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2022 Autobahn Results and stories


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First time ever at Autobahn this weekend.  If you haven’t been to this track you should give it a try.  Very nice facility, great people who want you there.  Track workers were awesome.  I think there was one full course caution all weekend (except for the red due to the fire).  
 

The track was great - way better than I expected based on the map.  I was a bit concerned with coming out of the pits on the outside of turn 1 - the track makes it work and the flagger at start finish was on top of it.  
 

I will definitely go back and add this one to next year’s schedule.   Surprised more people don’t attend, they really should.  
 

For our race- we saw another one slip away. Finished 2nd on Saturday  - congratulations to Premium Dudes on the win.  Sunday we started 1st, building a few lap lead- until a brake issue late in the race cost us a 17 minute pit stop…finished 5th.  Congratulations to Dirt E30 on their first win.     Also thanks to the Miata team that provided the used pads to get us to the finish and still win the class, sorry I don’t remember your car number. 
 

Eric

383- There’s No Z in Mazda

Edited by etoy
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@etoyYou guys were killing it for your first time on the track and no practice day. 

 

Short weekend for us. I tucked my tail and headed home early, sorry I didn't get to talk to more people at the track. 

Edited by ABR-Glen
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Sure wish we could have been in the race this weekend, great weather and great track with good driving by all.

Hard to turn laps with no clutch not once but twice, got some more serious issues going on. Car 5 decided to have the fuel cell 

foam come apart and we couldn't hold fuel pressure. Plugged the hydromat and a couple filters.

 

Until the next time after repairs. Thanks to the Champcar team and all the volunteers for a good event! 

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First time any of us had seen the track. Really glad we made the journey north, if just for the weather alone! 

Some how we really missed the tune up Saturday. Air was really good, and leaned out the motor dangerously. Took a few stops to get that dialed in, then we were off and logging laps. Rebounded to 7th overall.

 

Sunday started with a cut tire in the first 3 laps, we were on the back foot again. All the drama came in the last stint though, with 4 of the top five all on the same lap. Our hot shoe was installed and told to go catch'em. With Eric's brake issues, P1 was up for grabs. Alex was catching the Dirt E30 boys the whole stint, and it looked like a battle would be in store right at the end. Ultimately their lead went from a minute to 6 seconds when the checkered flew. Ton of fun!

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Edited by Wink
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It was our (#35 Finndurance) first time at Autobahn as well.  We didn't have high hopes for Saturday as we'd all be learning the track.  That got worse when a 2 week old valve cover turned out to be defective, filling the spark plug tubes full of oil and eventually dumping oil onto the exhaust causing lots of smoke.  There was a gap where the preinstalled seal met the cover on the outer perimeter.  Swapped one off the spare engine and set about learning the track and finding the limits of the car.  With 5 penalty laps to overcome we'd need to extract every bit of what the car had to give.  Also managed to get my first ever black flag for a blend line violation, so that was neat.  Got the naughty finger from the whole team as I did the roll of shame down pit road.

 

Sunday started better, with better road position Jaret then Evan set about putting in laps.  We'd worked quite a ways up the field by the quiet hour and the car was running good besides seeing over temp warnings for both the coolant and oil that required avoiding following anyone too close for any length of time.

 

After the quiet hour Evan got back in and was doing well until he got black flagged.  BFS told him he'd had contact with another car, despite not knowing where, or what car, no damage was visible.  The marshal then changed the story and said he was "being aggressive" which I find interesting as Evan is normally our least aggressive driver.  I scanned the video from both before and after the quiet hour and don't find any contact.  That being said there are two instances where the same car swerved at him and acted very aggressively, one time completely unprovoked.  The other time possibly due to tunnel vision.  I'm waiting to watch the whole stint unabridged to be certain, but I have to wonder who or why we got called in.  An annonomys source mentioned that a team may have referred us for the contact.  If that's true I'd really like to see video evidence.  If nothing more than for a learning experience for the driver.

 

We do do a lot of passing, as you must when starting 5 laps down on the whole field.

 

After that was all said, I was last in the car, and I decided to drive what little was left of the Maxxis tires right off the wheels.  Had some epic racing with No Z in Mazda Miata as well as the Two Brothers Mercedes.  Also chased the Black Miata who set FTD for a while and that was a blast.  At the end of the day we likely missed out on impound due to the possibly eroneous black flag, but not hardware.  We'd maybe have made 4th.  Either way, great track and great driving by most, I had an absolute blast.  I'll try and get video sorted soon.

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@Ian That Infiniti is fast!  It passed me twice in the first stint on Sunday and your driver was patient and courteous.  I'm still trying to figure out how timing and scoring shows penalty laps.  Sunday it shows you guys starting 5th and getting up to 2nd quickly buy how could that be when you 5 laps down?   

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20 minutes ago, hcsi99 said:

@Ian That Infiniti is fast!  It passed me twice in the first stint on Sunday and your driver was patient and courteous.  I'm still trying to figure out how timing and scoring shows penalty laps.  Sunday it shows you guys starting 5th and getting up to 2nd quickly buy how could that be when you 5 laps down?   

 

They add the laps after the start, so our starting position is our road position, so it looks weird in T/S.

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  • Technical Advisory Committee
Posted (edited)

Nice job over the weekend @Ian. It was great to meet in person as I've followed your build and the unfortunate loss of your previous car. Both cars are/were well built, a testament to your skills competitive and safety wise.

I was especially pleased to see a team take on a 550 point build and do what others say can't be done - be competitive with it.

We had fun dicing it up on track with you at times in our Focus. Congrats, Good luck and hope to see you again soon.

 

Congrats to @enginerd, @Andrew D Johnson , Dave J, Larry, Kerry, the Premium Dudes team, for overcoming a trans with only 4th gear, and a bad clutch to take the win on Saturday.

Congrats to the Dirt E30 team for your win on Sunday.

 

This was our first time at Autobahn. The track, facilities, workers, and ChampCar staff were all top notch. Fun track that we hope stays on future schedules. Based on our decent showings at Gingerman and Mid Ohio last year, We went in with hopes of a top 5 or top 10 finish if we had no issues. I was really surprised at the competitive level of the entire field of cars at this race. Everybody is upping their game, and making things interesting and crowded at the pointy end. Even though the number of entries was a bit low, a large majority of the field ran either under 1:40, or a second or so over it. 

We ended up having pretty clean races both days and finished 8th both days. With a bit more consistency of our driver pool, a top 5 was in reach, but the main thing was that the car came home in 1 piece without a scratch, we hit all our pit stops with no wasted time, the new engine performed flawlessly 3 races in a row now, the 25 point rear spindle, wheel bearing and hub upgrade may have solved that Achilles heel, and the 10 point billet aluminum/poly bushing engine mounts (that @hotrod recommended) solved that failure point, etc. 

A pleasant surprise is that my son Danny keeps making steps in the right direction with his pace and consistency. He's been pretty close to our best driver's FTD each of our last few weekends, with me being just a tick behind him. (I've got to up my game now, lol!) 

 

Thanks to the ChampCar staff. Congrats and nice job to all the drivers for running clean races. Would love to go back and race here again next year.

Edited by mcoppola
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  • Technical Advisory Committee
35 minutes ago, hcsi99 said:

@Ian That Infiniti is fast!  It passed me twice in the first stint on Sunday and your driver was patient and courteous.

I'll have to agree with this statement. Part of the fun of racing against the Infiniti was a feeling of confidence that although you guys were quicker, your drivers always followed a bit, made sure I knew they were there, and made safe passes in safe areas without putting others in jeopardy.

In fact, I could say that of almost the entire field. Great driving from most everyone all weekend.

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The Daring Greatly Racing Cadillac CTS had a decent weekend considering we started the first few laps with a brake fire on Saturday.  Turns out brake pads can be too thick.  We installed a brand new set of ST43's on the front and rear before this race and found out quickly that there was an issue.  The right rear caliper went from a nice silver color to a crispy black in two flying laps.  I pulled in the pits with a pulsation and a soft pedal.  Once we spotted the problem we headed to the end of pit road to make the hard left back to the paddock.  @Ray Franck was at the end of pit road and quickly spotted a small brake fluid fire.  It was funny how calm he was and how precise he was with a little squirt from the fire extinguisher, there was hardly any powder to clean up.    We swapped the caliper and the rotor thinking it was a stuck caliper, bled the brakes and still could hardly spin the wheel.  We had a roughly half worn set of ST43 rears that we swapped in, and problem solved.  We ran the rest of the weekend on those and had no more brake issues.  It looks like we still have about 30% rear pads after two days too!  Other than a low percentage move that I made after the early red flag restart into turn 4 causing the Gorilla Sticker BMW to spin in front of me and off the grass to drivers left, Saturday was uneventful.  I was black flagged, rightfully so and once I got out of the car I made sure the first place I went was down to see them to apologize. 

Brake_Caliper.jpg

 

Sunday we started far back in the field but started make up a few positions in the first few laps.  Around the 1 hour mark as I was going through the turn 11/12 complex, I felt the left front tire was low, then flat.  I radioed in, and told them I was coming in.  Our team swapped the tire and made sure we didn't have a rub issue and had me back out in 2 minutes and 30 seconds, we lost around a lap and a half to the field.  We had @David Hainesin our car for the weekend and for his first time driving the Cadillac, first time at Autobahn, and dealing with some serious jet lag, he did an excellent job!  He ran the 2nd stint until lunch and had no issues.  Alex jumped in the car after lunch and ran an amazing stint but somehow braking the ABS.  Chris jumped in the car for the last stint of the day and was told to save as much fuel as possible.  Chris did an amazing job saving fuel and ended up running about 1.5 seconds off of our normal pace for most of his stint.  With us sitting in 10th with 20 minutes to go and the Datsun 510 gaining about 3 seconds a lap we calculated that Chris was about 1.5 gallons ahead of our target goal on fuel so we told him to go like hell!  With the Datsun as close a 3 seconds he started to put some space between the two of them.  The 9th place car ended up having an issue and had to be towed in so we ended up in 9th overall and 3rd in class, our best finish yet!  Thanks to Champcar for another great event and to all the other teams for making this weekend fun!  Congrats to Premium Dudes and DirtyE30 on their wins!  

Champcar_Autobahn.jpg

 

  

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Two Brothers Racing made our first trip to Autobahn as well. We went in thinking we were just going to take Saturday to learn the track and send it Sunday. The day progressed as we expected hovering in the top 10 with all drivers learning the track. All drivers drove great working their times down as low as they could driving clean and pointing a lot of teams by just hoping to learn a thing or three.

 

Going into the last stint we were sitting P6 and honestly i didnt even look at the standings I just wanted to learn how to run good clean laps. After pushing the car a bit and working into 1:39.xx range I made a mistake and put 4 off so I called in to see if we were just logging laps or chasing someone. At that point the team told me we were 30 or so seconds back of MiElan for P5 and to keep pushing.

 

 Shortly after I was informed we had MiElan and Tire Rack within range. I caught MiElan with about 20 minutes left and passed as they were nursing fuel. And quickly caught Tire Rack. For what seemed like an eternity I pushed as hard as I could to pass Tire Rack.  With 5 or so laps to go I ended up finding a gap slightly larger than our car in traffic to slip through. Tire Rack was also up against fuel so they backed off and off I went to a P4 finish. Both Tire Rack and I set our teams FTD on the same lap witch was cool.

 

Day Two I started and worked from the back half of the field to P2 at our first pit.  Mike took the wheel and was able to run his time down faster than before,  He called in that the voltage was bad and then next words were surge is on. I ran and grabbed an alternator and at the stop we fueled and swapped alternators. took 20 minutes total since everything was so hot you couldn't hang onto anything. We battled back from P14 after to finish P7. Andy was able to run some blazing fast laps at the end of the stint. He brought us in a car with chunks missing out of the RS4's and fluid leaking. I think we found the limit of the car at this point!

 

Id like to thank champcar for putting on the weekend. It was well run, the facility is fantastic and everyone on the team said we have a new favorite course. We had some fantastic battles throughout the weekend with several teams what a fun place.

 

It is unfortunate we are being told the car will not be allowed to run outside of EC next year. We run the car like a ragged dog to keep up and have a blast in it. It fits the speed of the top 10 almost perfectly and when we and the car perform flawlessly we have a shot to win. Unfortunately it may be the last hurrah for that particular car. We may be in our new ride for Gingerman but if it is not ready then we will send the old Mercedes off there.

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  • Technical Advisory Committee
41 minutes ago, hcsi99 said:

The Daring Greatly Racing Cadillac CTS had a decent weekend considering we started the first few laps with a brake fire on Saturday.  Turns out brake pads can be too thick.  We installed a brand new set of ST43's on the front and rear before this race and found out quickly that there was an issue.  The right rear caliper went from a nice silver color to a crispy black in two flying laps.  I pulled in the pits with a pulsation and a soft pedal.  Once we spotted the problem we headed to the end of pit road to make the hard left back to the paddock.  @Ray Franck was at the end of pit road and quickly spotted a small brake fluid fire.  It was funny how calm he was and how precise he was with a little squirt from the fire extinguisher, there was hardly any powder to clean up.    We swapped the caliper and the rotor thinking it was a stuck caliper, bled the brakes and still could hardly spin the wheel.  We had a roughly half worn set of ST43 rears that we swapped in, and problem solved.  We ran the rest of the weekend on those and had no more brake issues.  It looks like we still have about 30% rear pads after two days too!  Other than a low percentage move that I made after the early red flag restart into turn 4 causing the Gorilla Sticker BMW to spin in front of me and off the grass to drivers left, Saturday was uneventful.  I was black flagged, rightfully so and once I got out of the car I made sure the first place I went was down to see them to apologize. 

Brake_Caliper.jpg

 

Sunday we started far back in the field but started make up a few positions in the first few laps.  Around the 1 hour mark as I was going through the turn 11/12 complex, I felt the left front tire was low, then flat.  I radioed in, and told them I was coming in.  Our team swapped the tire and made sure we didn't have a rub issue and had me back out in 2 minutes and 30 seconds, we lost around a lap and a half to the field.  We had @David Hainesin our car for the weekend and for his first time driving the Cadillac, first time at Autobahn, and dealing with some serious jet lag, he did an excellent job!  He ran the 2nd stint until lunch and had no issues.  Alex jumped in the car after lunch and ran an amazing stint but somehow braking the ABS.  Chris jumped in the car for the last stint of the day and was told to save as much fuel as possible.  Chris did an amazing job saving fuel and ended up running about 1.5 seconds off of our normal pace for most of his stint.  With us sitting in 10th with 20 minutes to go and the Datsun 510 gaining about 3 seconds a lap we calculated that Chris was about 1.5 gallons ahead of our target goal on fuel so we told him to go like hell!  With the Datsun as close a 3 seconds he started to put some space between the two of them.  The 9th place car ended up having an issue and had to be towed in so we ended up in 9th overall and 3rd in class, our best finish yet!  Thanks to Champcar for another great event and to all the other teams for making this weekend fun!  Congrats to Premium Dudes and DirtyE30 on their wins!  

Champcar_Autobahn.jpg

 

  

Thanks 32 years in the fire service for me.    It's just like I drive, slow down and go faster no mistakes...

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20 hours ago, ABR-Glen said:

@etoyYou guys were killing it for your first time on the track and no practice day. 

 

Short weekend for us. I tucked my tail and headed home early, sorry I didn't get to talk to more people at the track. 

 

What happened?  Was it the spin/shunt into the inside of T4 that ended the weekend?  I likely have video of that somewhere.

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3 hours ago, Ian said:

What happened?  Was it the spin/shunt into the inside of T4 that ended the weekend?  I likely have video of that somewhere.

I think we boiled over a bit at the red flag (no fan) and lost enough coolant to fry the head gasket. 

 

5 hours ago, hcsi99 said:

Other than a low percentage move that I made after the early red flag restart into turn 4 causing the Gorilla Sticker BMW to spin in front of me and off the grass to drivers left, Saturday was uneventful.  I was black flagged, rightfully so and once I got out of the car I made sure the first place I went was down to see them to apologize. 

 

Appreciated the visit. No damage done on our end, learn our lessons and move on 👍

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Premium Dudes had a mixed weekend. Several issues, but mainly crunchy gears / poor shifting, put us a bit off pace and running only 4th gear on Saturday. Despite this, we still had top 10 pace and managed to drop a pit stop with the combination of the oil slick red flag and quiet hour red flag, pulling off a 2 lap victory. Our 245/15 tires from series sponsor MAXXIS had good pace and held up all day. Stoked for the win after a couple DNFs last year at Autobahn. This was our 4th ChampCar event at Autobahn so we know the track VERY well, this certainly helped a lot with consistency and making the most of a wounded car.

 

HUGE thanks to Dirte30 who let us buy and install their spare transmission after the race Saturday. Unfortunately we had underlying clutch issues (or made a mistake reinstalling trans in the dark) and so we were still without proper shifting on Sunday. 

 

With a 3 lap MOV we were targeting a top 5 for Sunday 3 but dropped out around the 4 hour mark. Radiator dislodged (that's a new one for us in 8 years of racing with the same setup!) and a radiator tube was cut and slowly emptied all the water, cooking the engine in the process. 3 months to Road America if it's still in the cards.

 

As always, lots of fun to see everyone and get back to racing. More cars attended this year than in 2021 or 2017, so I hope this stays on the schedule and keeps growing in attendance, it's a really great track!

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4 hours ago, 55mini said:

Might take several months to find the "special" motor.  

The “special” motor got new bearings in March. We will see if my garage rebuild was a good idea or not.

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15 hours ago, enginerd said:

running only 4th gear, top 10 pace on Saturday pulling off a 2 lap victory.

 

😅🤣😂 just imagine how many points would be added if the same words were said by a Fox chassis team 😅🤣😂

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DirtE-30 Racing #212 Black/Orange/Bronzit BMW E-30

 

Drivers:

Shane Gerwing 

Ben Aurich 

Cory Bauman 

Neal Tovsen

 

This was our second race at Autobahn (last year was the first). We love the track, close to home- 6hr tow, and our car along, with the format allow for some interesting strategies.  Last year, we finished P3 on Saturday and were inline for an overall win with an hour to go until a waterpump belt broke.  This year was about redemption!

 

Coming of a P2 finish on Day1 of the National Championship @ Ozarks, we pushed a little too hard on Day 2, and had a punishing meeting with the wall in turn 11 (as seen live on CC broadcast), that ended our weekend and hopes at a National Championship.  After further investigation it wasn't even sure the car was salvageable.   We found a local collision expert who loves racecars, and he agreed to help us get DirtE-30 back on track, however the repair timing for Autobahn would be tight.  As of Monday before the race, we were unsure if we'd race, as the car didn't have a front clip on yet.  We spent the next 3 days thrashing to get it put back together and into the trailer.  We didn't know what to expect!

 

Saturday we started P16 and Neal got us up to the top 5 pretty quickly, eventually running P1 the last 15-20min of the first stint.  We pitted right at the 2hr mark, and caught a break with the red flag while in the pits. The 30 min delay gave us an opportunity to stretch our fuel to try a two fuel stop strategy.  Ben drove for the next 40min in a fuel conserve mode, maintaining P1 until just before the break.  The pace car actually incorrectly picked us up as the leader, when we were in fact p2. We got that all sorted out at the break. We evaluated the fuel situation, and told Cory to drive 9/10ths to make sure we could make it to 2:40pm. We pitted nose to tail with Premium Dudes P1-P2 on the same lap (also on the same strategy).  Leaving pitlane, they flew past the pit exit worker without stopping (preareanged), and it totally threw me off.  I exited pitlane hyperfocused on running them down, and got a Black Flag blend line violation leaving.  Unreal! Ouch!

We were still in P2 after the penalty, and I put my head down to try and stay ahead of P3 (No Z in Mazda), however about 30min into my stint I started noticing a soft brake pedal, and with 1hr to go, I had no brakes, like 0,  we had a fitting leak fluid into the cockpit.  So for the last hour I limped it around (1:46-47) without using brakes, just downshifting and swerving to slow. Managed to bring it home in P3. Congrats to Premium Dudes on their win despite only having 4th gear, impressive!

 

Sunday, we got the brakes fixed. I went out first stint, took me a while to get up to speed as I was driving a hurt car the day prior, but managed to run several 139's and a few 138's, brought car in P2.  We knew our car didn't have the pace to run all out with No Z,  and Winkler, so we decided to use the same two-stop strategy as the day prior, but is was going to require huge fuel saving efforts from Ben and Cory using 4/5th gear, 8-10 second slower lap times etc to try and pull it off, we pitted exactly at 240pm again (on fumes), gassed up and told Neal to send it!  We were in P2, didn't think we had a shot at P1, but then unfortunately they had an issue, and all of a sudden we were P1 with an hour to go and a :55 lead on Winkler in P2, but running ~1sec/lap faster. Doing the math it was gonna be extremely close at the end.  It was gonna come down to who could manage getting through traffic with the least amount of disruption to laptimes. It was a nail-biting experience. Neal did an amazing job of running hard and clean, knowing the P2 car was closing. Ultimately we took our first checkered flag by a 6 second margin of Victory!

 

Congrats to Winkler on an amazing run despite the early tire mishap, made it exciting for sure!  Thanks for loaning us a fire extinguisher as well!  

 

 

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