So, the race is over, our final result was 79th place (out of 106). The result isn’t very impressive, I know. But, at the very least, we finished the race. Which is especially good when you consider all the mechanical woes we had.
While our team captain, Richie, was completing the team’s 3rd lap, he spun on fairly mild corner. We all headed over to the penalty box to see what our punishment was, we all berated Richie and helped him with the punishment. Just as we finished writing “It’s too early in the morning for this shit” 100 times on the car, Rich noticed there was oil all over the front-passenger-side wheel. We pulled the car back into the pits and realized we didn’t have much of a choice other than replacing the main seals and the oil pan gasket. Almost 5 hours worth of work, luckily one of the local auto part stores had a main seal. After the work was done, we were then worried mostly about people getting seat time at all (in case the car didn’t make it), we rotated out drivers after 3 laps. After that, we did some longer rotations (still short) and then let Richie finish out the day.
Day 2 started with me putting the front air-damn back on after Richie broke it on Saturday when he lowered it onto the jack. That lip didn’t even make it through the first session as Rich spun the car coming down turn 5. This broke the air dam off again and tore the passenger-side-front tire off the wheel bead. We brought the car into the pits and did a fairly quick tire change (I was impressed considering how out of place everything was). Rich finished his hour stint, then it was John’s turn.
John’s hour went by without issue; then it was my turn. I went for just over 30 minutes before I tried a new line at turn 5 and spun it. I came in for my black flag and accepted the punishment having a steel cutout of 2 rabbits mating welded to our roof. Because the penalty took so long, I sent Richie out to finish my stint and run his.
Richie came in at the end of his stint; we thought because it was just time up, but that wasn’t the case. We lost the alternator belt. We called all the parts stores; they were all closed. At a last ditch effort, we ran around to other teams and asked, success! After a few minutes of getting the belt on, we were back out on the track.
It was Rich’s turn again. Rich started turning really fast times, managing one lap of a team best of 2:40. At the end of Rich’s session, he was black flagged again, this time for not negotiating turn 11 successfully and having to drive on the other side of the tire barriers. He convinced the judges his first spin was because the tire blew, so his penalty was to write “If I didn’t point out loopholes, I wouldn’t have to write this shit” 100 times. This took a long time because it’s a long ass sentence.
Then it was John’s turn again. John came back in with 15 minutes left for his turn because he apparently passed on yellow flag (which we find hard to believe because we couldn’t pass anyone). Because that was our 3rd counted penalty, we got a cone of shame stuck to the car (signifying we had 0 black flags left before being kicked off) and an hour penalty (which they only made us stay 40ish minutes of).
With about an hour left, we put 5 gallons in and I finished out the day, taking the checkered flag for the team. I was just running consistent, safe 2:44’s to try and get our lap count up. But hey, we finished! Overall, it was quite an adventure, having to rebuild basically the whole bottom end of the engine was quite a task. Luckily John and Richie knew what they were doing, because I sure didn’t.
Below is the extended length video of what we captured. I might put together a short highlight video later, but don’t hold your breath, there weren’t many highlights. 😉