Autobahn 12 Hour Enduro 2015
November 2015 – Joliet, IL
No Power? No Problem!!
It wasn’t horsepower that was the main topic on race morning. An accident just outside the main entrance of Autobahn Country Club knocked out power to the facility and blocked the main gate.
Thankfully no one was injured and it involved no one associated with the Autobahn or the race. Needless to say the challenge of conducting a 12 hour race with no electricity became the focus as the clock kept ticking closer to the start of the race. The top priorities for the Autobahn staff included getting timing and scoring, fuel pumps, and bathroom services in place not to mention finding a means to feed everybody as it became evident that the power would not be restored for some time.
The decision was made to cancel qualifying, meaning the grid would be set by the Race Director. At the morning drivers meeting all teams were updated on the status of services and informed the race would start as scheduled.
As the cars went out for warm-up laps and grid, thanks to an emergency generator, the electronic timing was restored with only minutes to spare avoiding the huge challenge of scoring a 12 hour race by hand!
Despite all the complications of the morning, the green flag flew only nine minutes later than scheduled. The first win of the day!
In the early stages it was the Fall-Line Trim-Tex BMW that took the early lead followed closely by the Audi R8 entry of the Kachadurian Racing Group. It wasn’t until lap 17 that the 414 Radical of Team Stradale got into the mix for the lead. The H&H Racing BMW also stayed in the front running group and these 4 cars would set the pace for the 1st half of the race.
At the halfway point of the race, the Kachadurian Audi pulled out of the race leaving the Fall-Line Trim-Tex, Team Stradale, H&H Racing as the lead contenders for the overall prize money.
The Spec Miata class had their own prize money to shoot for. The beginning stages were led by the #55 ALM Positioners entry followed closely by the sister car, the #50. On lap 82 the Area 51 Miata, a pre-race contender, suffered the first mechanical issue of the race while running second in class. This moved the Big Dog Miata into 3rd behind the ALM 50 and ALM 55 who had now swapped places.
As the sun set on what was a beautiful day, the race settled in for some night racing. Battles continued throughout the field with positions being swapped on a regular basis particularly as teams cycled through scheduled pit stops.
When the moon began to rise on a clear night the countdown to the finish began. Team Stradale’s 414 Radical had finally gotten a lap ahead of the
H&H Racing and Fall-Line Trim-Tex cars who were having their own hard fought race. With exactly 10 minutes remaining, H&H had a rear tire go down and, despite excellent pit work by the crew, had to settle for 3rd overall.
Endurance racing is all about teamwork as evidenced, by the flawless pit stops delivered by the ALM crew servicing both ALM 55 and ALM 50. Throughout the 12 hour event the ALM Miatas ran a very tight race with each other while pulling away from the rest of the Spec Miata field, ultimately completing the race only seconds apart.
The post-race ceremonies took place without electricity but no one seemed to care as $5,000 in cash and over $3,500 in prizes were handed out.
From left to right: Doug Grunnet, ALM Positioners, Dennis Hiffman, Tom Collins, Ed Dunne, and Gary Collins, GSD Racing
The “ALM Positioner Cup” was awarded to GSD Racing driving a 944 Porsche entered in GT1. This Cup is awarded annually to the Team accruing the highest number of points over the 3 race series.
As teams began the process of putting things away and sharing a few cold ones over the stories of their day, sure enough, the lights came on!
A challenging day on many fronts turned out to be a fantastic day and night of good clean racing. Congratulations to all the winners and everyone who put in a great effort to make this event the success that it was.
The “ALM Enduro Series” consists of three annual races culminating with the “ALM 12 Hour Enduro at the Autobahn” …the longest in the Midwest.
Considered to be the nation’s premier Motorsports Country Club is hosting these events, sanctioned by Autobahn Member Racing League and sponsored by ALM. Awards are given to the winner in each class, classes will be determined by Horsepower to weight ratios except for the Spec Miata Class. Winning drivers will be awarded a personal trophy for their race. The team, and drivers, accruing the highest total number of points during the annual series, regardless of class, will have their names added to the ALM-Positioners Endurance Series Cup. The cup will be on display at the Autobahn racecourse. The Competitors DO NOT NEED to be Autobahn members to compete. Most major competition licenses are accepted.
This race series is sponsored by ALM Positioners a leading manufacturer of Welding and Assembly Positioners based in Rock Island, Illinois. ALM will also be sponsoring a race team in each of the upcoming events. Additional information on ALM Positioners, their products, services and support of competitive automotive events is available on the internet at almmh.com.
For more information contact:
Track Operations Manager
Autobahn Country Club of Joliet
3795 CenterPoint Way
Joliet, IL 60436
Hedlund & Associates
Overland Park, KS 66211