Qualifying Report: Peter Kitchak Gains on Tommy Archer in World Challenge Points Battle

Press Release:

For immediate release

VANCOUVER, British Columbia
September 4, 1999
Press release complements of Toad Hall Racing

“Jim makes the top 10; Peter finishes 2nd after being last in the early going. These are long days. Nothing to do all day but wait. Drivers meeting at 11. Autograph session at 11:30. Speedvision interview at 12. Wait some more. The race will begin at 5. But put the car on the grid at 3:45. Wait some more. But we are on schedule for the start. Car is warm, crew has checked every nut and bolt 100 times, maybe 150. We calculate the weight about 5 times. The car must weigh about 2800 lbs at the end of the race. Calculate the number of laps, the fuel consumption, etc. etc. then make sure we have enough weight in the car so that after we burn the fuel we will have enough.

The boys have recruited new flag girls from some local watering hole (I suppose, but don’t ask) The girls are 6 feet tall plus and beautiful. Who know what they were promised. But the crew has had a fun time lining them up. We are on the pole, Jim is 13th. The start…Peter doesn’t make it through turn 1. We outbrake number 2 car Bill Cooper into 1 and as I think we have the corner, we get hit, from behind. George Biskup who is behind us wallops us in the rear and into the tire wall we go. Straight ahead. Archer is also into us and so, the top four guys in the series, Archer, us, Biskup and Cooper all seem in trouble right away. Cooper is first out of the mess and then he crashes one turn later. Biskup drops oil over the course and retires two laps later, but Bobby Archer remains in the hunt, slightly damaged but with little challenge. Jim manages to get through clean. He does a great job avoiding the meley.

We get the car restarted and drive around to the pits, the car a mess. As I pull in, the guys start pulling destroyed fiberglass from the car, and taping up the rest. Seems like they are taking most of the front end off. We are at the back. We race from the pits just before the pace car passes and drive around rapidly to avoid going a lap down. We are back in the pits a second and third time for repairs. A couple of rolls of tape and 10 bungie cords later, we rejoin the field at the back, but still on the lead lap. Time to get going, we make excellent progress through the field and we are gaining on the overall leader, even without a lot of our body parts. A full course yellow. We catch up to the pack, but we still have a number of Touring class cars in front of us, again we go to work after the green.

Time is running out, we are up to 6th in class, then 5th, 4th. Then we get into third. We have Scotty White and Bobby Archer in front of us and we are flying. The guys tell me that Archer must do a stop and go. He jumped the restart on the restart SCCA says. Then he goes through the pits at 90 MPH and doesn’t stop at the end because there is no one there to stop him. They want him to stop again. He does so with two laps remaining and regains the course right in front of us. He was speeding in the pits the second time also and there is discussion about a third stop, but they don’t make him do it. We follow him for most of the lap and pass him under braking into turn 6. He counters with a pass back between turns 6 and 7. This is the last lap. “You can do it” David our crew chief says over the radio. We get close in turn 8. Going into turn 9, I give him some room and then fly through the turn to catch him at the exit when we are at maximum speed. In the short chute between 9 and 10 we pass him again. Three turns later… the checkered flag. Whew! We have gone from last to 2d in only about 10 real laps of racing. A spirited drive to be sure. Scotty White wins. A great job for him although it is bitter sweet.

It appears from the video that he was the one who hit Biskup forcing Biskup into us on the first lap. And he is rewarded with a race win. Probably not as intentional as the Ernhardt affair, but nevertheless it seems he caused the 1st lap crash, and benefited the most from it. Too bad. It was also a great day for Jim. His first top 10. We are all excited for him. He continues to do much better. Overall, the crew did an awesome job. Once again, the set-up was perfect. The car, under powered against the “big iron”, outhandled everyone and it was easy to stay close to them.

Vancouver drives like a road course, not a street course. The turns are wide and twisty and the kink in the back straight is just like the kink at Elkhart. You always wonder how close to flat out you can go through it. We got close, but not quite. Only difference here is that if you make a mistake here, you hit a wall.

We are now second in points only 1 point behind Archer. We will decide the series in the last two races, and we will be ready. Next race is at Colorado Springs the first weekend in October.”

Peter Kitchak

More information:
Toad Hall Motor Racing: www.toadhallracing.com
SCCA World Challenge and immediate results: www.sccapro.com
The Keewaydin group: www.keewaydin.com


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