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  1. 13 points
  2. 12 points
    The TRMotorsports team #318 had our best weekend to date with ChampCar. Many thanks to the event staff for keep things moving smoothly and communicating the delays to keep all informed. 6 of our 7 regular drivers were able to make this event and all did a a great job keeping our E36 4cyl pointed the right direction all weekend. Last year, 2 yellow flag penalties hurt our chances on Saturday so we focused on running a clean race and attempting to not beat ourselves this year. Saturday's wet conditions made our driving order an easy one. Crew Chief and Gingerman veteran Bob K took the first stint and with the help of a good starting position (6th?) took the lead on the first lap. While conditions were wet, Bob managed to lap all but two cars during the first hour and built our lead to over a minute. As the dry line improved the cars with better dry pace came alive the gap slowly closed during the second half of the stint when the RBank Civic passed us on lap 54 to take over the top spot just 3 laps from the end of the stint. Joe W jumped in next for another clean, penalty free stint, bringing the car back to pitlane in 2nd position. TJ - our least experienced and arguably least ugly driver took over for the third stint and drove his best stint ever. The BMW returned to the pits in 3rd and our clean-up hitter, John R jumped in returning to fray in 5th where we stayed finishing second in A-Class behind the winner RBank. The team executed perfect pitstops throughout and managed to change the left side tires on the last stop with plenty of time remaining on the clock. The team was pleased with the day and the only repair needed was a small coolant leak discovered in impound. Day 2 arrived foggy, but we were optimistic as the 7 hour format typically plays to our fuel mileage strengths. We were excited to here the finish time was moved back an hour to hopefully keep our strategy intact for the rest of the day. Our driver Chris H (me) took the first stint as I had experience starting from near the back of the pack last year at Gingerman and generally manage traffic well. After getting surprised a bit by the green flag and botching a shift, off we went moving up 12 positions on lap 1. I found the flags and key reference points alittle challenging to spot, but certainly "raceable" . The car was performing well with some used tires that had previously seen duty on the One Lap of America event, logging over 3000 street miles and several laps on the track. After moving up to 11th and a couple of four offs at turn 5 due to the driver (me) pushing a bit too hard I settled into a rhythm and finished stint in 7th with just a bit of grass hanging off the car from my mowing job. Bob K jumped in to begin the post break stint and finish off our fuel load. The pace car had picked up the leader GWR, just one spot ahead of us in grid. With a light fuel load and a clear track ahead, but chased the GWR car around for a few smoking fast laps (for our 318is anyway) and lowered our personal best time to a 1:47.9. Due to pitstops and a strong pace, we moved into 1st overall just 10 laps after the break and held that spot until pitting for fuel and a driver change around lap 79. Mike J jumped in the car, rejjoing the race in 4th and preceded to reel off a string of very strong laps until the FCY for the oil spill brought him to the pits and within our last driver change window. Currently sitting in 2nd our hopes were high that GWR would need one more splash and go to finish the race. Joe W took over after the pitstop in first place as others pitted as well, but GWR was lurking just a few cars behind. We had plenty of fuel but our 318i's pace was not enough to hold them off. We hoped to push them just hard enough to run them out of fuel, but the late race caution for an engine fire sealed the win for the very deserving GWR rocket. Special THANK YOU to Mark and the MiElan team for allowing us to raid there spares once again. Bailing us out Sunday AM with some metric screws that decide to exit our intake manifold on Saturday. That's the not the first time they've helped us out and probably not the last. We owe you boys another beer or three. 5th and 2nd overall, 2nd and 1st in class .......soo rwarding for our team after losing engines at Road America two years in a row and other assorted mechanical over the last three seasons. We can't wait for the next one and INDY in 2019 !
  3. 12 points
    You live in California, that alone makes you not American enough. Because freaking INDY!
  4. 11 points
    Please nominate and vote for me. I would love to serve the members of the organization again for a new three year term after the 15 months I've been on the Board. Thank you. I’m Jerry Enger, Jer on the forums, and I’ve served on the Board for just over a year and running for election. I believe I can do more on the Board, and would like three full years to accomplish that. I have skill sets that are somewhat unique and I believe compliment the rest of the Board members and add value to ChampCar. Why should you vote for me: -I believe in stable rules and transparency. I try to make sure members are informed about what is happening and why. I also try to answer the questions that come up on the forums if I have information that will help. Transparency is key; it's your organization, I don't believe in secrets or the hold back of information nor the reasons for why decisions are made. We also need stability in the ruleset. I lived the Condron years as a car owner and it was maddening. Back then it was Lemons or Chump, so the organization could do almost anything and get away with it. Because of that behavior, we now have AER, WRL and Lucky Dog. All we can do now is fight hard to present a consistent, reasonable set of rules that are tweaked, not re-written, and only done so once per year with total transparency and plenty of warning on changes. This is the only way we will have a chance to win back the teams we lost from the craziness of those old years and keep our current members happy and wanting to race with us. -I am the Treasurer of the organization, and we are coming out of a time when there were no public financials or results. I was instrumental in forming our first coherent set of financials. In addition, my input, direction and interpretation of results and the effects of possible decisions have helped and will help keep the organization in the black and viable for all of us. I’m happy that we are slightly profitable as an organization, but have pushed the Board to take care with all decisions. If we lost 5% of our membership, we’d be in the red. An economic downturn could put us in the red. A few really bad losing races could do that too. I keep these issues in the forefront of the Board. -I believe in keeping the racing affordable, competitive, and accessible. That means no more “free stuff” that raises the cost of racing for all. That means an annual review of the VPI table, making sure that outliers are trimmed. The flipside is I pushed hard to give the members 90-120 days notice before implementing crippling point increases to selected marquees. No one wants to build a car only to find it’s no longer competitive due to a no-warning rule change. Geographically, we need to keep pushing as much as fiscally possible to add races in the central and west areas to give those racers a chance to experience ChampCar and grow our brand. -I understand the fiduciary role I play on the Board, which always requires removing self-interest for the better of organization. I race my own Miata in the series, but even if a rule would hurt me personally, if it’s best for the organization, then it’s best. Period. Yes, I believe the MR2 is undervalued in points and should be increased. -I’m geographically from Denver, but race everywhere in the country. Because of where I live now (technically the central region), I regularly race out west and in the central region in my Miata, but also have raced up and down the eastern seaboard. Because of this, I’m in a unique position to hear opinions from across the country. I informally poll almost every race I go to, actively seeking issues and feedback, and I bring that information to the Board. Accomplishments: -I’ve served as Treasurer for ChampCar, with my background as a CFO and CPA, and helped get the financials in order and put into a presentable format this year (for the first time ever). I work with the bookkeeper and the tax accountants on issues and financial results. -I enlisted my intellectual rights attorney for help with securing the tradename ChampCar. That work continues. -I developed and maintain a spreadsheet that shows attendance by race for us and our competitors to help us better understand who is succeeding, who is not, trends, and how ChampCar can grow and succeed. -I’ve never missed a meeting, and passionately but (I believe) reasonably present issues and solutions and my input into the important decisions we make as an organization. I do not sit on the sidelines, and in many cases am the person to bring up issues to the Board to help us address them as they arrive. -I keep members informed as much as possible by delivering information when people are asking for it on the forums. -In my past, I’ve served on a number of boards, but I only serve on boards for organizations I’m passionate about. -I’m one of the earliest members on ChampCar, having done many, many races since 2010 on 25+ different tracks across the county. I consider myself very lucky in this regard. I hope I get your vote and welcome feedback and questions. My number is CC000282. Thanks!!!
  5. 11 points
    And you can say you drove a Champcar at Indy.
  6. 11 points
    Me thinking about registering and not telling the wife
  7. 11 points
    Well, here goes Two Brothers racing’s first ever report! New to champ car, new to W2W racing, new to gingerman, a whole new setup on a car we have owned for only 8 months, one man down we went into the weekend with one goal in mind experience. Friday test day went well until we managed to break a brake pad retainer pin, pulled it in grabbed the replacement pin pulled wheel off and oh no...broken spring mount. Went to tractor supply and menards and cobbled together something that may work. Wrenched until 10pm or so and got it fixed for our first ever race in the morning. Saturday: Car ran great through the first stint, Brother in law took the wheel and slowly got comfortable with the car and moving in and out of traffic, staying out of faster cars way the best he could. (We all agreed if someone pulls up on our bumper, its for one reason THEY ARE FASTER! Let them go its a long race!) Time for our first pit stop ever, boy did it look like it at almost 8 minutes long! Second driver goes out, were not even looking at standings just get experience. Again new to W2W racing he too slowly learns the do’s and dont’s, getting comfortable. He comes in for our second stop. Much better but not great 6 minutes this time, and i take the wheel for the first time. Same song and dance, race clean, stay out of the way no stupid stuff. My stint comes and goes without incident, and my brother in-law jumps in for the last 2hr stint(last pit stop 4:40!) I look @ the standings were 11th overall and 2nd in class! No way to catch that MiElan Miata they gapped our butts by 3 laps! Smooth and clean is what we said. 1 hr in he calls in he cant shift tranny locked up! Our first pull! Get to the pits, everything looks good linkage is good it shifts in the pits after 15 minutes, lets check fluid....its low, like really low. Fill it up and see what happens. He heads out and finished the race 4th in class 22nd overall. Saturday night we change the fluid out from recommended ATF to 90wt gear lube and agree to run 1hr stints and check fluid level to see if that helped. Try not to lunch a tranny but still gain experience. Sunday morning comes and so does the fog, we talk and decide to run the first 2 hours and after the quiet hour break bring in a fresh driver straight off and fill fuel and check fluid level. I took the first stint and drove without much incident, except for a minor off while following rooster racing right away in the morning. Turning into 8 behind them laying down a bunch of oil was interesting! We made our driver change at the break, filled fuel and checked tranny took 8 minutes SLOWWWWW but it looks MUCH better keep racing! Brother in-law goes out and we start thinking in the pits, we have an odd hour to fill, the car has been consuming 12gal per 2 hr, we carry over 18gal in our cell, i bet we can make 3 hrs and just do a driver swap! Radio him to short shift and be smooth running 2nd in class 10th overall, his stint goes well until he has an off at 10b calls in and the steering feels sloppy, we get to the pits look it all over looks fine, send him back out 22nd overall and 4th again. Rest of his stint goes without incident. I jump back in for the odd hour, Two red flags, and a caution conveniently right at 2hrs to go, were pitting! Last pit stop goes well, and our last driver goes in. Look at the standings and were 2nd in class and right around 10th overall. Last driver is smooth and consistent, running 2nd in class when MiElan has brake problems that put them out. Now first in class 40 minutes left with a harsh vibration coming from the drivetrain, and a wheel bearing that was suspect. Smooth and easy cross our fingers! Car holds toghther long enough to finish! Our first weekend out we ended with a 4th in class and 22nd overall and a 1st in class and 7th overall. We are very happy and very lucky to finish where we did. We were also lucky to have For the sake of Racing helping us with out fire bottle duty’s while we were a man down, and also need to thank poop box racing for lending us some tools. Ahhh hell i need to thank everyone we had a fantastic time and met some great people and learned a lot along the way. Weve gotta lot of wrenching to do to get ready for Road America in October but well be better prepaired for that race, and can not wait to get back to Gingerman what a fun track! Thank you everyone! (Hope we didn’t piss too many people off being rookies!)
  8. 9 points
    Bit delayed, but I finally got around to making a comprehensive picture recap of the Team Hugh Jass weekend, we all had a great time. Team Hugh Jass at ChampCar 24hrs of VIR - Post Race Report
  9. 9 points
  10. 8 points
    Jacky Ickx is a staple of Champcar in the southeast and a top tier team. Somebody will be fortunate for taking advantage of this opportunity! S.
  11. 8 points
    here is a quick kinda unofficial run down. There is a still some of the logistics to be worked out. There will be a lot of rules for this event. Thursday - ChampCar officials move-in and setup. Friday - Pre-move-in grid outside the track. Groups escorted into the track as the road will be blocked by police for you to cross without getting run over. You set up. Track walk. Saturday - race. Sunday - race. Monday - OMG! You know where I raced this past weekend? I spent the whole weekend replacing wheel bearings on my race car at Indy!!!!
  12. 7 points
  13. 7 points
    Got the new wheels and tires for the '95 Civic this week so today was fitting day. Previous wheels and tires were 205/50/15 Dunlop Z3s on 15x7 wheels, new combo is 225/45/15 Hankook R-S4s on 15x9s. Obviously a wider tire/wheel and needing more room under the fender. I figure other people might be thinking about this, hopefully this helps. The fenders had previously been moderately modified to fit the 205s, basically just the inner lip folded and the fender pulled out a bit. For those who are going to do this, don't cut slits in the inner lip, just gradually massage it up into place with a hammer and dolly, stronger and no sharp edges (more later). The stock fenders have a flat section just above the tire: I started by pulling and hammering the edge outward to see how much tire there would be left to cover: Lots left to cover. You can see the ragged edge of the fender lip (courtesy of one of my teammates) and also the ridge left from the flat section. After a bit of thinking, I figured the easiest way would be to move the whole fender out by cutting it at the crease beside the hood and adding a strip of metal: After positioning the fender to cover the tire, I slid a piece of paper under the edge of the hood and marked it: Then transferred that to the sheet metal, cut it out, smoothed the edge and welded it in: I lined up the edges carefully and tacked them, then stitch-welded to complete the weld. Fitting is very important for a decent final finish, the better the fit the better the result. I stitch continuously, starting at one end and going all the way to the other end. Each spot/tack weld is allowed to cool for about 1 second (red-orange) before the next one, overlapping and blending. Patience helps! As does the right heat setting; I've seen some pretty ugly snot-gob welding by people trying not to warp the metal and using a very low setting. Barely melts the metal but ends up adding more heat because they have to hold the trigger so long! The trick is to have a high enough setting to produce a strong tack and use that to stitch the weld. On my Miller 175, (4 settings) I use one click more than I would if I were to do a continuous weld. Very brief tack means high enough temp to produce a strong tack but low heat so no warpage. A bit of smoothing with a flapper wheel and some hammer and dolly work: Then I added a length of 1/4" steel rod to the outer lip, again fitting carefully before welding. Grinding then sanding with an orbital sander got the metal ready for some high build primer then see how it all looks: Covers nicely now, is quite strong and won't cut the tire if the edge gets folded in. Not show quality but good enough!
  14. 7 points
    Last time at Indy full time was 1995. These are the two cars we had entered. I've got enough stories to fill the next ten months!
  15. 7 points
    And how is the guy in the Miata with the serious overheating/fuel consumption issues? Djsteviec - we have some video, but poor quality, the camera gets blocked by the roll cage and the exciting part of the video doesn't show, you're in front, then you're off in the grass. Good race, always fun to be able to do 12 hours with no full course cautions, great weather. We fulfilled our plan of having the whole family in the car on the same day, 66 year age difference between my son Garrett and my Dad. Had my wife in the car for a stint too, it had been 10 years or so since she'd had a turn. We'd done 3 generations before, but not the whole family. Pleased to say everyone got in the car, we finished, can cross that off the bucket list.
  16. 7 points
    Growing up as a fan of auto racing, we all read the stories, or watched them happen on tv, at such places as Indy. The Indy 500 was at one time the pinnacle event in US auto racing, with many legendary figures leaving their mark there. The IRL/CART split killed a lot of folks interest - but the history is still there. Like @mostmint said, if Indy has no big appeal for you - there's no amount of koolaid, nor stories that can be told to someone that will spark the same feelings that many of us have about the place. As mostmint (Andy) eluded to, I recall sitting on pit lane at MIS working pit out, and thinking about all the big races I saw there or read about as a kid - both Indycar and Nascar. I still tell folks to this day, that never in my life did I dream that I would get to race there, or be the guy who was checking drivers safety items and waving them out onto that track when working races at MIS. I was there when Nigel Mansell was wowing the crowds in practice running 233mph laps, and went to the track for qualifying and witnessed it as he set a closed course qualifying speed record, only to see Mario quietly surpass that by going 234!! Magic times!!! As @Racer28173 said - if a 10 is best, Indy is a 20!! I could go on telling many stories that I watched unfold there - Foyt winning his 4th (with his own Foyt motor(s), Rick Mears and Al Unser doing the same, etc... I remember sitting in the turn 3 stands at my first nascar race at Indy as the cars came toward us at speed on the first lap - it looked like the was NO way they would stay on track with such low banking! The adrenaline rush was unreal - feelings you can't get playing video games... More magic times!! If we aren't able to race there, you can be damn sure I'll be there working for the series for this Champcar race!
  17. 7 points
    Wife finding out I registered already
  18. 7 points
  19. 7 points
    Car 128 - Hakuna Miata race report: We did fairly well for our first Champcar race. Our team has been racing Lemons for 3 years, decided to try something marginally less silly. We were the lucky dogs who got spot #1 for the start on Saturday. Car was running well in the damp. We are running Azenis, and they had two previous race weekends on them, both soaking wet. We figured we had enough rubber to run all day, then we'd switch to our previously lightly-used BFGs. As the track dried, our times came down, when I handed the car over to the wife at 10:45am, our best time was 1:59. She got that down to a 1:57. As it got warmer, she handed the car over to our "hot shoe who doesn't know any better," Brad. He turns a 1:56, and again, we're amazed that he's not using 4th gear ANYWHERE except the back straight from turn 10 - turn 11. I'm pretty sure a stock Miata doesn't make usable power above 7,500 rpm (eek), but he revs it like crazy. He also gets the least time on a full tank of fuel. Odd, that. We put our last driver in, Tom, and he holds position, running 1:57's until the finish. We finish day 1 in 15th spot. Not bad for a mostly stock Miata with some light suspension work. Aside from being told our fire extinguisher wasn't large enough (quick trip to Menards...) we had a clean day. Day 2: We switch to our back-up BFGs, as the new pavement in turns 1, 2, 3, and 5 ATE our tires (great grip, though). It turns out our backup BFGs were rock hard. Heat cycling them, and then letting them sit for a year is bad. Who knew? My best time was a 2:02. I radioed back that the tires were, ahem, sub-optimal, I was being passed by everyone. Brought the car in for the first fuel stop in 33rd place after starting last (damn lucky dog on day 1). Veronica went out. She was rather vocal about the sucktasticness of the BFGs. She was getting wheel spin on acceleration. IN A STOCK MIATA. She radioed in to find the least-bald Azenis we had left, and put them on the rear of the car. Her best time was a 2:04, but as her stint went on, she dropped to a 2:10. We did the tire swap, and bolted Brad in the car. We've got rock-hard BFGs Rivals on the front, nearly bald Azenis on the rear of the car. On his second lap, Brad turns a 1:57. Then a 1:56. Then a 1:55.2. Wow. New recipe for how to get the most out of used-up tires. After the red flags, we put Tom in as our last driver. He had some hard contact with that green, cut-down, Gen 2 RX-7 thing (not sure of team name), that put a tire donut mark on our car hard enough to dent the sills. He claims he left room. Oh well, another dent, add it to the list. Overall, the odd-ball tire setup (and a ton of attrition) got us back to 17th. We'll be back for Road America, with 8 new tires. - Phil
  20. 7 points
    Cam swap is usually not in the points allowance. If you could make 191 whp, that would be roughly 220 crank HP. Stock is 189 crank HP. I would think the stock injectors could handle a ~15% duty cycle increase, but it might be pushing it a bit. Head work is free (other than the real life money you will pay for it), so mill and grind away. I don't think there's as much to gain in that as there is in the land of pushrods, so there's a chance that you'll end up with a ported/polished boat anchor or four. Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about, but this is the internet and this is where people like me have a voice.
  21. 7 points
    The return of Bavarian Mustache Werks this past weekend at Gingerman was with mixed emotions. It has been a while since I have run the team with a BMW (last year the team ran under 'Dirty Side Down Racing' in TBR's old car, until its untimely demise at Road America), and I was excited to see what we could do with an improved build and a solid team of drivers. The first race for the ground-up new build worked flawlessly on Saturday. "Ana" did just about everything I expected; with the improvements I made over the old car, she was about a second faster, a pleasure to easily drive at the limit, solid and quick (no where near the fastest, but solid top 10 for pace potential). The only hiccups of the day was a slightly slow last pit stop (only working with 3 people for that one) and being the 1st team to dive into the pits to try to figure out why transponder wasn't working during those initial yellow-flag laps. Upon hearing it was half the field with issues, I headed back out on track, albeit now at the tail end of the field. Start grid lottery was pretty kind to us for Saturday, just 9 spots back from the chosen one, so it hurt a bit to drop back on the 'good' day for starting position. All I have to say about that first hour or so, especially first few laps, was HOLY $*&#$^*@^#$*(&&# that was slick! I think I counted 5 cars spun off on the first 2 pace laps, I myself had a nice full-lock counter steer moment in turn 5. I feel that I did not get the tire pressures right for that weather, even running the rain line I was struggling to find the grip. It wasn't until about an hour to 1:15 in that the normal race line was fully usable. Once we got going, we had a clean race, with all of my drivers running clean laps with solid times. I'm the only one who did anything visually notable to the car, taking out brake marker 1 in turn 10 with the dead center of the front bumper after nipping the apex curb coming through the transition and having a mini-tank slapper (sorry to anyone who needed that marker....). I snagged one of the locals from Spartan Racing to show us how it was done, who set our fastest lap of the day. I think our spread of fast lap times was 1.5 seconds, and that was with having Tracy run fuel saving laps. Found that we could only use about ~15 gallons out of the tank, which gave us a struggle to hit even hour:50 stint length going all-out in the dry (the delayed start/wet was key for the day as I was able to go full 2 hours on fuel in the wet, Jon from Spartan managed hour:45 going all-out which was disappointing for stint length), forcing us to go into fuel save mode for the last 2 drivers (My brother Nick and team-mate Tracy). We could pull 16+ gallons out of the old TBR car with the same pump setup, so I have a little bit of work to correct that. We finished Saturday's race in 6th, about 36 seconds back form TRMotorsports guys (or about the time lost from dropping ourselves to back of the field at the start - son of a....). While I most certainly would have preferred to be on podium (or at least in impound), sll in all, I am very please with the 1st showing for a new build! My favorite part was I really didn't have much to do with the car, just bleed brakes, do a quick nut/bolt check, oil/water level check. All was good. Sunday morning I think we went through 42 strategy changes as we all waited for the fog to lift. We finally made a decision for the pre-break stint and let my brother loose. Starting near the back due to lottery luck for the day, he set out to see how far up the field we could get prior to the red-flag. Stint was going pretty well.... unitl he got a bit ambitious and "Maldonado'd" Tyler in the Crank Yankers car in turn 3... The pack they both were catching was dicing amongst themselves and not at nearly the pace as our car. This caught Nick out a bit and he went for an apparent gap from way too far back with the extra speed he had... Contact ensued, he called in right away that he tagged Tyler and knew it was all him. I think I'll post up the vid as a learning tool for others. There was a lot going on, and I can see how enticing the gap looked from the driver's persepctive. Lesson in eye's up driving for sure. I chattad a bit with Tyler as they were correcting the vacuum leak that the impact crated, Nick served his 5 min Black Flag penalty and then we went to work to correct the 1/2+ toe out and sent him back out just before the pits closed. That self-inflicted mistake dropped us back to 33rd leading up to the break. After the break, we figured the only way we could get back in the to 10 was to push like Salt 'n Peppa, run Tracy for full 2 hours with a fuel stop in the middle as late as possible, and give Jon and myself 3 hours to maximize lap times without worrying about fuel. Things were going rather well, as Tracy was picking off cars and making up the laps we lost ourselves. Tracy was up to 16th when the pit window opened up at 1:50 pm. Unfortunatley, with 15th place getting close and the 2 hour driver limit coming up, the unknown mileage, ex-autocross car engine I had in the car determined that 11 hours of racing was plenty and decided to move a whole bunch of water from the radiator to out the tail-pipe, and threw some of that water back up the intake for good measure. No warning, no over-rev, temp gauge never moved. Momentary engine flattness, then a whole bunch of smoke. Weekend done. Sadness wiht being one of the many teams that packed up early. So big positive on Saturday with a solid finish. Potential for improvement with possible podium on Sunday that ended with a mechnical on one of the few un-touched parts of the car. Work is underway to get Ana running again with a few small improvements. Looking forward to what we can do out at PittRace!
  22. 6 points
  23. 6 points
    "I raced a Champcar at Indy" I really want to be able to tell people that for the rest of my life. shorter/flatter tow than VIR even, and I've done that one. If it's under $2K I'll try to con a few other guys into it... if not I may just haul out, run a stint, wait 2 hours, repeat x5
  24. 6 points
    Bigger injectors = more fuel. More fuel = more rich. Being rich is basically the same thing as winning. Winning means you have more power. So by the transitive properties of stuff, bigger injectors means more power.
  25. 6 points
    Race Report.... Caution: This involves some HOT action and some self flaggelation.... Friday: We start practice on Friday and the car is runnign well. The balance is a little off and requires us to make some changes to the front and rear of the car to get the rear to follwo the front a bit better. Couple of offs in practice that required us to straighten the airdam supports a few times. No big deal. Consumed much of Tyler and GWR's beer..... Saturday: We started well and I moved up through the field in the rain and then drying track conditions. Car was a bit of a handful, but not bad. As the track dried out, it became a pushy SOB! At the first pit stop we made some front air pressure adjustments and front alignment changes (during the 5 min stop). Erik Hardy got in the car and turned some good laps for us. He got down to 1:47.xx. Faster than we ran last year. He said that the car was still pushy, so we made some coil spring adjustments during the pit stop. I get in the car for the 3 rd stint while we were running 2nd. The car was WAY better than earlier in the day. I was able to drop my previous fastest laptime at this track by over 1 second. However, I pushed too hard. I was fuel starving around the entire track 1:40 into the stint. I HAD to pit or come in on the wrecker.... I pitted with 2:09 left in the race. That meant we had a decision to make... Either push like hell, and hopefully run fast laps and use all the fuel, or conserve and try to get by with just a driver change in the last 5 minutes.... We pushed like hell. It didnt work. When Erik came in to the pits with 40 minutes left to go, we fueled the car with about 9 gallons of gas and I went back out. I drove my butt off.... to a 4th place finish. In other words, because Erik and I didnt talk about conservation and how we was managing fuel, I assumed I could run flat out... I stepped on my own weiner.... Sunday: We had high hopes for Sunday! We worked on the car for several hours on Saturday night after the race. Starting around mid pack, I worked my way up through the field. We initially decided to run to the last lap before the pits closed and refuel at that point. With 20 minutes left til the end of the green flag run my team radios me and tells me I need to extend the stint until the green session is over.... Great, I wasn't conserving fuel. Now, I need to conserve at least 5 mintues of fuel with only 20 minutes to go..... Then, they call me the next lap and say that I need to go MUCH faster because GWR was catching us. If I could just stay in front of them, we would be on the lead lap and be pretty close behind them, versus a lap down... So, yea... I get to conserve fuel and drive my butt offf...... I cracked off 3 or 4 fastest ever laps for me in a row. Wheew. Made it. At that point, we were looking pretty good! Only us and GWR were on the lead lap. Ludicris speed was 1 lap down AND had a penalty to serve. Looking good for the podium! Erik goes out for the stint after the quiet hour. He doesnt need to conserve. YAY! he pushes hard and is doing well. We were still sitting P2. Then, he radios in that he had an off and has to come into the pits. There is grass all through the airdam. The engine is HOT! The car stalls at Pit IN. Won't restart! Crap! We (with the help of several other people along pit lane push the car to teh pit stall. We check to see if the engine will still turn over with a wrench. It does! We try the starter again... Nothing! Poop. We clean the grill and pushstart the car. Off Erik Goes. We are still in the top 5 and doing okay. 2nd place is still within reach! Maybe 1st if GWR has any issues. Erik comes in on a scheduled stop. He has done great work and we are back in this. We have a fantstic pit stop and I go out with the car. At this point, we are scored in 4th one lap back from 2nd and 3rd, but we have stopped and 2nd and 3rd have not. About 45 minutes into my stint, I set a really HOT lap. The car caught on fire.... I was going into turn 10B trying to hang with GWR and I went in a bit too fast and the car slid a bit. I matted the throttle and spun the rear tires pretty hard. I saw smoke in the rearview and thought "Wow, this thing is making a lot of torque to spin the tires like that!". I am driving down the back straight when fooof! Fire on the passenger side of the firewall. Not good. I don't think we will be able to make the podium now.... Well, I could drive the car to the pitlane... its a small fire... But, there is a LOT of fuel on pit lane. I guess I'll go to the corner worked at 11. I had my belts off and radio disconnected quickly. Before I even had the window net down, the corner worker had the fire mostly out. In the video, you can see my hand on the fire pull in case I needed it. I didnt pull it. I didn't have to, because that corner worker was sooo quick! After the car was towed in, we poked it and prodded and determined that the only thing near that part of the car that could have made flames like that was the catch can. I can't remember the last time I emptied it. Like maybe over a year ago.... The fire was probably burning for a while under the hood. The flames came in through the firewall after the grommets all melted. After poking it, we got a fire extinguisher handy and tried to start the car. It started right away! I drove it to the hose and washed the fire extinguisher goo off of every surface I could (VERY corrosive!). After that, we slowly loaded up and left after the awards ceremony. There was a gift certificate for LifeLine fire suppression system... I snagged that up. Even though I didnt use my bottle, it is due for recertification (or it was like last year, or maybe the year before....). Also, the fire suppression lines that were run near were the fire were MELTED. not a great thing. Time for a bit nicer of a system for us. That was probably our 1 and only warning with Fire. Great Weekend! Great Friends! Great Racing! Next time I hope we can step on our weiners less and be a bit better with communication. Thanks to GWR and CYR for helping us with some of our issues over the weekend. Thanks to all the Champcar Staff! Thanks to the Gingerman staff! Especially big THANK YOU! to the corner # 11 station worker!
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