Sunday, January 31, 2016

Kozo Raceway Park SportsCar Endurance Race Recap

As the Rolex 24h was racing into it's 5th hour, the KRP SportsCar Endurance Race was just getting underway. 11 teams participated up from 9 last year. Most racers opted for a basic strategy, completing their GT stints then moving along to the P2/DP cars. One racer, Chris, did the opposite with his P2 before the GT. Scott attempted a mixed strategy, that ultimately did not pay off. Sam Jr. topped his previous years attempt by 7 laps overall, to finish first with 516 laps. He broke last years lap record of 7.500 sec with a  7.410 sec lap. The 516 lap total was good enough to beat last years total of 510 as well.

John marshals while Bill, Dean, and Chris race
The field was set and the race started just after 7:30 PM. Up first was Joe W., Mike T., and John. The track settled in and lap totals for the 6 minute heat were in the upper 30s. Sam Sr., Tony, and Sam Jr. were the next 3 racers up, and the lap totals started to climb with each completing 40 circuits at least one heat, and Sam Jr. starting the race off with a blistering pace. Scott, Dean, and Chris were to follow, with Scott and Chris the first to bring out the prototypes. Scott switched to his GT for his 3rd stint in the white lane. The Scalextric Ferrari F430 had an equipment malfunction and was forced to the garage, losing about 20 laps behind the wall. Bill W. and Mark "The Oiler" rounded out the first rotation with strong runs bout, only separated by one lap after their 3 heats. First stage leaders were Chris and Sam Jr. with 124 laps and Dean with 122.

The lights went out for the beginning of the 2nd rotation and the start of the night racing. As the darkness fell the lap times followed. Most of the racers had fewer laps per lane at night than during the previous day heats. A notable exception was Mike T. who picked up 2 laps with his Scalextric C6r Corvette. Halfway through the race and Chris broke out to an early lead in his Avant Slot Porsche RS Spyder at 245 laps. Dean, racing an SCX Corvette C6r, held 2nd place at the half with 241 laps, and Sam Jr.'s Scalextric BMW Z4 completed 240 laps. The first nighttime rotation had Scott complete 126 laps, making back 5 laps, Chris with 121, and Sam Jr. making 119 circuits.

The second night rotation brought out the majority of the prototype cars, with the exception of Chris and his SCX Corvette C6r. Sam Jr. lead the way with an outstanding 137 laps in his Racer Dallara DP. Dean's SCX Pro Audi R8 finished second most laps at 128, and Bill W.'s SCX Pro Audi R8, using a smaller 18k rpm motor, took him around 127 laps. Leaders at the 3/4 mark of the race were Sam Jr. 377 laps, Dean 369 laps, and Bill W. with 363 laps. At this point of the race, Sam Jr. was in control and it would be his race to lose. After suffering an equipment malfunction in practice, Joe W. retired after the overnight rotations, only completing 103 laps with his SCX Dume S101 Judd.

The lights cam back on, and the race was in the home stretch. Only 6 times was a GT car on track over the last 11 heats. Mark experienced a mechanical failure in the Red lane to begin his final run. The Scalextric Audi R10 continued on is spirit as a replacement car was substituted. Sam Jr. bested his previous DP total of 137 with 139 laps. Scott and Dean both lapped 129 times for the final rotation. Tony put up a fight for 3rd overall with one more daytime lap than Bill W., but Bill completed 3 more during the overnight. With the race starting at 7:37 PM and ending before 2:00 AM, it took just over 6 hours, including the halfway Apple Pie break. Congratulations to the podium finishers, as well as all of the participants for an awesome race. The full results are below, as well as some additional pictures.

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