Last weekend the Clearspring Motor Club racing team, Cobra Kai, raced their Swedish Race Truck at Nelson Ledges Road Course in Ohio as part of the ChumpCar Longer Longest Day. After 25 hours, 25 minutes, and 25 seconds of racing—stopping only to change drivers and refuel the car every 2 hours—the checker flag dropped with our car in 13th place overall, a great result from a field of 74 cars that started the race.
ChumpCar is a racing series similar to the 24 Hours of LeMons. The premise is simple: buy a car for less than $500 and run it on a racetrack for hours on end. The car that accumulates the most laps over the race is declared the winner. This sort of “crap can” racing isn’t just orbiting a circle track, nor is it a demolition derby. The tracks are complex and difficult to master. The danger is real, too—we wear helmets, head-to-toe fire gear, all of the cars have full roll cages, and the safety rules are extensive.
In endurance racing the biggest factor is reliability. As long as you can keep out on the track without problems you have the basis for a good race. Performance can only take you so far and since the $500 price of the car includes any performance modifications, options there are limited. Our team has made great use of cutting things off of the car to improve performance. Before our first race we cut the springs and filled them with tennis balls to make the suspension stiffer. At our second race, the ChumpCar 24 Hours at VIR, we turned the race wagon into a truck by chopping the roof off while waiting in line to get into the racetrack. Our car’s performance from this weight-saving modification were enough to encourage another team at our most recent race to do the same with their Volvo.
Overall we had a great race without any problems that kept us off the track. Ending up in 13th place—ahead of dozens of cars that were turning faster laps when they were on track—is an wonderful achievement. For complete details on our race, check out this post on the CS Motor Club blog. Next time, we’re shooting for the top ten!
Think this is awesome? Check out the jobs page, we’re always looking for new
drivers folks at Clearspring.