|The Circuit Battles field consisted of some heavy hitters in the professional motorsports world. The grandstand layout at Firebird Raceway gave all of the spectators a clear view of the heads up battles. Here Dez Ballard eavesdrops on Paul Brown and Lou Gigliotti’s racing strategies.|
The Circuit Battles Competition saw some really good heads up battles between the drivers. Firebird Raceway is a relatively small road course with mostly low to medium speed corners which made for passing very difficult during the competition. The Redline track officials did a really good job of keeping the action going from flag to flag without any bye runs or long breaks in between.
|Lou Gigliotti in the LG Motorsports Corvette was packing an extra angry LS7 with over 750hp to the wheels. Lou fought hard and took home the Round 2 Circuit Battles win.|
Round 1 winner Joey Scarallo in the Group A Wheels Pontiac GTO suffered a catastrophic engine failure which lead to a small engine fire during the qualifying heat. Scarallo was unharmed in the incident but was forced to retire from the event. The qualifying round started right up again and we were able to see Paul Brown in the K&N G35 fight his way from 8th to 4th position in just over four minutes.
|Paul Brown in the twin turbo K&N G35 clawed his way from 8th to 4th place in just 4 laps on the narrow Firebird Raceway Circuit.|
Dez Ballard in the Tech Division Mini Cooper had some trouble during Saturday practice with a seized transmission. By some miracle circumstance Hubie Fuh & Mike Schulte were able locate a spare tranny at someones home in Phoenix and worked through the night in the pouring rain and swapped in a new transmission by Sunday’s competition. Dez and his Tech Division Mini made a really good showing in his match up against Tarzan Yamada driving the Garage GT EVO X. Congrats to Dez for showing us some great driving and beating Tarzan!
|After a few frantic phone calls the ABF Tech Division guys were able to source a used tranny at a home in Phoenix and got the Mini Cooper back in action for the Sunday competition with no time to spare.|
Mike Cronin in the Fontana Nissan 350Z battled all the way through to the finals to meet with a very determined Lou Gilloti in the LG Motorsports Corvette. Cronin went for a bold move by going wide at the exit of the last turn to take the lead but the LG Racing Corvette with huge V8 was able to out accelerate down the front straight and beat the Fontana Nissan 350Z by a mere 8/100th of a second.
|“Back” from his back injury Mike Cronin Jr. made it all the way to the finals in his Fontana Nissan 350Z. Although his 350Z has almost half the displacement of some of his competitors the Cosworth 3.8L VQ engine really stretches it’s legs on the front straight.|
|Round 1 Circuit Battles winner Joey Scarallo suffered a catastrophic engine failure during qualifying and was forced to retire early from the competition.|