Sunday, June 03, 2007

"Mark" this on your calendar

CALIFORNIA'S BEST Is proud to announce the addition of Mark Welch as a team/crew member. There are many important qualifications to take into consideration when embarking on an out of town race especially this one for obvious reasons. At the same time while reviewing all of those reasons I also had to take into consideration the great friendship we all share with Mark as well as respect for what has been an awesome competitor. Mark and I have battled on the tracks over the years and yet we always had time to laugh with and at each other both on and off the track. One of my fondest memories was the year Mark and I were the first two Father and Son teams to race in the famous 25 Hours of Thunderhill and watch our sons who where both rookies. Not only did we share side by side pits but we helped each other out regardless of what was going on.

A few facts about Mark are as follows...

Mark's father was a U.S. Diplomat and he grew up in Europe and South America. He graduated elementary school in Heidelberg, Germany and high school in Lima, Peru. Mark started racing go-karts and crewing for SCCA drivers when he was 15 years old and bought his first race car, a BMW 1600ti, from his college roommate in his junior year at U of Miami. Years later, Mark and two friends started Trinity Racing in order to race in the then newly formed IMSA series. In 1980 he started dead last at the Daytona 24 hour race and finished 17th overall, 5th in class thanks to a lot of help from none other than Lynn St. James. Six weeks later he finished again in 17th spot but 4th in class with the late, great Jim Cook. From there he ran a bunch of races including the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy/Escort Series in 1985 with Steve Dietrich, the well known LA real
estate developer. After a few years off to start a family he began running the NASA Pro-7 Series in northern California. Since then Mark won many races, the 1996 enduro series, in class, the 2000 enduro series, in class, and last December, the 2006 USAF 25 hour enduro, 10th overall, 1st in class. He also serves as a NASA instructor when he's not running his new chassis dyno service located in Virgina next to VIRginia International Raceway.

Mark said, "I'm very much looking forward to helping Gary Faules and CALIFORNIA'S BEST with this upcoming Mexico race and all the tradition it brings." The feelings are mutual and not only is Mark a fantastic man with a wrench but in fact his "MacGyver" type skills will be an asset should they be required not to mention the fact that since he grew up in South America his Spanish is more than welcome. Mark, how do you say, "Senior, Water for my horses and whisky for my men?"

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