Race 17: Harris Hill Road with ChumpCar

We obviously skipped a few race reports.  It's hard to get excited about writing nothing but bad news.  We had the rod knock and the failed backup motor at TWS with WRL.  Then a few weeks later, we were back at TWS with a new motor.  And seized it early on Saturday when an oil line came loose.  Then we went to Hallet in October.  Broke a seat mount, had a small oil fire, and lost the throwout bearing.  All on Saturday.  Ran good on Sunday after a team effort to pull the transmission on Saturday afternoon.  Fifth place was OK, but the real joy was that we had a race with no issues.  

Then we went to TWS in December.  The 13th place finish (in class) was caused by the most random failure ever:  the transmission fill plug came out, pumped oil onto the exhaust, and started our 2nd oil fire in as many events.  We borrowed a plug from another team (thanks Micah), refilled the transmission, and finished the race.  Then on Sunday, we were doing pretty good until the transmission broke with about an hour left in the race.

2014 was not a good year.  3 bad motors, transmission problems, oil leaks, fires - We just want to wipe everything after MSRH from our memories and move on.

And so we come to the season opener for 2015.  ChumpCar returned to Harris Hill Raceway for the first time in several years.  We love that track, and have trophied there a couple of times in the past.  So with a new transmission, the oil leaks (hopefully) fixed, and the transmission fill plug now safety-wired in place, we headed out with a positive attitude and new optimism.

The races this weekend were 6 hours each.  A little shorter than normal, but that was okay.  Since our car can run 2 hours on fuel, which is also the maximum driving stint with ChumpCar, we decided to only use 3 drivers each day and run a 2-stop strategy.  Very few other cars can run 2 hours on a tank of fuel, so we felt like this strategy would compensate for any lack of speed.

On Saturday, all went well.  No real dramas.  And best of all, we came in 3rd place!

Sunday was different.  Toward the end of the 1st stint, the exhaust manifold broke.  No real way to fix it quickly, so we had to pack it up.  But 3rd on Saturday was still good.