Who doesn’t love “cheap” racing, especially if it is endurance racing? Well I followed a team on the quest for victory over the weekend in the Champcar Endurance Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Not only was it cold, sporting 48 degree high on Saturday, it was wet too. The rain was constant all day ranging from medium rain to heavy drizzle. This of course wreaked havoc on the cars and drivers. During one 10-minute span alone, three cars wrecked and were pulled from the race. The carnage continued throughout the day on Saturday with less chaos happening on a less rainy, slightly drier Sunday. In the evenings, some of the cars were inspected and dyno’ed to ensure no cheating was taking place, that they could prove anyway.
“Team Honey Badger” are veterans at endurance racing, closing in quickly on their tenth year going head to head with other teams across the United States. While currently racing a mildly modified, early 2k Honda Accord, the teams stable has previously included an 86 Mustang, 88 Mazda RX7 and a slew of Acura Integras. This Accord belonged to their west coast efforts, racing at such tracks as Willow Springs Raceway in California, but was relocated to the East Coast after their previous Integra met its ultimate demise.
The team did well all weekend with consistent pit stops which typically consisted of a driver change (mandatory maximum 2-hour driver stints mandated by Champcar rules) and a refueling. Fortunately, the team managed to steer clear of any serious incidents and other than being tapped in the rear bumper twice and a hydroplaned 360 here and there. The weekend left the Honey Badgers Accord ready for the next race and a third in Class podium.
The drivers themselves were another story. Fueled on Moon Pies, Red Bull and Brazilian Steakhouse food, they braved the weekend with much complaining, soaked racing suits and full exercised use of their explicative vocabulary.
At the end of the day, it was a great weekend of comradery among teammates and other teams as they all braved the rain and the cold to compete for the glory among the beautiful Alabama countryside.