The last race of the 2014 Championship Enduro Series took place last weekend at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, MI. Last year it went so poorly that I never got around to writing the post but there is some video. Saturday was rained out and Sunday was his first race ever with our untested Briggs animal motor. During the first practice the clutch failed, and the rest of the day was a gearing struggle.
This year’s race was much more relaxed. The Novice Junior championship was already locked up by Jason, we have been running the Animal all summer long, the kart was well tuned, and the driver and crew were ready.
We arrived Friday night and set up camp. The weather was expected to be cold with a chance of rain. The night did bring some light rain, and so did Saturday morning. All eyes were on smart phone radar maps, wondering if it was going to clear in time to get some racing in. Thankfully, the sky cleared and the track was dried by noon. Race director Earl and the track crew managed to get 3 practice sessions in and the races started only 2 hours late, with the expectation that we would get them all in. During practice, I managed to get the kart running better with a couple of gear changes and Jason settled into the track dropping 2 seconds throughout the day. The race was uneventful, he ran clean and finished first in his class, with a best lap of 2:14 over 2.14 miles, average speed of 60 mph. After racing we went to the 2013 season’s award banquet and hung out with some of the great friends we have made over the last two seasons. That evening Jason received his 2013 2nd place trophy.
Sunday morning was cool and a little overcast but no rain to speak of. Excellent racing weather. During practice Jason picked up two more seconds (2.12 seconds a lap) over Saturday just by pushing hard and chasing his friends during practice. As the race started he made his usual jump from 7th place up to second, but the folks in the faster classes passed him within a few laps. In the third lap, just after he lapped the novice driver, he misjudged the exit to turn 2 and went for a little drive in the grass. He held on and returned to the track. From then on out he continued to run clean and finished the day and the series with three fist pumps as he crossed the finish line. A great finish to the weekend and the series.
The next race is the last race and night at Road American on 9/20. This is a last chance to try some of the adjustments we have learned over the last few weeks since we where last there.
Sunday’s racing was supported by C&M Auto Service of Glenview, IL. This is the third year that Chuck and his team has supported us. They have serviced five generations of Pribyl vehicles, including both of Jason’s karts. Just this week our 2009 VW Jetta Wagon’s check engine light came on. There were 4 codes that lead to,a dead fan system, failed intake manifold, and a clogged EGR filter. The guys did a lot of research to make sure that they fixed the parts that actually needed fixing and retested after each system was repaired. It turned out that only the fan and the intake where truly at fault. We are very grateful that they took the time to do the repairs correctly and only did the work that was necessary.
Thanks again to C&M Auto for their continued support, Regan at 4 Cycle Central for getting us through some tough times this year. Dave Larson and the whole CES team for putting this on. Karen, thanks for not losing it when I suggested we go to Daytona for Christmas in 2015, but there are no 4 cycle classes.