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OCC Race #1 results - Sep 23, Haven Raceway, Elyria, OH

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#1 Justin A. Porter

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 10:43 AM

The first round of the Ohio Challenge Cup has come and gone, with tremendous fields in all four divisions to kick off the historic 9th season. Here's to starting off reporting with GT1-B!

First on the day was GT1-B which had a fine field of eight racers ranging from the highly experienced Gil Pataky and Jim Bandes to Tony Wampler whom was starting only his third ver slot car race and John Notestine whom regularly runs with the Ohio Oval Series.

Even with heavy traffic, the heats went quickly with several tight battles through the field. Ultimately, it was Gil Pataky who came through for the win with Jeffrey Henes placing second. Jim Bandes drove in a great third. Dan Halfhill managed a fourth on his home track, while Hollywood Joe Gerenscer was first of the visitors in fifth. The Sawdust Man Robert John Manzitti, made a good showing in sixth with Tony Wampler scoring seventh and finally John Notestine finishing eighth.


Gil Pataky - 183 laps
Jeffrey Henes - 177 laps
Jim Bandes - 174 laps
Dan Halfhill - 170 laps
Joe Gerencser - 152 laps
Bob Manzitti - 151 laps
Tony Wampler - 144 laps
John Notestine - 138 laps


An unprecedented sixteen man field made up GT1-A and there wasn't a low man on the totem pole here, representing a diverse field of race and championship winning drivers in the two, eight-man mains.

When the dust settled from a dicey set of races with tons of traffic on the tricky Hillclimb, Bud Bartos added another GT1 win to his long list of accomplishments. He was followed by a resurgent Ron Vincek and third went to George Katzakis. Fourth place belonged to defending champion Eric Kujo Paws Shirey, and fifth to Justin Porter. Making a return to the series, Bob Kurkowski was able to net a strong sixth place by panels over seventh place local favorite Jeff HenesJavier Sabala had a solid day in eighth, and a weekend worth of camping paid off for Guy Vallance in ninth. Tenth belonged to Michigan's own David Decoster and eleventh went to last year's GT1-B champion, Brandon BarricelloJames Pace Jr managed twelfth place in his first A start, defeating Rob Voska who visited in preparation for the ISRA Worlds. Jim Verga made a showing for Pennsylvania in fourteenth over Ralph Middaugh and a struggling Dan Ebert.


Bud Bartos - 192 laps
Ron Vincek - 191 laps
George Katzakis - 187 laps
Eric Shirey - 186 laps
Justin Porter - 185 laps
Bob Kurkowski - 182 laps, panel 6
Jeff Henes - 182 laps, panel 3
Jay Sabala - 179 laps
Elmo Vallance - 178 laps
Dave Decoster - 177 laps
Brandon Barricello - 169 laps
Jim Pace Jr - 167 laps
Rob Voska - 163 laps
Jim Verga - 161 laps
Ralph Middaugh - 150 laps
Dan Ebert - 147 laps


Group 10 had a great sixteen racer field and some very electrifying racing in two, eight-man mains.

To start the day, Jeff Henes achieved a remarkable 4.521 second lap to score the first Top Qualifier position for the Ohio Challenge Cup.

However, the big story came out of the B-main. Eric Shirey, having qualified badly after miscues not of his own making, positively stormed through the field to score a very impressive win in a category he dominates. Second went to a very consistent Ron Vincek, with TQ Jeff Henes scoring third. Justin Porter managed fourth in the tight field. Guy Vallance achieved fifth while Bud Bartos beat his "car owner" David Decoster, finishing sixth and seventh. George Katzakis was a late entry running a borrowed Vincek machine and ended up eighth. James Pace Jr pulled off ninth and Jim Verga made a tenth place charge. Dan Halfhill managed eleventh in his first Group 10 start, beating Javier Sabala whose motor fell flat late in the going. Thirteenth belonged to Robert John Manzitti with Ralph MiddaughDan Ebert, and Joe Gerencser following respectively.

Group 10

Eric Kujo Paws Shirey - 195 laps
Ron Vincek - 192 laps
Jeff Henes - 191 laps, panel 13
Justin Porter - 191 laps, panel 1
Elmo Vallance - 187 laps
Bud Bartos - 184 laps
Dave Decoster - 183 laps
George Katzakis - 176 laps
Jim Pace Jr - 173 laps
Jim Verga - 172 laps
Dan Halfhill - 167 laps
Jay Sabala - 166 laps
Sawdust Man - 159 laps
Ralph Middaugh - 156 laps, panel 16
Dan Ebert - 156 laps, panel 12
Joe Gerencser - 150 laps


A huge field of 20 GTP racers, running two, ten-man round robins, finished out the day for the season opener of the Ohio Challenge Cup.

The man on pace was GTP Top Qualifier, Guy Vallance, whom had been camping(!) at Haven Raceway since Thursday night in preparation for this race.

When it came time for race time, patience and local knowledge paid off for a triumphant Ron Vincek. Ron picked up the win through the A, defeating Justin Porter in a close second and Eric Kujo Paws tight behind in third. George Katzakis, who was a late entry whose car had not been run previously, finished an impressive fourth and was the final racer with 200+ laps. Bud Bartos managed a good fifth on the day, while TQ Elmo Vallance ended up sixth. David Decoster had his best finish of the day in seventh, as did James Pace Jr with eighth. Young Jeffrey Henes, in his first OCC GTP start, claimed a very respectable ninth place over Javier Sabala's tenth. Brandon Barricello overcame GTP setup issues during the week, mounting his body effectively in the tech line to still claim eleventh, and Jim Verga made a strong charge to twelfth. Jim Bandes ran a Vincek loaner to manage thirteenth place, while Ralph Middaugh gave a good show from the Canton crowd to claim fourteenth. Dan Ebert continued what had been a hard luck day for the Penn-Ohio standout in fifteenth while another Vincek loaner, this time driven by Joe "Hollywood" Gerencser wound up in sixteenth. "Sawdust Man" Robert John Manzitti had seventeenth over Haven regular Dan Halfhill, while oval racer John Notestine concentrated on learning road racing in nineteenth with Jeff Henes finishing out the field.


Ron Vincek - 206 laps
Justin Porter - 205 laps
Eric Shirey - 202 laps
George Katzakis - 200 laps
Bud Bartos - 199 laps
Elmo Vallance - 196 laps
Dave Decoster - 195 laps
Jim Pace Jr - 186 laps
Jeffrey Henes - 183 laps
Jay Sabala - 180 laps
Brandon Barricello - 177 laps
Jim Verga - 176 laps
Jim Bandes - 173 laps
Ralph Middaugh - 169 laps
Dan Ebert - 167 laps
Joe Gerenscer - 165 laps
Sawdust Man - 157 laps
Dan Halfhill - 149 laps
John Notestine - 138 laps
Jeff Henes - 132 laps


  • DOCinCocoa likes this
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#2 Justin A. Porter

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 10:57 AM




















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#3 DOCinCocoa


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Posted 25 September 2017 - 11:10 AM

Great report, and congrats to all the winners.

Doc Dougherty
GRRR 2016 GT Coupe and Stock Car Champion and Overall Champion
My Series Spring 2016 4" NASCAR, JK LMP State Champion, and Endurance State Champion
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