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Scenes from the track - 2007

17 March 2007

Because of the planned repaving of Portland International Raceway in the fall, CSCC and IRDC swapped dates for their respective enduros, making the 8-hour the first race of the season. I didn't expect a lot of cars for a March race, given that people are typically still readying their cars for the season, not to mention that I wondered how many folks would be willing to risk their cars in an enduro before the regular season started, but I was pleasantly surprised by an entry list in the mid-30s. Pictures as credited.

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R. Krause
Getting ready to go out for the first practice.   James gives the car a quick pep talk before the start. Click for a larger version
C. Thrash
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R. Krause
Bruce "Twinkle Toes" Beachman getting ready to take the Le Mans-style start.   Bruce taking the apex in Turn 6. Front of the car still looks good. Click for a larger version
C. Thrash
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C. Thrash
A lot of people got to see this angle of the car over 8 hours. :)   The class- and race-winning M3 with European-spec motor. Click for a larger version
R. Krause
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R. Krause
Eric and Andre watch Bruce chase the Caterham early in the race.   Eric's 968 is aerodynamically quite slippery, but it still makes a mighty big hole for a Caterham. Click for a larger version
R. Krause
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R. Krause
Andre having a quick chat with my fat ass before my first stint.   I unexpectedly find myself up to my ankle in bottle cage. Our "friendly" marshal wonders whether he can hit us with a penalty. Click for a larger version
R. Krause
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A. Adams
Bruce (in the background) walks away from the car as Eric preps it for my first stint.   Still waiting to get in the car, while Skip is nearly done emptying the first dump can. David's ready to pass the second can to Skip in a little refueling ballet. Click for a larger version
R. Krause
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A. Adams
Now that I'm ready to leave on my first stint, the marshal is still trying to figure out how to assess a penalty. Or maybe he's just trying to burn a hole in the car with his laser vision.   Transitioning onto the front straight in my first stint. You can just see the splitter starting to come apart. Click for a larger version
C. Thrash
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R. Krause
James keeping a watchful eye on the live timing & scoring updates.   Me taking a pretty decent line through Turn 12 onto the front straight. Click for a larger version
C. Thrash
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C. Thrash
Eric showing me where to stop for my fuel stop. The first of many trips down pit lane...   Skip Grehan adding fuel during the fuel stop. Click for a larger version
C. Thrash
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C. Thrash
The trick oil filler in action.   Haulin' ass down the front straight, minus several pounds' worth of metal and plastic from the front of the car. Click for a larger version
R. Krause
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R. Krause
Good shot of the ragged remains of the front of the car.   The first two cars in class and overall, waiting (and waiting!) for the awards ceremony. Click for a larger version
R. Krause
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R. Krause
The enduro crew (L-R): Skip, Stephen, Randy, Bruce, Eric, me, Andre, Julie, James. (Not pictured: David and Anna.)      

5/6 May 2007

So there's only two pictures and no video. You have to admit, though, that at least one of these is pretty cool. Pictures by John Galfano.

Click for a larger version Is that daylight I see under the right-front tire? Why, yes, I believe it is. :)   I never intended to repaint the car once I'd bought it, but I think it looks so much better in yellow & black than it did red & white. Click for a larger version

4/5 August 2007

Just a few pictures from a week-end that was marred by severe schedule problems, multiple on-track incidents, and one double heart-attack. Even a medical airlift. Kind of an ugly week-end, as these things go, and certainly one of the worst I've ever been at.

Click for a larger version Early on in the Group 4 race, you can see the tail end of Wayne's Evo on the right, about to take Turn 9. Steve Pfeifer's ill-fated RX-7 is the yellow car in the background.   One lap later, after I'd managed to pass him under braking for Turn 2, at the other end of the front straight from this shot in Turn 8. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version He's close enough that I'm very aware of him at all times, although I'm trying to run my own race.   Finally, I've managed to create enough breathing room that I don't have to keep such a close eye on my mirrors. Off to chase down some Camaros! Click for a larger version

18/19 August 2007

Finally, after two previously unsuccessful attempts, I manage to complete a race week-end at Portland International Raceway with the M3. A week-end not without its problems, both major and minor, but a generally successful one nonetheless.

Video from the Group 4 race showing what it's like when a fast car (such as Mac Russell's red-with-white, tube-framed Nissan 240SX just in front of me) starts in the back of the field. This video is notable for a couple of things: 1)Lots of passing, which was fun, and 2)Eric Krause stuffing his 968 into the right-side wall in the Turn 10 braking zone after his ABS computer got very, very confused. I was so rattled by it that I can't seem to find a gear after it happens... which is because I had forgotten to push the clutch pedal in. (82.7MB)

(Note: There are some odd video jumps in this edit that seem to have come from the original video transfer. I tried to fix 'em, but I guess I'm stuck with 'em.)

Still image from video
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I hadn't even intended to post this video of the Group 1 race because I thought it was a little boring. Watching it again recently, though, I realized that it's just that there's an uninteresting section (about 5 or 6 laps) near the beginning. With that part removed, it's actually quite thrilling, especially when Lou Greenberg catches back up to me and we race each other through lapped traffic. (58.9MB)

Still image from video
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20 October 2007

The plan had been to run my M3 in this race now that we were pretty certain all the bugs had been worked out of it. Unfortunately, the cost of getting the last of those bugs worked out, combined with the expected cost of a more enduro-sized fuel cell, meant that the "scratch" needed for that new fuel system wouldn't be available until after the enduro. Although Eric's car had been down since its ABS-related problem in August, he had enough need for a racing fix that he threw castoff parts at the car until he thought it would run four hours. Pictures by Randy Krause.

Click for a larger version Eric and Scott get ready for me to get in the car for a practice session, with Stephen in the background. I have no idea why I'm standing like a wannabe superhero.   James practicing refueling. We only put about 9 gallons in the 11-gallon dump cans, which makes them much easier to maneuver. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Some last-minute levity as Randy "threatens" to publicize pictures of me extricating myself from the car during our eventual pit stop.   A little chat with Eric before I make the long, long drive from the enduro "pits" to the pre-grid area that is the normal hot pit area. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Late in my stint, after the rain had stopped. I didn't pick up the pace as much as I should have, but I think it was more of a wasted opportunity than anything else.   The class- and overall-leading Mustang Cobra R that has featured in many enduro reports on this site. First time I got to see it run in the rain, though, and it's just as impressively fast (maybe even more so) as it is in the dry. This car is just a monster any way you slice it. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Zooming out of turn 8 during one of the rare laps of my stint when it wasn't actively raining.   James adding the first can of fuel at the start of our only stop. Our pit marshal is Mark McClure, he of the fuel-starved Caterham at the 8-hour race earlier in the year. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Randy and Stephen letting Scott know that the tank's full and he can pull the can. (We can't do anything other than a driver change while fueling is underway.)   The mad scramble to change over from rain tires finds James on the rear tire, Scott and his brother Cam on the front (Cam's breaking the wheel bolts loose), and Stephen manning the jack. My helmet is just visible on the far side as I help Eric get strapped in. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Eric's on his way and we're all relieved that the never-practiced tire change went as well as it did. Left to right: Randy, Cam, Stephen, Scott, James, me.   Eric on the hunt. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Mike Helton's GS-classed M Coupe from the Grand Am KONI Challenge series. Three laps ahead of us at the halfway point, Eric was able to put in some blistering laps that got us in front of them by the finish.   Even the guys that benefited from its demise were sad to see the Mustang blow a valve cover gasket, putting them out of the race with only about 4 laps to go. Click for a larger version

In-car video that Eric made for YouTube. The race starts with me driving, in the rain, pretty much all the way to the back of a 38-car field. There's a period in there where the visibility really is as bad as it looks; I could barely see anything and was getting visual cues for brake zones and turn-in by looking out the side windows. Other than running down the BMW M Coupe to get another position, the "highlight" of Eric's stint was trying to figure out how to get away from the hordes of Pro3 cars running in P2.

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