Nick Fluge Dominates Improved Touring E Class Series / Matt Crandall Grabs GT2 Championship At 13th Hour
For Team FGA, 2008 began with many question marks. Would the discipline that carried FGA members to the World Series of Poker, the Summit of Kilimanjaro, and Basecamp of Everest in 2007 prevail in a new year of uncertainty? Times were changing as early as January when Lead Adventurer, Nick Fluge questioned if a similar run of adventures was in the cards. Some said Fluge was preparing for a year of tanning next to a swimming pool replete with mai tai’s for other FGA poolside loungers.
Ten months into 2008 finds some questions answered and others yet to be determined. A series of resounding victories in sports car racing culminated in Fluge and Crandall dominating their respective classes and winning 2008 championships in ITE and GT2 respectively.
Fluge and Crandall race leaders once again.
Fluge qualified for the first sprint race of October behind the Canada’s Cormier (Porsche 996) and Pearson (GT1). Fluge took second place on the first lap and then claimed first after Pearson was given a stop and go penalty. Nick led the rest of the way pulling out to a 5 second victory when the checkered flag was waved. Fluge’s win secured his second straight ITE championship in the Corvette Z06.
Crandall was deviled by transmission and engine problems during the sprint race and his lock on the GT2 championship seemed tenuous at best. A ‘loaner’ car was provided for Crandall who had to reach deep into his many years of high level racing experience to take the new ride and hold off hard charging Andrew Foley to win the GT2 series in the Panoz GTS.
Spence Gatrell drove to a second place ITE finish in the sprint race and now returns to college to find academic success of similar fashion.
Fluge on Pre-Grid
The SCCA championship series seemed to be the glue that held Team FGA together in 2008. From March until October, the frequent tour stops enabled staff and entourage members to get together and discuss ‘what might be’. Spence Gatrell came on board as the rising star of the race team in the spring and gave the team much needed energy after FGA Spiritual Advisor departed for what was rumored to be higher career ambitions. Fluge and FGA Vigneron, Bill Lowblad played well in the World Series of Poker kickoff in June – teaming up for the first time since their 8th place Cannonball Run New York to Los Angeles road rally/race in summer of 2007. Nick Fluge’s digital magical mystery biking event complemented Core Specialist, Yelena King’s Triathlon challenge and VO2 Max Specialist, Troy Carter’s STP Biking Classic during the summer. Besides managing sister Ashley’s triathlon success this summer, FGA Event Stylist, Aimee Perlinger capped off the October races by coordinating a gourmet BBQ for SCCA racers and spectators alike.
Many people have been disappointed that the “Duel at Death Valley” event with Fluge and Carter has yet to come to fruition. Don’t despair, the two combatants have been preparing all year and continue to debate the specifics (like bringing in defanged rattle snakes to add non-lethal drama to the event). Keep your eyes open for new FGA apparel that heralds the exact date for “D.A.DV.”