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Road America - Saturday

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A very typical Southern Wisconsin spring day, with partly cloudy skies and predicted temp around 50 degrees. Currently in the upper 30s, but pleasant with little wind. The town of Elkhart Lake depends largely on tourism for its livelihood, and on a morning like this it is quiet, interrupted only by the birds singing courting melodies.

Built in the 1950s as a response to concerns over driver and spectator safety at street races, Road America was well named as it is America's premiere road racing facility. It has been the site of famous racing battles in Trans-Am, Can-Am, Indycar, IMSA, ALMS, NASCAR (Nationwide Series), and of course, SCCA club racing including the popular June Sprints and the SCCA Runoffs.

The ChumpCar drivers meeting is taking place now. No sprint races here. The schedule calls for a 7 hour race on Saturday and another on Sunday. At last count there were 48 cars being readied for the grid.

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Shortly after 9 am, North Loop Mogtorsports #25 BMW was the first to take the green flag, and they continue to lead as there was a lot of distance to the next car to get the green. BMWs hold the top three spots early on, with several V8 pony cars in the next few positions.

#46 Mazda RX7 was the first to head to the paddock.

#10 Mustang already has retired with a blown engine, apparently head gaskets. Team principal Jasper Drengler says they installed the engine only a couple of days ago. They blew up their primary engine a few weeks ago at an autocross during a shakedown for the 'Stang.

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Among the other teams that have won ChumpCar events before are the #30 Chump Face, Chump Races BMW, #25 North Loop Motorsports BMW, and the 2011 National Chumpion #51 British-American Racing BMW.

The former RBank Racing #91 Saab 900T, also a race winner, is here but now owned by a different team, Failcar III. Robin Bank is also here as a driver and to assist with maintaining the Saab.

#33 Tubby Butterman BMW underwent some major work over the winter and is back with a new paint scheme, a homage to the Alexander Calder BMW Art Car of 1975.

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#2 Quadifoolio Alfa Romeo came in early to remove some rubbing brake ducts. Nice guys. First time at RA for them.

#15 Danish Flash - Fox Mustang came in on the flatbed with crash damage. Team working on the car now. We hope to see them back out there. Very fast!

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Tubby Butterman BMW leads at the 2-hour mark Here are the top 9 (can't seem to get top ten in the screen capture):

1. #33 - Tubby Butterman BMW

2. #30 - Chump Faces BMW

3. #49 - Slugworks Honda Civic

4. #51 - BAR BMW

5. #66 - Holy Rollers Acura

6. #99 - Cheap shots BMW

7. #24 - Bear Patrol Lexus

8. #01 - My Little Pony Mustang

9. #00 - URA Tool Mustang

#12 Launch Splatos Fiat came in on the tow strap a few minutes back, out of gas.

#91 Failcar III Saab running poorly and in the pits for repairs.

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My lil pony #1 is behind the wall under going repairs. Exhaust and driveshaft are laying on the ground.

The Caprice Station Wagon just refired up. Sounds good!

#18 Danish Flash is back out running some fast laps. Their earlier shunt wasn't fatal. Good to see!

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#21 Eggboy Racing SHO out with electrical issues. The same gremlin that attacked the car here last year is back.

#66 Holy Rollers Acura came in on the flatbed. Large pool of oil left on the bed of the truck. Driver reported it went BANG.

Radar gun report: Most of the front runners are around 113 to 115 mph at the end of the front straight. #77 Chevette, powered by a Mitsubishi 4G63 engine, at 117 mph. #12 Fiat X-1/9, with an Alfa Romeo V6 drivetrain, at 120 mph! Yes, a Fiat!

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Behind the wall:

#81 Team Party Cat Miata replacing a clutch

#90 Single Malt Alfa GT - clutch

#2 Alfa - Fuel pump

#13 Richard M. Nixon Racing Opel Ascona - finished replacing engine, will be back on track shortly.

#32 Punisher Racing Chevy Caprice wagon came in early in the race with automatic transmission issues. Thought it might have been a transmission filter, but that did not fix the problem. They are getting another transmission from St. Louis and expect to have it installed in time for tomorrow's race.

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At 2:30pm, with an hour an a half remaining, we are under yellow for a car that went off track and hit a wall. Driver reportedly OK.

1. #33 Tubby Butterman BMW - 97 laps

2. #30 Chump Faces BMW - 95

3. #51 BAR BMW - 95

4. #49 Slugworks Honda - 94

5. #99 Cheap Shots BMW - 94

6. #24 Bear Patrol Lexus - 92

7. #20 Saturn Art car - 91

8. #00 URA Tool SHO - 90

9. #88 JAS VW - 90

10. #16 Slow & Reckless Acura - 85

The #30 car is very fast. Stiggy and I were out taking photos and watched as he caught and passed both BAR and Tubby Butterman in a matter of a few laps.

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With a half hour to go, the uber-rapid #30 BMW is out of the race with a reported driveline failure.

Top 10 at 3:30pm

1. #33 - 114 laps

2. #51 - 113

3. #99 - 112

4. #49 - 111

5. #20 - 109

6. #24 - 109

7. #00 - 107

8. #88 - 105

9. #30 - 103*

10. #70 - Iron Oxide Racing Alfa Romeo Milano - 102

11. #120 - Merry Man (Milan Taxi) Alfa Romeo Berlina - 102

* not running

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Two Alfas in the Top 10

BMWs finish 1-2-3

1. #33 Tubby Butterman Racing, BMW 325 - 123 laps

2. #51 British American Racing BMW 325 - 122

3. #99 Cheap Shots BMW 325 - 121

4. #49 Slugworks Racing Honda Civic - 120

5. #24 Bear Patrol Lexus SC400 - 119

6. #00 URA Tool Taurus SHO - 116

7. #88 JAB Motorsports VW Golf - 113

8. #20 Saturn Art Car Saturn - 111

9. #70 Iron Oxide Racing Alfa Romeo Milano - 111

10. #120 - Merry Man (Milan Taxi) Alfa Romeo Berlina - 110

Complete results posted on MyLaps.com

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Enjoyed talking with John, Paul and Shane from Slugworks. Their turbo is working well. They've worked so hard over the last three years developing their car and it's paid off! Now that they've found speed, their brakes need the same improvement. They melted a caliper and are busy working in the garage installing new calipers. They will be a force tomorrow. Great work guys!

Pitted next to Miz Direction and My little pony. Good guys that worked their asses off today fixing their mustangs.

Danish flash spun their mustang on some oil in the carousel and put it into the wall. They are not giving up and working hard to get it back out on track. Everyone is pulling for them.

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