Through The Esses - Ritch Marziale Has A Concrete Plan For His Viper In SPEED
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02/25/08 © Andrew S. Hartwell

Ritch Marziale is a successful businessman with strong family ties and a keen interest in Vipers. Not the slithering kind that most people would rather Dodge, but the four wheeled variety built by Dodge He will pilot the Viper that can be driven at speeds far in excess of any reptilian variant.

After several years of competing in the Viper Days Racing League, and after many years of hard knocks taken atop a motocross bike, Marziale has decided to step up his racing activity a few notches and run a full season in the SPEED World Challenge series.

Running under the name Muzzy Racing, Marziale has assembled a core group of talented support personnel and is busy getting ready for an assault on his prior personal best performance. 2008 marks the first season he has committed himself, and his resources, to running in every SPEED race. And he has every intention of making the season one to be enjoyed for all the right reasons.

Marziale grew up in California, moved to Utah, and then settled in Arizona. He has built a successful business there, starting with virtually nothing in the way of assets. He has what he refers to as a wonderful family - My wife is just awesome! - with whom he enjoys spending a great deal of his time, and he is looking forward to putting his best effort towards what will be his first real full-time commitment to racing his Viper.

Marziale's story is one of determination, success and passion.

Muzzy Racing is a way for me to maintain my sanity. Racing is something I am passionate about. I raced in motocross for years but I finally got tired of healing!

I ran bikes from the time I was 11, while I was living in Southern California. I have always had a passion for motocross, and I still do. I was racing bikes for a long time. As my interests changed I decided to purchase a Corvette.

While his first sportscar was a Corvette - a car many would love to have parked in their driveway - Marziale felt he needed something more.

Honestly, the Vette was a bit of a disappointment. Let's just say it was less than I expected it to be. I always wanted a Viper but I wasn't sure how much I wanted one until I drove the Corvette. Well, I sold the Vette and bought a Viper and I have never looked back.

Looking forward, Marziale decided to see if racing a car in competition held nearly the same attraction for him as did riding motocross. He knew it at least had to be easier on his body.

A buddy of mine invited me out for a track weekend and before I knew it I had a roll cage installed in my Viper, I got a fire suit and a trailer, and I was off to the races. I ran in Viper Club of America events. Tony Estes, soon to be the president of VCA, and Frank Parise - whose nickname is The Mad Italian' - were getting into racing just as Skip Thomas was putting the Viper Racing League on the map. Frank was running in the west series and trying to get it off the ground. I decided to do the east coast series and I started winning right away. I eventually went over to England to see Hugh Chamberlain. I bought one of his Viper GTSRs and had it flown over to Chicago. I picked it up on Friday and I had it on the track at Mid Ohio on Saturday and I raced it on Sunday.

I probably won a dozen events in several different classes. I had some good battles with some really talented drivers and we won the pro finals in Texas in 2000.

Marziale supplemented his racing laps with time spent at several driving schools. And though he told us he bought the Viper and never looked back', he did have one time where he made an exception, but only because the situation was out of his control.

My first driving school was Skip Barber at Laguna Seca. I also did one at Sears Point and one in Pahrump, Nevada. I did a few others too. At one point, I was even asked to help out and be an instructor. I did it one time, and one time only! While I was riding alongsi