By Barett Poley
Toronto, Ontario — January 5, 2017 — Teams of Pfaff Automotive employees will be competing against one another in a budget track-car challenge this summer called “Pfaff 8 Hours of Passion.” Autocross, drag race and endurance race circuit will see teams competing to build a better track car, albeit with an interesting twist. Each team will be limited to just $12,000, of which only $5,000 can be spent on the car itself – a ridiculously small amount in the world of professional automobile racing. Of the remaining $7,000, $2,000 must be spent on safety equipment, with the remaining $5,000 to be used on modifications.
There are some other rules which apply as well – the car must be road-legal, and able to get to the track itself without being towed. The car must pass safety certifications and be deemed track-safe, and amongst the other rules, the car must be one of the Pfaff brands, such as BMW, Audi, Porsche, Singer (a custom Porsche builder), Toyota, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Volkswagen, McLaren, Mazda or Pagani.
Though the $5,000 budget may prevent the teams from running McLaren 650s or Pagani Huayras, the vehicles each team chooses can be of any year and any model from the brands sold and serviced by Pfaff. This will allow for a wide range of vehicles on the track, and will provide an opportunity for repairers and technicians to work on vehicles they may not otherwise have had the chance to work on in their own shops.
The idea stemmed from a meeting called to discuss improving the company’s motorsports image and presence. According to Jeff Pabst, General Manager of Pfaff Autoworks, “It originated from a marketing meeting between our Marketing Director and our Motorsport Director, Steve Bortolotti. They said ‘what about doing our own race series to promote our motorsports development?’ A lot of people were seeing the races, but hadn’t had the opportunity to be a part of them. In essence this was seen as an opportunity for everybody to get involved.”
The event will also serve as an entry-point for those curious about the world of professional racing and track-car modification, according to Steve Bortolotti, Director of Motorsports.
“We have plenty of enthusiasts in this company who would love to get involved in track driving and building cars, but don’t have the means or knowledge to do so,” Bortolotti says, calling it an “opportunity to get hands-on experience in a fun way,” as well as a “fantastic team-building exercise that aligns perfectly with our core values.”
Pabst says it’s a great opportunity to get a foot in the door of the racing world, saying “You couldn’t take somebody with no experience and put them behind the wheel of a $300,000 race car right off the bat, so this is a really great way to get experience for people interested.”
The vehicles’ performances aren’t the only things to be judged – each team will be expected to put together unique livery for their vehicles, and will be also marked on their overall team cohesiveness, appearance, and even things like the lunch they put on for themselves. The hospitality portion might seem strange, but Pfaff is famous for its excellent treatment of customers, and the comfort they provide for those they do business with.
“The hospitality segment is really about showing the full range of what goes on in motorsports” says Pabst. “It’s not just showing up to a track and driving a fast car – there’s a lot of business behind the scenes.”
The ‘8 hours of Passion’ racing series is expecting to launch in May of 2017, at the CTMP Driver Development Track. Keep an eye on collisionrepairmag.com for further developments!