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Team Fantasy Junction Finishes 3rd Overall in the 8 Hours of the Cascades

October 17th, 2008

Team Fantasy Junction Finishes 3rd Overall in the 8 Hours of the Cascades

This weekends 8 hours of the Cascades at Portland International Raceway was the first voyage in 2005 for Fantasy Junctions Mazda powered Lola 596C. Having won the event overall in 2002, our team had high hopes for this years race. The team Fantasy Junction entry was co-driven by Spencer and Bruce Trenery and prepared by Ben Kirchner of Retro Sport. The crew was, as always, an all volunteer team of race junkies; Fred and Jeff Micheal, Eric Haynes, Bob Hadzor, Fantasy Junction's own Chris Kelley, and yours truly, Clyde Gridfiller. Heavy rain was forecasted for race day but clear skies prevailed for all but 30 minutes of the race. We turned the fasted lap in the damp morning practice and in the race itself, but as we have all learned, speed means almost nothing in endurance racing. A true run-and-jump Le Mans start had our car in about 15th at the end of the first lap. Naturally, the inherent speed of our sports racer had us quickly picking off cars and by lap ten we had begun a race long battle for the overall lead with the GT3 Cup and RSR Porsches, and the GT prepared Mustang. By the end of our fist stint we were second overall, 6 seconds out of the lead. As the event progressed we floated between first and forth, mostly determined by full course yellows, traffic, and our pit stop cycles. At about 4 hours an unplanned stop to add oil cost us a lap, and just an hour later another unplanned stop to correct a faulty tail light wire cost us an additional two laps. Just before dusk a brief rain shower had us change to rain tires at our conveniently timed planned stop. Unfortunately, the squall was brief, and this meant that Bruce was stranded on rains on a drying track for the better part of an hour. As night fell it was a mater of catching up for the Fantasy Junction team, now almost 10 laps of the lead. With fresh slicks and Spencer in the seat, the team charged at 10/10ths climbing from fourth to third, picking up 3 laps on the overall leader to finish 3rd overall of 43 cars, and first in the sports racing category. We completed 642 race miles, and won a whopping $800 in the process.