Sunday, May 12, 2013

Concha brothers ready for friendly sibling rivalry at STPR

An estimated 108.4 million people watched Super Bowl XLVII, according to ESPN. Some only cared about the game, while others for its unique commercials. But for some, it was more to see the battle of the brothers. On one side, Jim Harbaugh coached the San Francisco 49ers and on the other, his older brother John Harbaugh coached the Baltimore Ravens.

In motorsports, NASCAR has Kyle and Kurt Bush, and Rally America has John and Anthony Concha.
This will be the first time they enter a stage rally event together in separate cars, so fans can watch the Concha brothers duke it out, both driving Fords but in different classes—John in a Production-class Ford Fiesta and Anthony a Group 2-class Ford Focus ZX3 with the Tuning Velocity Motorsports team.

 John Concha, of Philadelphia, Pa., and John Duran of College Point, N.Y., have confirmed a spot at this year’s running of the Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally® (STPR®) on May 31-June 1 in bucolic Wellsboro, Pa. They were rookies at last year's STPR, yet took a strong third-place finish in the Finger Lakes Regional Rally, acquiring points in the regional championship.

Earlier this year, Emanuel from Mozes Photography sat down and conducted an interview with John Concha.

Compared to last year’s STPR, are you guys doing anything different to prepare for this year?
Last year, STPR came up real quick for us. We knew we were going to compete in it, however did not make the final decision until late February. We drove the car to Dalton, NH and picked it up the weekend prior to STPR. We rushed the final steps of car prep prior to going to Wellsboro. This year it’s a little different because we have the car and are currently working on it as we speak to be ready for the event.
What are you goals for this year’s stpr 13? 
Like last year, our number one goal is to finish the event. Last year we were rookies and committed some rookie mistakes. This year we are better prepared and plan to push the car a bit more. Our goal is to achieve another top 3 in our class. I was able to do recce last year with a mechanic as opposed to my co-driver due to his work schedule. This year we have everything planned for the entire week so we will try our best not to make any rookie mistakes. There’s a lot of logistics that come in play when planning a rally event.
 What were some of the rookie mistakes you made last year you won't repeat this year?
Ha ha! Well for starters, last year we were lucky to get a hotel due to another team retiring from the event weeks before the rally, this year we've had the hotel reserved from about a month ago already. Being prepared with extra parts that could fail is a big one. Last year on Stage 2, our intercom had a malfunction which lead us to be screaming inside of the car all weekend. We did not have an extra intercom system so we dealt with that issue the entire event. Another mistake is getting caught in transit between stages, however now we know where the control points are!
You've done a few events with the Fiesta since last year's STPR. Have you gained any experience by doing so?
Absolutely. Every time we enter an event we learn something new. We've done a few Rallycross events in between and I feel ready to attack STPR '13. Also we have ran a few track events and karting events. Check out our schedule for this year on our site.
I know you like to promote racing events on your social media sites; have you gained a lot of interest in rally from the day you started promoting?
I would say so. I started my Facebook fan page with only inviting family members and close friends and since then, we have a gained a huge fan base. I like promoting events I'm competing in because not a lot of people know what rally is. For the people missing out, rally is awesome! As a matter of fact we have a created an event page on Facebook and have gained a few interest from people who never knew what rally is so if you're reading this, share this link with your friends and come out to Wellsboro on May 31. I assure you you'll have a great time!
Have you gained any new sponsorships for this season?
We are very happy with our current sponsors Romero Towing and Pinos Service Center. This year, we are currently working with a new company based in New York City which is currently in the final steps prior to opening. The company is called Runner Limo and Car Service based out of Jamaica, N.Y. We will be riding with their logos at STPR. At the same time we are always open to sponsorship opportunities, if interested feel free to contact us.
Now on to the more technical question, when your co-driver reads out the notes, do you like to be reminded often before a turn or hazard, or can you memorize several instructions at speed?
I ask my co-driver to remind me twice if we still have a few meters until the next big event in which we need to come to a quick slow down. Usually a turn 1 or 2, especially if we are coming fast.
What do you think about your brother being one of your competitors?
 I like the idea. It’s funny because in 2011 he competed in this event and because of prior obligation I was not able to get a car ready; however I attended the event as a crew member. In 2012, my brother could not make this event due to work and I got a chance to break in my newly built Fiesta. This year, we both have time off from work and if everything goes as planned, we will be ready to put on a good show for the fans while I beat my brother!!
What do you think about Ken Block competing in this event?
 I think him participating and running the entire Rally America National Championship is great for our sport. A lot of motorsports fans know him because of his gymkhana videos and some because of his WRC entries. Ken running also brings a lot of attention to the public, and the best part is he is running a Ford Fiesta that is very competitive in the top-tier class.
Final words?
I also want to take this opportunity to stretch out this invitation to all my family, friends, people I’ve met, people that know me, and everyone to come out to STPR and support the only two cars representing the city of brotherly love – PHILADELPHIA. You can find out more about STPR and it its history here.