Scuderia Ferrari of Charlestown vows to return to 12 Hours at the Point For the Scuderia Ferrari of Charlestown Team, the 5th Annual Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point was three hours too long. At the nine hour mark, the team - team-founder Matt...
Scuderia Ferrari of Charlestown vows to return to 12 Hours at the Point
For the Scuderia Ferrari of Charlestown Team, the 5th Annual Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point was three hours too long. At the nine hour mark, the team - team-founder Matt "Hatch" Geidle, Bill "Tourette's"/"I was the rubber chicken" Stuart, Al "F1" Gervais, and Super Rookie "Cool" Dave Ade, held a comfortable two-lap lead in the SRX7 class, but during the hour disaster struck for the team. "We knew we were in trouble when Hatch brought the car in early," said Al Gervais.
The team would be sidelined with a problem that has plagued the class in the 12 Hours. "The left front wheel bearing had failed and welded itself to the spindle and we knew we were going to be in the pits for a long stop," explained Gervais. The team's repair was made easier by the assistance of Bert Mills, co-driver of the RP Performance SpecRX7, who ground the bearing from the spindle for the team. "This kind of help your competition spirit is part of what makes the Spec RX-7 class so much fun," added Gervais.
The race started well for the team and the first stint driver, Giedle, put the team into a solid early lead. Stuart took the second stint and, despite being listed as Rubber Chicken in the program, maintained the lead handed to him. Gervais was driving when the rains came and said that he was, ".delighted with the conditions and disappointed when Thor took aim at the turn 1 flaggers." The lightening strikes caused a one-hour race stoppage.
When racing resumed, Super Rookie "Cool Dave" Ade took the helm and ran for well over an hour until a full course yellow was caused by a car spinning into the gravel at turn 10. This allowed us to refuel and make a driver change. The stranded car looked suspiciously like the Ferrari of Charlestown RX7 and according to Gervais, "I understand the driver was a slightly embarrassed rookie."
Several hours later, the wheel bearing failed. When the team returned to the track, it was clear that they could not compete for the class win, but pressed on through the night to achieve the goal of seeing the checker flag. Ade drove the final stint and brought the team home, second in class.
The team appreciated the efforts of their crew - Kirk Dohne, Dirty Barry, John Uftring and Natasha, and joked about returning next year with their F360 Ferrari. "Yeah, it's too bad the Ferrari Challenge car didn't pan out or we would have given the OG Racing Porsche a race for their money," deadpanned Gervais.
Like most competitors in this year's Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point, Scuderia Ferrari of Charlestown intends to come back for the 2004 race. We won't hold our breath in anticipation of the team getting their hands on the Ferrari.