And finally, I woke and had time to have everything soak in my head about what had just happened.
First and very most, I can’t thank the entire team on accomplishing an amazing 1-3 finish in E2 (second slowest class in the race, beating the faster ESR, E0 and E1 classes to take 8th overall and taking the title of the fastest sub-2.0L car in the race, in the one of the most grueling and the longest endurance race in the world. Only ES class (the fastest class of the 25-hour race) escaped our relentless advance up the 86-car field. And to do this on our very first try at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill is truly staggering.
The crew, OMG, the crew. With what you guys called the “Hell Hour,” is the defining and testing moment of our win. I finished my first double stint at night (a little more than 3 hours), I got to sleep to rest for my next double stint at around 3 or 4am. Both cars broke in some way after holding 1-2 up until that point and you guys literally put the hammer down to get both car in race form again. I didn’t know it happened until hours after the cars were both down to 3rd and 5th in class and got briefed by the team before I got back in Enzo. You guys are the heart and spirit of what this team is about and what we came to do. You fed us all when we were hungry, you fueled our cars while risking catching fire and cancer to do so, burning and cutting yourselves to keep the cars racing and dog-piling a car to get one car with dead brakes to stop on pit lane. You guys did it all.
Oscar Jackson Sr.: the crew chief and master strategist. The man that never left his post and never slept through the whole 25-hour race. Without his experience and wisdom, this achievement would not be possible. Critical communication between the crew and the drivers were very clear, precise and effective for winning this and having a smooth operation even in times of peril.
Emilio and William: the crazy and innovative masterminds that thought this race was a good idea in the first place and also schemed the tuning philosophy behind both sister cars, Crusher and Enzo. Also, you two personally are my mentors that influenced me to become a wheel-to-wheel racer and continue getting better and learning more from you two.
Fellow drivers: We all did our jobs. As we put as Rule #1, “Protect the cars.” We did that and proved that we as team can drive past the big boys, show that our speed, crafty dogfighting, strategy and heart and passion as racers can move mountains, as well as our cars across the finish line in podium positions.
Team 949Racing, thank you. THANK YOU for the memories. I will cherish this throughout my life.
Seriously crazy day. A few crashes, a rollover and Team 949Racing qualified 1st and 4th in E2.
Looking forward to tomorrow.
I will let the pictures speak for themselves for now. But in case you are wondering, the two days are epic.