Seemingly against all odds, Primetime Race Group and its Dodge Viper Competition Coupe is on the grounds at Long Beach. After crashing out in the early stages of the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg, the Primetime crew turned in a Herculean effort to get the Viper readied and repaired for this week’s Tequila Patr¢n American Le Mans Series at Long Beach.
“We left St. Petersburg very disappointed with what happened,” said team owner and driver Joel Feinberg, who will drive with Chris Hall. “There was a question as to whether or not we’d be able to make it to Long Beach. The guys all got together, put in extra hours and surprised everyone in the racing community that we’re here.
The catalogue of repaired and replaced parts was extensive. But all the work was completed in time to get the car from Florida to Long Beach by Wednesday.
“Everything from a full set of wheels were gone,” Feinberg said. “Three of the corners suspension-wise were gone. We bent the chassis and that had to go back to Dodge to be fixed. All of the bodywork other than the roof and right door were gone. We had to send the motor back to make sure the crankshaft wasn’t damaged. We really had to start over with a bare chassis. The car has been built it to the same spec that we started with. It’s still the same car but it is a little heavier because we haven’t had the time to do some of the fine details as before.”
Listening to Feinberg, it sounds like missing Long Beach was never an option. A strong proponent of street races, he’d be in favor of more on the American Le Mans Series schedule.
“I love street venues. If every course was a street venue, I would love it,” he said. “Street races are just a cool way to race and it brings in a different fan. It’s not your everyday, diehard fan that is going to travel hundreds of miles to see a race. It’s the ultimate way to expose racing to viewers you normally may not have.”
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