02 June 2012

2012 Trans-Am Invitational: Ralf & The Phatt Man

2011 La Carrera Panamericana
I was too disheartened to write my final thoughts on the 2011 La Carrera Panamericana because there was too much corruption and no, I'm not referring to the politics in Mexico, I'm referring to the race.  If you were there, you know that Doug Mockett & Angelica Fuentes were the overall winners, not the guy they named.  And they were not the only ones robbed of a podium spot.  More than once friends of ours stepped off the daily podium and walked by us with their trophy shaking their heads saying, "We didn't even run today" or "We know this isn't ours."

Bobby Unser Jr. and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb
My previous post spoke of Todd building a 1968 Mustang High Country Special for Bobby Unser Jr. to race in this summer's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.  We met Bobby Jr. when he was commentating the 2011 PPIHC and he test drove the Phatt Man and loved it.  We spent a few days with Bobby Jr. at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale earlier this year but soon after realized we didn't have enough time to rally sponsors and build and test this special car to be ready for the Trans-Am and Pikes Peak practice in early June.  So we have hopes that this will all happen in 2013 instead, stay tuned.

2012 Trans-Am Invitational
We are in Pueblo, CO competing this weekend at the 2012 Trans-Am Invitiational, put on by Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing. 

From the Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing website:
The track is a 2.2-mile course with challenging elevation change, long straights, and a mix of corners including a high-speed Turn One. Passing is possible most everywhere on the track, making it great for Trans-Am racing. The elevation is 4,900 feet and requires re-jetting for those coming from lower elevations.

This event features the Historic Trans-Am Sedans that ran in the Trans-Am series from 1966 through 1981. Included in this special run group will be the 5-liter Camaros, Mustangs, Barracudas, Javelins, and Firebirds and the 2-liter and 2.5-liter championship winning Porsche 911s, Datsun 510s, and BMW 2002s that raced wheel to wheel with the Alfa GTAs. The two-liter (U2) cars will be racing side by side with the five-liter (O2) cars.

This year we are also featuring the late model Trans-Am cars that ran in SCCA’s GT1 and GT2 categories. These fire-breathing cars tore up the tracks across the US in the 1970s and 1980s and are very exiting to watch. The pits are open to spectators who can meet the drivers and get a up close look at the race cars. Pueblo’s concession stand will be open for breakfast and lunch.

We are honored to have Ralf Christensson as our driver of the Phatt Man.  Yesterday at practice he and Todd took the car out on the track and the clutch pressure plate failed.  Todd is still baffled as to why it failed but he was able to run up to Colorado Springs and get the part.  As he was calling all the parts stores in Pueblo they would ask, "For what kind of car?"  Well, he couldn't really describe the Phatt Man, nor would its specs be relevant to the part he needed so he said, "1984 Corvette" which was the closest match.  He told me later I would be happy that it was a Chevy part and would probably last as he knows I'm a bit of a Corvette fan.

Brand new clutch plate missing some pieces!

Stefan, Kristin & Ralf at the 2006 LCP in Aguascalientes.
Today the race officially begins and we are excited to see how Ralf does as he is an awesome driver, though the main purpose is for Ralf to get seat time and tweak the Phatt Man in preparation for next week's Pikes Peak practice days and ultimately, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on July 8, 2012.  Go Ralf!
Todd and Ralf watching Friday night drag racing at the Pueblo Motorsports Park after the Trans-Am practice day.

Friday night drag racing at the Pueblo Motorsports Park, including a class for high schoolers.

Also, joining Ralf at the PPIHC will be Gerhard Pegam from Germany, who we met at the 2011 LCP.  More about Gerhard later!

Gerhard Pegam back in the day!

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