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Challenge Cars Complete 25 Hours of Thunderhill

We're on our way home, and even after 19 hours of hard racing on a challenging track with more than 60 cars, both Challenge Cars are in the trailers and race ready (alright, maybe a couple of new rotors, some brakes, and a good wash and polish might be nice). The team ran in the sun, the fog, the darkness, the mist, and even light rain at times, and our incredible crew supported these cars in the daylight and darkness flawlessly.

Here's the full race report, and we have tons and tons of pictures and race videos that will be posted on the blog at (Including pictures/video of Randy Probst's drive in the #28
Challenge Car).

Monday, December 8, 2008
Team Cobra 25 Hours Final Race Report

We raced in foggy and marginal conditions until nearly noon, when the sun began to peak through. A low cloud cover remained though, but the remainder of the race was flawless for both
Challenge Cars. The #85 had to go back pit for brakes (caliper/rotors/pads in the early afternoon), but both Challenge Cars finished the race in fine style, with Team Owner/Drivers Karen Salvaggio and Ed Boothman behind the wheel to take the checkered flag at 3:00 PM PST.

Final Standings
Team #28 Racing 4A Reason 1
Final Position: 12th in Class; 420 laps

Team Racing 4A Reason 2
Final Position: 11th in Class; 430 laps

Ed and Karen want to extend the biggest thanks and gratitude to the more than 25 crewmembers who provided incredible support to the team, including dedicating three days of their lives to this effort. When you think about running a 25 hour race and being part of a team, it all sounds like a ton of fun (and quite frankly it is). But when the harsh realities of a dampness that cuts through every layer of clothing you can don, a race postponement that means long, long nighttime hours waiting with anticipation for the call back to service, the zeal and excitement felt at the beginning of the race can quickly fade. But this amazing group of people kept their spirit throughout and truly endured.

In my experience, this team delivered support that would rival the abilities of any pro team. Fuel stops for two
Challenge Cars were regularly completed in under two minutes, and driver changes were being accomplished in under four minutes. These are amazing numbers and are a credit to the fine individuals leading and working the Alpha and Omega Teams!!! Data management was flawless, the pit was fed with hundreds of gallons of gas in a chain that simply could not be broken, and what can we say but "Wow!" on the food and hospitality provided by Ron Morris and Lytle Thiessen. Very, very nice work everyone!!!!

The credit for the on track positions goes to our amazing team of drivers. The driver lineup had been set months in advance, but unforeseen circumstances as recent as one week before the race had team owners Karen and Ed re-strategizing the driver line-up right down to the green flag. It was decided that Racing 4A Reason drivers Mike Plum and Rick Anderson would serve as lead drivers for the team, and that Jim Schenck and John George would serve as lead drivers for the Racing 4A Reason2 Team. Scott McKay would then share his driving time between the cars, with back-up drivers/team owners Karen Salvaggio and Ed Boothman, as well as
Challenge Car pilot Brian Sanders slipping into the seat to extend rest periods for the leads.

A surprising development around 4 PM on Saturday led to the opportunity to have pro driver and on track talent Randy Probst to slip in as co-driver for the #28 Racing 4A Reason Team, and Randy drove one stint into the darkness for the #28 team. It was amazing to watch him out there on track in the red/white
Challenge Car, and his feedback on the car and its performance was simply priceless.

As it turned out, Randy was slated to drive for the #07 BMW team, but the car experienced mechanical issues early and retired from the race. Karen was also driving for Team Divaspeed in the race (Pitstall #7, Acura Integra, next to the
Challenge Cars) and as it turned out, Randy had stopped by to check on his Divaspeed friends.....Well, one thing led to another, and soon enough, Randy was putting his gear in Team Cobra's motorhome and getting ready to strap in for a stint in the Challenge Car. When the fog call came, crewmembers and fellow drivers hunkered down in the motorhomes, and we all enjoyed Randy's company as we swapped stories for hours of on track exploits. The team found him to be amazingly warm and friendly, and it was a joy to spend the evening sharing his company and watching the race tapes from his drive in the Challenge Car (stay tuned for future posting), as well as his critique/feedback of FFR National Champion Scott's McKay's drive tape (Tapes coming, but we'll let Scott tell that story ">))

I am writing this from somewhere on the I-5 headed south through the Central Valley of California. Tomorrow, it's back to the reality of our every day work world, but today, our team is basking in the glow of this weekend's competition. One might ask, "Did you win?" ...And the quick answer is no, but the adventure and experience of this weekend, and all the weeks leading up to it were a "win" for this team. I can remember Ed and I sitting in the garage just two weeks ago, amidst a pile of engine parts, wiring harnesses laying on the ground, and practically every body part on both cars laying in a heap out in the driveway. He and I crossed that finish line yesterday in two top notch running cars, at full speed under a waving checkered, and that my friends is a feeling that cannot soon be matched.

We've already been hot into the discussion of improvements for next year, including the development of a car that will be a front running contender in class. We learned so much this year, and as we look across the team of talented individuals we have supporting this effort, there's no doubt we'll be a podium contender next year......

2009 25 Hours of Thunderhill here we come!

Special thanks to crew chiefs Andy Salvaggio and Mark Dougherty for leading the highly successful in-pit effort. Thanks again to everyone for believing in us and helping us follow this dream! We simply could not have done this without you!

Karen and Ed
#28 & #85 Team Cobra Racing 4A Reason

*COBRA is a registered trademark of Ford Motor Company and Factory Five Racing does not describe its products using this word.

Page last updated: 03/19/2009

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