We hate to say Tony Colicchio makes this drive look easy, because anyone who has raced in the rain can tell you it’s anything but. However, Colicchio diced through traffic at the start of the German Touring Series race so deftly that, well, he made it look easy. To borrow a phrase, here’s a video clinic on the art of racing in the rain.
Rain-racing school was in session for the start of the GTS race, and NorCal’s Tony Colicchio was the headmaster. Starting from pole in his class and 11th overall, Colicchio took off at the start, worming through the pack going into Turn 1. Even as second-place GTS3 driver Stefan Sajic passed Colicchio on the long run down the front straight, amid the spray from the faster-class cars, Colicchio dived into the middle of Turn 1, swung to the outside and into sixth overall and first in GTS3. By the time he arrived at Turn 5 on lap one, he had the lead in his E36 M3.
“It was awesome,” Colicchio said. “We switched back and forth between tires about a hundred different times before we hit pregrid. We finally made the decision on pregrid and switched to dries. We tested them on the out lap, got them up to temperature, they felt pretty good , so we took the green and attacked from there.”
Colicchio held the overall lead for four or five laps, until a dry line formed and faster GTS4 and GTS5 cars got around him. By that point, however, he was comfortably ahead of Sajic.
“The race was really, really wet in the beginning,” Sajic said. “We jumped into the lead at the start, but Tony Colicchio out of nowhere found grip on the outside and he went flying by. We tried to keep up with him, but his car was very well set up, but we’re happy to take second place back to Chicago.”
Colicchio ended up winning GTS3, and coming in fourth overall, bested only by GTS4 and GTS5 cars.
“We know this car really well, we know the suspension and we knew what we needed to do get grip in cold and wet conditions,” Colicchio said afterward. “We did that. I also really enjoy the cold wet conditions, so we put both of those together, got ourselves in the lead and checked out and let the people behind us fight with each other.”