Burnett Busy Prepping New Ride; Ellis Impresses in His First Outing

February 14, 2005 6:47 pm

Last year Robin Burnett was the winningest driver in NASA American Iron East Division, campaigning a red 2004 Cobra. Robin believes that laurels are not for resting on and is building a new 2005 Steeda equipped Mustang. He sold his 2004 Cobra to Tom Ellis of Pompano Beach, Florida. Tom purchased the car to compete in the SCCA American Sedan class with an eye on competing at the SCCA Run-Offs this coming October.

Ensuring he has a competitive race car, Ellis turned to Steeda Autosports to refurbish the Cobra and maintain the car in the season ahead. Leading the talented Steeda team is Racing Chief Engineer, Steve Chichisola. No stranger to racing, Steve built and maintained and was team manager for the famed Steeda 1995 Cobra R, the first Mustang to win an IMSA road race since Jerry Titus turned the trick at Daytona in 1968. The white number 20 Cobra R was the winningest 1995 Cobra R as well as serving as a test bed for many of the competition proven Steeda performance parts. The current number 20 Steeda Q 400 R was also built by the talented Chichisola and has won numerous races and endurance championships. Assisting Steve with the Cobra will be two considerable talents, Steeda technicians, Chad Coy and Sam Cory.

After a initial Steeda check up, Tom took the Cobra to first SCCA race weekend at Moroso Raceway Park, in Jupiter, Florida. Equipped with Steeda suspension pieces including the highly regarded 5 Link rear suspension, Tom was soon turning laps seven seconds faster than he did in his previous car, a Chevrolet Camaro. Moroso is a tight race course, which puts a premium on handling, especially in big bore production cars like the Cobra. While getting comfortable with his new Cobra Tom Ellis qualified on the pole for the American Sedan race. During the race Tom led until an off course excursion set him to the back of the field. Putting his talents to work he charged back up to the front and finished second.

The Cobra is undergoing a complete rebuild by Team Steeda. Crew Chief, Chad Coy, a Steeda 13 veteran and Sam Cory have stripped the car down to its roll cage. A new engine and drive train are being built. The exterior of the Cobra is being refurbished and painted by Kevin Roe and his talented group at 1st Class Auto Center in Pompano Beach. All the paint and bodywork for the Steeda race and street cars have been the responsibility of 1st Class Auto Center for many years. When the Cobra appears at its next race at Savannah, GA, the car will not only be fast it have a car show appearance.