2010 12 Hours of the Cascades Enduro
October 16 - Portland International Raceway

Last year’s performance at this race was pretty dismal. The car suffered from several electrical issues and we finished well back in the pack, but there were hopes of redemption this year. Leading up to the race the car had been performing well and the odd glitches seemed to be history. Over the winter I had replaced or serviced just about any part which could have been a suspect. This included new injector and reference sensor harnesses, new reference sensors, new knock sensor, the injectors were serviced, new fuel pump, filters, replaced the DME & KLR computers, replaced the SMT6 piggyback and re- did a lot of wiring. If the car was going to fail this year, it was going to need to come up with a new reason!
Photos by Randy Krause
This year Bruce Beachman was going to rejoin the driving team but unfortunately he broke his wrist a week before the race. Luckily, we were able to draft in Mike McAleenan and the driver lineup became a repeat of last year with Bruce and Spencer Trenery also back for another go. While the drivers were the same the weather was not, instead of rain, it looked to be a couple of beautiful October days. I arrived at the track late Friday morning with the car and we proceeded to setup for the Friday afternoon practice sessions. I’ve been blessed with having mostly the same crew and drivers for several years now so there were no hitches in getting things rolling. The difference this year was the car was onboard with the plan and didn't add any drama on Friday. It was running smooth and handling and braking the best it has in a long time. I think the new wing and splitter helped in that department. We closed up shop and made sure we went to a different restaurant than we went to the last two years, not that anyone is superstitious.
Photos by Doug Berger
As the race starts with an old school LeMans style start, Spencer was a good choice to be the first driver. Not only is he a fast driver, he was probably the most agile! We've been doing these starts for a bunch of years, but for various reasons, we had never gotten away really well. This year Spencer and Mike took the initiative and made sure we had it down. The race started with the shot of a firework at 9:45am. Spencer jumped in the car and was rolling with the first few cars. He left the pit lane right behind the very fast ex-PTG GrandAM GT e46 M3 of GrassRoots racing that had the first grid position. Much to our pleasure, Spencer came around to lead the first flying lap and then the second. Our first lead in 7 years of running the race! But once the e46 had its tires warm it was only a matter of time before it took over the lead, which it did in short order. The Frost BMW M3 was running quick but not making ground on Spencer. We knew they had a lot better fuel range so we needed to stay ahead. The orange Speedsports 944 Turbo had made a slow get away from the grid but fast and just a lap down with a long way to go. Unfortunately, the yellow Helton M3 had broken the crank in practice and didn't make the start. Not the way I wanted to beat them. The other cars to watch out for were the E2 class Retro Racing RX-7 and RX-3s. Both of these cars are well prepped and typically faster than my car in sprint races.

The Frankenbimmer BMW catastrophically blew its engine somewhere around lap 14. The field was slowed by a full course caution and the rumor was the race was going to be stopped because there was so much oil to clean up. Since we knew that fuel was going to be an issue we took the opportunity to top up the tank before the black flag came out. The Grassroots M3 did the same. When the race resumed, we were third in class behind the Frost & Grassroots cars. The Speedsport car was now on the same lap too.

The Grassroots car was the class of the field and started to put distance between itself and everyone else. We were in a good battle with the Frost and Speedsport cars, each running laps around the 1:18 mark. The Speedsport Porsche was the next to pit and we came in for a quick fuel stop not long after. Meanwhile the Frost car kept chugging along, flaunting its enormous fuel cell. They did finally pit on lap 103 and picked up a penalty in the process. Their second stop to serve the penalty put us back on even footing. Then one lap later they were gone! Apparently a dropped valve put a sudden end to their race. Not long after that the Speedsports Porsche disappeared behind the wall with what I heard was a failed headgasket. The Retro Racing RX-7 had also hit problems. Before even quarter distance, a good chunk of the competition was gone or a ways back.
Photos by Camden Thrasher
Photo by Doug Berger
Spencer brought the car in for the scheduled driver change and we checked to oil and sent Bruce out. What wasn't scheduled was the amount of fuel the car was using. It was using a couple of gallons an hour more than it ever had before. It was a black hole threatening to suck in every available gallon in the Portland area. The good news was the engine was running strong with good pressures and even temps. The bad news was we were now marginal on having enough fuel to get to the end. A problem quickly solved by Mike when he picked up one of Frankenbimmer's now unneeded barrels.

After a solid stint, Bruce got out of the car around the 5 hour mark. The Trenerys then had to dash for the airport to get back to run a 4 hour at Laguna on Sunday. We were now second in class and overall. The Grassroots car was uncatchable and no one was closing from behind. It was clear the best strategy now was to take care of the car. We set a target pace for laps around 1:21. Mike got in for his double stint and smartly drove to the pace. As the 7 hour mark approached the Grassroots car had an 11 lap lead on us and we had 11 laps on the third place Retro racing RX-3. The Grassroots M3 pitted and at first it looked routine but then the hood went up and the laptop came out. Meanwhile, I went and watched the timing and scoring laptop and saw the lead dwindle, 5 laps, 4 laps,3,2,1 and then as we were about to go on the lead lap they closed the hood and went back out. They appeared to be back up to speed but the lap times were erratic. Something was going on. On lap 279 they pulled in and went behind the wall, never to return.

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Photos by Camden Thrasher
We pitted 7 laps later for my scheduled stint. Suddenly we were first overall with a nice cushion back to second. Until just a few minutes before, I hadn't expected to be getting into the leading car. How wonderfully odd! The car was still strong with the tires and brakes still in good condition, but there was nothing to be gained in pushing the pace. In fact, there was plenty to be lost. Things were going well with the biggest problem being a switch that had come loose and fallen behind the panel. As far as problem goes, it doesn't register, but that was the biggest one we had. The real battle was mental. Race driving is a great mental sport where it is possible to think about nothing and everything at the same time. One minute there are thoughts of how we have this race won and the next, hey idiot, there still five hours left to go. With a bit of effort I was able to push back any thoughts of the end of the race and just drove. And drove some more. The sunset was spectacular and with the long front straight there was time to admire it too. After a couple of hours I handed the car back to Mike to tackle the darkness. We were now lifting the hood and checking the oil with every stop, as well as dotting every i and crossing every t. The RX-3 was still laps back with 3 hours to go.
Photo by Randy Krause
Photo by Camden Thrasher
Photo by Doug Berger
Then it began to get interesting. Suddenly the RX-3 was running a couple of seconds a lap quicker than it had been. They had put Darren Dilley in the car and he is an animal in the dark, consistently running 1:17s. While it was fun to watch, we weren't going to be drawn into running with him. We just had to maintain our conservative pace. We had enough of a gap they weren't going to catch us, unless we screwed up. Mike finished what must have seemed like a long stint and turned the car back over to me for the last hour. The RX-3 was steadily whittling the gap but they were running out of time.

With our last pit stop done, the finish seemed within in sight. I just concentrated on hitting every mark and nothing else, but every little noise seemed to be magnified for the last hour. Every thump of pickup on the tires made my heart skip a beat. What was that?! Whew, nothing. I had been fighting so hard to keep back any thoughts of winning the race, that when I saw the Last Lap board displayed at the starter stand, it finally hit, we are going to win it! The rest is kind of a blur. We ended up completing 501 laps or just over 986 miles in 12 hours. The drivers and crew all did a great job. Everyone did exactly what we needed to do and it paid off. Thanks go out to everyone that helped put on this race. After seven years of trying we finally got not only a class win but the overall. In those years, we completed 2581 laps, 5081 miles, no DNFs, two 2nd overalls and now one win.
Photos by Camden Thrasher
Photo by Randy Krause

Enduro Stats:
- Drivers: Bruce Trenery, Mike McAleenan, Spencer Trenery, Eric Krause
- Crew: Aaron Nauman, Ashis Vaidya, Cam Norton, Emmet McAleenan, James Temple, Randy Krause, Scott Norton & Steve Clinton
- 1st of 6 cars in class
- 1st overall
- 11 pit stops
- 501 laps completed
- 1:17.595 fast lap (Spencer Trenery)