WORLD RACING LEAGUE - HAWK GRAND PRIX, Double 7hr Endurance Races
by Tommy Guttmann, Driver - Team Mckibbin’s-Biohazard MR2
Double podiums and a 1st place!
This was a real big weekend for us. It was our first race weekend of 2017 after a somewhat stale latter half of the 2016 season, during which we had been plagued by a variety of unfortunate issues.
Nonetheless, our Mckibbin’s-Biohazard MR2 had enjoyed good success and several wins at Road Atlanta in the past, in the Chumpcar World Series. WRL however, offers a different element of competition with classes based on power to weight ratio rather than primarily a build cost formula. Further, to make the ebb and flow of multi-class racing even more interesting, there were some very quick Radical Sports Prototypes in the field.
The driver lineup this weekend consisted of team principle Troy Truglio, Jerry Enger, Rick Fon and myself and both days of racing were 7 hours long, from 1pm to 8pm.
Our class, GP1, consisted primarily of Porsche Boxsters, BMW Z4, etc. and we were pitted alongside our good friends at ‘Not Banned Yet Racing’, who were also in our GP1 class with their V8 powered 240SX. Race #1; had us running close to the front of the pack for most of the day and we ended up on the podium, with a 3rd place!
This was remarkable, considering that our old tires were cycled out and had lost much of their grip, but especially because towards the final hour, our MR2’s handling had deteriorated to the point that the following morning it required a 5hr overhaul of the left front suspension, brakes, etc.
We celebrated with some Mexican cuisine that evening, and Troy attacked the repairs early the following morning.
Race #2; had us playing on two fundamental differences in the WRL series;
Unlike Chumpcar, driver stints aren’t limited to two hours.
And fuel stops aren’t limited to a minimum of 5 minutes.
Consequently, with a refreshed race car on sticky new tires and brakes, Troy undertook the task of driving for well over 3 hours during his opening stint, making only very quick ‘splash’n’dash fuel stops. This strategy and his huge effort worked on our behalf for the rest of the race.
That, along with some good luck as competitors succumbed to mechanical issues or driving errors…and the efforts of the rest of our team, Jerry and Rick, and of course the reliability and speed of our MR2 race car. The net result was a much coveted 1st place win in GP1!
At this point, our beloved Mckibbin’s-Biohazard MR2 is surely the winningest MR2 Endurance Racer in the world! Further, this may well have been its final race, as after 6 years and over 60 very long and grueling races, the build of v2.0 is already underway.
We had much to celebrate at the local Irish Pub that night…although it sure wasn’t a McKibbin’s!!