Team Montelo Sweeps Formula Junior at the Milwaukee Tour

by Pat Montelo

July 7th, 2007, Milwaukee Wisconsin -- On the heels of a very successful weekend at the Peru Tour, Team Montelo re-packed the RV for another fun and heat filled weekend of National level autocross competition at stop nine of the 2007 SCCA Solo National Tour, the Milwaukee National Tour.

Miller Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin is one of the premier autocross sites in the country, and with many of our Chicago & Milwaukee friends in attendance, this weekend promised to have the great combination of excellent competition and a party like atmosphere; Milwaukee did not disappoint. We had a very nice turn out in Formula Junior with 11 competitors (7 in FJA and 4 in FJB) and Super Stock also had a great turnout with 14 competitors (11 in SS and 3 in SSL). In addition to the stiff competition, we were privileged to have two excellent National Level courses designed by Steve Wynveen for both days. Steve went all out in his designs and they turned out to be very technical and challenging courses. Needless to say, you had to be on your game from the start with the 3-run per day Tour format on these courses. With the challenging courses, stiff competition and temperatures well into the 90s, the heat was on and some members of the team would fare better than others.

We arrived at Miller Park on Friday evening around 5pm to find a very full paddock but still room for the 65' tow rig and trailer on the edge of the lot. That was the Good News. First we parked and leveled the rig and then we headed over to registration where the team found some food and friendly Milwaukee hospitality waiting.

 Joey, Laurie, Anthony and Michael
Joey, Laurie, Anthony and Michael
Photo by Andy Seipos

Laurie Working the Tires in SSL 
Laurie Montelo Working the Tires in SSL
Photo by Andy Seipos

After some grazing at registration, the team unloaded the Chevrolet Z06 Corvette and the boys' formula junior karts from the trailer. Once unloaded, we all headed over to tech. Unfortunately the tech inspector found that the Z06 had a disturbing amount of free play in its front suspension and the tech inspector wisely suggested that I "take a look at it" before racing (the kind way of saying- "you don't pass tech"). The Bad News.

On first glance it looked likely to be a bad wheel bearing assembly, so I quickly got on the phone to 411 and all of the auto parts stores in the area in a futile attempt to locate a C5 wheel bearing assembly in stock before all of the stores closed. After a several calls, I finally had a new bearing assembly on order, but unfortunately it would not arrive at the parts store until mid-day Saturday. With the part on order, I decided to start taking the front wheel off to take a closer look. As lady luck would have it, the wheel bearing hub was okay and had only come loose from the steering knuckle. After an hour or so of wrenching on the car and a lot of blue loctite, it was time for a nightcap over at the Team Blenderblaster RV before calling it an evening.

Saturday Morning (07-07-07) brings "Lady Luck"? --

After a good nights sleep the team woke and got in a few course walks prior to suiting up. Unfortunately Formula Junior was the first group sent out, sent to sweep the course for the second weekend in a row, followed immediately by myself in Super Stock. As usual the boys were up to the challenge and took to the course in full force leading the Formula Junior A & B classes after their first runs. I on the other hand was ill prepared to follow the boys immediately. I had a fresh set of unscrubbed Hoosiers mounted on the Z06 and went out and immediately spun the car at the beginning of my first run. Ugh... not the way I wanted to start the weekend. Maybe 777 wasn't my lucky number as both Laurie and I would finish the weekend one position out of the trophies.

 Anthony Leading in FJA
Anthony Montelo Leading in FJA
Photo by

Joey Looking Ahead in FJA 
Joey Montelo Looking Ahead in FJB
Photo by

The boys on the other hand would continue to dominate formula junior throughout the weekend and luck had little to do with their results. After the weekend, Anthony found himself sitting in first place in FJA over Joey by just over a half a second with Ryan Tuchalski following Joey in third three tenths further back. Ryan's driving has been strong and I'm sure he'll be keeping the team on their toes this year. In FJB Michael finished the weekend with a more comfortable 4 second lead over the 2nd place finish of Zach Moore. Zach is still new to the sport, but with those Moore genes we expect to see him continue to close that gap.

With the heat and this being our second consecutive weekend at a national tour event, the team was definitely ready for a break and poised for our two-week summer vacation away from racing. The team will be well rested and back in Milwaukee at the end of the month for the Chicago/Milwaukee Border Challenge.

 Michael Kickin' It in FJB
Michael Montelo Kickin' It in FJB
Photo by

Results at the Milwaukee Tour
  • Anthony Montelo 1st in FJA
  • Joey Montelo 2nd in FJA
  • Michael Montelo 1st in FJB