In preparation for the 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series, Peter Boss decided that he needed to do as much driving as possible. When the opportunity to drive in the Rolex 24 at Daytona alongside Barber Dodge Pro Series coach Barry Waddell, and fellow...
In preparation for the 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series, Peter Boss decided that he needed to do as much driving as possible. When the opportunity to drive in the Rolex 24 at Daytona alongside Barber Dodge Pro Series coach Barry Waddell, and fellow Skip Barber Racing School grads Tom Volk and R.J. Valentine came up, Boss leapt at the chance.
The TRV Motorsports Riley & Scott Chevy began the classic twice around the clock event in 16th spot. But after 24 grueling hours, in a race that saw the top Sports Racer class all but decimated, the harried team came in 42nd overall, seventh class. Despite the setbacks, Boss looked back on his first taste of top-level sports car racing fondly.
"I really enjoyed it," he said. "I learned a lot. Driving in an event like this is so different from what I'm used to. I think that basically anytime you get into a race car, you learn something new, but driving alongside Barry, Tom and R.J., you gain a new perspective. They and the crew were really great."
Boss has spent his entire nascent racing career in single-seat, open wheel race cars, first in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Race Series, and currently in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. Although the Rolex 24 was certainly an eye opening experience, Boss was not intimidated by racing in a much more powerful car in an unfamiliar environment.
"Waiting to start the race was the hardest part," Boss states. "All the testing miles helped me to get acclimated to the power level of the car as well as the braking and cornering capability."
If the overall aspect of the race left him unfazed, so too did the particulars. Neither the traffic nor driving at night presented any particular difficulties for Boss. He drove three stints throughout the race. His first came a little more than an hour after the start, the second, and the longest, came in the wee hours of the night, with the final stint in the final quarter of the race.
"Driving in traffic was fun. It was great to have so much power and be able to pass the GT cars almost at will. You just had to use your head really, and determine when was a good time to go for a pass and when was a good time to hold back," he recounted. "I actually found driving at night to be the most enjoyable. By that time, the race had settled into its rhythm, and many cars had either dropped out or were in for repairs, so I really just had fun with it, passing the slower cars. You start to settle into a trance. The Lola and the Reynard had a very distinctive engine sound, so after a while of not being passed by anyone, one of the would come around and jar you back into reality."
While Boss thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would welcome the opportunity to do it over again, his heart remains with single-seaters.
"There is still nothing like getting into your own car, with your own uncompromised set-up and going flat out for forty minutes," he offered.
The Barber Dodge Pro Series kicks off in Sebring on March 18. Hang on Peter, it won't be long.