, here is a team with limited recources and they were just behind the big guys.
If not for the blown tire the #45 car would have beat the Saleen.
You know that GM is wathcing these guys now.:eek:
I want to thank Eric, Tom, and the entire crew for putting up with me, this is an experience not soon forgotten and I would do it again. :D
 

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Did he say Viper??

Yes he did, for those of you wondering why someone that handles sales for a Corvette backed driving school (the best in the country no less!) is running a Viper race team against the factory, that answer is an easy one.

I have been involved in Viper race teams since 1998, and started with Justin in the school in the very begining of our school in January 1999 (we had Vipers from then until Dec. 2000 in the school).

Tom Weickardt (team owner) started as one of my first clients in the driving school having just purchased a Viper which was his first sportscar, and the rest is history.

FRC Tom did a great job for us, and was always there early, and stayed late and had a great attitude no matter what he was asked to do (even when it came to detailing the cars prior to each session), and got to see a race from the competators side of things, and hopefully feels a greater appreciation for the effort that goes into entertaining the fans.

We start at the track before 7am each day, and our days sometimes end at Midnight (or later), which is something a great number of fans my not realize.

It looks like we will be making more upgrades to the cars in the next few months to gear up for Daytona and the Rolex then on to the 2002 ALMS schedule to see if we can get hold of some of those Saleen boys!
 

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Congrats Tom!! I would give my left n*t to crew on a race team like that!! :cool:

JB, are you bringing one of your Z's to the Eckler's Reunion?? Would love to see one of your cars in the Z06 Corral!! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Frank:
I talked to Eric yesterday and he is going to bring a Z06 up.
I don't think Justin can make it, but you never know.
 
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