VIR Race Report

Alton, VA - April 22, 2006

Nuzzo Motorsports, racing the #20 Unichip and #22 iRise MINI Cooper S at VIR this Saturday, endured miserable weather and racing conditions to come home 14th and 27th in the ST class of Grand American Cup racing. After a heavy and persistent rain wiped out qualifying on Friday, grid positions for Saturday’s race were determined from points paid after the season-opener at Daytona in January. Team owner and driver Tony Nuzzo, starting the #20 Unichip MINI, took the green flag, but a heavy accident further up the field caused the first of six caution periods, which constituted 58 of the race’s 72 laps; only 14 green-flag laps were run in the two hour, 45 minute race.

Mitch Bishop and Harry Kintzi, driving the #22 iRise MINI Cooper S kept themselves out of trouble during the race, as the extremely limited racing compromised teams’ ability to improve upon qualifying position. Racing in a tightly-packed field of 83 cars, Bishop and Kintzi performed admirably, bringing the car home 27th in class, 60th overall.

Steve Pattee and Tony Nuzzo, sharing the #20 Unichip MINI Cooper S, fared slightly better, though like their teammates were affected by the lack of green-flag racing conditions. The miserable, low-grip conditions suited the front-drive MINI, however, and the team’s dynamic handling setups on their cars allowed them to outperform some traditionally higher-powered cars. Nuzzo and Pattee finished 14th in class, 40th overall; all four drivers stayed out of trouble, as numerous accidents plagued the wet and wooly Virginia race.

Nuzzo Motorsports races the nos. 20 and 22 MINI Cooper Ses next at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, outside Monterey, California.

To learn more about Nuzzo Motorsports, visit
To learn more about Unichip, visit