Challenger to face off against Camaro and Mustang on Sunday
October 3rd, 2009 by Bill Cawthon
From left to right, drivers Ian James and Tom Nastasi in the No. 5 TPN Racing Dodge Challenger, Ken Wilden and Dean Martin in the No. 59 Rehagen Racing/986 Driver Cooling Ford Mustang GT and Jeff Bucknum and David Donohue in the No. 6 Sunoco Camaro pose next to their cars on Friday at Virginia International Raceway. (Photo by Melissa Smith/Melissa K. Smith Photography)
Tomorrow, Sunday, October 4, at noon (Eastern Time) the past will live again as the three legends of the pony car era meet again at Virginia International Raceway. A Dodge Challenger
, a Chevrolet Camaro and a Ford Mustang will compete during the four-hour Bosch Engineering Octoberfest, the last race of the season for hte Koni Challaenge.
Challengers, Camero's and Mustangs all compete in the Grand Sport (GS) class, which includes cars tuned to 350-405 horsepower and and having top speeds of 160 mph. All cars in the class come straight from the dealers’ showrooms with minor modifications for safety and performance.
The No. 5 TPN Racing Dodge Challenger
will be driven by Tom Nastasi, a former winner at VIR in the GS class, Ian James and Eric Heuschele.
“I think it’s history being made,” Nastasi said. “The last time the Challenger
raced in Trans-Am was 1972, so it’s pretty historic. This is American road racing, just like it was done in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Hopefully we can and will revive it.”
The Chevy in the race is a modern interpretation of the No. 6 Sunoco Camaro driven to a road racing championship by racing legends Mark Donohue and Ronnie Bucknum in 1969. Four decades later, Donohue’s son David and Bucknum’s son Jeff will be driving a 2010 Camaro wearing the No. 6 and Sunoco blue-and-yellow colors.