Monday, September 23, 2013

Summit Point Kart 24 Hour Enduro Race

Summit Point Karts hosts some of the best endurance karting in the country.  We've done 12 and 14 hour races there, but this summer SPK went big and hosted a 24 Hour Enduro!  It ended up raining for 16 hours of the race, turning an already painful slog into a cold and wet suffer-fest.  We assembled all of the usual characters on our Green Stigs team (Andrew, Tim, and Myself), then invited a few real Stigs from the karting world (Jon, Josh, and Nevin) to level our odds against the incredibly talented field of drivers.

We qualified in 3rd and Jon put us in 2nd by the end of his first stint.  Then the rain started.  It wasn't just rain, it was relentless walls of water cascading down on a track with varied surfaces and grip.  The best grip was far off the racing line, which meant straight-lining through the outside of turns while trusting the kart would hook up at the edges.  It usually worked, but not always.  As the soggy hours passed, Josh put his driving-in-the-wet skills to work holding us in the top 3.  Nevin maintained the position through his stint, then I went out and ruined it all.  Driving a kart in the wet on slicks is a skill that is only learned through spins, punts, and heroic "offs."  Jens (who runs SKP) likened it to a 90% loss of performance over the dry.  I would compare it to ice field infested with mines (tire walls and other karts).  After a half a stint I was decently fast and enjoying the challenge.  By the time Andrew and Tim climbed the steep (slippery) learning curve we were down to 9th place.

The long night was a buffet of cold, wet misery.  I spent hours huddling to any warmth I could find between driving stints filled terror and metered aggression.  It was wonderful!  By dawn the rain had passed and the track started to dry.  Our position started climbing.  We worked past 9th, 8th, and 7th.  In the final hours of the race we found ourself in purgatory at 6th place.  We were far too ahead of 7th to get passed and far too off of 5th place to make a pass, unless something dramatic happened.  We ran out the clock in 6th, our best finish yet.  I'll let the pics and video tell the rest of the story.  I can't wait for the next one!

Aerial Footage of the Race

(YouTube)


(Vimeo)



Karts Queued Up

Photo Courtesy of Summit Point Kart

Team Green Stigs
(Jon, Andrew, Tim, Alex, Josh, Nevin)


Strategy Meeting - This Shit is Serious!


Relaxed Once the Race Starts


Preparing for the Rain


The Rain Begins



Alex in the Penalty Box


Rain = Misery





Flying the Drone



Our Pit



McCulloch Boys Up to No Good


Andrew and Jen


Heat


Sunset


Into the Night




2:00 AM



Just Imagine the Smell


Dawn

Photo Courtesy of Summit Point Kart

Andrew in the Fog

Photo Courtesy of Summit Point Kart

15 Mins of Sleep


6th Place Purgatory
(6 laps down from 5th, 7 laps up from 7th)


"Maintain"


My Last Stint



Pain


Tim and Andrew


Green Stigs - 6th Place


This About Sums It Up

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do you make something so miserable look so damn fun!

Unknown said...

I love the footage you were able to capture with the drone. what type of drone camera did you use? I'm very interested.

Thanks

Unknown said...

I love the footage you were able to capture with the drone. what type of drone camera did you use? I'm very interested.

Thanks