POINT, WV (April 31) --The Forward Motion/Hoosier, Showroom Stock C
Neon of Joe Leonard, Bill Cuttitta, and Erich Heuschele finished 1st
in class and 17th overall at the 5th Annual Kuhmo 12 Hours at the
Point. The team ran on Hoosier's 195/55R14 RS03's for an easy cruise
to the win by an amazing 5 laps. Two time SCCA National Champ and 2002
Runoffs 2nd place finisher in SSC (on Hoosiers) Erich Heuschele had a
lot to say about how the race went.
"Joe has been trying to win this race since the first year,
finishing 2nd three times. It was great to pull off the win on the 5th
try. The only change this year to what Joe and the guys have been
doing was switching from Kuhmos to Hoosiers and bringing me in to
cover a couple of stints. The crew really wins this race as long as
the car runs well and the drivers don't make mistakes. I don't think
anyone in our class comes close to pulling off two minute pit stops
like these guys do."
Heuschele continued, "Being a bit new to endurance racing, I was
a little worried about our last place class position after the first
hour and a half (1:30 pm). I was assured not to worry about
where we are until about 8:00 pm. By 3:00 pm, we had the lead and
never looked back. It was really a blast. Summit Point is a fun
track and a lot of crazy stuff happens out there over 12 hours. You
never get bored!"
Crew chief Dave Zelkowski adds, "Looking at our tire wear, we
could easily go in excess of two hours on the front tires before they
needed to be changed. I wish we could get that much fuel in the car.
The lap times were consistently a second faster day and night than
previously without being any harder on the equipment. Doing 369 laps,
we can attribute more than half of our advantage at the end to our
tire selection. Thanks for the cushion, Hoosier."
The team is already making plans to defend this year's victory in 2004
utilizing the same formula.