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Team Thunder Valley Racing Wins West Coast & Southern California Championships

(Riverside, CA, January 3, 2011)  The 2010 race season brought continued racing success for Team Thunder Valley Racing. Campaigning in her Factory Five Challenge Series racer, Team TVR owner-driver Karen Salvaggio secured 11 race victories, and stood on the podium 21 times to secure championships in what would be a record-breaking season.

Karen entered the 2010 race season as the reigning West Coast and Southern California Champion, and with new and talented racers entering the FFR Challenge Series this year, she knew this would be among the toughest seasons to date. Karen is now in her 24th year in auto racing, including cutting her racing teeth on dirt short tracks in the NASCAR regional racing, drag racing and performance driving Corvettes, and instructor driving in just about anything with wheels. Karen joined the NASA FFR Challenge Series in 2006, and completed her 5th year racing the Challenge Series roadsters in 2010. She has secured more than 200 victories in her racing career, and in 2009 was named NASA Instructor Driver of the Year.

Karen holds track records at Infineon Raceway (Sears Point) and Buttonwillow Raceway, and campainged her Challenge Series racer at legendary tracks including Willow Springs International Raceway, California (Auto Club) Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Thunderhill Raceway, and Virginia International Raceway this year. On her way to the podium in 2010, Karen  set pole position in 12 of the 24 races in which she  competed. NASA FFR Challenge Series Race, Infineon Raceway, October 10, 2010:

Karen enjoys sprint racing as well as endurance racing in her #28 Challenge Series racer, but her racing interests expanded in 2009 with the addition of a Factory Five Racing Type-65 Coupe to her race team. Over the last year, Team Thunder Valley Racing worked with industry leaders and grassroots racers to develop the Coupe into a viable endurance racer, with a focus on optimizing all performance aspects of the car.

With the help of hundreds of forum members, Karen and her intrepid race team set out to develop her Factory Five Racing Type-65  Coupe, a replica of the legendary Coupes that ran Sebring and LeMans in the 1960’s, for endurance racing, and campaigned the Coupe at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill held in December 2010.  The #28 Coupe qualified 2nd in class, and 10th overall in a very competitive field, which included many of the best endurance race teams competing on road courses today. A crew of more than 30 volunteer mechanics, fuelers, data team and communications specialists supported  the Coupe, which endured hours of competition, day and night, in a steady rain, which often became downpours, that saw many of their fellow competitors fall victim to accidents and off-track excursions in the dicey conditions. In the end, Team Thunder Valley Racing #28 Coupe endured, and completed more than 1,500 miles in some very tough racing conditions, and finished the longest endurance race in North America.

Special thanks to Mark Dougherty for his guidance and hands-on support with the development of the  Coupe, and to Dave Smith, owner Factory Five Racing, D&R Machine, Jerry Hoffman and John Card at DIY AutoTune, Doug at Raptor Racing, Ted Falk, owner Replica Promotions, Roman Vaisman owner Ezlogy, Bill Robertson Tracy Marshall, Tracie Card, Allen Parkinson, Carlos Coronel & Josh Loe at Think Tank Creative Consortium, DSS Motors,  Hank Lopez , David Borden, Russ Thompson, Track Guy (Dawg) Mitchell Pinnix, SVTOA Track Dawgs Josh Bligh and Jeremy Bligh, Jeff Collins owner Whitby Motorcars, Richard Oben owner North Racecars, Terry Free and Cynthia Dora, owners Team Free Racing, TC & BaLinda McNett, owners TC Motorsports/AlarmCo, Inc., Ryan Althoff, Molly McCarthy, Rich Cobb, John Marsey, and big thanks to Crew Chief Andy Salvaggio for keeping both cars on track and on the competitive edge all season!

We also owe a debt of gratitude to the hundreds of forum members at for providing their support, technical advice, and encouragement all season long, as well as to Jerry Kunzman and all the folks at NASA for making Grassroots Racing possible. We did it!!  Thank you!

See you at the track n 2011! 

2011 Thunder Valley Racing Schedule: