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3 drivers & 0 crew for an 8hr race???


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Our team is scheduled for the Mid-Ohio 8hr race as our Chumpcar debut.  Our 4th driver has just bailed on us.  We are obviously just beginning to learn the intricacies of chumpcar and want to know: is it ludicrous to think that we can show up, set up, race and crew an 8hr race with just three guys?  We are not looking to be competitive, just want to get out and have fun without completely exhausting ourselves and depriving ourselves of the typical 'track day fun.'  Are we crazy to think that such an endevour should even be attempted?  We're just trying to decide if it's worth trying with our current lineup or should we try to scramble to find another capable acquaintance.

 

If deemed possible, any tips on survival?  

 

Thanks for any constructive comments or well directed, good natured jeering at our suicidal suggestion.

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If you aren't worried about nailing 5 minute pit stops you'll be fine.

 

I think for an 8 hr 3 drivers is better anyways, more seat time!

 

Edit: and you can probably find someone in the pits to help hold the extinguisher on pit stops...

Edited by pintodave
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Perfectly reasonable setup! Befriend your pit neighbors with a 6 pack the night before and one of them will hold the fire extinguisher for you during pit stops (that's when you really need 4 people). Driving 2 stints in a day is quite tiring (for me).. but if you aren't trying to win it you can run a slightly slower pace... it's amazing how much easier and less strenuous it is when you're running 5 seconds off pace vs. flat out.

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5 minutes ago, Philip944 said:

Our team is scheduled for the Mid-Ohio 8hr race as our Chumpcar debut.  Our 4th driver has just bailed on us.  We are obviously just beginning to learn the intricacies of chumpcar and want to know: is it ludicrous to think that we can show up, set up, race and crew an 8hr race with just three guys?  We are not looking to be competitive, just want to get out and have fun without completely exhausting ourselves and depriving ourselves of the typical 'track day fun.'  Are we crazy to think that such an endevour should even be attempted?  We're just trying to decide if it's worth trying with our current lineup or should we try to scramble to find another capable acquaintance.

 

If deemed possible, any tips on survival?  

 

Thanks for any constructive comments or well directed, good natured jeering at our suicidal suggestion.

You should be perfectly fine. The team that I was on at one time we did a 24 Hour race with 4 drivers and 0 crew while still getting 5 minute stops done.

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We ran our first race with just 3 drivers, and actually ended up with a pretty good result. It can be done. Plus, you most likely will be able to talk to someone pitting near you to be the fire bottle person or help with the driver change. Most teams are very friendly and willing to help out. The only thing that would prevent it is if they are busy with their own pit stop at the time. 3-4 hours is plenty of time between stints for your drivers to get back in and do another stint. 

I'm working pit lane for the race. What team and car number are you? You're not crazy to attempt the race with 3 guys, although I've found that spectating or working races will prepare you better for what to expect. Good luck with your first race. 

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yep...make friends for sure but it can be done...on more than 1 occasion we have done 7/8 hr races with just the 2 of us drivers and no crew...5 minute stops are still getting done (waiting for a few seconds at pit-out most times) unless we need a tire swapped and then it is a few extra seconds...we never have more than the 2 of us with 1 crew if we can talk someone into it...have a race on Apr. 29/30 and there will only be the 2 of us....won't be an issue....it is a feather in the cap when you can pull this type of thing off with success and the beverages are that much tastier at the end.

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23 minutes ago, enginerd said:

 it's amazing how much easier and less strenuous it is when you're running 5 seconds off pace vs. flat out.

 

This. It is amazing once you settle into a race pace and you feel "slow" but are really only consistently 2-4 seconds off of your best times. Way easier to maintain and usually easier on equipment. Then if you need to crank it up the last hour or two, you know you can. 

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You can do pit stops on your own in a pinch if your neighbors are busy in the cold pits.

 

Driver getting out of the car pulls in, unbuckles, gets out and gets on the fire extinguisher.  This takes just a few seconds and is done while the fueler is setting up the drip pan.

When the exiting driver is on the fire extinguisher then the gas cap comes off and fueling commences.

During fueling the driver getting in the car gets in and starts buckling.

When fueling is finished the cap goes on and the fire extinguisher man goes to help the driver getting in the car, fueler cleans the window, looks at the tire/brakes, etc.

 

It can be done in less than 5 minutes with a practiced team.  We did a 12 hour race with 3 drivers and no crew.

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3 of us on our team.  We look for a fourth for 24hr races but are happy doing shorter races with 3 people.  Its not hard to make the minimum pit stop with just fuel and driver change.  We have also rotated tires and came very close to the 5 min min.

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42 minutes ago, curtwill said:

yep...make friends for sure but it can be done...on more than 1 occasion we have done 7/8 hr races with just the 2 of us drivers and no crew...5 minute stops are still getting done (waiting for a few seconds at pit-out most times) unless we need a tire swapped and then it is a few extra seconds...we never have more than the 2 of us with 1 crew if we can talk someone into it...have a race on Apr. 29/30 and there will only be the 2 of us....won't be an issue....it is a feather in the cap when you can pull this type of thing off with success and the beverages are that much tastier at the end.

I've watched these guys do this. They look like they are moving slow even.  I'd just say practice and make sure everyone knows who is doing what.  And don't try to go fast.  That just leads to mistakes and costs you even more time.

3 drivers and no crew is fine.  In addition to what everyone has said above, you may want to have a table to set your fuel jugs on next to the wall.  Most race organizers won't let you stage jugs on the wall and it can be hard on your back having to lean over and pick them up from the ground.  

And I can guarantee you a neighbor will be willing to hold the fire bottle and hand jugs over if you just ask.

The only person who this will be a little hard on is the guy who takes 2 sessions.

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Should be no problem. Practice your pitstops. Make sure everyone knows the plan. Rarely have we ever had more than 3 team members. My son and I did December Sebring by ourselves and finnished 11th. Hillbilly Racing's proudest moment. Have fun, you're going to love it, Hillbilly 

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My advice

 

* don't stress if a pit goes long due to mix ups or changing a tire or whatever.  Sounds like you have the right attitude so maybe not an issue. 

* You might also want an extra set of gloves for the refueler so none of the drivers have to get in the car with gloves that got gas on them at any point during the day.

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1 hour ago, Ron_e said:

You can do pit stops on your own in a pinch if your neighbors are busy in the cold pits.

 

Driver getting out of the car pulls in, unbuckles, gets out and gets on the fire extinguisher.  This takes just a few seconds and is done while the fueler is setting up the drip pan.

When the exiting driver is on the fire extinguisher then the gas cap comes off and fueling commences.

During fueling the driver getting in the car gets in and starts buckling.

When fueling is finished the cap goes on and the fire extinguisher man goes to help the driver getting in the car, fueler cleans the window, looks at the tire/brakes, etc.

 

It can be done in less than 5 minutes with a practiced team.  We did a 12 hour race with 3 drivers and no crew.

This is exactly how we did it with 3 guys.

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3 hours ago, mcoppola said:

We ran our first race with just 3 drivers, and actually ended up with a pretty good result. It can be done. Plus, you most likely will be able to talk to someone pitting near you to be the fire bottle person or help with the driver change. Most teams are very friendly and willing to help out. The only thing that would prevent it is if they are busy with their own pit stop at the time. 3-4 hours is plenty of time between stints for your drivers to get back in and do another stint. 

I'm working pit lane for the race. What team and car number are you? You're not crazy to attempt the race with 3 guys, although I've found that spectating or working races will prepare you better for what to expect. Good luck with your first race. 

Huge thanks for all of the replies.  Glad to see that it is more than possible and possibly advantageous.  We'll be in a black miata 'Car Ramrod' in pit stall 27,  Garage 18.  We'll buy some extra frosty beverages for anyone who wants to stop by and say hi Sunday night during or after the unload.   We can't wait to see what Chump is all about!  We've talked about doing this for years and finally pulled the trigger this offseason.  I think our wives just want this race weekend to hurry up and arrive so we'll stop talking about it and walking around in a race-minded haze.  Thanks again for the words of encouragement, we're looking forward to meeting everyone.

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3 minutes ago, Philip944 said:

Huge thanks for all of the replies.  Glad to see that it is more than possible and possibly advantageous.  We'll be in a black miata 'Car Ramrod' in pit stall 27,  Garage 18.  We'll buy some extra frosty beverages for anyone who wants to stop by and say hi Sunday night during or after the unload.   We can't wait to see what Chump is all about!  We've talked about doing this for years and finally pulled the trigger this offseason.  I think our wives just want this race weekend to hurry up and arrive so we'll stop talking about it and walking around in a race-minded haze.  Thanks again for the words of encouragement, we're looking forward to meeting everyone.

 

Shoot me a text when you all are at the track or just look for the metal bodied e30 and you'll find me.  260-445-8742

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12 minutes ago, Philip944 said:

I think our wives just want this race weekend to hurry up and arrive so we'll stop talking about it and walking around in a race-minded haze. 

 

Ummmm.... your wives do know that all of the talk and race minded haze will be WORSE after the race, right?

Edited by thewheelerZ
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^^^hahaha, exactly.

 

Yeh, I'm sure its fine to make the incoming driver help for a mid-ohio in April, but I don't think I would suggest it for a southern race in August.  The drivers (myself included) getting out of our car in the mid-afternoon stints at the VIR24 were in no shape to be manning safety equipment.  We could barely get ourselves out and over the wall.  In hindsight, we probably should have gone to see the medic.  Now I try to limit the work the driver getting out of the car does, the mental and physical stresses of a 2hr stint in the middle of the summer are significant.

Edited by Bremsen
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2 minutes ago, thewheelerZ said:

 

Ummmm.... your wives do know that all of the talk and race minded haze will be WORSE after the race, right?

 

After the race your wives is going to hear all about how to go faster, new car, VPI, optimize pit stop, how you passed that car, bla bla.

 

Poor wives...

 

 

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18 minutes ago, turbogrill said:

 

After the race your wives is going to hear all about how to go faster, new car, VPI, optimize pit stop, how you passed that car, bla bla.

 

Poor wives...

 

 

She hasn't let me forget the fact that the 24th is our anniversary.....

 

I've tried not to rub it in......with limited success...

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I'll start by agreeing with all of the great feedback you've been given.  Now let's do a reality check (that will actually make your driver situation seem even better)

 

5 minute pit stops only matter for cars that are competitive.  They certainly don't matter for cars that break for extended periods of time.  History tells us that at lest 50% of cars that are fielded by "virgin" teams have at least one major repair in the first race (sadly, I've seen at least 10  cars that never turned more than 5 laps in their maiden race before breaking).  

So you don't need/want four drivers!  Chances are, you will only have 3 stints worth of driving (if you are lucky enough to have that much).  You will probably end up with 2 hours of pit/paddock time working on whatever broke  Go into the race with the assumption that something big will break, and just do the stops at a completely relaxed pace.  If the car is still running perfectly at the end of the third stint, then just break that stint up into thirds and all of you get a second mini-stint (which you will enjoy more because it is short and the first stint you ran will have drained you a bit).  If after that, the car is still running and you end up in the top ten and you are PISSED at me for suggesting such a stupid plan (because with fast stops you could have podiumed), I will gladly buy you a case of beer at our next race together.  

 

HAVE FUN!!!!!!

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