The team arrived in Spokane on Friday and we set up our pit area and got the car through tech inspection. We had 2 drivers that had never been on this track before and one of them had never even driven the car. We took a walk around the track to re famliarize with it and let our 2 Spokane rookies check it out at a slower pace than what they would experince it over the next 2 days.
After a long day traveling and setting up for the carnage yet to come, we had a good meal and turned in early for what would be the most sleep we could get for the next 48 hours. ...read more >
The race started at noon on Saturday. The car was prepped and the first driver out is Scott Shobert who is a veteran racer but not farmiliar with the car or the track. Scott took it easy for a while as he learned the sweet spots of SCR and was soon testing the limits of our 89 SHO.
We started the race with a 10 lap penalty due to winning a previous race in April. This is Chumpcar's way of keeping it fair for the other teams. Our position at the start of the race was in the upper 30's out of over 50 entries.
Our 2nd SCR rookie Duane Barker was our 2nd driver out after a 6.5 minute pit stop to re-fuel, check fluids & tires and get him belted in. Duane had a geat run and quickly learned the track. We started climbing positions and it looked as if we were in for a great race.
Kurt Gutzka was our 3rd driver in after a 5 minute pit stop. Kurt is one of our last remaining active original team members. He knows the car and the track very well. By the end of his run we were in the mid 20's for position.
I climbed in the car for the next stint which would only be an hour due to a safety break at 7PM to change over to the night course and allow teams to install their lighting systems and go over their cars again. We put on a new set of pads & rotors and swapped out the front tires for a pair of new skins and I hit the track again at the 8PM green flag. By the end of my run we were in the 13th position.
The course remained in “short” form from this point until the end of the race which was not a popular subject with most of the teams.
Bob Herguth was our 5th driver out and quickly started putting down some very fast laps. The track was cooling and Bob is one of our best people behind the wheel. Toward the end of his run there was a minor incident and the RF tire blew out. Bob brought the car in on the rim and we went to work on it. Our position and this point was about 10th.
Another new tire and a quick check of everything else and Scott was out for his 2nd run. This time Scott really pushed the car and put down some seriously fast lap times. He called in and said the car was making a strange noise and had a vibration but it wasn't terrible. Scott's session went without futher incident and we were in 8th place when his time was up.
Another quick pit stop and re-fuel and Duane took the wheel for his 2nd run, He emidiatly confirmed the vibration and noises that Scott had earlier reported. The diagnosis in the pit was a wheel bearing on the RT front. We kept him on track while we prepared to swap out the RF spindle with a used bearing we brought with us. The car was still running well and we decided to let Duane run his full 2 hour session. No discernable position change at this point in the race.
Duane brought the car in and we went to work on changing the spindle which took about 30 minutes.
Kurt was not feeling well so I climbed in the car for another shift and headed out. The 30 minute pit stop put us back to 15th. The car was great and I got us back to 12th place by the time the sun started comming up.
Unfortunately I had to cut my time short after only 1.5 hours because I was not feeling well. I thought I was getting dehydrated but we later learned there were other teams with the same issue and deducted that it was carbon monoxide poisoning from the fumes on track.
Bob was next in the car and picked up right where I left off. Towards the end of his run the LF wheel bearing failed and the car came in with the bearing on fire and a cracked brake rotor. Another 30 minute delay to swap out the other spindle which was the last of our spare parts. The brakes were also gone so we put on an old set of pads and one rotor used in a previous race.
Scott hit the track after the spindle & brake change with our position somewhere around 12th. By this time the sun was up and the feild of cars left on track was less than 1/2 the number that started the race 20 hours earlier.
Scott started feeling another bearing vibration about 3/4 into his run and then the brake pedal went to the floor. He was able to get the brakes back and slowed it down for another few laps until the vibration became too much to handle. We made the call to bring him in to see what had happened and soon found another bearing failure on the left front. There was only 2.5 hours left in the race and we were out of spare parts without enough time to go get any more. We were officially done.
We topped off the fuel tank, checked the fluids and sat back to watch the remaining cars battle it out on track. With 10 minutes left before the checker, I climbed in and limped the car back out for a few last laps at the end. Running at 1/3 pace, I gave plenty of room to everyone else on track and waved to the crowd and all the corner workers. We finished on the race track and not in the pit.
Overall we ended up 14th out of 50 or so teams. Our car is beaten, bruised and abused but still in one peice.
We all had a blast and can't wait to do another 24 hour race again next year. We will likely run the 6 hour “Rat Race” on September 5th at ORP in Grass Valley Oregon. If we can get the car back to racing condition by then. We are also already entered in the Chumpcar double enduro in Portland over Halloween weekend.
Thank you to everyone for your time and support! GO-SHO!