WEST COLUMBIA, SC – December 11, 2008 – Local racecar driver and owner of Panic Motorsports, Steve Bertok, finished off his season on 26 Oct with a win in the final Carolina Cup Pro Series (CCPS) race at Virginia International Raceway in Danville, Va. and with it, the CCPS 2008 Championship.
The CCPS season began at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in March with Bertok’s first win in a six year road racing career defined by multiple podium and top 10 finishes.
The CCPS, a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) regional championship series, is a points-based, team series with cash awards for top finishers in each race and a cumulative cash prize for the overall points winner at the end the season. CCPS races are all 45 minutes in length with a mandatory 2 minute pit-stop. Many teams opt to run one driver per race, however, rules allow for a driver swap allowing more drivers to participate and gain valuable seat time.
Steve Bertok, owner of Panic Motorsports
Bertok began racing with the SCCA’s Solo II program in 2000, and in 2001 he won SCR-SCCA’s Solo II Driver of the Year Award and the Street Modified Solo II Championship in the state and in the Southeast Division.
In 2002, Bertok went to driver’s school at Roebling Road Raceway outside of Savannah and moved up to SCCA’s Club Racing program, driving in their Spec Miata series. On any given weekend, Bertok may compete with 30 to 60 other Spec Miata drivers on permanent road courses across the Southeast. Bertok competes locally at Carolina Motorsports Park outside of Kershaw and at Virginia International Raceway, Road Atlanta, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Rockingham, Road Atlanta, and Roebling Road Raceway.
Bertok completed the 2008 CCPS season with 86 points. Young Estus White IV of North Carolina, at only 16 years old, edged out 17 other class drivers in the series, to finish second with 74 points. Steve Fricker, owner of St. Andrews Express Body Shop in Columbia, finished 12th in Spec Miata CCPS points.
Panic Motorsports, co-owned by Bertok, wife Becca, and Jerry Horn specialize in Mazda Miata and RX-7 parts and racecar prep. They supply parts to a host of racing teams across the nation as well as daily commuters via E-Bay and local automotive repair shops. Panic Motorsports also provides minor mechanical repairs but focuses mainly on parts. They manage racecars for a number of racing drivers in Columbia, Hilton Head, and Marion. Panic Motorsports also has a safety official team and provides track support to team drivers as far away as Pennsylvania and southern Florida.
On Nov 1, Bertok and Panic Motorsports traveled back to VIR for their final race of the year, a 13 Hour enduro in which they finished fourth, 30 seconds out of second place, in 2005. This year, however, with a podium-worthy team on tap, their hopes for a win were dashed in the eighth hour with a differential failure.
All-in-all however, Bertok had a wonderful. With a new racecar, a championship win in their pocket, and Panic Motorsports’ parts business going strong, the Bertoks are excited about the upcoming season which begins in March at Carolina Motorsports Park. They expect more trophies and checkered-flags to follow them home and hope to earn some new fans and customers along the way.
“As a business, racing provides Panic [Motorsports] with a wonderful advertising opportunity, but we wouldn’t be out there if we didn’t have fun,” said Bertok. “With Becca there as my crew chief, [our daughter] MariKate ‘helping’ to change tires, and our family and friends, racing makes for a great weekend; and this year, it earned us a big win!”
For more information on Panic Motorsports, log on to: www.panicmotorsports.com or give them a call at 803-261-7629. Panic Motorsports will ship parts nationwide and to Canada. Racetrack delivery is also available and you can pick up items from them at their West Columbia shop. For information on the Carolina Cup Pro Series and the South Carolina Region Sports Car Club of America, go to: www.carolinacupproseries.com and www.scr-scca.com, respectively.