RACE: NE-Div: Team GGS's Carpenter wins FP title

Mark Carpenter, 2007 Northeast Division Champion, Team GGS Ready for SCCA National Championship Run-Offs Competition October 8-14 in Topeka York, PA - What a difference a year makes. Take one very fast Acura Integra, add a ...

Mark Carpenter, 2007 Northeast Division Champion, Team GGS Ready for SCCA National Championship Run-Offs Competition October 8-14 in Topeka

York, PA - What a difference a year makes.

Take one very fast Acura Integra, add a competition-seasoned 22 year-old driver, combine determination and teamwork from your crew, and you have the makings of a team that is determined to take a First Place win in F Production class competition at the upcoming 2007 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Championship Run-Offs, sponsored by AT&T October 8 -14 at Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas.

With an amazing five first-place wins and one second-place finish in national events in 2007 including a new track record at famed Pocono Raceway, driver Mark Carpenter and Team GGS of York, PA have attracted the attention of road racing fans and competitors alike at venues throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as considerable visibility in full-feature articles in SCCA's monthly member magazine, Sportscar. Coming out of literally nowhere in the FP field last year, 2007 now finds Mark surrounded by competitors and spectators alike wanting to look over his car in the Winner's Circle.

Team GGS will roar off the starting line in SCCA Full Production (FP) competition in Topeka with an effort totally unlike their first taste of competition last year, when mechanical problems forced the team to finish early.

At the front of their efforts are the superb driving skills of 22-year old driver, Mark. Currently a student at the Lee College of Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte majoring in mechanical engineering, Mark works part-time for GGS Information Services as a technical data analyst in the company's technical publications division.

This technical aptitude often works to Mark's advantage in SCCA competition: As a driver he can better understand the mechanical aspects of the car's performance on the track, while at the same time quickly grasping the impact of component changes which directly affect the car's dynamics and response.

Hailing from Burlington, CT, Mark began competing in auto-cross soon after obtaining his driver's license, and following high school was a student at the Skip Barber Racing School. The next year, he began racing competitively throughout the East Coast in SCCA's Improved Touring A (ITA) class.

The field at Topeka in October will see a GGS Acura which has undergone a series of exhaustive 'dyno' and calibration tests for optimum performance at speed shops in both Pennsylvania and New York. Those efforts have resulted in Carpenter taking the pole position as well as a record lap time at the famed Pocono course and near-record lap times at tracks at Summit Point, WV and Watkins Glen, NY.

What also drives the car are the sheer determination and efforts of Team GGS, a group comprised mostly of "gear heads" and shade tree mechanics at the sponsor's facility who have worked tirelessly throughout the current season.

During Saturday's race the weekend of August 17-19 in northeastern Pennsylvania, while at Pocono Raceway for a rare Double Nationals event, with a 12 second lead on his way to another victory, Mark suffered a blown engine. The team was hit with a DNF. To compete in Sunday's event, the team had to develop a workable game plan for the next day, and a fast one at that!

Team GGS then traveled three hours back to its base in York, PA in the south central part of the state, installed another engine, and returned to Pocono in the pre-dawn hours to finish their preparation for Sunday's event. With just hours to spare, Team GGS and Mark headed out onto the track and captured a First Place victory while establishing a new track record with a lap time of 1:47.608.

This "can do" attitude - combined with a sense of teamwork, determination, and skill - is taking GGS to Topeka in the hopes of capturing a first-place finish at the SCCA National Championship Run-Offs in October.

That and also a desire for Mark to bring home a National Championship trophy in honor of his father, Jim, who recently succumbed to brain cancer on September 16. Mark was raised in a racing-focused family, and named by his father for the famed driver Mark Donohue. During the 2007 season, Mark's dad had the chance to be at the tracks in Summit Point, Pocono, and Watkins Glen so he could witness Mark taking checkered flags at SCCA national events held there.

-credit: www.ggsracing.com.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Skip Barber