The team at Steeda prides ourselves on developing products in the most demanding environment — the racetrack. In fact, our Vice President of Operations Glen Vitale is also one of the company’s hot-shoe test drivers. Racing since he was a teen, Glen has piloted Steeda Mustangs — and his own Miata racer — at races since the early 2000s. Most recently he drove our in-house 2015 Mustang test car to a championship, and earned some special honors of his own.
Behind the wheel of the yellow S550, Glen drove to the South Atlantic Road Racing Championship in the Touring 1 class. While any racing series presents a challenge, the Steeda team was also testing parts along the way. Some worked, others didn’t, but the resulting knowledge is passed on to our customers through better products.
“It was awesome! It was scary! It was very memorable! It was awesome in that it accelerated our product development and gave us a great understanding of what works and does not work on the S550 chassis,” Glen said. “This particular season that we won the championship we had a great baseline on the suspension settings from previous years, so having a car that did not change much from race to race allowed me to really get use to the characteristics of the 20 car, which made the drive even more enjoyable.”
Winning the championship didn’t hurt either, but when Glen travelled to St. Simons Island, Georgia, to attend the series banquet, he picked up another honor — the Jim Fitzgerald Award, which is given out to honor the memory of its namesake, who was a decorated driver who earned 300 career race wins and two National Championships over his 30 year career. This award is meant to honor “The driver who puts forth the most outstanding, competitive, and winning drive at the South Atlantic Road Racing Championship Finale.”
“Initially I was surprised, because there were plenty of great drivers in that race in other classes that I was able to see while attending the event,” said Glen of this honor. “After the initial surprise wore off, I felt deeply honored that the race officials had picked my particular drive that weekend to honor with the award.”
Glen’s efforts embody the dedication Steeda has to developing and proving its products at the racetrack, and he will continue that competitive drive in the future.
You can find all our Performance Mustang Parts at Steeda.com.Tags: Champion, Mustang, Road Racing, s550 mustang parts, steeda mustang