Chump Car Brainerd
It has been busy around here lately. Prepping cars on top of regular work doesn’t leave much time for slacking. We recently hit the road to run a double 7 enduro in the Chump Car Series at Brainerd International Raceway (BIR). The weather in Minnesota was a welcome relief over the heat we have been having in KC lately.
What is Chump Car? Well, I can’t say it much better than the chumpcar.com website:
Welcome to the Optima Batteries / ChumpCar World Series! ! ChumpCar is North America’s home for REAL, AFFORDABLE, COMPETITIVE endurance road racing. We’re talking real racing, real tracks and real cheap cars! We’re talking endurance races that range from 7-hours to 24-hours long… and, even longer! ChumpCar has the distinction of holding the longest closed-course endurance road race in North America… 25 hours, 25 minutes and 25 seconds – the 25:25:25. And, in 2013… 36 Hours!
So, why do we do this and who is this series for?
This series is for gear-heads; for people who love driving and driving fast. It’s not about gimmicks or theatrics. Rather, it’s for Chumps like you that have always wanted to go road racing without all the hassles or expense. It’s about ‘Joe Average’ and almost-race-ready cars.
ChumpCar is a throw-back to the era when racing was fun and cheap… when Bondo beat carbon-fiber; when a crescent wrench was the most valuable tool in your box; when home-made engineering made everyone sit up and take notice; and when adding a little theme to your car didn’t get you laughed off of pit lane.
Those were good times… and they’re back.
So basically it is cheap racing. While it kind of started as crap can see if you can get a $500 car to finish an endurance race, it has greatly evolved into just cheap, quality, and competitive racing. Racing good enough to be sponsored by Optima Battery, Recaro, Redline, OMP Racing, and a lot more sponsors. The days of guys showing up with unprepared cars are gone, the bulk of cars you will see are well maintained and ready for endurance racing (Ok, maybe the engineering on some items is creative at best). If you have to come into the pits for anything unexpected, it will likely bump you out of the top ten finishing. At BIR, we ran against 54 other cars. Saturday our BMW took 10th, with a 5th place finish on Sunday (the last 40 minutes 5th and 6th place were 1-3 seconds apart every lap….after 7 hours of racing, that says something about the competition). The 944 took 12th on Saturday, with a DNF due to a blown clutch cylinder.
Welcome to BIR! The fastest track in North America. While we did not run the 3.1 mile course with the mile long straight, we ran the 2.5 mile short course which was perfect for the car field.
Our friends chump faces showed up from South Dakota with their e30. We had a great time with them.
Our 944 being chased by our BMW. We laid the vinyl on the 944 in the Chick-filet parking lot, lol.
Even though the temps never got much above the low-mid 80s, it was hot in the sun and the crew chief was not happy. So we improvised with a coolshirt system that cooled her right down.
Chump car racing is some of the most fun you can have in a race car. 4-5 of your buddies out there trying to get your car into a top finishing spot all the while planning your pit strategy and driver changes. It definitely beats a 20 minute sprint race in the other organizations. Fun, laid back, yet competitive, with a comradery that you won’t find anywhere else between teams.
Next we head to High Plains Raceway in September for a 12 hour Saturday Race and a 6 hour Sunday race! Can’t wait!