2005 8 Hours of the Cascades Enduro
October 15 - Portland International Raceway

This was our second attempt at the Cascade 8 Hour. Last year, we had a clean run to 3rd in class and 6th overall and hoped to improve on that result. Again, we were in the fast P1 class, for 2.5 liters and above. We were way outmatched in pace by a Porsche GT3 Cup car, a very fast mustang, a 944 turbo, a Panoz, a 993 cup car, a turbo tube-frame Fiero and an ex-Grand-Am Cup M3. We were faster than a few of the 15 P1 cars, but not many. Staying in touch with the very fast e36 BMWs, which would be leading the P2 class, was going to be tough enough. Our only hope was to run a clean race and let the others run into trouble.
The plan was to run 3 drivers with each doing a double stint. This year Steve Adams and Bruce Beachman were my co-drivers. Steve had run the enduro with me last year and I knew Steve would do a clean, consistent stint. However, it was somehow going to be his first race of the year (in spite of owning three different race cars this season). Bruce is an experienced racer that brought a lot to the team. You usually find him in his e30 BMW or racing his Corvette in the Grand-Am Rolex Series. Somehow, I suckered him into racing in my car. ;-) We started on shaved Toyo RA1s and planned on running them the whole way if the weather stayed dry. Just gas and go!
I was to do the first stints. I don't usually get nervous before a race but standing in the pit lane with the rest of the drivers waiting for the Le Mans style start I was feeling butterflies. The horn sounded and everyone sprinted for their cars. I jumped in and Steve helped me fumble with the belts. (Note to self: practice the start next time) It felt like a year before I was ready to roll. Luckily, the start doesn’t really matter in an 8 hour race. We left the pit lane 17th of the 42 starters. Once rolling, I discovered my earphone plug got unplugged in the scramble to get the belts done up. No wonder the radio was so quiet! After messing with it for a couple of laps I was able to get the plug back in. The prospect of being without communication with the pits for the next two hours and forty minutes was not a pleasant thought. By the fourth lap I had worked my way up to seventh place overall. After the chaos of the first 20 minutes or so I settled into a groove. I narrowly avoided a VW Rabbit, which had spun in front of me and had a couple close calls in traffic but no real issues. Our plan of consistency and reliability was starting to work. During my stint the M3 had thrown a belt and the Strictly e36 lost its engine.

Throughout my stint I found most everyone to be well behaved and the passing was courteous. With 42 cars of various speeds on the track the passing and being passed was constant. I had expected that long in the car to be harder, but it wasn't so bad. Even after two hours I felt I could still do my best laps. The car was still up for it too. The manual steering rack caused my arms and shoulders to be sore the next day. But, during the race I didn’t feel anything.
We were still seventh overall when I handed off to Steve for the next 2 stints. He reported a few issues with traffic and had a clean run except for a spin on his final in lap. On average, he was running at least half a second faster per lap when compared to last year. It had started raining just before 5pm and we were holding him out until it really got wet in order to do a driver change, fuel and rain tires all at the same time. I guess we waited one lap too long! He brought the car in undamaged and we switched to Pirelli rain tires and put Bruce in the car. The crew did an unbelievably good tire change considering we didn’t even practice one. During Steve's stints the 993 hit clutch trouble and the Adare e36 went out with engine problems. The 944 turbo, which had actually gone all the way to the lead, had axle problems and spent a while in the pits. We had moved up to fifth overall by lap 174.

Bruce did the final stints in rough conditions. First wet then dark, but luckily not both. After a short while, the rain stopped and the track began to dry. Bruce came back in after 40 minutes or so and we sent him back out on full tread Toyos. It looked like it was going to rain again so we went conservative and put on tires that would work okay (but not great) in the dry or wet. We had an 8 lap cushion on each side so we just needed to keep the car moving and out of the pits. Bruce did a great job and ran a few laps in the dark that were within a couple of seconds of the best I could do in daylight on better tires.
We remained in 5th place overall for the entire second half of the race. We were in position to move up if any car ahead of us had a problem but we did have the speed to catch any of them. In order to move up, we just needed some fast cars to break and they didn’t. We completed 318 laps and finished 5th overall, 4th in P1. The overall race winner was the Porsche GT3 Cup car.

We had no issues with the car and every pit stop went smoothly. Jim Hill did a great job on the radio and keeping everyone organized. The crew did an outstanding job especially since a lot of the guys had never worked together before. Without their hard work, these kinds of events wouldn’t be possible. Thank you to everybody that helped. Now if the car was just faster....

Photos By David Taylor, Skip Grehan, Randy & Linda Krause
More Photos from Skip

Enduro Stats:
- Drivers: Bruce Beachman, Steve Adams, Eric Krause
- Crew: Jim Hill, Skip Grehan, Greg & Gary Estes, James Temple, Anna Adams, Randy & Linda Krause
- 5th overall out of 42 starters
- 4th in class
- 318 laps completed
- 16 laps behind the winning Porsche GT3 Cup car
- 6 pit stops for a total of 12:17 minutes including 2 four tire changes due to changing weather
- 1:20.605 fast lap (Krause)
- 85 gallons of gas, 1 qt. oil. That's it!