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      05-06-2014, 03:02 PM   #1
TSM330i
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12 Hour Devil in the Dark - NJMP

Hi all,
I wasn't sure where to post this since I'm not a professional driver, so I figured this would be the best place.

On Saturday, April 29 my buddy Steve and I drove in the 12 Hour Devil in the Dark at NJMP.
You can see the start of the race and quite a bit of the first stint driven by Steve and his effort to take us from dead last (we didn't qualify and opted to start in the back) and move us up through the field. Just FFWD to the 12:00 mark so you can get to the actual start of the race. (FYI: If it seems there are a lot of Miata's - yes, they made up almost half the field!)

We ended up finishing in 5th place overall (4th in class)!
http://www.nediv.com/images/results/...td-results.pdf

It was a great effort and we had A LOT of help from Joe, Yasu, Bob, Lauren and Steve (turugara from e90post). Ben and Jeff came down for moral support (really appreciate you guys coming out and hanging with us in the pits). Anthony, Sasha and Justin (sirantsE90) from e90post stopped in as well for a few hours. Thanks for coming out to support a fellow e90poster!

Of course a HUGE effort by none other than Steve Snow for working on the car till 2am when the replaced headlights started to flicker again at 10:30pm the night before the race and he had to fabricate and install auxillary lights so we would actually be able to race in the dark this year and finish the race!

We started last and, as you can see from the video, Steve wasted no time moving through the field. He got us up to eigth place I believe before I hopped into the car.

We couldn't drive as conservative as we had planned to try to squeeze as much time out of our 24 gallon fuel tank. We had to drive a bit harder to try to keep pace. So the first couple stints were a little shorter than anticipated, but no worries.

My first stint went well with no issues at all. I think I ended up in sixth place by the time I got out of the car and was able to squeeze a little more time out of the tank.

Steve got back in and stretched the fuel further till 5pm.
I jumped back in for my second stint and when it was coming to an end (around 6:20 pm), he asked if I could do a double stint. So I jumped out of the car to refuel (it's a rule when fueling the car - driver must exit the vehicle and no other work can be performed while fueling is being done) and right back in again. Over the radio, they asked if I could push it till 8pm. I drove a little more conservatively and short shifted big time wherever I could. I was able to get it to 8pm, so I was in the car essentially for three hours straight.

On a side note: When doing this type of driving, it's nothing like HPDE days where you're in the car for 20 - 30 minutes and then you have an hour or two of downtime. I'm constantly telling myself to relax my hands, arms and shoulders so I don't get fatigued. Some turns I will relax my one arm and just steer with the other so I don't tense up and try to squeeze the wheel. I have to rely on my belts and seat to hold me in place. If I drove with the intensity that I used to when I was doing HPDE, I'd be done in about 45 minutes - 1 hour. Oh, and then you have to watch traffic in front/behind, time your passing moves and watch the flags to make sure there are no yellows or any other flags being waved.

Back to the race: Steve got back in at about 8pm and was out for around 1 hour. There was a full-course caution so we elected to have him come in and quickly top off the fuel and get him back out again. If he could make it till around 10:30 or so, we'd only have to pit once more and I'd be able to finish the race. Steve delivered big time! He stayed out till 10:40 and I was able to get into the car and easlily finish the race.

This was my first time on the track at night. It is HARD to see ahead of you without great lights! Steve has been doing this for years, but for me, it was all about keeping the shiny side of the car up and keep it on the track. I slowed down a bit and drove as quick as I felt comfortable, but I thought it would be better than pushing for no reason and crashing the car (plus, it's not my car so I do NOT want to bang it up). Case in point, with about 15 minutes left, I come over the hill for turn two and right in the middle of the track was a car that had spun and was completely stopped facing the right direction! I went right and the eventual 2nd place finisher went left and we both just missed him! Heart was in my throat!!!
After the checkered flag was thrown I couldn't believe it. It was a very long day and I radioed to the pits to make sure that I did actually see it LOL!
As I said, we ended up 5th overall.

Also, we only changed two tires (left side) and made it on one set of brakes for the entire race! BFGoodrich R1 and Pagid RS29 really paid off. The last thing you want to do is change anything during the race because we're not a professional pit crew and everything takes time. We had plenty of brake pads left and there are a few pics out there at night where the discs are glowing in the dark. We can't say enough about the brake pads. Feel, release and stopping power are fantastic for pad that can last this long.

Thanks again to everyone who pitched in and came out for support.

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      05-06-2014, 03:18 PM   #2
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Pretty awesome man! Pretty damn awesome!
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      05-06-2014, 05:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear From Jax View Post
Pretty awesome man! Pretty damn awesome!
Thanks!
Forgot to post a pic of the actual car. From last year at the 12 hour. Hopefully I'll get some pics from this year soon.
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Last edited by TSM330i; 05-06-2014 at 05:11 PM.
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      05-07-2014, 03:49 PM   #4
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1) Race starts are insane
2) What happened in turn 12 to the ratchet head E46 (at 17:15ish in the video) is my biggest fear on Tbolt

Thanks for the hospitality! Was so bummed I couldn't stay for the whole thing! Did I tell you that I didn't even get a chance to say hi to Steve even though we were there from 11am till almost 6pm? Crazy!
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      05-07-2014, 04:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkrM3 View Post
1) Race starts are insane
2) What happened in turn 12 to the ratchet head E46 (at 17:15ish in the video) is my biggest fear on Tbolt

Thanks for the hospitality! Was so bummed I couldn't stay for the whole thing! Did I tell you that I didn't even get a chance to say hi to Steve even though we were there from 11am till almost 6pm? Crazy!
It was nice to have someone there for support! We really appreciate you and Jeff coming out.

Yes, things go bye pretty quickly during the race. Wow, I had no idea you were there that long! I stayed in the car till 8pm, so a 3 hour double stint. I felt pretty good when I got out.
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      05-10-2014, 11:17 PM   #6
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We had a great time. Thanks again for the invite Rob. Maybe some other time we can get on the kart track with their rentals for some fun.

Congrats again on the strong finish.
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      05-28-2014, 07:35 PM   #7
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Rob thanks for having us. It was a blast. I am glad you liked a few of the pictures I was able to snap.
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      05-29-2014, 11:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTiceman View Post
Rob thanks for having us. It was a blast. I am glad you liked a few of the pictures I was able to snap.
See you Sunday night and Monday and Tuesday!
Steve and I are staying at the Fairfield too.
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