Sunday, January 27, 2013

Silver Linings

There are four hours and change remaining in the twenty-four hour race, and the track and time have taken their toll. On a personal level, none of the teams or drivers I especially cared about is vying for the win. That means TRG, Truspeed (80), Patrick Long (Park Place 73), Melanie Snow (62), and Andrew Davis (Brumos 59) aren't in the hunt anymore.

Well, it's happened to plenty of cars.

One of the experiences I requested of TRG when asking them if I could embed with their team for the duration of the race was some time on the pitbox, listening to radio communications between the team and driver. I'm getting hours of that this morning, sadly.

So I suppose the silver lining of the attrition in this race is that by race's end, there's a lot more space in the pits for (sometimes intrusive) guests to hang out and watch--unlike the start of the race, where crew, drivers, and guests were tripping over each other with every step.

Actually, crew and drivers were tripping over guests who usually stood in the way, clueless. I tried hard not to be that guest, but I'm sure I was, on occasion. The patience of the team is impressive in those instances.

But the race is still young, and there are still five cars on the lead lap in GT, with the top three separated by about thirty seconds--amazing, considering we've run for nearly 20 hours!

Here in TRG we're doing a pit stop and driver change. Porsche ace Joerg Bergmeister will get in the car, taking over from Dominik Farnbacher. I presume pro Kuno Wittmer will finish the race later. The car and drivers might be 47 laps down, but, true warriors to the end, they're fighting hard for every position, lap and minute. They want to be running at the end, no matter how battered the car and exhausted the support team.

I'll be here with them!

Photo of the 66 car drivers: (l to r) Joerg Bergmeister, Dominik Farnbacher, Kuno Wittmer, and Ben Keating

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