Last weekend my cousins and I participated in our very first 12 hour endurance race at Motegi Twin Ring as Hayashi Racing. This is the same 12 hour endurance race that my cousin raced in last year. Ironically the team that my cousin was a part of last year, and actually helped get our car into proper race shape, was our rival on the track.
The day was very long. My cousins and I were up at 3AM to set up and push our car out to the pits to make final preparations for the long 12 hour and 9 minute race. I had only had two hours sleep, but strangely enough I was pretty charged and ready to go. The day started off to be cool and only slightly humid, but my mid afternoon, it had turned into a very typical Japanese summer day, hot, wet and humid. The pit area was about 40 degrees Celsius, and the tracks got upwards of 50+ degrees. The temperature inside of the car was also about 50 degrees, but with our 3-layer fireproof race suits and helmets on, it seem so much hotter.
The car performed well for the first 3 hours, but unfortunately by mid morning, we ran into some technical troubles (again). Apparently, our car was leaking oil pretty badly, and the race officials were about to disqualify our car. They had given us a chance to fix the leak. This proved to be a much more involved task than any of us imagined. If we sent the car out to the track, and it leaked again, we would surely be disqualified so we had to be absolutely certain that the car would not leak oil. The task was just short of disassembling the whole engine. Even the team who shared our paddock helped us fix our car.
After literally 3 hours of blood sweat and tears, we had the leak under control. There was no more that we could do. Our car had fallen 20 places and we were in danger of being dead last if we didn’t run. Luckily for us the car didn’t leak any oil for the rest of the after noon and we were able to complete the rest of the race…well almost. On the very last lap of the race, the car developed an electric problem which caused it to stall right before the finish line. So we wound up getting a DNF (did not finish) instead of a completion. We wound up placing fourth in our class (out of five cars) and 103rd overall (out of 125 cars) Although disappointed by the results, it wasn’t dead last and we all enjoyed ourselves and had a good time.
The next day was family day for us. We decided to spend an extra day at Motegi and take the kids to the Honda Fun Lab and the Honda Collection Hall. At first I thought that Haru might be too young to enjoy the lab or the collection hall museum, but contrarily she really had a lot of fun. She especially liked looking at all of the cars on display. She was a bit too young to participate in most of the activities, but she liked watching ASIMO (Honda’s experimental robot) and just looking at all of the really cool cars there.
We took tons of pictures during weekend. Here are some of them:
Our little red racer prior to the race
Our car on the starting grid
My cousin giving me final instructions before I start my leg of the race
Then came trouble…. and the 3 hours to fix it.
Race official inspecting our car after 3 hours of hard intense labor in blistering heat
By sunset, we were back in action.
And finally, the checkered flag!
But our car never saw it….
writing a letter?
getting ready to do a stunt
playing with her toys
playing on the bed
always the stunt girl
Haru and a vintage Porsche
measuring her balancing ability
Haruka and ASIMO