ITDS Racing Team
Bill Collins, the Owner of Interstate Truck Driving School, is a Championship Winning Race Car Driver. Bill specializes in road racing with the Sports Car Club of America Hoosier Super Tour Series in the #63 Interstate Truck Driving School Corvette. The Vette is an 04 Z06 prepared by Doug Rippie Motorsports in Waverly Minnesota. Bill's car chief is Pat Stair who has built several winning cars over the years. Steve Kuehl crews for Bill at the track with occasional help from Darrell Peterson. Steve and Darrell have also raced extensively over the years are a real asset to the team at the race track.
Stay tuned for pictures, videos, interviews and updates.
The 2019 Season started at Road Atlanta in mid March. Bill had never been to Road Atlanta during his career so he spent a lot of time on his driving simulator to prepare. That sim time paid off with a 2nd place finish behind Michael Levine who has a lot more experience at the track. Bill's first win of the year came in April at Hallet Motor Raceway in Oklahoma. Later in April Bill and his team of Steve Kuehl and Mark Knepper traveled out to Virginia International Raceway, another track that Bill had not been to previously. The season ending Championship race was scheduled at VIR in October so there was a really strong field of cars at the April race in preparation for the Championship run and Bill managed at 5th place finish.
Next up was May a road trip to Portland for the Interstate Team where Bill picked up his second win of the year. The June Sprints at Road America in Elkart Lake WI are a big tradition for anyone that races in the Midwest. Bill choose to run the Corvette in a different class to experiment with a different set up and picked up a 3rd in the T1 class. Then in July another road trip to the west coast took the team to Laguna Seca just south of San Francisco where Bill finished 2nd to one of the factory BMW race cars.
At the Championship Runoffs in October, Bill faced his strongest competition. He had a great race with a couple of independent drivers while the Professional teams took the top 7 positions. Bill finished 10th behind Michael Levine's Mustang and James Lithouser in his BMW.
Check out the Championship Runoffs race here https://www.scca.com/videos/2037573
Interstate owner Bill Collins recaps his 2018 season where he won the SCCA Super Tour Points Championship for the second season in a row. Will he return for #3? Watch and find out.
The first race for 2018 for the Interstate Truck Driving School Corvette was at the famed Sebring Race Track in Florida. Sports cars have been racing at the airport based track since 1952 every March in the 12 Hours of Sebring. Famous drivers from all over the world have competed at the track and Bill Collins, who has raced cars for over 50 years, has always wanted to race at the a historic venue.
Bill got his chance this January with the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Series. Bill had won the Hoosier Series Championship in his class in 2017 and figured the best way to defend his title was show up at the first event of the year. Along with crew members Steve Kuehl and Darrell Peterson, the team made the long trip down to Florida the second weekend of the new year.
Since Bill had never raced at Sebring, he spent several hours practicing on a racing simulator. Students at Interstate Truck Driving School use simulators successfully to prepare for a career in trucking and Bill finds the sims equally helpful preparing for a new track.
The competition was stiff with Mark Boden in his Porsche 911 and Preston Calvert in his Mustang the top guns. Both drivers had raced at Sebring several times previously so Bill had a real challenge trying to compete with them.
Bill qualified 3rd for the first race of the weekend on Saturday. Boden and Calvert got the jump at the start and pulled away from the Interstate Truck Driving School Corvette. Calvert broke the transmission on his Mustang half way through the race and Bill lucked out with a 2nd place finish.
On Sunday, the Interstate Team made some adjustments to the Corvette and Bill was determined to pull out the stops to try to compete with the more experienced duo. At the start, Bill jumped inside the Porsche to contend for 2nd. The pair ran side by side for several turns and Calvert pulled away. Collins decided to drop behind the Porsche to chase down the Mustang before it got too far ahead. Boden and Collins stuck together and ran Calvert down in a couple of laps. For most of the rest of the race the three cars were nose to tail.
Finally, Boden stuck his nose under Calvert and got ahead of the Mustang in turn 1. Bill knew the Porsche was faster than the Mustang so he had to pounce immediately or lose any chance at victory. Bill got a better run than Calvert coming out of turn 4 and attempted an inside pass at turn 6. With a little too much gusto, the Corvette got past both the Mustang and the Porsche but ran wide at the corner allowing both cars to get back by. As the two other cars passed Bill's Corvette, the Chevy was bumped in the right front and Bill spun off the track. He did a 360 and took out after the top two but there was not enough time left in the race for him to catch back up.
Bill was very excited to finish in 3 after such a heated race with two very good drivers. Bill even nailed down the fastest lap of the weekend in the class as he chased Boden early on.
The next event for the Interstate Truck Driving School Racing Team is Circuit of the Americas in February.
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