NLS Racing VIR South Race Report :
The VIR South course race was kind of a last-minute decision for us to attend. It was between this and Charlotte, but after our bad crash into the wall last year at Charlotte, we decided to run South course instead. We started the race right in the middle at 24th and progressed forward throughout the first 2 hours. We had to make a quick stop about an hour in to remove some tape from the grill due to running a little hot. We pitted from the lead at the 2-hour mark but was more like 7th due to others pitting earlier than us.
Our second driver strapped in and was right up to speed. We were about 1.5 laps down to Glazed and Confused at the time and by the end of his stint, we had the lead with a 30-sec cushion. This is where things got interesting. 3rd stint began with us comfortably in 2nd position. Unfortunately, as most of you are aware by now we had an incident with the Bimmerline car that resulted in a flipped car. We're not going to comment on it, other than we are extremely happy that the driver of the Bimmerline car was unharmed. VIR safety crew was there in a hurry. We applaud them for the quick action to the scene. A quick pit stop ensued to replace a broken wheel and check over the car. Returned to the track in 3rd and had the orange Pinkies Out car in our sights. Knowing these guys are so damn tough to beat, we had to keep pressing forward. And that's just what we did. Pitted again from the lead at the 6-hour mark and back out in 2nd with only Huggy in front of us. Knowing they were just a little short on fuel, we were feeling pretty good about our chances for our first race win.
Unfortunately, the racing Gods had other plans for us. Just after 7 hours in, one of the connecting rods decided it had enough and escaped thru the side of the block. We had noticed low oil psi in the corners for most of the day but hoped it would hang on to finish the race. All those short drops in pressure took their toll and ended our best shot yet at a podium finish.
We're going to have to address our engine woes over the next few months as we prepare for the VIR 24. Complete car teardown to come, dash bar installed, new engine...again, fix rear damage from Rd. Atlanta and a complete rewire of the car.
Congratulations to Chris and all the Pinkies Out guys on another win. We also appreciated the show of respect from Chris as he came by after we retired the car to let us know we had him pushing hard to stay out in front of us, knowing he had an extra fuel stop to make. We had a blast this weekend with all things considered. All of our drivers were within 1 sec of each other's fast lap and 3 of our 4 drivers got to lead our first laps which was pretty cool.
Special thanks to the safety crew who keep us all safe out there. No place we'd rather be than ChampCar, thanks for allowing us to do what we love.
We'll be back in July for the Racing Radios 14-hour race at Charlotte Motor Speedway!!