For BFGoodrich Team Rennsport, 30 years is both an instant and a lifetime. However, there is no time like this season to recognize three decades of racing, achievement and passion.
For this dedicated group of friends and off-road racers, the final year of the 1980s is proving to be a watershed moment in their past, present and future. The reasons to celebrate are many, and the close-knit team has plans to take mark the occasion like a big haired rock band. As it turns out, that time in history has remarkable significance in several unique ways.
2019 will be 1989 all over again. Actually, better.
Their journey began when RACER.com’s Marty Fiolka walked into Ron DeWolf’s Long Beach glass shop in the summer of that year. Fiolka, then the Bosch off-road motorsports representative, struck up a lifelong friendship with DeWolf. The two planned to purchase and campaign a Class 1/2-1600 for the following SCORE International season. They soon added local friend and crew chief extraordinaire Paul Perrizo to the mix, and soon found a brand new Finishline single-seater that made it’s debut in early 1990 at the SCORE Parker 425 – complete with support from BFGoodrich and Fox Shox.
Today, BFG Team Rennsport also enjoys support from an “A-list” of companies including Method (wheels), Weddle Industries (transmissions), Brown & Miller Racing Solutions (plumbing and wiring), MasterCraft/Impact, (safety equipment), Eibach (springs), KC HiLites (lights), AEM (electronics), Caltime (metal) and Brian Coats Motorsports (fabrication).
2019 also marks the 30th anniversary of Fiolka’s long career. While he was an off-road enthusiast from an early age, the 2014 Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (ORMHOF) Inductee’s first industry job included serving as the off-road motorsports manager the Robert Bosch corporation in 1989. In a twist of fate, one of Fiolka’s first sponsorships went to eventual friend and mentor Bob Gordon, who had a Class 1 Chenowth-Porsche carrying the same BFGoodrich factory livery that Team Rennsport proudly shared along with Bob’s son Robby Gordon.
Continuing this theme, 2019 will be a special year for the team it prepares to compete in two races this year, April’s 10th running of the NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally and the newly announced NORRA Mexican 500 in October. Currently undergoing a drivetrain upgrade in association with partner Weddle Industries, Team Rennsport’s “Angelina” single-seater will race at the Mexican 1000 and be joined by the group’s recently acquired “barn find” Class 1 Chenowth-Porsche – built for a customer in Napa, California in 1989!
The brand new and unfinished 1989 Chenowth DR-2 was part of the hugely popular BFGoodrich Garage display at last November’s SEMA show, where the rare car went from a bare chassis to a mocked-up race car by week’s end including a Porsche 914 engine, Weddle HV-24 gearbox and iconic Team Rennsport “BFGoodrich factory” livery.
“It’s hard to imagine that our team has shared this racing passion for three decades and that we are still as enthusiastic as ever,” said Fiolka. “We are taking it all back to 1989, and all our paths have come full circle in 2019. Vintage off-road racing has been a blessing, and the recent addition of our brand new Chenowth only adds another layer to our story.”
Indeed, BFG Team Rennsport’s next chapter will take place in two month’s time at the 2019 Yokohama Tire NORRA Mexican 1000. Scheduled for April 26 to May 3rd, this year’s rally will take competitors over 1,200 miles over five days from Ensenada, Baja, Mexico to the shores of San Jose del Cabo. BFG Team Rennsport will compete with their No.124 Finishline VW single-seater in the Vintage 4-Cylinder Buggy category.