Valentin and Savannah Ivanitski share driving duties with their Fingers Crossed Racing team.

The realm of motorsports is vast. It spans many areas of interest, and for enthusiasts it is an entirely different world. When racing is such a big part of your life, it becomes difficult to differentiate between the two worlds: the one of late nights in the garage where setup, horsepower and tires are king, and the real world with day jobs, bills and yard work. For my wife Savannah and me, this is where Fingers Crossed Racing came into our lives.

Valentin and Savannah Ivanitski share driving duties with their Fingers Crossed Racing team.
Valentin and Savannah Ivanitski share driving duties with their Fingers Crossed Racing team.

Savannah and I met while competing at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2011. Despite my persistence, it took a while until we actually started dating. Later, as aspiring drivers who were very much in love, we needed a way to link ourselves professionally, or so we thought. With that, Fingers Crossed Racing, which was initially a way for our relationship to be accepted by the racing community, turned into one of the most fun adventures, with racing, love and life all in one. We learned quickly that our time spent together was the most valuable thing we had, and there should be no reason to separate ourselves in the racing world, which we were both passionate about.

On June 26, 2012, after a last-minute location change due to the Colorado wild fires surrounding our planned wedding venue at Pikes Peak, Savannah and I got married and became a husband-and-wife racing team. By then, we had built up two racecars, a pair of “his and hers” Audis. Most people would think it was a great setup. However, it was difficult for reasons we didn’t expect. Yes, preparing two racecars in our garage at home was definitely a handful, but the bigger problem was that even though we were both racing, we were not racing together.

Rather than racing against each other, the husband-and-wife team joined together to race their BMW M3 in E1 in the Western Endurance Racing Championship series.
Rather than racing against each other, the husband-and-wife team joined together to race their BMW M3 in E1 in the Western Endurance Racing Championship series.

After moving to Arizona for work, we built Savannah’s daily driven BMW M3 for road racing, and started to make new connections in the Arizona racing community. At one of the local NASA events, someone mentioned that they put on an endurance event at the end of every year where the races are three hours or more, require fuel stops, and a driver change. Savannah had raced in a 24 hour LeMons race, but other than that, we had zero experience in endurance racing. As drivers from different backgrounds — Savannah came from road racing, and I was more a fan of dirt and rally — we thought this would be perfect way to craft our efforts into one, while trying something new.

Our first race with the Western Endurance Racing Championship was at Buttonwillow Raceway, and we absolutely loved it. Everyone was eager to help, and it was finally a way for Savannah and me to race together. One car, one team, both with the same goal in mind. We have since then participated in every WERC event, and each time we develop the car a bit more, learn something new, and meet new great people whom we are now happy to call friends as we gear up for the 25 Hours of Thunderhill — and anything else that life has coming our way.

Valentin Ivanitski helps his wife Savannah get strapped in for their first endurance race as a married couple at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in April 2013.
Valentin Ivanitski helps his wife Savannah get strapped in for their first endurance race as a married couple at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in April 2013.
Moments before the race starts, Savannah and Valentin have a “team meeting.”
Moments before the race starts, Savannah and Valentin have a “team meeting.”

We would like to express our gratitude to the WERC staff for taking the time to put together these great events, our sponsors, and most of all, to our friends and families who come to support us.

The couple met at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 2011 and were married June 26, 2012.
The couple met at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 2011 and were married June 26, 2012.
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Images courtesy of Valentin Ivanitski, Brett Becker and Joel Yust