Race Recap: SCCA Enduro at Roebling Road Raceway on July 3rd 2010

Since the NASA FL Spec Miata Challenge is on summer break until September, we decided to participate in a Southeast Division SCCA Endurance race at our favorite track, Roebling Road Raceway in Savannah Georgia on the weekend of July 3rd-4th. For the 2010 season, we made the move to NASA Spec Miata Challenge racing for the laid back atmosphere, contingencies, and the chance to promote our business in a more customer oriented race series. We have limited our SCCA racing schedule to only a few choice races to fill in our race schedule when there wasn’t a NASA race available, SCCA racing has shown to be tough on equipment and very frustrating, as the competition is a little out of control at our local races. We really just got tired of doing body work and tearing up our cars, it wasn’t worth the effort, time, and money spent to try and keep up with an SCCA season. Regardless, racing is racing and a 90 minute endurance race at Roebling Road has been something we have wanted to do for a while, so we hauled the 5X Racing rig and two Spec Miata’s up to the 2.2 mile sweeping road course west of Savannah for our last race for at least a couple of months.

The format of the weekend had lots of racing to offer, the schedule was drawn out over the course of three days, and included: Two 90 minute enduros (ECR), and two 30 minute sprint races (SARRC) each with their own 20 minute qualifying session. Since racing on Friday would not be possible for our whole team, John chose to participate in Saturdays Enduro and Rick chose to participate in Saturdays 30 minute sprint race. Sunday would be a fun day in downtown Savannah and getting home at a reasonable time for the 4th of July holiday for John, Rick, and Jim. 5X Racing would be represented well at Roebling, with Team members: John Adamczyk, Rick Adamczyk, Jim Blaisdell, as well as close friends George Munson and Chris Fulton all appearing at the event. The Ironman award of the weekend goes to Chris Fulton for participating in every race available over the course of three days! Jim Blaisdell participated in both enduros, and George Munson shared Chris Fultons car with him in Friday’s enduro, but raced his own car in both sprint races.

With our last visit to Roebling Road resulting in a DNF in the SARRC Invitational Challenge due to a major crash, we were aiming to get back on the podium for a redeeming return to our best track. The weather was very nice for July, as high 80’s were forecasted for Saturday, so the lap times would not be affected too much due to extremely hot temperatures.  We experimented a little bit with our proven setups on the 5X Racing shop scales, dialing in an exact 50-50 cross weight balance on both 5XR cars. This proved to work against us, as Roebling is all right handed turns except for two left handers. The cars were balanced well, which made them fast through the left handers, but left us lacking grip in the right handers. Despite the handling issues, John was able to post a qualifying time that was good enough for 4th in class, and 6th overall for the Enduro. Rick was taking his time to feel out the track, since the last time he was there was in his drivers school back in 2007. He would start towards the back of the pack in the sprint race. Jim Blaisdell and Chris Fulton slotted into the midpack for the enduro, but in a 90 minute race consistency and smart driving is the key to a good result, not starting position.

When the green flag dropped for the start of the enduro, cooler heads prevailed and everybody played nice, which is not too common in SCCA Spec Miata racing at Roebling Road! 1st place qualifier Alex Bolanos made a quick get-away with Tom Fowler in 2nd; while Matt VanVurst, Roger Burdette, and John Adamczyk battled for the 3rd position for at least 45 minutes! Alex Bolanos, driving Cliff Blanchard’s 1.6 Miata ended up losing an engine about a quarter of the way through the race, which moved everyone up a position. We had planned our pit strategy to need refueling around the hour mark, as the required 5 minute pit stop would be plenty of time to refuel and refill the ice in the cool shirt system. At the 55 minute mark, John was forced to break away from the battle with VanVurst and Burdette when the engine bogged coming out of turn 2 from fuel starvation, luckily there was enough fuel in the tank to make it around to the pits. Team 5X Racing’s pit was shared between John Adamczyk, Jim Blaidell and Chris Fulton, the stops were staggered to eliminate the threat of multiple cars pitting at the same time. With the pit crew help of Rick Adamczyk and Chris Fultons father-in-law Woody, we were able to perform a perfect 5 minute pit stop with refuel and ice refill in the cool shirt system. Once back out on track, John put the pedal down and hoped for mistakes either on the track or in the pits by VanVurst and Burdette. John was able to pass the Fowler/Bogart entry for position, which moved him to 3rd place in class. Although he had an open track ahead, John was not able to regain the time lost when his engine bogged from fuel at the 55 minute mark to close the gap to VanVurst and Burdette, as they would go on to fight for the entire 90 minutes and not make a mistake costly enough to allow the 3 car battle to ensue once again. So after 90 minutes of mistake free racing, only an engine bog would keep John from the chance at victory in the 90 minute endurance race at Roebling Road. After all was said and done, John brought the #25 5X Racing Spec Miata home in 3rd place! Not a bad result for our first enduro at Roebling Road and first enduro with a single driver completing the entire race without a driver change! Both Jim Blaisdell and Chris Fulton brought their cars home in one piece for solid finishes and a good knowledge of Roebling Road, the development on both of their cars will surely benefit from their experience in both 90 minute enduro’s completed on this 4th of July race weekend!

So long for now, we will resume racing again in October. We will still be involved in our respective racing communities and plan to produce some very innovative spec miata parts and accessories with our extra time, so keep an eye on 5XRacing.com for new product announcements and specials!

Thanks for reading and following!

John Adamczyk