Have you ever just had that moment after a race is finished where everything starts to hit you all at once? That moment of exhaustion, excitement, disbelief, pride, relief, and finally have that moment to breathe? That moment hit me harder than ever before last November and I found it to be a perfect fit for our first Throwback Thursday.
You may remember our story from November, we know it’s a personal favorite of ours. WE Racing had traveled from New Jersey to compete at the final 13/8 Hour Enduro at Virginia International Raceway. An unfortunate failure during Friday morning’s practice cost them the engine they had, but luckily Chris and Jacob were already on the way to the track when they got the phone call asking if Race Engineering could help. Luckily with our truck, trailer, and 2 of the guys from WE Racing, Chris and Jacob headed back to Salisbury with their car to attempt to rebuild the engine. Once they pulled the old engine out it was clear that an entire engine had to be built from scratch. Since we keep everything in house, that was not a problem for us. It was all hands on deck. John and I had just left our other jobs and and jumped right in to help. With about 10 volunteers stopping by making food and water runs everyone had what they needed, and stayed until the new engine was installed. At about 1:30 AM the car fired up, and was loaded back onto the trailer. The Race Engineering Team and WE Racing crew got back to VIR at 3:30 AM. Miscellaneous car and RV prep put us all going to bed around 5 AM.
9 AM the #3 Miata was on track, starting at the rear. We were all there to watch it make it’s way around and were all frantic when it came around sounding like only half the motor showed up to play. It was immediately brought onto pit road, hood popped open, and checking every wire and bolt. The only thing that was out of place was a loose coil pack wire. Once back out on track the car was running beautifully. You could never tell that it being on track was actually still in it’s break-in period. As every hour passed, Chris would go by their pit box and check in to see how the car was doing. We also learned during those check ins that they were charging steadily to the front of their field.
Race Engineering also had 2 other engines on the track along with this one, both motors under Panic Motorsports care. Panic had also shown up on Friday for the test day. The T4 #64 car had some issues of it’s own in the first 2 laps on Saturday, but had also had gained positions and the SM #90 was proving to be a top contender. Around 3 PM, all 3 cars were leading until an unfortunate collision between the #64 and a Spec Racer brought an early end to that one as the damages were unable to be repaired trackside although all of the drivers stayed to cheer on the #90 as it continued to lead.
Down to the wire (and some serious nail biting), the #90 Panic Motorsports Miata was leading with only 8 seconds between them and second place and the #3 WE Racing Miata was hoping to have enough fuel to make it to the end. We watched as the time seemed to slow drastically and it all came down to this. Running on less than 4 hours sleep, we were all there to watch both cars cross the finish line to the checker, and finish FIRST in both of their classes!! The pure emotion and adrenaline is indescribable. There were tears, hugs, high-fives, smiles, camaraderie, and sighs of relief. We all ran to tech so we could be there to celebrate as one when the cars came off of track.
About an hour after everyone had left victory lane, drivers had went their separate ways, crews had went to pack up, and workers had finished their last beer from the worker’s social, everything got quiet. It was dark. I was walking with Chris from the RV and headed to tech one last time when it just hit me. All of it. The exhaustion, excitement, disbelief, pride, relief, and the ability to catch my breath. We pulled it off. We had three cars that had been prepped and ready to go for this event. And we had one that had just been placed in the car less than 8 hours before it was on track. To us it truly felt like a fairy tale and no matter how many times this story has been told to magazines, radio hosts, friends, and family I still get goosebumps. I still go back to this moment in time where the world stopped and I can say “we did it” and smile.
I am so proud of Chris and everyone at Race Engineering as a family, for things they do all of the time. This is just one of the many things that we do on a daily basis for everyone around us. None of us had met, or even heard of, WE Racing before that weekend, but by the end of the race it was as though they had been clients and friends of ours since Race Engineering had been around. Thank you all for taking the time to read this and thank you for making this THE best group of friends and family.
I am beyond grateful to be part of this team!
A special HUGE thank you to Glenn Murphey for your help in making this possible and for all of your support!!
Thank you to all that make everything we do possible! Including, but not limited to: WE Racing, Panic Motorsports, G-LOC Brakes, Cyclo Industries, Hoosier Racing Tire, Appalachian Race Tire, Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, Speed Hound Dyno, Traqgear Racing Innovations, COOLSHIRT SYSTEMS, SafeRacer, SCCA, Paul Plemenos, Kaz Grala, David Garbo, Rick Goryeb, Darius Grala, David Weber, David A Lewis, Jason Goritski, Chris Graham, Jacob Parker, John Waldrop, Chris Waller, Heather Morgan, Ryan Leonard.
Share with Friends