The Speedhunters Go Racing, Carnage Ensues
Enter Sandman

With this being my second time driving (and my third time covering) the idlers 12-hour endurance race at Twin Ring Motegi with the RWB crew, I felt like I knew exactly how the day would all turn out. But regardless of how many times you do it, there is always a point when it hits you: ‘holy s**t, I’m driving a 911 in a damn race!’

And yes, it was much the same this year. After meeting up with Nakai-san at his shop in Kashiwa and getting to know all the local and international guests and customers who had signed up to be a part of the event, myself and Speedhunters’ Editor in Chief, Peter ‘Pedey’ Kelly, who was experiencing this circus for the first time, then spent the next hour convoying up the highway to the massive race facility at Motegi.

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Arriving at the track in the middle of the night is somewhat surreal; the image and sound of 50-plus cars and teams working away amongst the mist and floodlights. You try to help, grab some pictures and then once things calm down you attempt to get a bit of shut-eye in your car before the driver’s meeting at 5:00am. With a towel wrapped around my eyes to block out the Japanese morning sun (which rises at 3:30am in summer) and the A/C blasting, trying to ignore the snarling noises of a snoring guest in the back seat, I probably managed to get 30 minutes of sleep in this time around, Yep, it’s rough, but that’s all part of the experience – something I attempted to explain to Pedey as we walked from our cars to the paddock at 4:59am. This would be his first experience driving an air-cooled 911 and participating in an endurance race, so his adrenaline was probably doing a much better job of keeping him awake after the sleepless night. But I’ll let him give you his take on it all…

PK: I’m not a good sleeper at the best of times. I’m sure many of you know that horrible feeling of lying in bed consumed by a certain desperation as you try to will yourself to sleep – which only serves to ramp up the stress levels and push shut-eye further and further out of reach. ‘I’ve got to be up in three hours, what the hell am I going to do?’ This, however, was different. I had fully resigned myself to the idea that I was going to be awake for the next couple of days, and that knowledge actually ended up helping considerably. Although I’ve spent a bit of time flogging Porsches around a circuit, Dino is right. Up until this point, I’d never driven an older 911 or even been to Motegi, let alone been behind the wheel in a proper race situation. 

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DDC: Pedey and I were in the same team driving the curiously coloured #98 car, or as Nakai has named it – Adriana.

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And this would be our team, which luckily for us included James Brewster, a Jaguar/Land Rover test driver who had flown in from the UK. ‘Sweet,’ I thought – we at least had someone who would be able to make up the time the rest of us would inevitably lose during the course of the race.

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At this point, our sixth team member, Toshi – who handles RWB’s international business – was already strapped into Adriana‘s bucket seat, and ready to begin the race with his first 30-minute stint. Toshi has plenty of experience in competitive racing, including Super Taikyu, so we definitely had some balance-raising talent in our ensemble.

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Compared to the 2014 event where the fastest cars started last, the order was reversed and we began the race in 10th position. It was nice starting quite high up in the field, but we would soon understand that this was of zero advantage in an endurance race lasting 12 hours.

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We planned out our driver changes for the entire day which would give each driver three 30-minute stints. As the five other RWB teams participating in the race did, we had a few simple rules to follow too. For longevity’s sake, a 5,800rpm rev limit was imposed, so as to not strain the engines too much and help cut down on fuel consumption. Believe it or not, the aim here isn’t to win – it’s to finish. You can drive your heart out, but if you kill the car two or three hours into the race, it doesn’t really matter how long you held your position in the top 10. We were also asked not to use second gear, as the extra shifts would put more pressure on the gearbox and clutch, and the engine would drink more fuel. So it was third and fourth all the way, with only two points on track where you would slip it into fifth momentarily before going hard on the brakes.

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After 30 minutes, Toshi came in; Adriana was running good, but sitting a few positions down from where it started. I put that down to some of the other drivers out there who were pushing unnecessarily hard – perhaps more to do with adrenaline than anything else though. But once your hormones stop impacting your judgment, you begin to realise the error of you ways. At least that’s how it works for me!

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Most of the other RWB cars came in at the same time for their first stop, so there was some serious traffic in front of our pit.

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With each stop we had a minimum of 4 minutes in order to complete a driver swap and refuel the car with 20 litres of petrol, which would suffice for the next half-hour stint.

PK: To be honest, I was probably more nervous about screwing this up than heading out into the race for the first time. I desperately didn’t want to be that guy who gets the order of things wrong, or trips over a wheel and proceeds to set the entire pit lane on fire before running around in flames like Ricky Bobby. It sounds far fetched, but these are the sort of situations I’m pretty good at getting myself into. Once I had a couple of pit stops under my belt though it was fine, although it meant you could never really rest, because as soon as you started to relax the car would be coming back in for its next refuel and driver change.

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DDC: I was third in line to drive, and spaced far enough away from Pedey so there was time for each of us to shoot track-side while the other was behind the wheel. See, the things we do for you guys! Except when our second driver came in, it looked he had just gone Back to the Future with the rear bumper burned through, and plumes of smoke still coming off the FRP panels and the baked number plate.

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The rear silencer had cracked causing some serious heat to escape and the consequential damage. Nakai didn’t think much of it, quickly cutting out the center section of the bumper and exposing the entire exhaust system. I thought that was really cool, except the prolonged stop didn’t do much for our race position.

Disaster Zone

Again, where we ended up wasn’t the main point of the race, but it’s hard not to feel a little competitive when you’re in this sort of situation. So after the rear end was temporarily repaired, I jumped in the car – once again wearing a race suit borrowed from the awesome people at RWB Thailand – and got to work. Once you take off down the pit lane you have to make sure you don’t exceed the 40km/h speed limit, and the race officials have a speed gun pointed at you the whole time to enforce it. Break the speed limit and you earn yourself a drive-through penalty on your subsequent lap. I spent the first 15 minutes of my initial half-hour outing getting used to the car. Despite the ambient air temperature being around 38 degrees Celsius, I was amazed at how cool the tyres had got after the 25-minute pit stop. Check out how the rear Advan Neova AD08Rs gave up all traction as I tackled the infield right-hander under the bridge. Talk about a butt-clenching surprise!

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That immediately taught me how these 911s can bite back if you don’t treat them with respect. Keeping smooth is just as important as maintaining a consistent pace, and once the Neovas had warmed up again I had no such problems anymore – despite having a quick spin during an overtaking manoeuvre that I should never have attempted in the first place. Nakai-san’s words echoed in my mind after that – if it’s not safe and you don’t have plenty of space, don’t go for it, wait for the next corner or even the next lap to try it again safely. Keeping my Italian blood from boiling is always the toughest thing for me to do, but I eventually settled into a comfortable pace and glided through the rest of my 30-minute stint.

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Once I came back into the pits it was more fuel and then the next guy took over.

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However, when you least expect it, things can suddenly take a turn for the worst. As I lay on the pit floor, attempting to cool off next to one of the fans, we all noticed a familiar car on the TV screens. Is that our Adriana? Is it smoking? Oh s**t – it’s on fire! In almost exactly the same place the car had snapped sideways on me when I didn’t modulate smoothly off the brakes while turning into the corner, Adriana had spun and was stuck in the kitty litter.

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The theory is that as the car careered backwards, the already super-hot and fire damaged engine compartment got a huge extra shot of oxygen and the whole thing went up.

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Before towing the 911 off the track and placing it on a flatbed, the marshals had unleashed a few fire extinguishers on the back of the car, making a big old mess in the process. For some reason, it took close to an hour to get Adriana back to the paddock.

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It looked bad, but Nakai-san didn’t even flinch. You could tell that while he was looking at it, he was making a mental plan on how to tackle the damage and have the car ready to go again in the shortest possible time.

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Without saying a word, Nakai-san immediately ripped off the front lip section, as the front bumper had also suffered some corner damage as it sank into the kitty litter.

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Within minutes of it being unloaded off the flatbed, the car was back in the pit and Nakai and his crew were into it.

It was at this point that I realized no amount of photographs would properly convey the repair process, so hit play above to see the teamwork that went into getting Adriana all fixed up and back out on track.

Is It All Over?
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It was an especially tough moment for Pedey as he was the next scheduled driver. At this moment he didn’t know if the car was able to be fixed and was doing his own surveillance of the damage.

PK: I’ll admit, I was panicking a little bit when I saw the car smoldering on the live feed. I was the last driver on the roster so I’d already been waiting three hours for my first stint. Had I been living (and feeling) like a meth-head for the last 24 hours, absolutely cooking in almost unbearable 38-degree heat (100 degrees Fahrenheit) and 96 per cent humidity for absolutely nothing? 

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PK: It looked pretty bad, but my next pass of the rear end revealed a swarm of people, mouths covered in an attempt to filter out the choking extinguisher dust that swirled around the bay as they ferociously hacked away at the burnt bodywork. I couldn’t really do much to help, so simply watched, took photos, and hoped for the best.

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PK: Within 20 minutes, I was told to get my helmet and gloves on – it was time to fire Adriana up and pray. This shot perfectly captures the mood of the moment. Toshi-san is telling me to keep a close eye on the vitals, to take it easy for the first few laps and to look out for smoke and flames. Meanwhile, all I can think about in my sleep-deprived, borderline heat-stroked brain is how crazy it is that I’ve never even driven this car before this moment, and here I am about to cruise down pit lane and out onto a crowded Motegi Twin Ring, crammed with crazy race cars and even crazier drivers. To say it was a rush and a mind-f**k would be a gross understatement. 

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PK: But in the end, all I could see from my spot in the Bride seat was some dials, a gear stick and a steering wheel – and that’s all that mattered. The exterior state of the car soon became irrelevant as I throttled the flat-six into life. 

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PK: I know I’m supposed to be a professional journalist and all that, but I was laughing when this photo was taken. Laughing like a god-damned idiot. Within moments of setting off from pit lane, I was barreling headfirst into turn one, instantly tussling with a WRX and an NSX for position in the wide corner. With Toshi’s warnings ringing in my head, I took things pretty slow for the first few laps – after all, I didn’t even know what the track looked like, irregardless of the fact that the car might burst into flames behind my head. 

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PK: After a few laps, the car seemed to be okay, so I began to pick up the pace. Adriana runs a stock engine, and while these flat sixes certainly wail up in the higher revs, the combination of not being able to use second gear, and having a 5,800rpm rev limit, really slowed progress and made it tricky to carry speed through the tighter corners. I wasn’t there to set lap times though, and I’m sensible enough to realise that as a complete virgin to the circuit, the car and endurance racing, I was never going to be the fastest guy out there.  

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DDC: Of course, we weren’t the only RWB team that was having some issues. After one car cracked its exhaust and hard to be stripped of its silencer, another car suddenly pitted with no bonnet. It had detached itself mid-track, so Nakai quickly taped the gaping hole up so that the trunk trim wouldn’t fly around. That was a good temporary fix, but eventually it was called in and an RWB customer ended up donating the bonnet from his street 911 so that the race car could continue on.

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Pedey managed to make up some lost positions during his first stint, but towards the end of his outing something seemed amiss.

PK: At around the 25-minute mark, the car began to suffer from some serious oversteer. At first, I honestly just thought I was getting faster and finding the limits of grip, but a few corners later, I was passed by an MX-5 mid-corner as he dived inside and railed around the apex whilst I spent the entire time desperately trying to get the rear under control. Something clearly wasn’t right.

PK: This footage from my helmet cam captures the perfect ‘aha’ moment, after I made a quick dash for the pits. As I pulled in, I took the frantic hand motions to shut down the engine as a bad sign, and once I scrambled out and looked at the right side of the car, things became pretty clear. I love Toshi’s nonchalant head nod at the end, a silent version of; ‘yeah, that’s why you almost crashed five times in the last lap.’

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PK: Adriana was rushed back into the pit bay. With oil leaking heavily from the right rear wheel well, things were looking pretty grim.

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PK: I’m so lucky I didn’t bin the Porsche… But besides that, although I had been keeping a close eye on oil pressure, what if I had missed something and the engine had been damaged from the loss of oil?

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PK: This time, it was surely over for Adriana, right?

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PK: Nope! Nakai-san and team were once again elbow-deep in the engine bay, and quickly discovered the cause of the leak. 

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PK: This line had been damaged in the fire and had been spraying oil everywhere.

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PK: Despite the gaping hole, the team got to work producing a temporary fix.  

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PK: That involved a whole lot of tape and quite possibly a few crossed fingers. With the pipe back on and the car fired up, the repair held and oil pressure was healthy. Phew!

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DDC: It was then time for my second outing – right during the hottest part of the day.

Fatigue Sets In
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Dressed up in a Nomex race suit, with gloves, balaclava and a full-faced helmet, I can safely say I had never experienced such an intense level of heat. The hardest time was actually those few minutes sitting in the hot cockpit as some of the RWB crew helped me get my harness on. Imagine being in a sauna, fully dressed and wearing helmet – that’s what it was like.

Once you’re driving though, you no longer notice the discomfort and just concentrate on the job at hand. Above is a lap taken from my middle stint, and I have to say I was a lot more comfortable with driving the car a little harder. I was leaning on the brakes a little more into the corners and really pushing the car towards the high level of grip that the Neovas were now generating.

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The car was very neutral in its behaviour – the RWB setup adding more grip at the front and rear due to increased tracks and tyre contact patch. It almost makes the car feel foolproof. If you went into a corner too fast it would understeer, so you just back off and speed is quickly scrubbed, drama free. Since the base car is a stock Carrera, there isn’t really enough power to upset the rear end too much, and certainly not enough to break traction mid-corner and drift the car under power. Definitely not in third gear, that’s for sure! The only thing that would kick the tail out would be coming off the brakes too violently into a corner (as I experienced), or lifting off the throttle aggressively mid-corner. But the latter actually helps trim our line if you go in too wide, so it can be used to your advantage.

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I actually pitted with couple of laps still left to run in my stint as I was smelling some funky plastic and FRP fumes coming in from the back of the car, so rather than risk it I brought her home to have Nakai take a look. The car was given a clean bill of health and it was out again for the next driver.

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I took a bit of break between that time and my final drive as the lack of sleep and heat was beginning to get to me.

With my final drive much later in the afternoon the heat wasn’t so much of a problem and I felt even more at ease with how the car behaved. The tyres had definitely lost their edge by this time so the car moved around a lot more under you, but not in a negative way. I actually preferred it like this, as it was easier to place the car on the track and made the drive more exciting. I had a ton of fun in my last 30-minute session, which is why I put up two laps on the video above. On the first lap you can see how there was a crazy guy out there with a brand new 991 Turbo S (understandably taking it easy!)

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And on the second lap you can see how desperately I tried to stay with another RWB 911, which was suspiciously a hell of a lot faster than poor old Adriana (and obviously better driven!). Either that or someone wasn’t sticking to the 5,800rpm rule, which truth be told, I had a tough time sticking to myself. That’s when the flat-six really got on cam and started to push hard, so at times I just had to sneak in a couple more hundred RPM at the top of fourth in order to set up for an overtake.

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It was funny how every time I went out I ended up overtaking this incredibly loud Civic.

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For Pedey’s next stint I grabbed my road car and went all the way to the in-field hairpin to get some action shots of him setting up for the long straight that leads into the right-hander under the tunnel. It’s one of the easiest places on the track to make up a few positions hard under brakes.

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Pedey had his own encounters with the little Civic too!

PK: At this point, I was just so damn happy to be back in the car for another stint after thinking it was all over more than once earlier in the day. Like Dino mentioned, it’s amazing how quickly you forget about the heat and the tiredness as soon as you roll out of that pit lane and into the muck. This second session I began to get a lot more comfortable with the car and push it a little harder – though still not nearly as fast as I would have liked. I’m just too damn sensible and wanted to not be the guy that finally killed chances of a finish for my team, more than I wanted to set quick lap times. Still, for someone like me who has never been in a real race situation before, I was completely besotted with getting into tussles with other drivers. Sometimes there would be four of us all diving into a corner at once, door to door, jostling for position – what an incredible rush! 

Crawl To The Finish Line
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DDC: At every pit stop our faithful crew were there to signal us from afar on where to actually bring the car to a halt. This is when Haang Kim, who had flown in with his friends from the UK, served us well by ensuring we hit our mark every time. It was service with a smile too!

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PK: By 6:00pm I was somehow still functioning okay. I think it was the constant pit stops and the time pressures that kept my mind from falling apart in the evening heat. That, and the way the driver’s schedule had worked out. I was keenly aware that it looked like I would be the driver to ensure Adriana crossed the finish line at 8:00pm.

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PK: I’m already ticking off so many firsts at this point, so why not add to the list and be the guy to finish a 12-hour enduro for his team. Oh yeah, and the sprint to the chequered flag on a circuit in complete darkness.

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PK: Some much-needed words of wisdom from Toshi, just before I head out. “Everyone’s going to be pushing hard to the finish, don’t get tangled up in it – it’s more important to bring our car home in one piece.”

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PK: Sitting in the cabin and waiting for those final checks to take place was excruciating. But I was so ready as the last gasps of sunlight faded from the sky in front of me.    

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PK: Heading out into pit lane for the final time, the atmosphere was electric. I’m sure there’s some seasoned racers reading this who might be used to it, but for me, this was a moment that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and is something I’ll never forget. 

PK: As for racing at night, well, I can tell you that it’s a completely different experience – it’s much sketchier, for one, with visibility way down. It’s also extremely hard to see what’s rapidly approaching in front of you, let alone what’s fast closing in from behind. To me, perhaps in my slightly delirious state, the whole thing felt a lot like a computer game – like a simulation of sorts. You might also notice how much I’m leaning into the corners, this is because Adriana had the wide-boy seat for the bigger-boned man, and I was doing my best to brace myself against whatever I could find in an effort to stay planted. By this point, the tyres were completely gone and poor old Adriana just wanted to cross the finish line in one piece, so I picked my battles carefully in this last session, spending much of the stint avoiding multiple crashes as drivers pushed too hard.

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DDC: I grabbed a few last shots of Pedey as he tackled the Twin Ring Motegi in near complete darkness. This is something I experienced back at the 2013 race, and all I remember from that time was close to zero visibility and tyres that couldn’t have been any more expired.

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So Pedey did an exceptional job of staying focused, keeping the car on the black stuff and bringing the team home safely.

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The coolest thing is that all of the six RWB cars entered had successfully – although not without their little problems here and there – completed the race. This couldn’t be said for a lot of other entrants, that during the last few hours had either thrown in the towel or been involved in an accident.

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Once again the idlers 12-hour race turned out to be an amazing experience. And not only from the satisfaction that comes from driving a car in a competitive race, but predominately from the feeling of brotherhood that keeps the RWB crew united across the globe. That, for me, was what made this race so special.

PK: I think back to the weekend before last with a weird mix of excitement, fondness and a little dread. For me as a complete first-timer to all of it, the entire experience was so overwhelming. The noise, the heat, the adrenaline, the camaraderie and the stress are all blanketed in a hazy memory of the slightly sick feeling you get when your mind and body is desperately telling you to lie down and stop whatever you’re doing. Regardless, I wouldn’t hesitate to race again next year if given the opportunity. I passed cars, I made some new friends, I nearly destroyed a Porsche and learnt just how different track driving and actual door-to-door racing are. Most importantly, I gained a new appreciation for a comfortable bed and a cold shower. 

A huge thank you to RWB for giving us the opportunity to be part of the experience, and to our team members for keeping the dream alive, despite the odds. 

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

Peter Kelly
Editor-in-Chief
Instagram: speedhunters_pedey
pedey@speedhunters.com

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138 comments

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1

I am so sad I missed it this year :(

2

The front bumper suffered damage when the marshals pulled Adriana out of the kitty litter. They then they let the car smash into their vehicle after it was out!!! I was so mad when I saw it happen!

Btw I was the driver on whom she burst into flames. =(

3
speedhunters_dino

Larry Chen The dream of creating an SH-only team is still strong. Next year perhaps? We need 6 drivers, who will sign up? lol

4
speedhunters_dino

DericGodin I wasn't aware of that. Superb marshalling then, the Japanese have an awesome reputation for adding to damage and injuries...

5

This article is awesome. Great Post. I would have been so nervous driving such a nice car. I probably would have drove like a grandma the whole race lol

6

aaaah! you guys have to tell us who was the fastest, how your laps compares to other drivers and in what position you finished. i know this was about fun and just going trough the full race, but you know that the competition and results add to the whole experience.

7

Wow. Love all the battle damage. Can't say I'm surprised that an RWB car tried to cook itself though.

8

speedhunters_dino Larry Chen Can I join the team for the 12hrs lol. This seems like an experience that I need to do at least once before I die.

9

got that StanceAsian going on there Pedy

10

got that StanceAsian going on there Pedy

11

AWESOME POST. This is the real deal. Racing is what cars are all about in their fully distilled entity. All the posing is nice but you find out real quick what kind of function you have when it's WOT alternating with full brakes for 12 hours. It's also a test of driver. How long can you last pumping adrenaline the whole time? The post has me curious though about the race itself since it's kind of just covering RWB and the SH team. It's called "Idlers"? Is it a series or just one race? What cars are allowed and what are the rules?


You guys should look at Chumpcar endurance racing. Very similar to this but a little more
professional even though the cars aren't quite as nice. You run up to a 2 hr
driver stint and the tires are limited to a 180 wear rating so they last well the whole race. But they don't
allow you to refuel without full gear including a helmet and closed
visor. In fact they are very strict about safety. 

Chumpcar spun off from 24 Hours of Lemons. It's similar but without the goofy themes on the cars. Dollar limit racing, with very defined limits on what cars are eligible and what equipment can be run. It's very competitive at the front of the pack but there's a bunch of people in the middle and the back just having fun. We ran last year with a '75 280Z and did pretty well. One of my buddies also ran a 280 and won the western region championship. It also attracts pro drivers. We had Mikhail Goikhberg, last years IMSA prototype lites champ, drive for us at Portland. And at the championship in Vegas my buddy had John Morton walk up the day before and he got to drive a stint. 
"When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting."  Steve McQueen"'There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games."Ernest Hemingway

12

Just reading this article, I was thinking "god damn, it must have been absolutely brutal"

13

hands down best thing i have ever read on speed hunters! 
sounds like a whole heap of fun !!

14

hands down best thing i have ever read on speed hunters! 
sounds like a whole heap of fun !!

15

Fantastic article and photos, lads, well done. There's something about a photo of a race car sporting battle damage as the sun goes down that seems almost, I dunno, romantic. In a manly way of course.

16

1. Question, out of curiosity: who's the fastest SH writer? I wanna see that guy meet the fastest Jalopnik writer (Travis Okulski, but he doesn't work for Jalopnik anymore, so probably Matt Hardigree).

2. Wow. And to think this isn't even top-level racing, and both Pedey and Dino also have to snap shots for a feature. I am astounded. And Impressed. Here's my respects.

17
speedhunters_dino

UWerqxTeam_MJ Define fast. Does that include going out and shooting a day or two to get unique material or does using web-sourced/manufacturer sourced images/vids count? We aren't a news website or a tabloid-style Facebook page or something. We do it our way, if it's fast or slow it doesn't matter ;)

18
speedhunters_dino

CJC_Matty Thank you!

19
speedhunters_dino

sr_mangz It was a ton of fun, even if we were all exhausted by the end of it!

20
speedhunters_dino

danielbelvino I honestly don't know what laps I was getting or what position we finished in? Not too far from last I'm sure lol

21
speedhunters_dino

petertarach speedhunters_dino Larry Chen You have to Peter!

22

speedhunters_dino UWerqxTeam_MJ I think he meant fastest in the driver seat, not behind the lens. ;>)

23
speedhunters_dino

Chri5 Duncan http://www.speedhunters.com/tag/idlers/ <<-----check through here and you'll get an idea of what idlers are all about

24

Peter, Dino, Larry, Paddy, Keith, Mike, Bryn, Brad, Alok, and Otis in one race, all driving a Reliant Robin. Fastest 4 will race in the next Idler's 12 Hours.

25
speedhunters_dino

LouisYio I'm in. Does rolling get you extra points?

26
speedhunters_dino

Chri5 Duncan speedhunters_dino UWerqxTeam_MJ I dunno, I re-read the question, he could be talking about words a minute lol

27

speedhunters_dino id imagine you guys wouldve been buggered! definitely would have to be all worth it though, that atmosphere and just the vibe of all the stress, awesome fun  and non stop commotion would be enough to get anyone hooked. couldnt even begin to fathom what it would be like on a good nights sleep haha.

an endurance race is now added to my bucket list!

28

UWerqxTeam_MJ I assumed driving haha! In any case, certainly not me. I'd be putting all my money on one of our German correspondents, Michael Grassl. Here's his last article comparing the GT3 and GT3 Cup at the Ring.

29

sr_mangz speedhunters_dino I think the complete lack of sleep might of had a hand in making the experience what it was! Certainly gives my memories of that weekend a dream-like quality!

30

StreetStatik I've been in Japan too long!

31

speedhunters_dino LouisYio Only 1 extra point. Wheelies and a loss of at least 2 wheels give 2. Rolling across the finish line is also the only acceptable way to win the race.

32

Chri5 Duncan Chumpcar sounds like a lot of fun!

33

LouisYio bang bang bang

34

danielbelvino Most of the cars are slower and most of the drivers have less experience, so when I completed two years ago we moved up over 40 positions over the course of 12 hours.

35

petertarach speedhunters_dino It's the most fun I have ever had. To think I've been driving that track for years in racing sims.

36

Looks crazy! So many ups and downs (mainly downs) but an awesome experience nonetheless! 

Awesome coverage and a great read guys!

37

What a great story

38

One of the best stories here on Speedhunters.
Great read guys!

And one question - which RWB car was the fastest? :)

39

Peter_Kelly UWerqxTeam_MJ Boss. Team SH would probably just squish Team Jalopnik with performance like this, even if Team Jalopnik has a C7 Z06.

40

Peter_Kelly UWerqxTeam_MJ Boss. Team SH would probably just squish Team Jalopnik with performance like this, even if Team Jalopnik has a C7 Z06.

41
Gianluca FairladyZ

What a great write up bro! Now it's a little bit more training and you do the Nür Spec 24h ;)  Was it the crankcase breather tube by the way?

42

Kenmericz From what I saw, I'd say that #66 was the quickest, pictured here chasing down Dino. http://www.speedhunters.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Idlers-Motegi-29.jpg

43

Larry Chen LouisYio speedhunters_dino Peter_Kelly 
I would fly to where ever the hell this would be held just to watch! Go Team SH!!!!

44

Well, RWB doubters, here's proof that the mods applied DO work and work well when you really want it too. If only there were more of these kinds of races where modified cars (not TA or the super-extreme kind) duke it out for half a day (maximum) or 8 hours (minimum).

45

Great feature guys! So great to see you guys out there competing! For me, competing in endurance racing is the epitome of Petrol-Headedness. It's something we should all have on our petrol based bucket list (It's on mine!). I think the thing I like the most, is that this is something you guys don't do a lot of, you're not pro racers, and so we can all understand and appreciate what you've written in an empathetic way. 

I'd love to see an SH team competing. Maybe you could fetch in some of you're sponsored pro drivers to prop up the team and give advice (Matius Ekstrom, Charles Ng, hell, maybe even Vaughn Gittin could be a great team member!)

46

Not bad for a standard-engine Carrera !

47

Not bad for a standard-engine Carrera !

48
KRACKEN Released

DAMN, that Pepto Bismol colored Beetle has got some SERIOUS constipation!!!

49
KRACKEN Released

DAMN, that Pepto Bismol colored Beetle has got some SERIOUS constipation!!!

50

What an incredible story. Endurance racing is my favorite in all Motorsport.
I loved the feeling of raw racing in this event. No major sponsors no shinny tools.

Congratulations to the entire team. Finishing the race is one amazing achievement!

51

What an incredible story. Endurance racing is my favorite in all Motorsport.
I loved the feeling of raw racing in this event. No major sponsors no shinny tools.

Congratulations to the entire team. Finishing the race is one amazing achievement!

52

speedhunters_dino Larry Chen I volunteer.

53

speedhunters_dino Larry Chen I volunteer.

55

Well done Pedey. I shit myself at the track when an NZV8 race car rockets past me, but its still good fun. Not sure how I'd fare in a 12hr enduro, but that is on my list of shit to do someday. What were the team's final standings?

56
JoshuaWhitcombe

speedhunters_dino Larry Chen I volunteer as tribute!

57
JoshuaWhitcombe

speedhunters_dino Larry Chen I volunteer as tribute!

58
JoshuaWhitcombe

speedhunters_dino Larry Chen I volunteer as tribute!

60

KrisMoffatt Not actually too sure, but certainly way at the back of the field after all the flaming downtime!

61

Robo_No1 That would be an awesome thing to see - great idea.

62

Great article !
And it was fun to see a Citroën 2CV on the track in your videos. :D

63

Great article but after surviving a brutal rollover on track, I don't think you could pay me to race a car with no cage.

64

RWB cars for the show, not for the race..

65

RWB cars for the show, not for the race..

66

RWB cars for the show, not for the race..

67

Duuuuuuudes. Utter legends, you both need custom paint on the helmets though... RWB are not playing man, ripping panels off like a le manns team, it would of been so easy to call that cars day especially the second incident but it shows real dedication to act so decisively and brutally. Hardcore.
The (second? I think) corner where it takes a real nasty left has the ever changing breaking (heh) zone of DEATH. It haunts my nightmares and keeps me awake at night with feelings of complete and utter fear and a weird sense of loss. I love motegi (sans that particular corner) it's a great mix up of technicalities. It's in the arse end of nowhere sadly, do you know if it's getting much use these days? Oh and do Honda still own it?

68

Duuuuuuudes. Utter legends, you both need custom paint on the helmets though... RWB are not playing man, ripping panels off like a le manns team, it would of been so easy to call that cars day especially the second incident but it shows real dedication to act so decisively and brutally. Hardcore.
The (second? I think) corner where it takes a real nasty left has the ever changing breaking (heh) zone of DEATH. It haunts my nightmares and keeps me awake at night with feelings of complete and utter fear and a weird sense of loss. I love motegi (sans that particular corner) it's a great mix up of technicalities. It's in the arse end of nowhere sadly, do you know if it's getting much use these days? Oh and do Honda still own it?

69

Duuuuuuudes. Utter legends, you both need custom paint on the helmets though... RWB are not playing man, ripping panels off like a le manns team, it would of been so easy to call that cars day especially the second incident but it shows real dedication to act so decisively and brutally. Hardcore.
The (second? I think) corner where it takes a real nasty left has the ever changing breaking (heh) zone of DEATH. It haunts my nightmares and keeps me awake at night with feelings of complete and utter fear and a weird sense of loss. I love motegi (sans that particular corner) it's a great mix up of technicalities. It's in the arse end of nowhere sadly, do you know if it's getting much use these days? Oh and do Honda still own it?

70

Paddy McGrath speedhunters_dino Sorry, no vacancy

71

that is some steel resolve. No panicking. Assess and repair as necessary. Very hard to do. Mad respect to him and the whole team. bravo!!!

72
jbfromsiliconvalley

Looks like tons o'fun. Now take the car in its current condition and enter the 24 hours of Lemons. j/k

73
jbfromsiliconvalley

Looks like tons o'fun. Now take the car in its current condition and enter the 24 hours of Lemons. j/k

74

Nice one Peter and Dino sounds like an awesome experience and how kind of your mates to help make it happen. I do hope you guys wore HANS and fire resistant suits and all that gear though. How the car caught fire but all important plastics rubbers etc stayed intact is nuts. You guys must have balls of steel to see fire in your mirrors and still drive to the pitstop haha.

75
JoshuaWhitcombe

IgorisDelay Considering that Nakai-San builds them so that don't just look good, but they can be driven hard and still handle well

76
speedhunters_dino

John Key NZ No HANS for me, it's not a requirement

77
speedhunters_dino

DevBizkit Indeed!

78
speedhunters_dino

TarmacTerrorist Motegi is still owned by Honda and keeps getting lots of use.

79
speedhunters_dino

IgorisDelay Since the beginning of RWB, his 911s (and other cars) have always been built for racing. Almost all of his customers in Japan race them

80
speedhunters_dino

tom30300 lol yeah, slowest car there

81
speedhunters_dino

tom30300 lol yeah, slowest car there

82
speedhunters_dino

tom30300 lol yeah, slowest car there

83
speedhunters_dino

Peter_Kelly Robo_No1 I concur. Plenty of endurance racing in Japan happening all the time, Fuji, Tsukuba and Ebisu. You don't need much to enter, most teams run cheap but reliable cars.

84
speedhunters_dino

UWerqxTeam_MJ RWBs have always been built for racing. It's with their popularity outside of Japan that they have all of a sudden been categorised as show cars....

85
speedhunters_dino

Gianluca FairladyZ Nur 24h? Hell yes!

86
speedhunters_dino

Peter_Kelly Kenmericz yeah that thing had 100 HP over ours lol

87
speedhunters_dino

Larry Chen Paddy McGrath speedhunters_dino lol

88
90nissanS13@my350z

Awe man! He blew his muffler bearing.

89
90nissanS13@my350z

Awe man! He blew his muffler bearing.

90
90nissanS13@my350z

Awe man! He blew his muffler bearing.

91

The burned fiberglass look is oddly befitting of an RWB car.

92

A decently prepared 911 should be able to handle a decent 12 hour flogging without babying it nearly as much.  I understand preservation but the "sunday drive on the track" in car was painful to watch.  

This is the beauty of the 911 and why Porsche wins so many endurance contests... Push hard and the run like a timex.  Work the car and they come into their own.

Seems to me that the issues were more prep related than related to the reliability of the car itself.

93

Nice to see that story! Actually I was racing on this race too, in one of the various 318is E36. I think we crossed each other when taking pictures on the grid :)
Actually it was the first time for me to see those RWB on the track, and while I don't really like the style, they are quite impressive to look at. I could still overtake a bunch of them though ;-)

I noticed you had trouble during the race because every time I saw a RWB stop in the pit, it seemed they were missing more and more bits. Now I understand better from your story...
I also definitely understand how you felt considering it was also my first time in Motegi and my first "real" race, quite a challenge!
Anyway, for us the race went quite smooth and we had no mechanical issue at all with our "cheap but reliable" car... But still it was epic, so with all the trouble you had to handle I can imagine it was quite an adventure for you.

94

Roughest RWB out there i reckon

95

LouisYio speedhunters_dino lol i would love to see this race :p this race will bring so much laugh hahah but hey who will roll back their car? :v

96

never give up for nakai-san as usual.....

97

never give up for nakai-san as usual.....

98

Why was there a 5800 RPM limit? Noise restriction?

99

Why was there a 5800 RPM limit? Noise restriction?

100

@DriveCircles No, they wanted to reduce fuel consumption and take it easy on the engine and trans.

101

speedhunters_dino IgorisDelay i made gifs two, three years back of stella and circuit soul ripping around tracks. The thing I like about the body kits the most on a track is that, like a racecar, it seems to have little to no body roll. It's almost eerie.

102

speedhunters_dino IgorisDelay i made gifs two, three years back of stella and circuit soul ripping around tracks. The thing I like about the body kits the most on a track is that, like a racecar, it seems to have little to no body roll. It's almost eerie.

103

Id bet RWB cars see more track time than RWB haters.

104

Id bet RWB cars see more track time than RWB haters.

105

Great story and great to see these RWB cars being trashed on a track! Not just show, but also a lot of go.
I do wonder why that grey/greenish RWB with the gina sticker has a Dutch license plate (from a chevy van)...?

106

Great story and great to see these RWB cars being trashed on a track! Not just show, but also a lot of go.
I do wonder why that grey/greenish RWB with the gina sticker has a Dutch license plate (from a chevy van)...?

107

spdcrzy Engine and trans can easily handle up to redline constantly.  That's why it's there...  It's beyond this mark that causes concern.  If they were changing drivers every 30 minutes I don't see why fuel usage rate was even an issue....  Sounds more like to me that this was an inexperienced enduro team that didn't totally trust the equipment. 

Don't get me wrong, doing a 12 hour is HARD - incredibly HARD with many things going wrong, but at 5800 RPM it had to feel just a sunday drive...  I dount I could have that much mechanical sympathy....

108
speedhunters_dino

@DPer4mance RWB cars have always been built for driving ;)

109
speedhunters_dino

@DPer4mance RWB cars have always been built for driving ;)

110
speedhunters_dino

ChrisStreit spdcrzy 12h is tough on any car or engine

111
speedhunters_dino

LouisSoon Well it is now! LOL

112
speedhunters_dino

ThomasGateau Ah that's cool :) We were racing for fun, with a lot of inexperienced drivers in the various teams, so heroics were far from the order of the day for us.

113
speedhunters_dino

ChrisStreit Hey that's what Nakai told us to do. This wasn't our car and we were guests so the experience alone was worth it. If we wanted to win would have shown up with a 991 GT3 Cup Car and destroyed every single car on track. But that wasn't the point of this exercise :)

114
speedhunters_dino

Finn Holmquist Rough :)

115
speedhunters_dino

90nissanS13@my350z Yep, darn those damn bearings ! lol

116
speedhunters_dino

spdcrzy speedhunters_dino IgorisDelay I wasn't aware that a RWB car has ever been named Circuit Soul?

117
speedhunters_dino

DanSTi Did your car have a roll cage?

118
speedhunters_dino

DanSTi Did your car have a roll cage?

119

speedhunters_dino yes thankfully I had a good cage, full containment seat, 6 point harness, and HANS device. Otherwise the outcome could have been a lot different. Brake failure at 140+ mph and I walked away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYGQFfOjV98

120

Smiggins Maybe if the money had been put into maintenance and making it track ready instead of bodywork, said bodywork might not have caught on fire and it could have been driven a heck of a lot faster.

121

ChrisStreit Yeah, it's great that they were on track and all, but if less money had been spent on bodywork and more time on ensuring it was well maintained, that bodywork probably wouldn't have caught fire. And they could have actually driven the thing hard.

122

speedhunters_dino ChrisStreit

True - sometimes all it takes to win is "finishing" without major damage. I imagine if I had a bunch of guys driving my car there, I'd lay down the same rules.  :)  Must have been hard to keep to that restriction though.  :)

123

speedhunters_dino ChrisStreit

True - sometimes all it takes to win is "finishing" without major damage. I imagine if I had a bunch of guys driving my car there, I'd lay down the same rules.  :)  Must have been hard to keep to that restriction though.  :)

124

This was one of the all time best write ups you guys had in my opinion.  With all the first hand details as well as the videos.  Really brought the excitement when reading this article.  

The videos were a huuuuuge bonus finally hearing the sounds and commotion going around the atmosphere really adds to the article.  More videos should be attached with your future write ups.

Amazing. Good job guys.  Really expressed the stressed and emotions that can be felt by alot of speed hunters out there with problems with vehicles and such. Bravo!

125
speedhunters_dino

Jaemcius Thanks! More vids in the future for sure!

126
speedhunters_dino

Smiggins Amen!

127
speedhunters_dino

Option13 Smiggins Seriously?? Don't even go there....

128

It's articles like this that keep me coming back to Speedhunters daily.
Also it's really great to read about the emotional side of things. Very inspirational indeed. Couldn't keep myself of thinking how could I also, one day, experience something similar.
Awesome cars.
Awesome people.
Awesome article.

129

Option13 Smiggins Yeah, but then it would be "just another Porsche" instead of a unique radical Porsche. And nothing really gets you track ready except getting out on the track.

130

Nice car but no cage or even roll bar , strapped into race seat , what happens when the roof caves in? it's not worth it. In NHRA you go quicker than 135mph in a STRAIGHT LINE you need a full cage , on these road courses you can go that fast through the corners and no one cares ,you could wear a straw hat. Be safe people. 

Look at the helmet sticking out

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/viwJnjSeoWE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

131

Nice car but no cage or even roll bar , strapped into race seat , what happens when the roof caves in? it's not worth it. In NHRA you go quicker than 135mph in a STRAIGHT LINE you need a full cage , on these road courses you can go that fast through the corners and no one cares ,you could wear a straw hat. Be safe people. 

Look at the helmet sticking out

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/viwJnjSeoWE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

132

ChrisStreit spdcrzy 
According to the race rules, you cannot refuel more than 20L at one time, and you cannot stop less than 5 min when you do it... So you have to plan your refuelling carefully.

I am not sure about those RWB fuel consumption but I doubt they can race much longer than 30 min with 20L.

133

danielbelvino #98 finished in 68th out of 96 over all, but note the car didn't move for over an hour and a half. As for the lap times, I don't think we were able to get them only the fastest.

134

@DriveCircles because it's a 12h race and "these 911s can bite back if you don’t treat them with respect."

135

Let me know when I am supposed to be impressed, as said earlier: no roll cage, drivers by their own admission have never raced wheel to wheel before and finally not even proper spares. Taping an oil line is what you do to get back to the shop not continue racing. The only thing that might be considered impressive was that no one was killed. Other than that, a good time was had by all except for the car owner.

136

frankoj I'm no expert, but I think the structural integrity of a Porsche is a little tougher than a CRX.  That said, i'd prefer a roll cage if i'm racing, but the idlers race is more of a long track day from what i've read, not a "real" race. Track days don't require cages.

137

IgorisDelay Cars built specifically for racing can also have problems like this. Look at any professional race for reference. Don't blame RWB.

138

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