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< Back to News Home Accumoto Motorsports' Mark White finishes fifth at Runoffs

Posted (10/15/2006) - Topeka, Kansas

Sometimes a little perseverance travels a long way. Accumoto Motorsports' Mark White knows this better than most. He and the Accumoto team pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat with a fifth place DSR finish at the 2006 SCCA National Championship.

Survival was on the team's mind during the test days leading up to the DSR race. "We lost two motors in two consecutive test sessions" White said. "The first motor refused to go quietly. It tried to take the whole car with it!" he joked. He was refering to the fire that broke out after the first motor expired. Although short lived, (a collective effort of the on-board extinguisher and track safety personnel) the fire resulted in the entire rear section of the car needing to be rebuilt. "Jimmy (Accumoto crew chief Jim Bach) had really worked hard to convert this car from IMSA Lites to SCCA DSR spec. He had just installed West's new prototype tunnels and we really needed every minute on track we could get. Needless to say, this took the wind out of our sails"

Bad luck was not finished with White's Accumoto/ThrottleThreads WR-1000 however. A heroic overnight effort by the Accumoto crew was rewarded with disaster for the second time. A previously undiagnosed oiling issue cut short the following days qualifiying session when it claimed the life of motor # 2. "That was really a devistating blow. At that point I thought we were out of options and it was time to pack up. Luckily these guys have don't have 'quit' in their vocabulary" remarked White.

The tenacity of the Accumoto crew coupled with the generousity of fellow competitors who loaned crucial parts allowed White to make the rain-soaked warm-up Sunday morning. Engine builder George Dean installed a dry sump system developed by Larry Kropp of Kropp Tool Company. These efforts seemed to solve the oiling issues and that in itself elevated the teams energy. There was more than one suprised look when team Accumoto rolled onto the grid. "A lot of folks had written us off and were shocked to see us." said White. "We were holding our breath because even though the team was confident they had fixed the problem, our luck had been so bad we were half expecting something else to go wrong. Suprisingly, that warm-up was the first session in eight we made with zero problems."

Mechanical issues were the least of White's worries as he lined up for the race Sunday afternoon. "Losing the motor in qualifiying really hurt our grid position. Unfortunately, the replacement motor that George Dean assembled with salvaged parts from the first two victims was not quite the bullet we had brought with us. We were confident it would hold together but it was down on power and starting ninth I knew it would be tough to get to the front." His prediction was spot-on as he immediately engaged in what proved to an epoch battle with the #13 Cheetah of Kevin Mitz (One of the competitors who provided parts to help get White on track). "Kevin and I traded places for quite a few laps and passed a couple other cars in the process. He had a ton of horsepower (another George Dean powerplant) and a tremendous amount of straight line speed. He was really tough to get around!"

After passing Mitz, White quickly dispatched the #22 Gloria of Davide Rigon and went to work on a seven second gap to the #61 Stohr of Steve Shelton with 5 laps to go. Closing at well over a second per lap White finished his first Runoffs effort on the gearbox of Shelton as the checkered fell. "This was a real character builder for everyone involved" remarked White post race. "After all of our problems, nobody expected us to make the show let alone finish well. I am really proud of the Accumoto crew. Jimmy, Jake (Race Engineer, Jacob Heiden) and George Dean worked incredibly hard to get us here. I also want to thank everyone else who helped us this week. Kevin Mitz made a HUGE contribution wi
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Mark White

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