Monday, January 30, 2017

SportsCar Endurance Race Results

First, let me start by thanking all the racers who participated in the 3rd Annual KRP SportsCar Endurance Race. We had a group of local racers, as well as five drivers from out of town. This made for an exciting mix when teams were chosen. With two drivers set on two of the four teams individual qualifying began promptly at 7:45. After qualifying was over the teams shaped up as follows;
Team Drive Fast, Take Chances Team S&S Artesanal Motorsport Solutions Lizards
Owner Scott Kozoaks Sam Barbose, Jr. Bill Giltzow Joe Lauver
Driver Bill Watkins Dean Kirkpatrick Dave Ashcroft Clem O'Jevich
Driver Chris Chubbuck Mike Troy Sam Barbose, Sr. Ian Lauver
Car Audi R8 LMP Racer Sideways Riley DP Racer Sideways Dallara DP Brass Chassis Audi R8 LMP (SCX PRO Body)

With the TQ time Drive Fast, Take Chances gained the first sit out. Team S&S qualified 2nd overall and would start in the RED lane. Artesanal Motorsport Solutions would take the green from BLUE lane, and Lizards would have to run one and then sit out a heat.

 With the Rolex 24 playing on the TV, the race began after a 10 minute practice session for the newly formed teams to test out the car and decide what to use for the race. Drive Fast, Take Chances (Fast) chose a Audi R8 LMP with a stock Flat-6 motor, an unproven car, which was just built days prior to the race. Team S&S (S&S) settled in on their Racer Sideways Riley DP, set up sidewinder with a orange motor. Artesanal Motorsport Solutions (AMS) decided on their Racer Sideways Dallara DP. Lizards, after electrical problems in both cars, went with the their only car with working headlights, a scratch built brass chassis under an SCX PRO Audi R8 LMP with a Flat-6 R.

During the first heat, the teams strategy began to play out. Mike T. would start in the S&S entry, Ian was in the seat for Lizards, and AMS would start with team owner Bill G. The first round of pit stops set the tone for the rest of the race. Mike T ignored the team strategists and brought the car to the pits more than 3 laps early. Lizards, while up on the jacks, would have miscommunication over driver stints and Ian would leave the pits before the fuel was full. He would return on the next lap to top it off. AMS would make their regular stop without incident. Into the second round of pit stops AMS started to show their hand, with driver changes coming every second pit stop.

Heat 2 of 16 would allow Fast to make it onto the track for the first time of the 3 hour endurance race. A mechanical issue (front body screw stuck in the track) would force Fast into the pits. Work was only allowed during green flag conditions, so they would have to wait until the yellow was withdrawn to begin repairs. Losing 6 laps in the pits, team owner Scott would return to the track finishing out the heat. AMS would miss their pit stall once again in heat 4.

Nighttime would fall at the start of heat 5, with the rotation resetting. S&S would have an electrical issue, with only the one required headlight functioning. Mike T would again bring the silver with bright orange highlights Racer Riley to pit road before the team called him in, but this time in the confusion he would jump and pull off pit road before fueling finished. On lap 42, AMS would be called into the pits for electrical issues with their headlights. A quick repair got them back out without going down many laps. Fast's choice of an unproven car would begin to haunt them from this point.

 Heat 10 would find them in the pits for 28 laps with a broken wire on the lighting system, as would also happen in heat 11 with a 10 lap loss. In heat 12 Fast owner Scott would forget to pit on the first lap and run one on empty while coasting back to the pits.

Lizards, who to this point had a fairly unhindered race would have a scare when Ian would take an extra lap before hitting the pits. This would prove to be OK with just fumes bringing him back around. Fast would lose a lap again while forgetting to hit pit road in the penultimate heat, as Lizards would go down 2 laps the same way. The final heat, 16 of 16, would bring some excitement, with Fast believing they may have been able to catch up to AMS for 2nd place. This would all be for not as an incident n the hairpin turn at the top of the hill would leave Fast with major crash damage at this early stage of the final heat. The front body screw had removed itself again, and it was deemed better to finish out the heat than try to repair it. This would cost them approximately 15 laps to AMS.

When the checkered flag dropped, it was clear that one team brought the equipment to take the win. Sam Barbose, Jr. would become the winning team owner for a 2nd straight year across different formats. With all 4 teams eclipsing the 1000 lap mark, and a spread of only 97 laps over the three hour race it would appear everyone brought their A game.

I want to thank all of the drivers, but especially those that made a trip in from out of town. If Bill G., Dave, Joe and Ian, and Chris C did not come it, we would have not had as much fun. Racing finished up at 12:30, but the memories will live on.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Track Preperations for the Endurance Race

Testing out the lights as darkness falls over the racetrack.
As dusk was falling, the crew at KRP used the opportunity to test out the corner lighting system. With only three days until the race, major improvements have been underway! The timing and scoring system received an upgrade, with a new display with more information for the drivers/teams. Also, a pit stop bridge was added for the use of fuel mileage racing during this endurance race. With a new race format this year, anything is possible!

The track opens for practice on Saturday, January 28th at 5:00 PM, with racing to start at 7:30. Preliminary information points to 4 to 5 teams participating this year, putting us at about a 5 hour race length though each team will only race for 3 hours total. Can all teams make it through the event without any mechanical or electrical issues? It's a grueling 3 hour race, because if you relax your opponents won't be.