I got 5th place in yesterday's 50-minute race at Spa. I had a terrible start, actually last place after turn 2, but I finished 17th out of 28 cars overall and 5th in the GT3 class.No crashes and no rain except for the qualifying session so it was a great week in Belgium.The next race will most likely be at The World Famous Nurburgring circuit in Germany (they are changing the schedule) so book your tickets now!
My car is back to normal, can't even tell they tore it apart just hours before.
06/27/09 Practice at Spa
We qualified in the rain this morning at 9 am and I was 9th in the GT3 class.Not my best performance but I didn't crash and was only off pace by a few tenths of a second.The second qualifying period went a bit better and I qualified 7th for Sunday's race. The race went green with dry track conditions but looking gloomy.The rain held off for most of the 70 minute race, there were several crashes and cars off the track as usual but I finished the race 6th in the GT3 class, and 16th overall out of 28 cars on the grid.Not too bad! We race again tomorrow at 1:30 pm so I will let you know how that goes. Hojo
We only had 2 one-hour practices today. The first session went fairly well. The second session did not, although I did get my best time ever. All hell broke lose early in the session; it looked like a bomb went off in our garage when the cars returned. Someone hit our teammate Marko in the side door panel taking out the right side of the GT2 car and I blew out my transmission in the GT3. Not good! We thought we were going to have to drive to Switzerland to get the new parts but at the last minute we got all of them together and began the re-build. That process took about 7 hours! We qualify tomorrow morning at 9 am so we are hoping we got all of the parts back in the right places!
What an interesting day and a half!I had a 10-hour flight from LA to London with a few hour lay over and then a short flight to Brussels.
I rented a car and drove for 3 hours trying to find my hotel (I got a little lost).Finally I found the team around 8 pm had dinner and went to bed around 11pm.Seven hours later we were headed to the track for my first time to Spa.And what a great track it is.It's in the middle of a huge forest with huge sweeping turns, lots of elevation changes and the sun was out.It's a 7 km long track so it takes me about 2'33 sec per lap and I drove about 450 km today.All of this since I left he comforts of Los Angeles Sunday evening.
Things are looking good for a fun race weekend.Now a few days of prep work and we will start the official racing with Friday practice then 2 qualifying sessions and a 70-minute race Saturday followed by a 50-minute race Sunday.Then it’s back to London!Great start for round 3 of the Championship!
I qualified for todays race in 5th position.Due to some European regulations in this series I was assessed several penalties or "handicaps" as they put it.Each team is required to make a 60 second pit stop during the race, most of which switch drivers during that time.Since I do not change drivers they penalize me an extra 10 seconds longer in the pit stop.In addition to that, since I placed 2nd in yesterday's race they penalized or handicapped me another 10 seconds in the pit stop for a total of 80 seconds.The other teams only had to stay in the pit for 60 seconds.
I finished the race in 5th position and just 22 seconds behind 3rd place so the handicaps really are effective!It doesn't seem quite right to penalize a driver for enduring the entire race alone and then penalize again for doing well with a podium finish, but those are the rules and that's what we dealt with.Overall we are very happy with the weekend results.My teammates Plamen and Andrea sharing the Ferrari GT2 finished 7th in Saturday's race and 9th in today's race. No damage to the cars and everyone is in great spirits.We will now start to train for arguably the most difficult, fast track on the circuit at SPA in Belgium.I believe we hit a blind, uphill, twisting turn flat out at 225 km / hr.I'm not exactly sure how to prepare for that but we WILL be prepared and we are very much looking forward to the next race.We are making our way back home to Italy now so another couple of long days but great fun!!!!
My 1st podium finish of the season. 2nd place in Race 1
05/16/09 HoJo Takes 2nd Place in Portugal!
We had a very long day today.We qualified for the first race at 9 am this morning then qualified for Sunday's race at 1 pm with the 70 minute race at 5 pm.All today!For both sessions I qualified in 5th position.After a chaotic and long race I finished in 2nd place today for round 2 of the International GT Championship.The team was ecstatic and I am very pleased to be back on the podium in only my second race in the Ferrari GT car.The other two teams had 2 driverswho split the race time so they each received a trophy.I am driving the entire race myself so I got both of the trophies.After a while an official tracked us down and said that I could only have 1 trophy since I was the only driver.We called bullshit, and pointed out that I worked twice as hard as the rest of them and deserved both awards.
They conceded!Great day and I'm very proud for the whole team!
05/15/09 Friday Free Practice Update from Portugal
We had a great practice today and will qualify in the morning for the 70 minute race tomorrow afternoon.Then a 50 minute race on Sunday.
Live TV coverage all over Europe, we've seen commercials for it.Very cool race series and much more aggressive.I am not only the only American driver but I am also the only single driver.All of the other teams share a car with 2 drivers, so each one only races for half of the time and one of them is usually a professional driver!
Its tough over here!I was running 6th today and hope to do better tomorrow in qualifying!
Plemen was hit from the Rear in turn 2 ending his race early in the gravel trap
04/19/09 Sunday Race Results from Imola
It is raining pretty hard just a few hours before the race. I am watching the Formula One race in China and it is pouring down rain there too. Today I will start in P 8 from my qualifying time yesterday. It is only a 50-minute race today but will be equally challenging in the rain. The race starts at 12:20 p.m.
All right, I'm definitely a rain challenged driver! I actually crashed on the formation lap before the race even started! What the hell? Ferrari did the same thing today in the China Formula One GP but still, come on! I lost the front under tray, which gives grip and stability in the front tires; so more tape and I started the race from the pit lane. Two of the only cars I passed all day were the rear pace car and the medical car that trail in the pace lap in case of an incident in the first lap. The race started under caution with 2 more laps behind the pace car and then we went green. Not much action back where I started from but the rain was steady and the track was very slippery. I had no grip in the front and nearly slid off the track in most of the sharper corners and pretty much just skidded thru the rest. I did actually pass a few cars on the track and challenged myself more by spinning off the track several more times just to be able to pass them again. I finished the 50-minute race but it wasn't pretty. I think I am getting quite a bit of TV airtime though! I did a few 360's nearly taking out a few other cars but avoiding contact with anything except the wall on the warm up lap. Another crazy day in Italy, although I do believe I am learning a lot about racing by working thru these issues and finishing the races.
Now I believe its time to get back in the gym and I also need to find a Kart track to get better prepared for the next race in Portugal.
04/18/09 Saturday Timed Practice Update and Photos
We qualified this morning for the race this afternoon and I qualified 4th in our group. We had a second qualifying session for tomorrows race and I slipped into 8th position. There are 25 cars on the grid including both groups, the GT3 I am racing and the faster GT2 cars which my teammate is racing. It should prove to be quite hectic. It was sunny all day and the rainstorm hit just as we broke for lunch. We still have a few hours until the race so I hope the rain stops but the track is sure to be wet.
Saturday Race Results
OK, that was a trip. The start of the race was far more aggressive than I had anticipated but in a more controlled, chaotic way than I was used to. Strong, hard driving but not any spin outs or dive bombing into the first corner although the entire first few laps were more demanding that in the Challenge races. I fought hard and stayed in there with the pack and had my target in sight, which would put me in 3rd place for our class. I hunted him down and finally made a nice pass on him 8-10 laps into the 70 minute 40 lap race. All was well and I went in for a smooth pit stop for fuel and re-entered the race. About 5 corners in I lost steering, which I thought, was a flat tire but apparently I had just picked up some oil from a blown engine ahead of me. By the last corner I had no control as the car steered off toward the gravel trap. I caught the car and kept it on the track but I came in at a sharp angle and another car tore off the left front side of my car. I pitted again, they pried off the loose parts, put on a little tape and I was off again only I had lost 4 laps. With major down force loss and no body work on the left front corner I actually had some of my best lap times of the race. I finished 18th today which was dead last but 7 cars didn't finish at all and I learned to cope with the deficiencies of my car for the second half of the race. The damage is not severe but not pretty.
I didn't find the extended race time a problem at all but the weather conditions are cool with a little rain, we'll see how it goes in Spain in the heat of summer! I had a great time and the team is glad that I finished the race giving me that much more experience to build on for the race tomorrow and the rest of the season!
My teammate made contact with another car and lost all of his radiator fluid ending his race after only 18 laps. I hope we both do better tomorrow.
9:50 a.m. Free Practice Today the weather is perfect, sunny and warm. Ideal racing conditions and we plan to keep it that way! We have 2 one hour practices today but Saturday is going to be quite busy. We have 2 qualifying sessions and a 70 minute race tomorrow afternoon. My teammate is doing well and our team is excited for the season to finally be underway. The cars look great, our uniforms arrived so all of the pieces are falling into place. In the morning session I was running 5th in my class with a lap time of 1:51.670, the fastest lap time is 1:49.863. There is some time for me to make up in the braking zones and a few corners where I can gain speed and time . I need a little quicker acceleration out of the turns as well. I hope to find my rhythm in this afternoons session. 2:30 p.m. Free Practice My time dropped slightly to 1:51.295 this afternoon but my knowledge of the track increased greatly! I was able to find a much better line and the laps were more consistent and smoother. I hit a curb a bit aggressively and tore off the rear diffuser which caused the car to shudder a little but I still got my best time of the day. Quite a few cars were off the track and many of them after passing me. I'm not sure why but it happened at least 4 times. We just had our driver weigh in, I came in at 81 kg fully suited up with helmet and Hans device so I guess I need more time in the gym!!! A short Driver briefing this evening and we are all set for tomorrow's events. Great practice today and no real damage to the car, which is always good. More info tomorrow after qualifying and the first race of the season and my first GT race ever! Rain is threatening but it is perfect right now.
Thursday 03/29/2009 Hojo: Final Monza ReportToday was totally insane. It was raining much harder than yesterday so there was a lot more standing water on the track, huge puddles and streams crossing the track. I started 18th today. All told I spun out six times during the 35 minute race and hit one wall but was able to finish the race. The track was so slick and the visibility so poor that at time I had to laugh at how ridiculous the racing conditions were. I did manage a full 360 degree spin in front of the grand stands and was able to keep it on the track, slide out of the spin and continue on down the track. A great maneuver I must say but not the fastest way thru the corner. Many of the cars either spun into the grass, gravel or walls but must of the cars finished the race. What a crazy weekend, I did get some valuable rain practice however, which will be important throughout the race season. I flew directly to London after the race and will cath a flight to LA in the morning. Hope all is well, Hojo.
Thursday 03/27/2009 Hojo: 1st Practice in MonzaNot good news from Monza today! We had the first free practice with only 2 one hour practices all day long so a lot of down time. I didn't crash but I couldn't put together a solid lap all day. I'm about 2.5 seconds off pace and only 1 second separates 14 cars in the field. The forecast is for heavy rain tomorrow for qualifying and the first race so we'll see what happens. I hope to report better results tomorrow. Hojo.
Today was amazing.The Ferrari GT2 is so different than any racecar I've driven; you can't even tell it's the same sport.Its about 5-6 seconds faster than the Challenge car and 4-5 seconds faster than the GT3 that I just moved up to this year.I cannot believe there is such
a difference. After 10 laps I was exhausted and losing concentration.I now see why I need to spend 3-4 hours in the gym a day just to finish the race.It is so fun and the first real race car
I've driven.It seems that I spent far too long playing around in the Challenge series.This is absolutely incredible!My coach won First place in the GT2 Championship last year and I have much more respect for that now.I was 2.5 seconds off his pace in this car so it's no longer a matter of me giving him advice, just me trying to survive the heat and intensity of the new car.I can't believe the difference. No wonder it cost twice as much as my car!Really fun and I didn't crash so I saved some cash today!!
Today was very cool.We went to an airstrip and tested the Pagani Race car, very loud and fast.Then, Mr. Pagani arrived in the convertible street version to give me a ride in it on the runway.After a few laps he pulled over and told me to drive.What a great car!I've never driven a $1.5 Million dollar car-hauling ass down a runway before.It was very cool, especially since I was giving the guy a ride who designed, built and named the car after himself, racing down the runway between planes and choppers landing, it was quite unusual.I think he enjoyed it too.I'm not sure what he'd been told about me but he spent a great deal of time talking with me and giving me gifts and apologizing for not having more time with me when we went to the factory on Saturday.He may think I'm taking the car back to California with me!Anyway it was very cool and my first Super Car experience.Only 20 exist in the world and only 2 of the race version in the world.Fascinating afternoon it was.
I went with my driving coach Andrea Montermini to meet Mr. Pagani, the owner and developer of this amazing car.We took the convertible for a little 250 km/hr spin around the neighborhood.I think there are only 90 of them in the world that exist in the 6 year production period.They make about 1 a month at the small factory, even making their own Carbon Fiber on site, and they sell for around 800,000 Euros if you can get on the waiting list.We got more than just admiring looks, one guy flipped us off!It was great. Then we met a friend of his at an airfield to check out a strange new private plane they were testing.
Thursday 03/12/2009 Hojo: Imola Race Practice UpdateYesterday's practice was fun but a little chaotic.There were many cars off the track causing quite a few stopped sessions and one car caught on fire.Great way to experience a track for the first time. Today we had a good morning session learning the track better.After lunch I got my fastest lap time and then crashed head on into a wall at about 100 km/hr.Really fucked up my concentration although that was the end of my day.They couldn't fix the car in time before the session closed.I logged in another 730 km of track time in a day and a half and almost fell asleep on the way home to the shop, another 120 km.Pretty rough, fast track and our 1st race is there in a few weeks.We are back at Monza to test the GT on Monday.My teammate tore off the front of his car again today after hitting a slow moving Challenge car that should have given him the right of way.I'm still a few seconds off the pace at Imola but we'll be back soon. The track has quite a Storied history.It is officially named The Enzo Dino Ferrari autodromo after the founder of Ferrari; Enzo Ferrari and dedicated to his son Dino Ferrari who died.It is also called Imola, named after the town its near and was also named San Marino for the State of Italy it is in when Formula One raced there.Back in the 1994 Formula One Grand Prix, chaos ensued and F1 discontinued racing the track due to the tragedies that occurred all in a 3 day race weekend. In 1994 a driver crashed in the Friday practice and was killed (oddly enough giving our driving coach, who is helping us now, his debut in F1 to take the driver's place after his death).The next day in qualifying another driver flipped his car into a tire barrier and was knocked unconscious but suffered no major injuries.Race day on Sunday on the 7th lap one of the best Formula One Drivers in the world and 3 time World Champion Aryton Senna was killed after hitting a wall head on.Several mechanics and spectators were also injured during the race weekend in unrelated incidences. It's a little creepy pushing hard thru the flat out turns at 280 km/hr and tight corners as I found out today.But you just have to put that out of your mind and concentrate.It will be a difficult race concentrating and pushing the limits for 70 minutes when we race here in 10 days.I have some pictures of my crashed car below.It will be ready for testing at Monza on Monday though. Other than that, it was just your usual test days at the track.What is going on in your world? Hojo Before the Crash!
Saturday 03/07/2009 Hojo Update from ItalyWe just had a practice yesterday at Monza and I did great.Just 1 second off last years 2nd place driver in the Italian Championship, in the rain!!!1st race is in 10 days.That was a fast week with the physical training near Pisa and track testing yesterday near Milan.
Lots of driving.It was a 300 km drive from Pisa to Milan and then I did 540 km on the track yesterday and another 140 km back to the hotel last night.I was a little tired but slept great!!!!Roberto and I are going out to find some equipment and a gym so I'll be ready for the race. Hojo
Because of the rain on Friday and the possibility for wet races, the two sessions on Friday were adjusted to use rental cars. This change was due to the supply of rain tires available for the weekend.
On Saturday the first group of the split qualifying session was interrupted for a guardrail repair caused by the #24 car at the exit of T2. The time to repair created an incomplete session. Rather than start the race on points and because the drivers had very little track time in the dry, permission was given to extend the day to 6:00pm to run another qualifying session and run the race at the end of the day.
We were able to get a complete qualifying session in, but the rain came just before the race start requiring canceling the warm up, declaring a "rain tire" race, and set the grid for the start.
Saturday race(28 starters)
Even though the rain had stopped, the Saturday race started in wet conditions. The track conditions were closely monitored and the race was yellow flagged when the dry line developed. The cars were brought into the pits, allowed to change to slicks and the order was reconstructed to be the same as the last green flag lap. The teams did a good job changing over and cooperating to re-establish the order. The process took approximately 11 minutes from entering the pits to leaving again. The race was restarted and run until the 6pm curfew. The drivers did a very commendable job in challenging and changing conditions.
There were contact calls between the #86 & #46, and the #98 into the rear of #2 that were reviewed and evaluated.
The Sunday schedule and activity was unchanged and the weather was cooperative.
The second qualifying session was introduced at this event.
The race went without yellow start to finish. Incidents with #27 & #90, #55 & #75, and #71 were reviewed and penalties were given to #27 -60 seconds added to finish position and one race probation for avoidable contact, #55 -60 seconds added and one race probation for avoidable contact, and #71 -one race probation for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Additional track time for 2 drivers @ Laguna
In consideration of the limited track time at Laguna and experience level for #70 and #22 it has been recommended that these drivers attend a driving school during the week leading up to the Challenge event to gain valuable time and instruction. #22 ran without incident at Mt Tremblant. This request is only to allow each of them a better opportunity for continued success in the series.
Ferrari Challenge- Mt Tremblant July 18-21 2008 Mike Kraemer
Grand-Am staffing – Tower -Matt Zuber, Pit lane: Lee Brantley, Adrian Doyle.
Beverly Hills Ferrari’s, Jay Lee, scores a second place finish at Road Atlanta.
Saturday, April 19, 2008 - Atlanta, GA
The famed Road Atlanta Raceway was the stage for the third and fourth round of the 2008 Ferrari F430 Challenge series on April 19th and 20th. The vast elevation changes and blind corners make Road Atlanta one of the most technical and difficult tracks to learn in North America. It is also home of one of the most difficult turns in racing; the fast, down-hill turn 12. 33 cars entered round 3 and 4 of the 2008 Ferrari Challenge Series.
The Friday practice sessions went well for the Beverly Hills Ferrari Challenge Team as Jay Lee posted the third fastest time in session third and John Horejsi was in the top 10 in every session. Silicon Valley’s Henri Richard spent Friday learning a new track and ended up 12th in his best session. Qualifying was set for Friday afternoon. Jay Lee qualified an excellent 6th, John Horejsi 10th and rookie Henri Richard 16th. The prospect of getting all three R3 Motorsports cars in the top ten was realistic when the team packed up Friday night.
Early morning showers prevented the team from participating in the early practice sessions. As we witnessed on Friday, when two competitors destroyed the cars beyond repairs, this track is not very forgiving. Therefore, it was decided that skipping the wet session was best.
Race one saw a clean start by all the drivers with John Horejsi (Hojo) making up 3 places on the opening lap. A few laps later he made his way past Jay Lee for sixth. Henri Richard was in the thick of a fierce battle for 10th, which saw cars going three-abreast into corners and making wild passes with two wheels on the grass. His in-car video looked like a season long F1 highlight of passes. Unfortunately two cars ran into each other in front of Henri and he had to go through the grass to avoid them and as a result spun. He lost 5 places because of this but wasted no time getting some of them back. Henri finished a fine 12th. Hojo past another car to finish 5th with a few laps to go and Jay Lee finished 7th. Roberto Fata won the race from pole. All three drivers were pumped up for Sunday’s race.
The start of Sunday’s race saw Hojo and Jay battle one another for the final podium spot, until a late race off by Hojo dropped him back to 6th. Jay was turning some of the fastest laps of the race battling his was to a fantastic second place; his first podium of the 2008 season. Henri had another race that looked more like a Nascar race then sports car race. Unfortunately he was a victim of too many other people’s mistakes that caused him to spin twice and lose positions. While stationary on the side of the track cause by the second spin, he was hit hard on the left front and suffered too much damage to continue.
Infineon raceway in Napa Valley, in two weeks time, is the sight of round 5th and 6th, Hojo won his first race last year there and this is Henri Richard’s home track. We will also have Christopher Ruud back for that event.
Due to the high potential for rain on Saturday it was decided to move the qualifying session to the last F430 session on Friday. This was split into 2 groups of 20 minutes each. This change was announced at the driver’s meeting on Friday. The Pirelli service team did a good job of responding to the change.
One driver coach was not permitted to get in the car due to missing the coaches meeting.
Early crashes caused #55 and #12 to withdraw from the event.
27 cars were able to make the qualifying session. Car #10 crashed during the first qualifying session, creating a black flag all condition. The driver had his fastest time removed as a result.
There was confusion regarding the work that can be done during qualifying. FNA is allowing tire changes and pressure adjustments. This needs to be clearly communicated to pit lane staff and teams for future events.
At the end of the day (Friday) the Series coaches, with the cooperation of the track, placed cones at the approach of turn 2 and the apex of turn 3 to provide a visual reference. This was the area where the majority of incidents took place during the practice. The incidents diminished after the cones were employed.
The instruction for starts was modified to require each car to stay in line until the start/finish line for all starts and re-starts. The start for the races went very well and was without incident. A video camera was used to verify the starts.
Pirelli introduced a new tire specification to the series. The Pirelli representative communicated the air pressure differences at the crew chief meeting. This information was not completely adhered to by the teams and may have contributed to some isolated issues through the event.
29 cars took the green. One caution at 10 minutes for 2 laps for debris in a blind section of the esses. The restart resulted in a penalty to the #24 car for moving out of line.
Post race penalty (1 minute added) was assessed to the #42 car for avoidable contact.
29 cars took the green. Car #7 was penalized (stop & go) for pulling out of line.
Race was run without yellow until the end when the #3 car stopped in a dangerous location with 2 laps remaining. The race finished under yellow.
Post race penalties (1 minute added) were assessed to #59, #61, & #70 for avoidable contact.
The overall performance by the drivers was markedly better at this event. After it became clear that mistakes at this track are costly, the drivers settled down and did a pretty good job of respecting each other on the track. The staff observation and corner worker reporting was also improved as well and certainly made it possible to quickly follow up each situation and resolve any disputed information
4 day event- March 6-9. Thursday was an extra test day to permit rookies to get some independent track time. There were 9 rookies in the field of 34 cars.
Staff: Matt Zuber-Race Director, Lee Brantley- Pit Lane, Richard Meldner- Pit Lane Mark Raffauf- Race Control, and Mike Kraemer-Series Mgr.
Two 45-minute races (one on Saturday and one on Sunday).
Registration was managed by a 3rd party service for Ferrari North America (FNA).
During practice on Thursday a car crashed, injuring the driver (broken arm) who was transported to the hospital. In discussion with the driver it appears that he put his arm through the steering wheel when it rotated during the impact.
A practice crash on Friday resulted in a driver/coach going to the hospital complaining of neck pain. He was in the passenger seat at the time. The driver was one of the rookie entries. The coach was released later in the afternoon and back at the track for the remainder of the weekend. The post crash analysis of the historical data discovered some questionable training techniques and teaching methods. In conversations with the FNA coaches it was agreed that this coach would be removed from the approved list of coaches.
Qualifying was cancelled due to a wet track surface. Grid was established per the GA rulebook. (Points followed by practice times for new teams).
FNA contracted with Darius Grala to handle the series-coaching program. In discussions with Darius we established that he would also coordinate the driver/coaching program as well. His group did a very good job of observing sessions and assisting race control in evaluating situations. His involvement in the driver coach program will assist Grand Am with this component.
The races were quite eventful. Plenty of yellow flag and a number of car-to-car contacts. There were several drivers that have been identified for action and follow up. We have notified Driver 1 that he is on probation for contact and repeated flag violations. Driver 2 was counseled for multiple contacts and advised that he will be supervised at Atlanta to determine improvement. Driver 3 was also counseled to discuss multiple occurrences for over-aggressive driving and lacking situational awareness and control.
The post race process included collecting staff observations and interviewing drivers and coaches to arrive at accurate conclusions for assessing penalties and infractions. This change in process was well received by the participants.
In reviewing the incidents and off track calls, there are a few, specific individuals that create the vast majority of undesirable situations. We will develop a statistical summary of the calls, speak to these specific individuals (and their coaches) to provide some recommendations and expectations to improve their performance and reduce the carnage.
Zoi scores two first place podiums at first race of the season at Homestead Miami Speedway.The International Homestead Miami Speedway was the stage for the first run of the 2008 430 Challenge series on March 6-9. The 430 Ferrari Challenge series, now in its’ 15th season, features the fourth generation of pure bred Race cars specifically built for the race track and designed for Ferrari customers, Gentleman drivers who wish to hone their driving skills in the controlled environment of a race track – the purest and most authentic pavement for a Ferrari. It is the longest running single mark racing series in North America.Although they are Gentleman Racers, the driving skills of the best of them aren’t far away from those of professional Race Car drivers. The two 45 minute races, spread over Saturday and Sunday, were packed with pure excitement. Weather conditions and a typical Floridian downpour on Saturday forced the officials to modify the scheduled Qualifying session into a pure practice session; therefore, the grid for the first race was determined by the 2007 final point standings and for those new to the series their best times over the weekend up to that point.Zoi (Ferrari of Central Florida and 2007 Challenge Champion) led the race and left no doubt that he would take the win. He solidified the position, even through the interruption caused by spin offs and a couple of tangles that resulted in cars parked in the gravel pit or track side, resulting in several laps of the field being led by the Safety car.Exciting moments were highlighted when the announcer so perfectly exclaimed “An explosiooooooon of speed” and took the green flag several times during the first race – always causing immediate adrenaline rushes for the drivers and spectators. John Horejsi (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) gave Zoi the run and fought hard to get by him. He again was chased by his teammate Jay Lee (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) who got a bit ahead of himself when gaining a position by overtaking under the yellow. He later had to give up that position to Roberto Fata (Ferrari of Long Island) who subsequently finished third on the podium. He also had his hands full to keep Larry Bowman (Ferrari of Newport Beach) behind him.The second race’s grid was based on Saturday’s race results and once again, Mike Zoi did not give an inch on his pole position. He ran a clean and fast race, fending off John Horejsi (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) who aimed at the first place directly followed by Jay Lee (Ferrari of Beverly Hills). Zak Brown (Scottsdale Ferrari) who also raced hard to give Lee a hard time to keep third place.Eventually, Lee had to retire for a mechanical giving up third place to Zak Brown. Middle field exceptional racing skills were demonstrated by two drivers in their second season: Kevin Reid (Ferrari of Washington) and Richard Fant (Ferrari of Houston) - just drove a spectacular race gaining positions to 4th and 5th place at race finish.
The Awards ceremony on Sunday for both Races awarded drivers for their performances and Zoi took two awards for the first place as well as the honorary award sponsored by Pirelli.John Horejsi received a pair of second place awards for both races and Roberto Fata third place for Race one and Zak Brown a third place award for race 2. Mike Zoi leads the point standings with his two first place podiums directly followed by John Horejsi, immediately starting the season with a very tight run. The event was hosted by the local Ferrari Dealer, The Collection, who had also invited their Ferrari customers, to experience the fun of driving their Ferraris on the race track in exercises led by a professional team of Coaches instructing them. The Ferrari Challenge is supported by the official sponsors: Pirelli tires, Shell Fuel and lubricants, Sabelt safety clothing, Weathertech Automotive products and Avantair.
The next race weekend will take place at Road Atlanta. This race will also feature the second run of the Shell Historic Challenge.
Two Races, Two More victories for Ferrari and Risi
The Ferrari F430 Challenge, longest running series of its type in North America, moved west to the California wine country and Infineon Raceway for the second event in its 14th season. With the F430 Challenge sharing the event timetable with the Shell Historic Challenge, the F1 Clienti and FXX programs, fans enjoyed an action-packed weekend.Saturdays F430 Challenge race was enlivened by a passing rain shower just prior to the green flag. The track was mostly dry, but there were some damp spots and puddles. The tricky conditions resulted in fast and furious action. When the checkered flag fell Scott Tucker claimed his first victory, in only his second season of racing. John Horejsi took second, with Roberto Fata claiming the final spot on the podium.
With clear blue skies and a pleasant breeze, conditions were perfect for the second race, on Sunday. Because of their positions on Saturday Tucker and Horejsi started from the front row. Horejsi snatched the lead as soon as the race got under way, and kept it to the finish, claiming a dominant victory, also his first win in the F430 Challenge series. Mike Zoi was the closest of his challengers at the end, with Lawrence Stroll in third.
The results mean that Horejsi moves to the top of the standings on 90 points, with Zoi second on 78 points and Stroll on 74 points. The Ferrari F430 Challenge will next compete at Virginia International Raceway in Virginia on May 18-20, where the series will again be joined by the crowd pleasing Shell Historic Challenge.
Think the Tifosi are having it rough this season deciding who is numero uno between Raikkonen and Massa?
Things were even tighter at the top of the points chart of the North American Ferrari Challenge as the series visited California Speedway on its last stop before the World Finals later this month. Four points separated Lawrence Stroll from runner-up Mike Zoi before the exotic spec-racer F430s took to the 21-turn (including part of the 14-degree banked oval), 2.8-mile road course for two 45-minute races.
The Grand-Am-sanctioned series is strictly for amateur drivers, although Stroll does own the Mont-Tremblant racetrack. Not that it proved to be any advantage, as both he and Floridian Zoi accrued equal points in the two races held there before Fontana.
The cars are lightweight (2700 pounds) versions of the F430 road car that retain the stock 490-hp V8 engine but with a modified exhaust and carbon-fiber plenum. Other racing-oriented hardware upgrades include carbon-ceramic brakes, track-only suspension and special 19-inch Pirelli slicks on center-lock wheels. Software mods include reprogramming the F1 gearbox and disengaging stability and traction control.
Zak Brown, in his first-ever Ferrari Challenge race, led every lap of the first race, and the following day, things looked set to repeat until he cut a tire. This allowed Scott Tucker to beat John "Hojo" Horejsi by 0.6 second.
Horejsi, whose Ferrari usually is adorned with paintings of rock icons such as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia, established himself as the crowd favorite with a hood bearing (and baring) the self-portrait of January 1996 Playboy Playmate and artist Victoria Fuller.
Zoi finished third to take a 26-point lead over Stroll, the 2006 series runner-up. They head to a showdown Oct. 28 at Mugello, Italy.
Monday 08/13/07 BROWN, TUCKER WIN FERRARI CHALLENGE RACES IN CALIFORNIA Horejsi still gets second in both final races, despite dropping a tire on turn 7 and 8 in the last lap of the final race. FONTANA, CALIFORNIA, August 13 The Ferrari F430 Challenge ran the final two North American races of the season last weekend at the California Speedway at Fontana. The first was won by a driver who led every lap; the other by a driver who led only one.
Zak Brown, in his first-ever Ferrari Challenge event, took pole position for the first race of the weekend in his F430, prepared by the Ferrari of Washington team. John Horejsi (Ferrari of Beverly Hills), returning to the series after a short absence, qualified alongside Brown, followed by Mike Zoi (Shelton Ferrari). Lawrence Stroll (Ferrari of Quebec), leading the championship by a small margin over Zoi, was ill and qualified 11th.
The first race completely belonged to Brown, who took the lead from his pole position and led every lap. Horejsi kept consistent pressure on the leader, never more than a few seconds back and closing up at the end, but Brown drove an error-free race for the victory.
A first-lap incident eliminated Alex Quaid, a young second-generation driver from the Auto Gallery team. Quaid had qualified a strong fourth. In this left Zoi, Scott Tucker (Boardwalk Ferrari, a previous winner in 2007), Jay Lee (Ferrari of Beverly Hills), and John Farano (Ferrari of Quebec, another 2007 winner) fighting for the final podium position. Zoi held off this group to take third place.
Results of the first race set the grid for the second, and Zak Brown still appeared unbeatable. He again took the lead at the start, and led for the first nine laps, but on the tenth he dropped a wheel off the edge of the course. That slight error caused a front tire to deflate, and John Horejsi, who had again put consistent pressure on Brown, took the lead.
Horejsi appeared to have the race in hand, leading the next 25 laps. Behind the leader, though, Scott Tucker had pulled clear of the pack battling for second, and was slowly closing the gap to Horejsi. As the pair started the final lap Tucker had caught Horejsi, and at the point where the course turns off the oval into the infield, Tucker executed a classic pass to take the lead. Horejsi challenged Tucker at every opportunity on the balance of the final lap, but to no avail;. Tucker took the checker, winning one of the most exciting races of the 2007 season by 6/10 second.
Mike Zoi again took third, and the pair of podium finishes moved him ahead of Stroll (who finished sixth) for the 2007 Championship. The first-race accident meant that Alex Quaid was gridded last for the second race. The young driver carved through the field, passing six cars on the first lap alone. At the checker he was up to fifth, and battling Farano for fourth place. Quaids outstanding drive was recognized during the podium ceremonies with a special award from Motorola.
The Ferrari Challenge races at the California Speedway will be televised on the SPEED network on October 13th at 7:30 PM (Eastern). The broadcast will be repeated on October 14th at 2:30 PM (Eastern).
As the teams head to the Ferrari Challenge World Finals at Ferrari’s Mugello track near Florence, Mike Zoi three wins during the 2007 season give him the lead over Lawrence Stroll. Stroll has only a single win, but consistent podium finishes have kept him in contention for the title. John Horejsi has a mathematical chance as well, but the championship battle is effectively a two-man race. That battle will be settled in front of an enthusiastic Italian crowd on October 28th.
The Ferrari Challenge is organized by Ferrari North America, and sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association. Drivers compete in specially built racing versions of the Ferrari F430, with preparation and race support handled by teams formed by authorized Ferrari dealers in North America. Preparation rules are very specific, and the series is intended to emphasize driving skill among lady and gentleman drivers. Sponsorship and support for the series comes from Motorola, Pirelli, Sabelt, Shell, and Avantair.
Sunday 04/15/2007 Update from Hojo in Sonoma...I just recieved this email from Hojo....
"I started 2nd in front of Lawrence Stroll but I had a terrible start, a bit hesitant because it was raining so he passed me on the first turn but about half way around the first lap several cars collided, including me but I survived, Lawrence sped thru the and slid off the track into a wall. I was then running 6th. I pulled it together and was 3rd until the last lap. The leader spun on the last corner so I finished 2nd today!!!!!! I will start 2nd tomorrow and it`s supposed to be a fantastic sunny day. I am now in first place for the Championship in points!!!!! A win tomorrow will seal the deal!"
Sunday 03/11/2007 Hojo gets 2nd in MIA!!!While originally qualifying 16th, Hojo rallied back to finish 2nd for the weekend in the first race of the 2007 Ferrari Challenge season that was held at Homestead Raceway in Miami Florida.
The team is happy with a 2nd place finish. While first is always nice, a 2nd place finish is very sweet from his initial qualifying position. Go Hojo...
Friday 03/02/2007 Hojo and Hefner!Hojo hung with Hugh Hefner last night on Rodeo drive!!!! Don`t know all the details, but this is what we do know:
1. Playboy art show hosting Victora (miss January 1996) 2. Hojo`s 360 Challenge Car on Rodeo Drive with shot of Victoria on the hood 3. Hugh in full effect with his 3 girlfriends filming their reality TV show " The Girls Next Door" 4. Hojo had Ferrari hood painted with Hefner image that Hugh signed! 5. Numerous stars in attendance...including lots of bunnies!!!!
Thursday 10/26/2006 Updates From Hojo in M O N Z A!Hot off the email! Received this 5 minutes ago....
"I qualified 4th in the North American series today at Monza, the fastest race track in Europe. We race together with all the European teams so I was 21st overall in qualifying. We race tomorrow. I will give you the results after the race!! We race again Saturday and Sunday is the world finals. I painted a picture of Enzo Ferrari on my hood this time and we`ve been told that Michael Schumacher has agreed to sign it Saturday morning in his private suite at the track. I really hope he comes thru, that would be bad ass and worth a hell of a lot of money since he retired this year having broken every racing record in the history of Formula 1. Keep your fingers crossed!!!!!"
Tuesday 10/10/2006 Updates From MonzaUpdates straight from the drivers Blackberry!
"We were totally caught by surprise and I came in 5th. The Porsche guys stepped it up and I crashed on the last lap into Jay, my teammate. Dam!!!! He still finished 3rd so it`s all good. Not what we expected at all but we are having fun. Oh well???? Racing at it`s finest.
At this very moment I am watching the sunset from the top of the Spanish Stairs in Rome, Italy. 5th place is long gone in my mind. Thanks..."
Friday 10/06/2006 Hojo in Italy for Ferrari Challenge Finals…Fastest Lap of The Day!Team Hojo Racing has ventured across the pond for the 2006 Ferrari Challenge Championships. Today in practice at the world famous Monza course and John posted the fastest lap of 1`58.789 out of 32 cars. Looks like Hojo is perfectly positioned heading into tomorrow’s qualifying session!
Monza is Italy’s fastest track and perhaps the fastest track in the world. This will no doubt lend to fantastic racing this weekend!!!!
Sunday 07/09/2006 ROCKSTAR!!!!! HOJO GETS 2ND ON SUNDAY @ ROAD AMERICAWords from the driver himself....
"Hojo drafted the current world champion Emanuell Anassis and leader of the race for the first 10 laps, one small error put me a few car lenghts back but I finished in 2nd place for another podium finish and at least 15 seconds between us and the rest of the pack. Kick ass!!!!!"
Saturday 07/08/2006 Updates from the driver himself @ Road America....Just received this email from Hojo:
"I qualified 7th today and was blocked and hit again by the #86 car who also hit a few other cars as well. We are tired of that shit and will have no more of it. The race ended under a yellow flag after about 15 minutes of the 30 minute race after a car spun into a wall taking off the rear end of. I finished 5th today and expect a strong fight tomorrow!!!"
Friday 07/07/2006 Updates From Road America Practice in WisconsinI just received the following email from Hojo himself! Ld, the social director of the team, couldn`t make the trip this time to supply first hand updates:
"Today was only practice but I am running third!!!! All top three positions are fractions of a second apart running 2:19 laps on a 4 mile track. Tomorrow we Qualify and race. Here we go!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Wednesday 06/28/2006 DisappointmentHojo did a magnificent job qualifying fourth for Sunday`s race. The race begin, everything was fine other than a little rubbing, then John was hit hard from behind by one of his competitors! He didn`t even have an opportunity to finish one lap.
The damage to the car was significant enough to take John out of the race. The team was devastated, having worked very hard to get there but John was the consummate professional, concealing the majority of his disappointment.
Everyone in attendance did enjoy the Formula 1 race and the BBQ in the Beverly Hills Ferrari pit afterwards. We had an amazing group of people assembled for this race weekend and it is fair to say that we were the envy of the other teams. Please check back in the coming weeks for additional updates on the 2006 Ferrari Challenge Season. GO HOJO!
Saturday 06/24/2006 ROCKSTAR...HOJO QUALIFIES FOURTH!!!!Using the momentum from last weeks podium finish in Tremblant, John drove fantastic on Saturday to qualify FOURTH for Sunday`s main event! SECOND ROW BABY!!!! In a field of over 30 cars in a 30-minute race, it is imperative that John qualified well to have a shot at the podium. He accomplished that and everyone is super excited for Sunday. GO HOJO!!!
Monday 06/19/2006 Team Descends into MontrealTeam Hojo Racing departed Mt. Tremblant last night, with trophy in-hand, towards Montreal and the biggest race of the year (Montreal F1). We look forward to exploring this wonderful city and enjoying ourselves prior to getting serious later this week at the track. John drove great and worked really hard this past weekend, so he deserves a little down time...at least for a few days.
Sunday 06/18/2006 YEA BABY!!!!!!It is with great pleasure that I announce Hojo`s first podium finish today in Mt. Tremblant! John started 9th (his finish from the day before) and rallied to finish THIRD in the Sunday`s main event. This is John`s first podium finish in his three years of the North American Ferrari Challenge series.
His friends and team look for this momentum to carry over to next weeks race in Montreal Canada with Formula 1. It is the biggest race of the year for Ferrari Challenge and Team Hojo is going to ROCK! GO HOJO....
Sunday 05/14/2006 Hojo Gets 5th in Sonoma on SundayJohn rallied from 10th position in Sunday`s main event to finish 5th. Obviously not the finish he was looking for starting 2nd on Saturday, but respectable nun the less!
Now the team focuses on the next 2 races, both in Canada in June. Some would say the 2 biggest races of the year..Tremblant and Montreal F1. Many of John.s team members, friends, social liaisons and life coaches are spending a few weeks in Montreal to get more acquainted with the surroundings prior to F1.which should prove fruitful for John.s on-track performance!
Saturday 05/13/2006 Hojo Qualifies 2nd in Sonoma!John qualified 2nd for Saturday`s race at the Infineon raceway in Northern California...but spun. He finished 10th, but is obviously one of the fastest driver on the track.
We look for good things from John tomorrow. He has some work to do to get a podium starting 10th position, but it could happen given his blistering times during the weekend.
Monday 04/10/2006 John Gets 4th in SundayHojo drove one of his best races, starting 4th and finishing 4th in Sunday`s race. He was poised and in control the entire drive and even received an honorable mention by Ferrari for his driving.
The team couldn`t be happier with his performance thus far and we look for amazing things to come out of this season. Check back here often for updates as they become available.
Saturday 04/08/2006 Hojo Gets 4th on Saturday!John qualified 9th for Saturdays race and finished 4th! It was a fantastic showing for the first race of the year and puts Hojo on the 2nd row for Sunday`s main event!
John will have a huge group cheering him on tomorrw. We look forward to great things!
Thursday 04/06/2006 Team Hojo Racing Descends on Miami For First Race of the SeasonTeam Hojo Racing arrived in Miami earlier this week for the first race of the 2006 Ferrari Challenge season. Equipped with his brand new F430 Challenge Car, John is driving better than ever and excited about his prospects in his third season.
John has many friends (both new and old) in the Miami Beach area and they intend to head to the track on Sunday to support him on race day. Check back here often for updates & results. GO HOJO!
Monday 10/24/2005 Photos of 2006 F430 Challenge Car Posted!We just received images of the car Hojo Racing will be campaigning in the 2006 Ferrari Challenge Season. Based on the new Ferrari F430 road car, it has many major improvements over this years car...not to mention much more horsepower!
Sunday 09/11/2005 Team Hojo Racing Departs For ItalyJohn and his team departed for Italy today for a six week trip that includes 4 races. We will post updates here as they are received from the team. GO HOJO!
Monday 08/08/2005 Hojo Racing Returns From Road AmericaTeam Hojo racing returned Sunday night from Elkhart Lake, WI from the final US race of the 2005 Ferrari Challenge season.
John finished 6tth on Saturday and was up to fourth place during Sundays race, but a spin foiled any chances of a podium finish. His finishing spot wasn.t known by the team prior to departure, but we anticipate a finish somewhere between 11th and 13th position.
John and Team Hojo Racing now heads to Europe in September for 4 races, including the World Finals of the 2005 Ferrari Challenge season. John and the entire team is excited about the trip and should be a fantastic adventure.
As always, visit Hojoracing.com for updates...GO HOJO!
Saturday 08/06/2005 Hojo gets 6th!!!Hojo finished a FANTASTIC sixth place in todays (Saturday`s) event at Road America. He started 14th and worked his way up in stellar fashion. I little contact along the way, but that`s racing.
We look forward to a great event tomorrow. He should be able to do some damage starting from the third row.
Monday 08/01/2005 Hojo Racing Readies for Road AmericaWe depart Thursday....should be a great event to round out the 2005 US Ferrari Challenge season. Then....off to Europe! (Details to follow on Euro adventure). Go Hojo
Sunday 07/10/2005 Hojo Racing Skips Lime Rock Park RaceTeam Hojo racing decided to skip this weekends event at Lime Rock Park in CT. We didn`t have much of a good time there last year and Hojo ended up in the hospital, so we thought it was a good one to skip.
We congratulate Kurt Buchwald (Saturday) and Emmanual Anassis (Sunday) on wins! See you boys at Road America in August.
Sunday 06/26/2005 Rock On!It is my pleasure to report that Hojo finished a respectable fifth today in Tremblant! Of the four individuals who beat him, one is the series champion from 2004, one always wins and one owns the Tremblant track!!! This is his best finish thus far in two seasons of Ferrari Challenge.
He started ninth and worked his way up.driving flawlessly in the process. His teammates and friends in attendance were extremely proud of his achievement and we were enthusiastic to share the experience with him.
Hojo racing will skip the next race at Lime Rock Park and instead do testing for Road America in August. Congratulations Hojo!
Saturday 06/25/2005 Saturday Goes Well in TremblantAfter qualifying 17th for Saturday.s race (and being pissed about it), Hojo rallied back with an inspiring drive to finish 9th. Some rubbing took place to get there, but that.s racing!!! Check back tomorrow for updates on Sunday.s race. John should do well starting from ninth position. GO HOJO!!!
Thursday 06/23/2005 Team Arrives in Mont Tremblant for Race WeekendTeam Hojo Racing arrived in Tremblant (ski town North of Montreal) for race 4 in the 2005 Ferrari Challenge season. What a great place! Should prove to be a fantastic weekend. Check back often for updates.......GO HOJO!
Monday 06/13/2005 Team Returns From Montreal In One PieceTeam Hojo Racing returned from Montreal today after a successful weekend. John qualified a somewhat dismal 20th for Sunday.s Ferrari Challenge race, but was able to rally and finish a respectable 10th. There were a great number of incidents during the race, making it an achievement to simply finish.
Montreal is a fantastic host city for Ferrari Challenge and Formula 1. Hojo, team and friends thoroughly enjoyed their weekend.
Team Hojo Racing travels back to Canada in 2 weeks for race 4 of the 2005 Ferrari Challenge Season. Mt. Tremblant is the location for the next event and Hojo is sitting pretty with no race damage to fix. It will be difficult for many of the racers to fix the damage experienced in Montreal in only 14 days time.
Check back later this week for Montreal photos.some of the best yet! GO HOJO
Tuesday 06/07/2005 Hojo Racing Heading to Montreal F1Team Hojo Racing departs tomorrow for a midnight flight to Montreal. Race # 3 in the 2005 Ferrari Challenge season is this weekend in conjunction with the Montreal Formula 1 race. Biggest race of the year by far. John is gonna kick ass. GO HOJO!!!!
Sunday 05/15/2005 Team Hojo Racing Returns from VegasWhat a great weekend! John drove FANTASTIC, easily his best showing to date..
On Saturday, he finished 7th in a field of 22. For Sunday, he was running FOURTH with half of the 45 minute race under his belt when he spun off the track after being bumped by the driver in 5th position. Unable to finish, John showed tremendous restraint with the guilty party who quite obviously had no room to attempt a pass and ruined John.s chances for a podium finish.
We did fly a BBJ home though, so not all was lost!
Check back later this week for photos from the Vegas event.
Wednesday 05/11/2005 Vegas Baby...Team Hojo Racing jets off to Vegas tomorrow for stop 2 in the 2005 North America Ferrari Challenge season. Updates, photos and stories from the weekend to follow. GO HOJO!
Tuesday 04/12/2005 California Speedway Photos PostedThe photos from the first Ferrari Challenge race of 2005 have now been posted. Click on the images tab, then click on .Fontana . April 2005.. More great photos to follow the entire season! GO HOJO!!!!
Sunday 04/03/2005 Hojo Racing Has a Phenomenal Weekend @ CA Speedway!!!It is my pleasure to congratulate John Horejsi on a great drive this weekend at California Speedway in Fontana, California. Out of 22 Challenge cars in the field, John took 14th on Saturday and 9th today! Both outings would have had even better results if he wasn.t hit from behind in Saturday.s race and had to work his way up from last place.
After reviewing his in-car footage, it is obvious that he is driving more aggressively than ever before. This new driving style will no doubt take him to the podium in 2005!
Congratulations again Hojo; a great drive and a tremendous weekend! You friends and supporters where glad to be a part of it.
Monday 03/28/2005 Gentlemen...Start Your Engines!2005 Ferrari Challenge Season kicks off this weekend at California Speedway in Fontana, California. Check back often..lots of updates in the next week. GO HOJO! J
Sunday 03/13/2005 Team Testing for 2005 SeasonTeam Hojo Racing was testing this week for the 2005 Ferrari Challenge Season. In a phone conversation from the top secret testing facility, John stated that the lap times were FAST! Check back regularly over the next few weeks for updates on the new car design, website and additional information on upcoming events. 2005 looks to be a breakout year for John and team Hojo Racing. GO HOJO!
Wednesday 01/05/2005 Monza Photos Posted!Happy New Year to Everyone! To start the New Year off right, Hojo Racing just posted the photos from the Ferrari Challenge Championship in Monza this past October. We must say that these are some of the best photos yet!!!!
Simply click .images., then .Monza. to view.
Hojo Racing looks forward to an amazing 2005! Check back often for updates.
Saturday 12/18/2004 Results From 2004 Series and 2005 Ferrari Challenge ScheduleThe final results are in from the 2004 Ferrari Challenge Series and Team Hojo Racing finished 10th overall! This is quite an accomplishment for John.s first season in the series.
John has re-upped for the 2005 Ferrari Challenge season and will be competing in the following events:
2005 Ferrari Challenge Schedule:
Fontana - April 1-3 Las Vegas - May 13-15 Montreal F1 - June 10-12 Mt.Tremblant - June 24-26 Lime Rock - July 7-9 (unable to attend) Road America - August 5-7 Italy Final - October (Date TBD)
Great job in 2004 Hojo! We look forward to great things from you in 2005! GO HOJO! :-)
Sunday 10/31/2004 Final Update From Ferrari Challenge ChampionshipSunday`s results were not what the team expected. The track was dry with the best racing conditions of the week but again gear problems took HoJo out of contention. After only three good laps the gear box failed and wouldn`t shift properly which resulted in very slow lap times which, of course, isn`t a good thing on the fastest track in Europe!! The weekend finished well with a fantastic demonstration from the Formula drivers doing doughnuts down the front straight for the finale. All told the team had a great time and we look forward to next season.
Congrulations Hojo on making if through the season in one piece!!!! We all look forward to great things in the 2005 season and beyond. GO HOJO!!!! :-)
Saturday 10/30/2004 More Updates From Italy!This just came over the wire (email actually) from Hojo. Great Stuff!
The track is finally drying after three days of very wet conditions. HoJo is the only remaining hope for the Ferrari Beverly Hills team as a crash in Friday`s race and resulting engine seizure has taken Jay Lee off the grid. Starting from the 15th row after qualifying 30th for Friday`s race HoJo finished the day 24th with a best lap time of 2 min 10 sec. Saturday`s race started with a very wet track but the sun peeked through and began to dry the track by the end of the race. An extremely high speed crash on the front straight in the third lap of Saturdays race took out three cars and the safety car was called out for four laps while the debris was cleared. After the re-start HoJo was in 17th position but finished 21st after gear malfunctions, a spin due to oil on the track and various blocking tactics from the Europeans with a best lap time for HoJo of 2 min 9 sec. Monza has proven to be among the best race experiences of the season. Sunday is the Ferrari World Championship and is scheduled to air on Sky TV with a Formula One demonstration after. HoJo starts the race 35th and is looking forward to a great race with the gear problems identified and hopefully solved for the event.
Thursday 10/28/2004 Monza Update From Hojo!We just received word from John on how it`s going at the Ferrari Challenge Championships....
"Things are great here! Its raining like hell and the Europeans are nuts! I.ve only hit the wall once, which happened on the second lap of the first session yesterday. I was running two min 23 second lap times and the Euros were at 2.09 in the rain....Today, I was better with a 2.11 on slicks, but rain brought me back to 2.15 for qualifying. Best lap overall so far is 2 min flat. Jay.s car wont start so he is pissed but my car is running fantastic! There are 30 cars in our session with the fastest drivers advancing as the weekend progresses. Monza is the fastest track in Europe, which is enabling us to hit 6th gear flat out 3 to 4 times a lap..crazy in the rain with these Euros flashing their lights at you and flying by like you.re sitting still. There are 11 US drivers, the best turn out ever and everyone is very cool. There are over 100 . 360 Challenge Cars competing so its pretty crazy. Schumacher and Barrichello are supposed to give a demonstration tomorrow or Saturday in the F1 demonstration car. I.m having a great time and wish everyone could be here with me!!! I.ll keep you updated as time permits."
We look forward to additional updates from John as the week progresses. GO HOJO!!! :-)
Tuesday 10/26/2004 Team Hojo Racing Arrives Safely in Italy for Ferrari Challenge ChampionshipWe just received word that John and the rest of Team Hojo Racing arrived safely in Italy for the big race. John stated that they are expecting rain (which isn.t good) but he feels confident he can keep the recently fixed car out of the wall! Look for sporadic updates throughout the week as information is provided by the team. GO HOJO! :-)
Saturday 09/18/2004 Team Readies for Euro Ferrari Challenge FinalTeam Hojo Racing plans to race the European Ferrari Challenge championship @ the world famous Monza track in Italy! This event is schedule for the end of October and looks to be the steepest competition for the team thus far. We hear those Euros take their racing VERY seriously!!!! We.re sure John will be in top form and ready show those guys on the other side of the pond how its done! Please check back for updates on the overseas event and results. GO HOJO!!!!
Friday 09/17/2004 Monterey Pictures (Finally) Posted!Sorry for the short delay in getting the Monterey photos posted. Our team photographer didn`t make the trip and it slowed the process down dramatically. :-) Team Hojo Racing seemed to manage ok and take some decent shots, even without the professional! (Click IMAGES to view Monterey and entire season). On a personal note, the team would like to take a moment to congratulate John for successfully completing his first US season of Ferrari Challenge! There were some mishaps along the way, but overall a great start to a prosperous career in racing. Congratulations John! It was our pleasure to be involved in your season and witness it from pit wall.
Saturday 08/14/2004 Team Readies for Monterey EventJohn did extensive testing this week of his fixed 360 Challenge Car as the Monterey event rapidly approaches. The team departs tomorrow (Sunday) for Northern California. Practice is scheduled for Monday, with races Wednesday and Thursday. Please check back during the week for updates on his progress. Go Hojo!!!
Saturday 08/14/2004 Hojo Racing Welcomes Jones Soda to the Team!!Hojo Racing is proud to announce that Jones Soda has joined the team Hojo Racing as the official beverage sponsor! It gets hot in the rough and tumble world of Ferrari Challenge...you`ve got to have good stuff to drink! Jones Soda was excited to align themselves with a young, up-and-coming team and is looking forward to a great relationship moving forward! Please visit jonessoda.com for additional information and to purchase product. You can also find their products in Starbuck`s coffee locations nationwide.
Sunday 07/11/2004 Hojo Racing Returns From CT Bruised From WeekendTeam Hojo Racing returned from Lime Rock Park, CT a bit bruised from this weekends activities. John is Ok, but had a mishap with a wall during qualifying on Friday. The car received front-end damage that couldn`t be fixed at the track, so the team was out for the weekend. The car will be back to CA this week and the team will assess the extent of the damage at that time. Photos will be posted this week!
Wednesday 07/07/2004 Team Departs for Lime Rock, CTTeam Hojo Racing departed from LA today to Lime Rock Park, CT for race #5 of the 2004 US Ferrari Challenge series. On the flight, they brought a new "music related" hood to be presented at the race! These hoods have become a fan favortie at the races and John is eager to see the response from this one. Check back often this week....there will be daily updates posted here! Go #67!!!!
Saturday 07/03/2004 Mont Tremblant Photos Posted!Click on "Images" to view. Hojo Racing would like the thank our guest photographer Courtney for taking a bunch of great photos during the weekend! It was great to have such a trained professional joining us. Check back with us soon....Lime Rock, CT event next week! Happy 4th. :-)
Monday 06/28/2004 John Reaches Podium in Sundays Race!!!!Sunday.s race in Mont Tremblant was memorable as ever! John started 8th, raced 4 amazing laps right in the thick of the racing, then had a spectacular spin in turn 4! WOW! What an amazing recovery. He finished the race where he started.8th. What was great about the afternoon is that John got recognized by the Bose Corporation and Ferrari North America with the .Special Achievement Award. on the podium with the winners! What a great honor. Acknowledged by all the drivers and the hundred in attendance. Congrats John. Great drive!
Sunday 06/27/2004 John Finishes Saturday.s Race 8thSaturday turned out to be a great day, all things considered. The team got the car back in racing shape from yesterdays crash, John qualified with his fastest times of the weekend and he finished in exactly the same position as where he started. What is so amazing about his finish is that he spun out on the first lap of the race and was dead last, having to pass 5 cars during the course of the race to get back to his starting position of 8th. What fantastic driving! It was honestly his best drive (baring the spin) thus far in his career. The team is super excited as to his progress and look for another great drive from him in Sunday.s final. Stay tuned!!!
Saturday 06/26/2004 John Closes Friday.s Practice in Sixth Place!In his best result thus far this season, #67 took over 4 seconds off his initial lap times to finish Friday.s practice in sixth position. If it weren.t for hitting a metal wall, crunching the back-end of the car and destroying 2 rims, John would have even placed higher! The team worked throughout the night to get the car back in racing shape and we look for great times from John today (Saturday).
Friday 06/25/2004 Team Arrives in Mont Tremblant for Race WeekendTeam Hojo Racing arrived in the quant little town of Mont Tremblant this afternoon. The best way to describe the city is a cross between Aspen and Disneyland! Very small, "movie-set" looking buildings, but beautiful overall. Team has a 7AM call in the lobby Friday morning (and its 1:15AM now...ouch!) Check back tomorrow for all the details as to how John did in practice! Also, check out the Montreal photos posted yesterday if you haven`t already done so.
Thursday 06/24/2004 Team Readies for Mont Tremblant EventTeam Hojo Racing packed until the wee hours of the morning to leave for Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada today. Since Montreal, John has been training in a variety of cars for this next race. He.s got his game face on and ready to drive the wheels of his 360 Challenge Car. Please check back @ HojoRacing.com for updates throughout the weekend.
Wednesday 06/23/2004 Montreal F1 Photos Posted!The Hojo Racing Technical Team got the Montreal F1 photos posted today!!!! They are fantastic. Simply click on the "Images" tab, then click "Montreal". Some of the best photos yet. ENJOY!
Sunday 06/13/2004 John Posts Quickest Laps of the Weekend in Final!John raced the Ferrari Challenge final today at the Montreal F1 and did great! He posted his fastest lap times of the weekend (1:50.s) and moved up 2 positions from where he started to finish 12th. Good job John! On a side note, today.s venue had to be the nicest yet. Great location, beautiful people and a city that LOVES racing!
Saturday 06/12/2004 John Takes 3 Seconds Off Laptime in Qualifying!The qualifying race was today and John did fantastic! He took 3 seconds of his Friday test times and secured a 14th position for tomorrows race. The track very fast this weekend (the F1 course record was broken by over a second) and this speed is being seen in the Ferrari Challenge race as well. Tomorrow has the makings of a great event! Please check back tomorrow for final results.
Friday 06/11/2004 Practice Goes Well for #67!Practice went well for John Horejsi today at the Formula 1 circuit in Montreal. There one only one minor incident (he was tapped by his teammate Jay in the #9 car), but it looked minor and should be fixed by tomorrow. Currently sitting in 15th, John is perfectly positioned to have a great qualifying day tomorrow on his way to Sunday.s main event. We also had an opportunity to watch the F1 cars in qualifying. WOW! Amazing racecars. Now we are up for a little rest prior to this evening.s activity. Check back tomorrow for information on how John did in qualifying.
Thursday 06/10/2004 Team Lands Safely in Montreal for F1 Race Weekend!We are happy to report that Team Hojo Racing landed safely yesterday in Montreal and had a fantastic time last night in the city. Team manager Rainier Negri (as always) took great care of us! Today, John Horejsi will review the Formula 1 circuit and get acquainted with the specifics of the track. We may even do a little shopping! We look forward for great things this weekend and we will keep you all informed via the new HojoRacing.com website!