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a CHUMP Rides With Tommy Archer.....Tells All

Discussion in 'VOI Experiences from the past' started by JonB, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. JonB

    JonB Viper Owner

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    OK, I have been a FAN of Tommy Archer for a long time. A LUCKY fan. Tommy squirted me with champagne 4 times since 1997, in 3 states, in FIA, ALMS, and TransAm. I talked with him during his SERIOUS post-crash recovery, after his testing (for you and me) for Dodge. I sat beside him at 3 victory dinners. But I never sat beside him in his "Office", a Viper Comp Coupe. Til VOI-8.

    As it happened, just before our planned driving time, Tommy Archer was providing paid speedway rides in the Archer Racing Comp Coupe at VOI-8. Pac-NW VCA has been there for Tommy's 2 PIR wins, and FIVE of those PNW-VCA folks bought rides. We hosted Tony from S.Africa, and he bought a ride. My Viper-owner friend and PartsRack CPA (Doris) has made 2 of Tommy's wins , and is a big fan. [She sees something in Tommy that only women see.] So I gifted Doris w/ a ride. So 7 paid Riders of the 12 available were Pac-NW folks. Doris was thrilled to learn the driving line from Tommy, altho the "Skippy rules" did not allow her his high line. After 12 riders, Tommy motioned me over: Corsa was renting the car in 20 minutes, and he still had some rubber and time left. "Jon, would you like to Go?" Duuuhhhhhh! I Grabbed Doris' balaclava and helmet (ouch!) Sidesills and rollcage are honestly 250+ degrees. Burning to the touch. Interior 150-degrees plus. Tommy looks cool in satin white/blue.

    I have always considered myself a very good sportscar driver. Owned a bunch. Held racing licences, and hold a couple licenses now. I've instructed at Viper Days, and PIR, and Thunderhill, Gingerman, and Seattle and more. My Pace Car licence has allowed me to give HUNDREDS of VIPs and regular folks the "Ride Of Your Life" as the local charities call and sell it. We've raised many thou$ands. My riders think I'm amazing. [Its' the VIPER that is amazing] And I think I'm pretty good. Or at least I used to think so......

    Compared to Tommy Archer, I might as well be back on the farm on our International Harvester. I'm a Chump. A Hack. A flogger. A Poser. A mouse, not a man. Or a mouse in rats clothing. But compared to Tommy Archer, I am NOT a Driver.

    TMS is the track where the IRL sent 75000 paid fans HOME after IRL drivers complained of G-force induced dizziness. The IRL cancelled the race with just HOURS notice. This track is insanely FAST.

    Tommy made that VCC fly, glide, skate, dance and DRIFT.....but he did it with 3-4 digits of only his left hand. He broke most of the usual driving school rules. [Rules are made BY the Tommy Archers of the world, not FOR them.] His eyes, brain, shoulders, butt, feet and semi-circular canals simply process G-force inputs faster, and in some inhuman {super-human?} fly-by-wire way.

    The high banks were Tommy's airways; the pseudo-straights his drag strip and brake-check pads; the infield corners his "Drifting" facility. After 5 laps, we could feel his tires going, going, gone..... and when he parked it, the cord was indeed visible. I was soaked with sweat, and a bit lightheaded. Tommy joked that because I'd supported his many Portland visits, he had given me a very special ride. I wobbled out unassisted, while Doris took photos. {that I dont know how to post) She was grinning as big as I was...her ride was JUST as special. We had just shared an INCREDIBLE trip. It was WAAY better than the USAF F-16 Simulator I flew at the Viper vs Viper race!

    The good news is: Tommy may be coming to a Viper Days Event somewhere near you. If you EVER get the chance to take a ride with Tommy Archer, this poser-chump, mouse-man highly recommends it. And if PIR-PORTLAND is on your way, Sept 24-25-26, we are selling tax-deductible VCC, GTS, SRT-10, and RT/10 rides at PIR for "Dornboecher Children's Hospital." $25/lap. Please send your friends / relatives / prospective owners. THANKS. But please DONT tell em how much better it WOULD have been w/ Tommy..........
     
  2. TomSlick

    TomSlick Viper Owner

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    Great story, Jon. Wished we were there(in Tommy's seat). since I'm a Tommy too, I'm jealous.
     
  3. Jay Herbert

    Jay Herbert Enthusiast

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    Too much fun. One of our members was similarly numb after her ride. Hopefully Tommy will ad another championship notch in his belt this year. Y'all can watch him in two week's on Sunday at Atlanta.

    CART cancelled..... not the IRL. IRL plays to many more fans at it's Texas events :)

     
  4. ViperJohn

    ViperJohn Enthusiast

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    I was out on the track when Tommy Archer was running, he rolled past me on the banks and my car shook as he went by. It was alittle startling since the instructors use your side and rear view mirror. He is definately in his own league.
     
  5. Jay Lopez

    Jay Lopez Viper Owner

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    Great story! One small correction: It was CART (now CHAMP) that cancelled the race at Texas Motor Speedway (not IRL).
     
  6. Gary Lashinsky

    Gary Lashinsky Enthusiast

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    Tommy is the greatest. He has coached me in my Comp. Coupe and made me faster, more consistent and brought my racing level up. Thanks Jon for a good write on your ride with Tommy. What a true gentleman he is and a great ammbassador for Viper.
     
  7. JonB

    JonB Viper Owner

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    I KNEW THAT ! Duuuuhhhh.
     
  8. N CHARG

    N CHARG Enthusiast

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    Yeah, In TX we call those CART drivers "Cowards arn't racing Today".
     
  9. Vic

    Vic Enthusiast

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    I got dizzy just reading about that ride!
     
  10. VIPER GTSR 91

    VIPER GTSR 91 Viper Owner

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    Good story, I know how it is to ride with an accomplished driver. Now step up one level higher and ride with either Olivier Beretta or Ron Fellows!!!!
     
  11. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy Enthusiast

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    I do not see any difference between the above mentioned names and Tommy Archer, they all ran together in the ALMS races years ago. Beretta and Archer in the Oreca Vipers and Fellows in the Corvette.
     
  12. VIPER GTSR 91

    VIPER GTSR 91 Viper Owner

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    Look closely dude. Berreta and Fellows have WAY more experience, stats, and credentials than Archer. Archer is only running in speed challenge currently, where Berreta moved up to a real ass kicker known as LMP (le mans proto type)and took a second over all last year at petit le mans at road atlanta. He is currntly driving for GM in gts ALMS (not speed challenge) with Oliver Gavin in the Corvette. GM wanted the best and they hired Olivier. Fellows has been driving for GM and ALMS for years with multiple wins. These two are the best they come in sports car racing(except Allen Mcnish)
     
  13. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy Enthusiast

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    What ever, when your done dreaming let me know!!! :rolleyes:
     
  14. JBenko

    JBenko Enthusiast

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    Good story, I know how it is to ride with an accomplished driver. Now step up one level higher and ride with either Olivier Beretta or Ron Fellows!!!!


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    Numerous occasions when running with Oreca Tommy out qualified Olivier Beretta. Tommy finished ahead of Ron Fellows just a few weeks ago at Road America. Actually, Tommy and Ron Fellows go way back to Trans Am in the '90s. 3 excellent drivers - basically comes down to who has the better car / setup in any given race. If I really had to choose between them in equal cars my guess is that Ron Fellows would come in third...
     
  15. VIPER GTSR 91

    VIPER GTSR 91 Viper Owner

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    Beretta and Fellows just came in 1st and 2nd in gts at road atlanta. The announcer mentioned Berreta is still doing testing for F1. Thats talent.
     

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