2009 6 Hours of Pacific Raceways
March 8 - Pacific Raceways

In the Pacific Northwest, it doesn't matter what the forecast is, it is usually unreliable at best. In spite of the wet forcast for Saturday, we got several dry sessions to practice and shake off a winter's worth of rust. So far so good.
The weatherman was saying some snow was possible for Sunday. It's March, they must mean some really cold rain. It couldn't really snow much in March could it?
I awoke Sunday to a grey and wet morning. The same morning it is for most of the winter. Great, no snow, lets go racing! The trip to the track is about 45 minutes and everything was looking good until I got to about 5 minutes away from the track. The closer I got to the track there was more and more snow on the trees. Damn, I think it snowed at the track an no where else! All but one morning practice session was cancelled as crews worked to clear the track of the snow and ice.

It had been previously decided that Craig would start the race, Mike would run second and I would finish. I asked Craig to take the car out for the practice session since he would running first and hadn't gotten in the car on Saturday. The track was damp and the air heavy. Craig reported the car was working well. The Hoosier rains were giving good grip, we just needed to make sure the car didn't fog up.

At the start of the race, there was a light rain/snow mix coming down. Nothing much to worry about and pretty good conditions for the tires we had on. Craig made a clean start from mid pack and realed in several cars ahead of him. While the crew retreated to the comfort of the RV, Craig pounded around. The 2 BMWs and 1 RX7 ahead of us were running as a group and pulling away. Craig had settled into 4th overall and was pulling away from the cars behind. Our strategy was to keep our pace and wait for the cars ahead to make a mistake or run into a problem.
At about an hour and half into the race Craig reported that he might be getting a flat tire. When he passed by all the tires looked inflated, hmmm. By now it was also starting to snow pretty heavily. Before long it was coming down in giant flakes and starting to stick to the wet ground. At this point they decided to black flag the race and bring all the cars into the paddock to wait out the snow. It had been coming down so hard that the turn stations could not see each other and thus the need to stop the race. The deflating tire turned out to be the car moving around in the slush that was building up. Apparently Hoosier doesn't make a snow tire.

Everyone gathered in Mike's RV and waited for the snow to stop. And waited for the snow to stop. And waited for the snow to stop. It kept coming down until there were several inches on the ground and the track looked more like a Christmas post card. Eventually, it was decided it was going to take too long to clean up the track and the race was called. We finished 4th overall and 3rd in class. I don't think anyone in the paddock was satisfied with the outcome.

As we packed up, the sun came out and the snow started to quickly disappear. By the time I reached highway 167 on the way home, the roads were dry and the sun was out. Damn weather!

Enduro Stats:
- Drivers: Craig Hillis, Mike McAleenan, Eric Krause
- Crew: Ashis Vaidya, Cam Norton, James Temple, Scott Norton, Steve Adams
- 4th overall out of 24 cars
- 3rd in class
- 51 laps completed
- 0 pit stops
- Too much snow!