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2021 Racing Radios Charlotte 14-Hour Enduro Race Results and Reports


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#46 The Stug BMW e30 blue/grey Race Report:

 

I led the race at Charlotte, from the start/finish line, all the way to turn 1 on the first lap!  Many thanks to RVA et al who made clean passes while I slowly built up the courage to run a decent pace.  Our last car ended its career at CMS two years ago, so I had persistent worries that our new car would meet the same fate, especially in the rain. Thanks to the Brewe Krew and Barely Racing teams for helping me figure out the e30 rain line, and thanks to everyone for the clean racing!

 

This was our 3rd race and best finish yet.  And our first race without any unscheduled stops! We had near perfect pit stops and were able to run full 2 hours stints thanks to the rain. We did have issues with visibility, and were fortunate to have great renters who toughed it out regardless.  We have work to do yet on the wipers and a front window defroster.

 

I had a great battle with my buddy Rodney in the #380 North by Northeast e36 midway through the race.  I rent with them too, so I know that car pretty well, and it was close and clean racing while we worked our way through traffic.  Easily the most fun I've had in a racecar to date.

 

I have only made it through a couple hours of the Champcast but I am thoroughly impressed by the coverage and all the cameras on track.  Thanks Champcar staff and great job!  

 

If anyone finds an extra yellow pushbroom when they unpack, please let me know.  We were in garage stall #33.

 

See you at CMP!

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Man, been a loooong time since I've typed one of these.  Sorry for the super long post.

 

I'll start off by saying big thanks to Champcar, CMS, the corner workers and all the volunteers for putting on a great race despite the weather.  It felt good to be back out there, seeing familiar faces and meeting some of the new staff.  Thanks also goes out to the other teams for racing super clean in unfavorable conditions.  I know I didn't see any bonehead moves or damage causing errors during my 2 stints, which is impressive given just how slick the track was for the vast majority of the race.  Lastly, huge thanks to Steadman Family Racing for letting us pilfer a MAF meter off their parts car, enabling us to claw back to a top-15 finish.

 

The full report:

I'll preface this post by saying its been 4.5 years since our last race (Charlotte 2016).  And, as embarrassing as it is to post this stat, we have never seen a checkered flag in a Champcar race.  With one exception, mechanical issues have always caused us to DNF.  We spent the last few years completely rebuilding the car mechanically and making sure we got a few track/test days in before we entered an event.  Our primary goal this weekend was simply to drive across the S/F line at the end of the race and we were determined to make that happen come hell or high water (see what I did there? lol). 

 

Pre-race was fairly normal.  Thrashing around trying to finish little projects leading to late nights.  One issue I noticed on Thursday night after the final test drive was that our lift pump stop working.  With the fuel cell bulkhead sealed up we left it for after tech inspection, figuring the stupid push-on connectors fell off (again) despite the safety wire.  That assumption would prove to make me an....well you know.

 

Loaded up Friday morning and arrived to the track around 1pm.  We set up, finished a few little things and headed to tech line.  Car passed with just a few "to-do"s.  Made some pieces to "locate" the harnesses on the harness bar and put cotter pins on the harness clips.  Glad to see a very thorough inspection.

 

Back to our garage spot and started looking into the lift pump issue.  Connectors were still attached so headed to the fuse and it was blown. Replaced fuse and it blew again immediately.  OK, we have a short.  Tried again and (luckily?) when we turned the pump on the safety wire that secured the wiring to the pump housing blew to pieces.  WTH?  Grabbed the DMM and sure enough, when the pump was turned on the entire pump body indicated 13V.  Called Carter tech line and they confirmed likely an internal short.  Tech was able to provide me with a few alternative numbers and I started calling the local NAPA stores.  We found 1 pump at a store apx 15mi away and took off to grab it.  This was at 4pm and with garages closing at 6, didn't leave us a lot of time.  Got back with the pump at 5:40, installed the pump and had a slight leak on the NPT fittings.  Forgot the thread goop.  We verified everything worked and decided to put the thread goop on in the am instead of leaving the car out all night due to rain chances.

 

Race Day: 

Saturday morning got the pump fittings sealed up, tire pressures adjusted and car on the grid.  I took the first stint and started top-10.  I was lucky to get a few GF laps in the dry and posted our FTD at 1:53 just before the rain started.  My stint was mostly uneventful.  Not long after the rain started I hit the paint going into T5 and had to use the runoff brake zone.  A few laps later I dipped a RR tire into the paint between T6-7 and spun.  Note to self, stay off the paint when its wet.  We had already decided on a 1hr pit stop to check fuel consumption since we have never run more than 30min sessions at WOT.  I came in at 10am, fueled back up and headed back out.  Other than the rain, the 2nd hour was uneventful.  I think we were in 12th at the end of the first 2hrs.

 

Put our 2nd driver in and had 2 problems right off the bat.  The wiper motor died and the [brand new] IMSA radio PTT quit, rendering us w/o comm for the rest of the day (not very happy about that).  The lexan is actually pretty good at repelling water at speed and doesn't fog with air circulating, but both of these would present an issue 1.5hrs later when the FCY came out.  I had just looked at our next driver 10min prior wondering why he wasn't ready and sent him off to get suited up.  Of course the FCY came out and without the air circulation the car became very hard to see out of.  Top that off with the radio issue the driver came into change out and our next driver was not ready.  The race went back to green and we hustled to get the next driver out but by then we lost probably 10 laps and dropped down into the high teens.  I was kinda pissed, but lesson learned.

 

3rd stint seemed to go fairly normal with the driver clicking off consistent laps and coming in just shy of 2hrs later.  Think we were back up to around 12th.

 

I was up again and jumped in around 3pm.  With the car sitting, the fog and rain built up on the windshield and it became very difficult to see at slow/pit speeds.  I rounded the corner to join the track and right at the end of the blend line I hit what felt like a lake on the left side.  The car instantly filled with steam and spit/sputtered down through T4.  By the time I got to T5 it shut off completely.  I pulled off the track and was able to get it started and continued on.  It wasn't happy though.  I was BF'd for "smoke" (it was steam) and came in.  We checked it over and I headed back out after stern warnings to not oil down the track.  I did a couple laps and the car wouldn't pull past 5k rpms.  Back to the pits we decided to take it to the garage. 

 

Checking things over we pulled the intake tubing and saw water drops all the way up to the TB.  Guess my fancy low mounted CAI wasn't the best idea for a rain race.  We figured the MAF was toast and a "cleaning" actually made the engine run worse.  Steadman Racing had brought an entire parts car and after a quick peek we saw it still had the MAF.  We located them in their pit stall and got permission to snag it.  Got the new MAF on and the car started right back up.  Right about that time I got a call from my sister-in-law to inform me that my brother, who headed to our storage for a spare wiper motor and MAF, was involved in an accident; spinning into oncoming traffic on HWY29 😲.  She said he was ok, but not sure what he was doing.  I called him and he said he was headed back and other than needing a new pair of shorts, he and the car were fine.  Whew.

 

I jumped into the car at 5:20 and headed back out to join the race.  I think we were now back down in 23rd place. With the exception of a slight part-throttle stumble/miss, the car seemed to be running well.  The standing (and running) water on the track was bad though.  T1 had a lot of standing water and T3/4 both had streams running right across the track at the apex which was fun.  The rain finally started to subside around 6pm and I was able to finish out my stint at 7:10 in only damp conditions.

 

The last 2 stints ran uneventful and we just tried to make up as many spots as possible by simply turning laps.  Driver change again at 9:10 we were up around 18th.  As the last stint wound down and we made up a few final spots on those that were already parked for the night.  Final finish position of 14th, 12th if you remove the 2 EC cars ahead of us, and being able to drive the car on the trailer made the day a big success.  We were all smiles and hugs after a hard fought and treacherous day.

 

Now, time to sign up for CMP!  We'll fix the few issues we had and apply the lessons we learned.  Hoping for a truly competitive effort at the next event.  Looking forward to it!!

 

 

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3 hours ago, Donovan said:

I have only made it through a couple hours of the Champcast but I am thoroughly impressed by the coverage and all the cameras on track.

Most never make it that far. You will learn in time...

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Barely Racing here....We had a great time.  If not for one unscheduled stop to fix our tail light issue we feel we could have placed a little higher....We finished 7th overall and 3rd in C which is our best ever finish.  Very clean racing all day and night.  My only constructive criticism  is that I never saw a blue flag for lapped slower traffic to let the faster cars through.  I have some good video.  Two accidents happened in front of me.  The green AOA Miata lost it in turn one and I couldn't avoid him, luckily we could both continue.  The white EC Mustang was trying too hard to keep me behind him in the infield and put himself into the wall hard (glad he was ok).  Congrats to RVA they were fast and braver than I in the banking!

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9 hours ago, SCCAchamp said:

Barely Racing here....We had a great time.  If not for one unscheduled stop to fix our tail light issue we feel we could have placed a little higher....We finished 7th overall and 3rd in C which is our best ever finish.  Very clean racing all day and night.  My only constructive criticism  is that I never saw a blue flag for lapped slower traffic to let the faster cars through.  I have some good video.  Two accidents happened in front of me.  The green AOA Miata lost it in turn one and I couldn't avoid him, luckily we could both continue.  The white EC Mustang was trying too hard to keep me behind him in the infield and put himself into the wall hard (glad he was ok).  Congrats to RVA they were fast and braver than I in the banking!


ADD Racing here, we had a great time racing against you guys! It was fun calculating our chances of catching RVA (low) while still trying to keep ahead of you guys as the day went on! It was definitely a close race for 2nd in C and 6th overall.

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