This weekend was a complete whirlwind of exhaustion and excitement that we never could have expected. We could have never predicted that all of our efforts, planned and unexpected, would have left us feeling so ecstatic, proud, and accomplished. We went into the 13 hours knowing that we would be supporting Panic Motorsports as they were prepping two race cars with our engines. We took the trip up to VIR Friday morning. While we were there we came across a team that had an unfortunate mechanical failure.
So what did we do? We joined up with the team to bring the car back to our shop and begin the process of tearing the motor down to see if anything was salvageable, complete a new engine build, get the new one installed, get it going, and head back to the track. It sounded like the impossible but we knew that we could do it. Chris and Jacob began the new build while John, Jason, and David began taking the damaged engine out and start the tear down. By 11:30pm we had the engine going in, 1:30am the car was going on it’s own power, 3:30am we were back at VIR, 5:00am we were heading to bed, 7am we were up finalizing prep, and 9am on track.
We spent all day checking in with our teams making sure they had everything they needed. Mid-afternoon we had an unfortunate accident due to the Code 35 that VIR has in place. Luckily the driver, our friend Mike Burke, is ok. As for the car, it was unable to be fixed at the track and was done for the day. The other 2 remaining cars charged forward and were 1st in their class respectively.
By 10pm we were down to the wire with both cars and a little under half an hour remaining. Panic Motorsports’ #90 “Bender” PTE Miata was holding a 8 second lead over 2nd place. WE Racing’s #3 SM Miata was struggling with themselves on holding their lead position. Every passing lap they were hoping they had the gas strategy down right and that they would make it through the race without having to make a pit stop for fuel and give up their position. Luckily, everything worked out and both cars completed the entire 13 hours on top of the classes they were in!
This weekend was such a unique experience that we are so honored to be a part of. Panic Motorsports celebrated their 5th win at the Charge of the Headlight Brigade. We’re hoping that NCR finds a way to keep such a wonderful, memorable race going after this year.
As a new partner with Race Engineering, WE Racing had a true miracle win from starting last to finishing 1st in their class and 11th overall. Meeting and working with these guys was an experience in itself, their “never give up” attitude was truly rewarding and proved to hold all weekend until the very end with their car on top of the podium!
We would like to thank Panic Motorsports, WE Racing, Appalachian Race Tire, NCR SCCA, Hoosier Racing Tire, G-LOC Brakes, @Cyclo Industries, Traqgear Racing Innovations, SafeRacer , Speed Hound Dyno, SCCA Inc., Driven Racing Oil, RaceHero, all of the spectators, all of the workers, and all of the competitors for such an incredible event!
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