AER Race Day One Report: Two If By Jack, Four If By Sam

Sam Miller
by Sam Miller

I think I promised TTAC’s readers that I would put a whipping on their former Editor-In-Chief. Well, that didn’t happen. Not quite. In fact, the old man came within sixteen seconds of winning the whole thing. He just wasn’t counting on Randy Pobst to betray him.

Twenty-three cars took the start for AER’s first-ever race. The “media car”, which was an E30 325i, qualified fourth, and Travis Okulski took the start, to be followed by Jack and then Randy Pobst. My car was the #42 BMW E30 325i which qualified fifth. It was raining at the start. Travis dropped to eighth as our #42 car jammed up to second place. The BMW E30 of Duct Tape Motorsports quickly dropped the field. An early safety-car incident and some pitstops allowed Travis to get to third, but by the time he finished his stint he was in sixth place with my teammates in #42 still in a strong second.

During Jack’s stint, he took the car to third place and unlapped himself against us by four laps in 96 minutes, making it a three-E30 race for first. He was far enough ahead of fourth place that he could take a three-minute pitstop to hand over to visiting pro Randy Pobst without losing third. But on our pitstop rotation, #42 fell to fourth place as I got in.

For the next hour, Randy and I diced back and forth as we used our shared radio channel to talk smack and share track tips. I’d never raced the Lightning course before but by the time he and I pitted I was doing pretty well. And when Randy knocked off the muffler by cutting the course short at 1 it looked like we might take the third spot. But what happened instead was that there was a mechanical and a crash ahead of us, putting Randy in first and us in second.

It looked for a while like the #1 car was a sure bet to win first place and I believe I heard Jack saying something about how this would be the greatest victory in the history of endurance racing. But just as he was simultaneously running his mouth and stuffing it full of BBQ chips, the #1 car had a contact incident that cost it two laps and placed it within vulnerable striking distance of the E36 BMW of Cardorks, which had been making a strong run through the field into second place.

Time for final driver changes. At the 45 minute to go mark, I was back in the #42 which was holding a steady fourth place. Travis Okulski was in the #1 with a 42 second lead. And in the was… Randy Pobst! Having knocked the muffler off the #1 car and then subsequently received some drama about it from a certain long-haired caveman-looking journalist, Randy switched to the . Resetting fast lap again and again, he chased down Okulski. With 18 minutes left to go, the gap was down to 2.7 seconds. But in the very next lap, Okulski had to yield to the charging E36. Still, he had a three-lap safety margin to third place, which was held by the very quick W124 300E of EZ Riders, seen here.

When the smoke cleared, it was

  • Cardorks E36
  • AER #1 Media Car E30
  • EZ Riders 300E
  • CD4 #42 E30
  • Rally Baby #24 E36

Big props to the Rally Baby guys who brought eleven cars to the event and held a great party.

Due to the Lewis-class system used to classify the cars, there were three podiums.

Class C, won by the “old guys” at Rally Baby:

Class B, won by EZ Riders. You can find me on the second step of the podium:

Class A, won by Cardorks. You can see Randy standing between the second and first step on the podium since he drove both the first and second place cars:

A great time was had by all. Tomorrow we’ll do it all again, starting in the order we finished today — and who knows, this time we might be able to take home the win for TTAC!

Sam Miller
Sam Miller

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6 of 23 comments
  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Aug 03, 2014

    Samantha Miller, by calling Jack "old," you are making me feel like some pre-Cambrian fossil. Sheesh! As a late Nixon era baby, Jack is young! (And I'm old enough to remember Sputnik.) And welcome, Ms. No McNickname!

    • See 1 previous
    • Facelvega Facelvega on Aug 03, 2014

      @doug-g Surely for every time we notice that someone in a comment thread is a fourteen year old, there are several times we don't notice it at all, and once that the person who seems 14 is actually 50. I kind of like the idea that I might at any time be in a specialized, mature, and interesting conversation with a precocious 14 year old from Trondheim and a 75 year old ex-NASA physicist. If the 14 year old can hold her own on the subject of how much Raymond Loewy really participated in the design of the Avanti, more power to her, and thank goodness for the internet allowing the conversation to happen at all. Mainly, however, I'm just commenting here now because I liked this post about the race, and didn't want it to have low rankings in the eyes of the VerticalScope bean counters because too few of us commented.

  • Murilee Martin Murilee Martin on Aug 03, 2014

    I know the Cardorks very well from LeMons racing. They are tough to beat, one of the best-organized teams on the East Coast. Adding Randy Pobst (who has raced and worked as an official with LeMons) as a ringer to that team seems a bit cheaty.

    • See 1 previous
    • Murilee Martin Murilee Martin on Aug 04, 2014

      @3Deuce27 I am joking. "Cheaty" is a term I like to throw around.

  • The Oracle This thing got porky quick.
  • Kwi65728132 I'll grant that it's nicely kept but I'm not a fan of the bangle butt designs, and I know better than to buy a used BMW while living anywhere in the world other than in the fatherland where these are as common as any Honda or Toyota is anywhere else.
  • ChristianWimmer When these came out I thought they were hideous: now they’ve grown on me. This one looks pretty nice. Well-maintained, low mileage and some good-looking wheels that aren’t super fancy but not cheap-looking or boring either, they are just right.
  • Aja8888 Someday in the far away future, all cars will look the same, people will be the same color, dogs will be all mixed beyond recognition, and governments will own everything. That car looks like my son's Hyundai Tucson without badges.
  • Tassos Of course, what the hell did you expect? A SERIOUS, BEAUTIFUL car you can ACTUALLY USE AS YOUR DAILY DRIVER???............. NOOOOO, THIS IS TIM WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. SO HE FINDS SOME OBSOLETE POS WHICH IS 22 years old, .............AND HE PURPOSELY MISSES THE BEAUTIFUL MODEL, THE Classical Beauty E39 that ended in 2003. ...........So he uses his column as a WASTEBASKET once again, to throw the first year of BMWs BANGLED 5 series (as in the INFAMOUS CHRIS BANGLE WHO SCREWED UP THE DESIGN ROYALLY). ................................................ As Dr. Evil, Fake Doctor Jill Biden would scream at the top of her voice, so her senile idiot husband could hear her, "Good Job, (Tim)! You answered all the questions and ticked all the boxes!" ..... KEEP UP THE S---Y work, Tim!