Local race team puttin’ on the Blitz

Published 1:40 pm Friday, July 9, 2010

These are no ordinary chumps.

The Tryon-based Blitzen Benz Race Team got its second victory of the season in the ChumpCar World Series, a budget-conscious series of sports-car endurance races featuring automobiles purchased for $500 or less.

Blitzen Benzs Mercedes-Benz 190E dominated the 12-hour race at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedways 2.21-mile road course Saturday, winning by seven laps. The car is co-driven by Ned Gallaher, who also is the teams car builder, Warren Board, Peter Mayerhofer and Jim Wright. Greg Pressley is the pit chief and Rusty Tredinnick is the crew chief.

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Were doing fine so far and were hoping for more success later on, said Board. Were getting ready for (Roebling Roads Raceway near Savannah, Ga.) next month. Weve got a very strong car and good, consistent drivers, so if we can get everything ready to go again, we should be OK.

Theres a lot of in-between race maintenance and thats key in this kind of racing.

Blitzen Benz also notched a win earlier this year at the Nashville Superspeedway.

The ChumpCar World Series is its own sanctioning body, but includes past and current members of organizations such as the Sports Car Club of America, NASCAR and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).

The rules, which cap costs on all materials accept those that are safety related, are in place to allow keep costs affordable for race teams.

Board said the result is a broad array of racecars, a good bit of work coupled with a lot of fun.

While the team members enjoy the low-pressure racing, they also have their sights on winning each time out.

Weve got our race strategy down and were constantly re-tuning it, Board said. We have our drivers scheduled and our pit stops scheduled. We all have a role and responsibility on each pit stop. Were working systematically at this stuff.

Blitzen Benz debuted with one car built by Gallaher at the 24 Hours of Lemons at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, S.C.

Since then, the team has expanded to a three-car stable and a full race schedule.

Even so, Board said Gallaher and his talent for building top-notch, competitive racecars are at the heart of the team.

The most important thing about our race team is Ned and our Mercedes racecars, Board said. He knows how to build a great racecar and those Mercedes just run and run and run.