USRRC: TRV Posts Best Finish Ever
19 May 1998HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Drivers Jeret Schroeder of Vineland, N.J., and Tom Volk of Blissfield, Mich., and the Toledo, Ohio-based TRV Motorsport team recorded its best finish ever in United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) competition Sunday afternoon at the Homestead Motorsports Complex. Their Supreme Exhaust Systems Products/Purity Farms Chevy Kudzu No. 95 crossed the line fifth overall and third in the top class, Can-Am.
Schroeder qualified tenth overall and eighth in Can-Am for the 2-hour, 15-minute contest on the 13-turn, 2.21-mile road course. He drove the first stint, Volk drove the second, and Schroeder took the checkered flag.
Even with three mandatory green-flag pit stops and the driver changes the team was never worse than llth. By lap eight Schroeder already had the car in eighth place, and they steadily worked their way up to sixth by lap 26. They fell back to ninth after a pit stop and driver change, and Volk and Schroeder worked their way back up to fifth overall and third in Can-Am at the checkered.
The last 20 minutes of the race were especially exciting, as Schroeder closed in on a faltering Ferrari. After Schroeder passed him for third, that car dropped out and the team's first podium finish was in the books.
The event was won by the Riley & Scott Mk III Ford driven by James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger.
Track conditions were really the story, as temperatures were in the high eighties and the track surface itself broke up in turns four, six, eight and 13.
"It was one of the slickest tracks I've ever raced on, and surprisingly I think that helped us," said Volk, who owns the team in addition to being one of its drivers. "Consistency is our strong point, and the slippery track kind of equalized things. There was rubber all over the place. If you went 6 inches off line you were skating, out of control."
"The track was really slippery, but our Goodyears held up well enough to bring us to the podium," Schroeder concurred.
Schroeder said heat was also a problem. "The air flow in our car bothered us for some reason this weekend," he said. "We ended up putting brake air duct hose into the car and vented it onto us for some relief.
"The Ferraris and the Riley & Scotts' radiators are placed in the sidepods of the car, but our Chevy Kudzu has the radiator up front. The air that exits our radiator is a lot hotter than the ambient temperature, and this air passes directly through the cockpit of our car.
"Once I thought I was going to pass out," he added. "I came in two or three laps earlier than I was supposed to, but by the time Tom was done with his stint I felt good, so I got back in the car.
"For my second stint I felt good, and when it was over I actually felt better than I had before. Physically I was ready to do more laps."
Crew chief Mike Madden thought he was hearing things when Schroeder radioed in once to say that the coolant temperature gauge read minus 400 degrees.
"It's a digital set-up and when it defaults, that's what it reads," Madden said. "We asked him what the oil temperature gauge was and that was OK, so we told him just to ignore the other one.
"Really the race went smooth. On the second pit stop for a driver change the car wouldn't start. The crew had to jump over the wall and push it to get it restarted.
"It's tough for us to make the podium in a sprint race," Madden added. "Realistically I was hoping for sixth or seventh. Jeret really drove well. It's a team thing, but he made the car go fast."
Schroeder and Volk are tied for sixth place in the overall USRRC Can-Am driver point standings.
The team's next race is scheduled for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio on June 14.