(Watkins Glen, NY September 7, 2002) Jeff Bernatovich from Brewerton, NY, has been frequenting Watkins Glen International for about twelve years as a driver, student and even teacher of motorsports racing. Back again this year to race his 1968 Chevy Corvette, he feels positive about his outcome in the 2002 race.
Bernatovich started coming to Watkins Glen in 1990 where he took part in driving schools learning the ins and outs of going fast and handling cars on the historic road course.
"I started going faster and started wanting to go faster and this car came up for sale so I bought it."
The car, which was used for Club Auto-Cross Racing, prior to his ownership, has been racing with Bernatovich for about 10 years. Autocross Racing involves cars racing against the clock through parking lots around pylons. A fellow club member who was going through a divorce owned the Corvette. Even though the owner did not want to sell he had to get rid of assets, so after seeing it was for sale, Bernatovich purchased the car.
"I saw the car raced at club races, and I could tell that the car was competent the driver just wasn't as up to speed as it should have been."
After purchasing the car it took Bernatovich 3-4 years to convert it into a full- blown racecar. The steps to conversion started with suspension and breaks that would enable it to race on such tracks as Watkins Glen, lowering of the car to decrease the center of gravity, and improving the motor was the final step of transformation for the car.
The car has done well for Bernatovich since he started racing in national events. In 1997 at the last National Corvette event he took part in, the car won in High Speed Autocross, set a track record, and a second place finish for Low Speed Autocross at Nelson-Ledges in Ohio.
Bernatovich, although still racing has gone from student to instructor at Driving Schools. He has been racing at Watkins Glen for four years now with the same car.