Third race, third DNF. *sigh*. At least this time we've got some idea of how to keep this from happening the next time around. But hey, let's start from the beginning…
Thursday night, we were in high spirits. The car was in good shape, the radios were working for the first time ever, and we were ready to rock and roll. After our usual trip to "tacos," I hopped in the driver's seat to roll the car up on the trailer. That's when we hit our first snag. And by "we," I mean the car, and by "snag," I mean that the car didn't have enough clearance to avoid crushing the side-exit exhaust pipe against the leading edge of the trailer. So what was once a 3" pipe now had less exhaust capacity than the original Beetle. Great.
After lots of post-arrival craziness with three pry bars and a punch set, we got the exhaust pipe somewhat de-mangled. Saturday morning, the car took the green flag and was running pretty well; huzzah! All four of the drivers got some seat time before the car encountered… uhh… phantom transmission syndrome. Basically, an important bolt disappeared, and a different important bolt started backing itself out, at which point the transmission started separating itself from the engine. Oops. Completely fixable, though. We fixed everything up, took it for a test spin, and waited for Sunday's racing to begin.
I woke up shivering at 4am Sunday morning after being misled by an abnormally-sweltering Friday night at the track. As I walked to my car to get my sleeping bag, I noticed some faint light silhouetting the Turn 5 flagger station. Ever the impulsive photographer, I pulled out my D7100 and my handy mini-tripod and took some pictures, finally ending up with an 8-second exposure. I already knew this from the 25 Hour race, but Thunderhill is amazing at night.
In the morning, we discovered that our engine was broken. Whoops. And so our race ended unexpectedly, without any particular incident worthy of finger-pointing. Initial diagnosis was a broken oil pump that stopped working "at some point." Well, that was abrupt.