Motorsports is a full of challenges and obstacles to overcome. Will the car be competitive, is the setup good, will it be reliable, can the driver put in consistent laps and bring the car back in one piece? Endurance racing in particular adds even more challenge. Now your car needs to be quick and reliable for hours instead of 20 or 30 laps. Your driver needs to stay quick even after being in the car for multiple hours battling the physical and mental demands of piloting a race car while maintaining not only a quick pace but a very specific pace that is calculated to stretch the tires and fuel to last as long as possible. Less pit stops is always a good thing. Most of the famous endurance races are 24 hours long, from Le Mans, to Nurburgring, to Daytona. Then you have Thunderhill which demands you push just that little bit more and go for 25 hours.
This year we joined Tazio Ottis Racing with Will Wattanawongkiri ( our Executive of Speed here at WRTeknica ) being 1 of 4 drivers who would be driving the #7 Honda Civic Type R TC over the course of the 25 hour race. The 3 other drivers would be Daniel Wu, Tazio Ottis, and Patrick Chio.
Will would be the driver to start the race with a double stint in the drivers seat, it was his job to do battle from the start and get to the team into a good position where they could settle into a good rhythm and maintain position. It went well with Will putting the car into first place in E1 class, but as it often goes with endurance racing the luck wouldn't last.
A few hours in and the car needed serious repairs or our race would be over. Both motor mounts had cracked, which lead to an oil line breaking. It was all hands on deck as the team worked to come up with a solution. Thankfully we were able to get DYME PSI oil lines from Spoon Sports USA who were pitting next to us while Will and Daniel ran back and forth to get the motor mounts welded.
The car was repaired but the team had lost some serious time as Tazio hopped into the driver seat to continue the race. Everything from here was smooth sailing until nightfall which is when heavy fog rolled in. Visibility was so bad the pace car drove off the track and race control made the decision to red flag the race. As it would turn out later this would turn out the be a blessing in disguise for us and not just because it allowed everyone to get a little extra sleep.
The fog lifted early in the morning and the race was back on, the drivers being cautious with the track being damp and cold. The rest of our race was relatively uneventful with the drivers putting in work and getting the car back to second place despite the earlier issues. Each driver was putting in his last stint, first Tazio, then Will, then Patrick. Finally with 30 minutes left it was Daniel turn to hop in and take the checkered flag.
10 minutes later Daniel was back in the pits. Disaster. The car was leaking fluids heavily and the transmission was done. Remember how I said the red flag due to fog was likely a blessing in disguise? That red flag may have just been the little bit of a break the car needed to make it as far as it did. But if it weren't for the hard work of everyone on the team we wouldn't have even made it to the red flag. Endurance racing is about persevering, doing whatever it takes to keep going and push for victory. Congrats to everyone on the team for their hard efforts and doing everything they could to ensure that 2nd place finish!
Check out the rest of the photos from the race below!
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