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Author Topic: Advice for Newbie hoping to do first 12/24 team enduro in 2011
Steve McMorn
Junior Member

Region: WDC
Car #: SSM / SM 40
Posts: 6
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Hey Guys

After doing race school and 2 race weekends to get my regional license in 2010, my plan in 2011 is to (i) race more and (ii) try to pull together a team to do a 12 or 24 hr enduro in my car (so I can basically compete for free as on a limited annual budget).

so my questions to all are:

a) what proactive work needs/should be done to SSM car?

b) what consumables / spares are 100% required and what are nice to have?

c) general thoughts and advice?

d) is this approach worth the hassle?

All comments welcome!

Steve Mc

SSM/SM #40

Rob Burgoon Verified Driver

Posts: 443
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Buy the Dave Wheeler SM guide, and get the spares he lists.

Other than that, install brake pads, change your oil, maybe do some wheel bearings, and go nuts!

It really makes my week when nobody crashes into me.

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Pack Fodder

Region: NWR / Oregon
Car #: 88
Year : 95
Posts: 2000
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The #1 thing you'll want to bring is someone who has experience with endurance racing. A few of us did our 1st endurance race our 1st year racing (OK...it was a chump car race but it was a wrecked SM) and probably the biggest thing we learned was how clueless we were.

Fortunately the one very experienced teammate mostly just shook his head in disgust at our general ashattery, was mostly gentle when giving advice, and taught us quite a few things. I figure he decided, "Eh..your show. Let's all have fun and I'll just point out things from time to time when you're all being a bunch of dumbasses."

The following year I crewed for a proper enduro team (gas man #2)where I carefully observed how a team who knows what they're doing does things, (when I wasn't mixing gas, pouring gas, or running errands.)

There doesn't seem to be a lot of info forthcoming in this thread (go figure...the 25 at T-hill is this weekend and many enduro addicts are there) so I guess my point is, before you try a long enduro, learn as much as you can every way you can.

They're expensive. It takes a fair sized crew to do well. Co-drivers make lousy crew when they're sleeping. There's lots of planning and strategy involved. You might try a short one before a 12, but bottom line, whether you just want to drive long shifts in a hot car or be competitive, the prep work including reasearch will maximize your fun time.

Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

Scott Koschwitz Verified Driver

Region: New England
Car #: 91
Year : 1990
Posts: 139
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I second Keith's advice.

I ran the Last Chance enduro at Watkins Glen in my SSM car in 2006 and 2007 (3-hour enduros) and 2008 and 2009 (4-hour enduros). These were good for developing the "enduro mindset" and for developing the physical and mental endurance to run an enduro stint (about 1 hour and 45 minutes as opposed to the approximate 30 minutes of a typical sprint).

This year I ran "The Devil in the Dark," the 12-hour enduro at New Jersey Motorsports Park. I knew it would be a big step up from my prior enduros, but I didn't fully appreciate how much.

First, you definitely need a dedicated crew. We ran four drivers, a crew chief, and two members who helped with supplies and fuel, but who couldn't work in the hot pits. That meant that each driver had to remain in the pits for pretty much the entire race to handle refueling, pit stop timing, servicing, repairs, and anything that might come up.

That's a LONG day, especially after the test sessions and qualifying the day before, prep of the car the morning of the race, and roughly two stints each in the heat of late June. Our three crew members had to leave about 10 hours into the race, so for the last two hours, we had one driver in the car, one asleep in the chair in the pits, one manning the radio, and I was serving the obligatory 2-hour session monitor for other teams' pit stops. If our car had trouble or needed fuel, we would have been done. It worked out OK because the car ran like clockwork, but it's definitely not the way to do it properly.

Second, you need to provide for things you otherwise wouldn't, at least not in an amount or to a degree as for a sprint or short enduro: drinks and food for drivers and crew; protection from the elements (awning, garage space, on-track suite -- we did all three); spare parts (what are you willing to repair or replace? Tie-rod? Sure. Brake pads? Sure. Alternator? Transmission?); tools (which will be determined by your spare parts, crew, their expertise, and available work area); fuel (how many 5-gallon dump cans do you have and how far is the nearest gas station?)

#91 SSM

panic motorsports Verified Driver Made Donation to Website

Region: SCR
Car #: 90
Year : 91
Posts: 459
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PREP WORK #1 PRIORITY. If you ask the question "should we" (ie, replace that part, bring a spare one of those, etc) the answer is always yes. If it deserves one zip tie, it gets two. If a part isn't fresh, it needs to be. Two things you can't have enough of, light and crew. Drivers don't count as crew. As stated above, they usually make lousy crew members because they are tired, or hyped on adreneline. Test fit all drivers in the car, make a list of who needs a booster seat, radio adapter, etc. Slot them into the stints accordingly. Hydration and food for crew and drivers alike. Crew chief, one guy, head honcho, that has the final say on any issue. To really do it right is (really)expensive, it'll take a few tries for you to get it right. Keep a list of do's and don'ts for each event you run. Even as well as our race went at the VIR 13 hr this year, we still had half a page of stuff to modify or improve for next year. C'mon in, the water is fine!!! [Smile]

Steve and Becca Bertok
#90 SM 2008/2009 Carolina Cup Pro Series SM champions.
2010 VIR 13 hour enduro victorious! www.panicmotorsports.com
Need a salvage Miata part? We've got that!

Glenn Verified Driver

Region: CCR
Posts: 581
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What Steve said, and a 24 hour race is NOT just twice as long as a 12 hour!

Crew chief Meathead Racing, NE Region Sales Division Race Engineering, The GOLD standard in SM engines, Occasional race slave for OPM Autosports

Pat Newton Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Enduro addict

Region: Northwest, Oregon
Car #: 79
Year : 90
Posts: 3336
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Originally posted by Glenn:
What Steve said, and a 24 hour race is NOT just twice as long as a 12 hour!

Twelve hours is a pretty good warmup... [Wink]

IMO, if you're fighting for the win in a long enduro, you have to two at least two people in each crew position so people can work in shifts. Exhaustion breeds mistakes and penalties. Yes, there are some teams that have worked with one crew to excellent results, but if you truly are prepping your team to win, you need redundancy. In a 24+ hour race, this is even more important. Things happen, people can get sick, etc.

I think somebody said this above, but PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE things like pit stops, driver changes, etc. I've been amazed at the number of teams at the 25 Hour that don't practice these things, then wonder why their stops are a mess.

Also, you must have a complete race plan and schedule ready to go before the race starts, and you must be prepared to adjust it as the race goes on based on fuel usage in different track conditions, weather, etc. Have contingency plans in place for situations like loss of comm, etc. and brief everyone on those procedures before the race.

Ditto to what Steve said above about the chain of command. This needs to be worked out with everyone ahead of time, because during the race there's no time to debate. The team owner, drivers and crew must trust the crew chief to do the right thing. The crew chief must also be open to input, but in the end they have the final say.

Good luck and enjoy endurance racing. I've never actually driven in an enduro, but leading endurance teams is by far the most fun I've had around race cars. You just can't beat the chemistry when a good, prepared team comes together and executes a good race plan.

Crew Chief, 3D Racing #64, aka Team Scrappy 2.0
3rd place E2, 2009 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Crew Chief, EGR/Miller Motorsports #64, aka Team Scrappy
E2 Champions, 2008 25 Hours of Thunderhill


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