The Krider/Kramer Racing Speed:Sport:Life E3 Class entry finished second in the 6 hour race (first portion of the 25 hour race), clinching the Western Endurance Racing Championship series for 2010. The team went on for the full 25 hours in the longest road race in the world to finish 31st overall out of 78 teams and 12th in class (after being in two major crashes from overtaking faster cars). Check out what the team did to endure the 25.
Photo by GotBlueMilk.com Photography.
Before the race the team and the car look great.
After the race the team still looks great, the car, not so much.
But the little Nissan SE-R SR20DE motor with Jim Wolf Technology parts never quit.
Steve Kuhtz built his “fall out shelter” race control on pit wall with heaters and wind blocks to try to stay warm in dry on a cold and wet December weekend.
Drivers Keith Kramer, Rob Krider and Dave Schotz drove error free for 25 hours while Crew Chief Steve Kuhtz stayed awake for the entire event keeping things running like clock work.
The real story of the event had nothing to do with the drivers (who disappeared into their motor homes to sleep during the event) but everything to do with the Krider Racing pit crew who worked hard before the race and all through the night repairing the car after it was hit twice in Thunderhill’s harrowing and fast turn 8. Craig Rohning stayed up most of Thursday night getting the car ready for qualifying on Friday (had Craig not arrived when he did the car absolutely would not have been ready to race 25 hours). Simeon Gracy drove all over the Bay Area picking up parts for the car. Bay Ex Delivery Service ran parts directly up to the track for us Friday night before the race started, one of them being a very important new exhaust built by Napa Valley Muffler because the Nissan was over on the track’s sound meter. Dan “Gadget” Bordeau scored the team some new lower controls arms at the last minute and stayed up most of Friday night getting those installed.
AJ Gracy and Stephen Young from Performance In-Frame Tuning, arrived fresh on Saturday morning to help keep the Nissan running. Their mechanical knowledge was tested at hour 6 when a fast ES Class car drilled the 33 car in Turn 8.
This impact spun the car around and then tore the front bumper off along with some very important lights needed for night racing.
The incident was determined to be the other car’s fault by NASA. This was mostly in part to the team’s spotters at the event. Randy Krider, Tim Persico and Joel Schotz manned the tower near turn 10 for 25 hours straight keeping an eye in the sky and keeping the team out of trouble.
The crew did an outstanding job of changing tires (drys to wets, wets to drys, over and over again as the weather changed) as well as getting on a new set of Carbotech RP2 compound brake pads and fresh rotors. The Prospeed RS683 brake fluid from I/O Port Racing Supplies was phenomenal during the event and never faltered.
Art Cortez and the Kramer Family kept food warm and ready for the crew to eat at any time through the night.
The graveyard crew was Rob Diehl, Tim Jackley and Swain Mason (along with the hard chargers Craig Rohning, Stephen Young, AJ Gracy and Randy Krider who only took small naps during the weekend, sometimes while still sitting in the pits).
At 4 a.m. an ESR Class car, a very fast Radical (actually the fastest car in the event), hit the left rear corner of the 33 car hard in turn 8 (again with turn 8). The impact bent the rear control arms. The team brought the sister car (the red 38 Nissan SE-R) to the event just in case something like this happened. They scavenged the parts off of it to get the 33 car back on track fast.
The fiberglass hood started coming apart (thanks to the first impact in the event). Tim Jackley (who could always find stuff the team needed by cruising around the pits and socializing) scored a Honda fender (the color even matched). Gadget cut it apart and made an enormous hood pin backing plate to get the team out on track quick.
After the clock went around once, plus one more hour, the 33 car was still going around the track and finished solid under green. The team celebrated at the trackside wall. The crew worked hard, endured some ugly weather and tough repairs but made it happen for the team.
After Keith Kramer took the checker, the 33 car came in, missing some parts, but still going strong after 25 hours.
The team relaxed and enjoyed some much deserved Dos Equis after the event. Nobody was in the mood to pack up.
This feat could not have been accomplished without the help of the team’s sponsors and friends. The team won the 2010 NASA E3 Class Western Endurance Racing Championship and survived the longest closed course road race in the world. The pit crew never had a single penalty for spilling fuel or rules violations during the entire 2010 racing season (an unbelievable statistic in NASA endurance racing). Honda Performance Development/Realtime Acura ran in the E3 class against Speed:Sport:Life. Realtime spilled gas during their first pit stop of the 25 hour and were held to a five minute penalty (they also rolled their car over within the first four hours of the race). When you think about how many championships Realtime has won and what kind of series they run in, the fact that the Krider Racing crew bested them is very impressive.
The Krider/Kramer Speed:Sport:Life number 33 Nissan Sentra was sponsored by Kuhtz Diehl Insurance and Financial Services, I/O Port Racing Supplies, Prospeed RS683, Hoosier Tires, America’s Tire in Clovis, Carbotech Brake Pads, Nissan Motorsports, Performance In-Frame Tuning, T.E.M. Machine Shop, Figstone Graphics, ST Suspensions, Circuit Sports, G Spec Performance, Bay Ex, Napa Valley Muffler, B&G Tires, Miracle Auto Body and Paint, C.J. Fix Co., Napa Valley Transmissions, Economy Stock Feed, J&B Farms, Bottler’s Unlimited, SGear Crenate electronic stepping motor gauges and Jim Wolf Technology.
A huge thank you also needs to go out to NASA and the safety crew at Thunderhill. Great work!