2008 4 Hours of Pacific Raceways
March 9 - Pacific Raceways

If you have read any other enduro reports on this site, you would know Steve Adams has driven my car many times and that we originally planned to run his yellow BMW M3 in last October's 4 hour. Well, he finally got a bigger fuel cell and this was to be his car's maiden enduro. Of course time slips away and the car's first shakedown with the new fuel system would be the day before the race. That would leave plenty of time to fix any unforeseen problem, ha!

We signed up for the lapping sessions on Saturday. That would allow us to get the pits setup early, test the car and for me to get some time in the car. Steve took the car out first and it ran without issue and didn't turn into a fire ball (a good first step for a new fuel system). A little later I got my first chance to try the car. The first noticeable difference to my car was how fast it accelerated. The other thing was the sound. Man, does that straight six sound sweet. It also has a great off throttle burble. I spent the first session getting used to the shift points and getting comfortable. The next session I started pushing harder. I finally got a break in traffic so I decided to see how fast I could get thru turn 8. It turns out you can't use all the throttle, like in my car. I spun on exit. It was harmless, but not quite to plan. After the spin the car had a strange braking issue, it would lock the right rear going down the hill into 3a. It seemed to be a one off occurance (but it will rear it's ugly head again).
The weather on race day was great. Nothing like the rain of last October. Since we had run the day before, I was only going to do one practice session in the morning and save the car for the race. If you have read any of Steve's race reports you would know he has been fighting to get the bugs out of the car for a while. Sometimes its best not to push your luck. I started the race from the second row and was able to grab the overall lead into turn 1, but it didn't last long as by turn 2 a couple of faster cars were all over me. The P0 class Mustang and V8 Z-car went by as well as Bruce Beachman in the Caterham. I tried to stay with them, but it was pointless as I was not yet at a stage where I felt comfortable pushing the car. I settled into a groove and tried to click off consistent laps. It was going well for a while but soon the tires became 'greasy' and the car was becoming loose. It really hurt exit speed but it was a nice luxury to have the power to drive around people on the straights. I was not used to that.
The pitlane at Pacific is massively long and slow so pitstops must be kept to the absolute minimum. With the untested fuel system, the length of a stint was a real question mark. We wanted to make it to 2 hours (halfway) but it was going to be tight. At about 1:40 into the race the car started stuttering on the straights. It got progressively worse every lap. The gauge still showed gas in the tank but obviously it was not picking it all up or the gauge was wrong. I pitted at about the 1:45 mark for gas and a driver change. At that point we were 1st in class and 4th overall. The bad news was that we were definitely going to need to stop for another splash of gas.

Over the next hour, every car in front of us encountered a problem or dropped out. With about an 1:15 to go we had the overall lead but the second place car was on the same lap and closing. That car was also a yellow e36 M3 of Helton/Boyle (AKA "Nemesis"). They had a bigger fuel cell, so it was only a matter of time before we had to pit and give up the lead. With about 45 minutes left in the race there was a full course caution. It was perfect timing for us. We pitted from the lead for a splash of gas. We were able to get out of the pits before the pace car came around but unfortunately the race went back to green before Steve could catch back up to the field. We were now in 2nd but almost a full lap down. There was a brief battle of yellow M3's but Steve spun trying to keep the leader from lapping him. After the spin, the weird braking behavior returned. Steve was locking rear wheels, not something an ABS equipped car should do.
We had now resigned ourselves to second. It would be a good result for the car's first enduro. Steve just needed to bring the car home. Then out of the blue, Pat Boyle in the lead car pitted with 5 minutes left. What!!?!!! They were out of gas! Steve passed them for the lead as they were exiting the pits on the final lap. I was jumping up and down. We won!
Photos by Randy Krause.
Video from the 4 Hours of Pacific Raceways on YouTube

Enduro Stats:
- Drivers: Steve Adams, Eric Krause
- Crew: James Temple, Gil Lopez, Randy Krause, Linda Krause, Scott Norton, Cam Norton
- 1st overall out of 24 cars
- 1st in class
- 137 laps completed
- 2 pit stops
- 1:38.337 fast lap (Adams)