SCCA 13 Hour Enduro Race at the VIRginia International Raceway
October 2004
or, driving around in a non-round circle all day and having a great time
The email simply said "want to come with us and see the 13 hour Enduro in Virginia?"  Ah, yeah! With the team smart enough to not let me do anything other than photograph the event, I figured, this could be for me.  So we spent some of the week before organizing. Who's driving, who's going, and then who's driving me after several of the team found better uses for the weekend.  Fortunately, Martin was going to drive down in his diesel Volks. Unfortunately, he wouldn't let me buy any gas (something about obscene gas milage and I think he didn't want me to get spoiled or something) and equally as unfortunately, we were leaving at 4:45 AM, from a place about an hour from my house!
We got to VIR about 3 in the afternoon. The drive down was mostly hiway, but there is a stretch off I-81 that took us through Lynchburg VA that was quite the road. All turns and sharp embankments. Not quite Tail of the Dragon, (and here, too) but the same idea.  Anyway, we got there in the afternoon to find the car already there. Glenn had driven down the day before.  Martin, can be seen at left giving the car a good once over. Four wheels? All the fenders?  Any of the Merco (yes, cheap self-serving ad here) gaffers tape fall off?
That night there was a qualifying race to see who starts where:
Patrick jacking car to change wheels before the quailifying
Otto's MINI in the grid, waiting to start
Lynn timing HeMan car
Gasing the car
Gasing, again
Aiming headlamps
Mike in the car, ready to Zoom Zoom
Martin and Patrick hailing a cab. Well, actually showing Mike where to stop in the pit. I just couldn't resist the analogy.
Please click on the pictures for larger views!
After qualifying, we all went to Shoney's for a dinner that will not be forgotten. Mostly because the waitress was only to be outdone by the quality of the food.  DO NOT ask Bob about the soup, or Lynn about Seltzer.
A Day at the Races
The day starts getting the car ready. Notice in the left picture the steering wheel is on the dash. It is a quick release mechanism, designed for easier driver entry/exit.  The second picture is Glen in the car, with Patrick  going over some last minute details and Martin, in the background, doing his mechanical stuff. Then, we have Glen, in the car. Ready to go. Notice also the netting and the helmet radio. Not your everyday street driving stuff, but very useful on the track. Lastly, we have the completely out of order picture of the start of the race. Looks good visually, but Mike actually started the race and Glenn drove later. But it flows visually, so I took the liberty... Of course, to the right, we have a Patrick picture of me, hardly working. And doing a good job of it.
Again, please click on the pictures for larger views!
Even a race that isn't 13 hours would require pit stops:
Click here for several pictures of Team Honda
Again, please click on the pictures for larger views!
Patrick over the Pit wall with Fire Extinguisher in hand
Patrick with can, Mike with extinguisher, Glen gasing
Some of the Pit, from the finish Line Tower
Mike and Mike driving
Back in the Pit
I have to say that the teams were incredibly efficient in getting the drivers in the pit, serviced, and back out on the track. Click on the Team Honda to the right for a series of pictures, or on each picture below for an enlargement
Waiting to Go                                                          Martin and Patrick (notice the back of Patrick's helmet)
All good things must come to an end... HeMan blew the rear end and the car was out of the race after only 6 hours. That left nothing to do other than pack it up until next season, find dinner (NOT Shoney's,) and go back and watch the conclusion of the race at night.
Back in the Truck
The Rear End
Back in the Trailer
But while the race was over for some, it was still going strong for others:
In the end, what it was all about.  I saw people walking about looking for spare parts of every desciption. Got a bolt-on steering wheel? No, but since you don't have one either, can we borrow your differential? Of course, some where there to win. But some where there to be there. Hours of prep work, all season long.  Hours in the car getting there. 13 hours (or less, as the case may be) driving around in a circle. And everyone smiled., all day long
The picture on the right is of Manassass Motors BMW 2002. It was a 1974-76 model year. 28+ years old. Probably got beat on most corners, and certainly on the straights, but they kept plugging away and finished. And were happy. It sums things up nicely.

This was a great weekend and an excellent experience and when your friends say "Want to go to the Races and crew with us?" don't miss the opportunity!
(c) 2004 David Rose
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Techie Stuff:
These were shot with a Leica/Panasonic LC1 digital with a 28-90 sumicron lens, a
Nikon F3 with an 80-200 f4 zoom and a Leica M7 body with a Voigtlander 12mm f5.6 Heliar lens. I shot Fuji for pretty much the first time (I always use Kodak).  I've reduced the images with image compression software. Even so, this page is HUGE bandwidth, for which I apologise. Because of the compression, several of the images do appear 'less sharp' than they should.