The Challenge Race series is off to an exciting start in 2002. Celebrity drives Kevin Cogan, George Follmer, and Roger Mears joined owners and prospective owners of the Shelby Cobra Challenge Senior Race Series cars for a day of driving at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in mid-January.
Everyone was treated to a tour of the Finish Line Motorsports, Inc. shop as well as the Kroyer Precision Racing Engine shop. They were given detailed and personal tours by the owners of the businesses. Then it was off to the track for several hours of driving excitement.
The Challenge series professionals took the track first. For each of them, it was the first time that they had been in the new 4000 Series cars. Roger Mears summed up their impressions of the cars when he said, “Man! I haven’t had that much fun in a LONG time!” The Celebrity drivers found the cars to be nimble, lively machines with good handling characteristics.
After the pros had a chance to familiarize themselves with the Series 4000 Cobras, it was the turn of the owners. Each owner took his car out onto the track for several laps. The driving skills of each man were evident as they made their way around the redesigned race course.
As owners came in, they turned their cars over to the professional drivers again. This gave most everyone a chance to do a few laps with the pros as well.
While the Senior Race Series drivers and the Cobra owners were out on the track, David Ritter, the new owner of car number 98 permitted his car to be used to give prospective owners a chance to experience the thrill of the Shelby Cobra Challenge Racer with development driver Steve Anderson at the wheel.
Everyone returned from their ride breathless with excitement. Even from Chairman Joe Heitzler CART took a spin in the new 4000 Series racer. He agreed that it was a wonderful car for this exciting return to classic racing.
At the end of the day, David Ritter, who purchased car #98 from Finish Line Motorsports, Inc. took the track for several laps. He later said that, “..the experience was incredible! It was a lot more powerful than I ever expected. I can’t wait to get in more track time!”