The race started under rain and continued to roughly 2pm, then started back again at 3pm or so. Rookie driver Scott, who only has one HPDE event under his belt (courtesy of SCCA-LOL's PDX event) who has never driven the BIR before, took the wheel. Two pace laps then a double wide rolling start! Trial by fire! Scott went mowing the grass only once, didn't break the car, and didn't add any wrinkles! We brought him in at 2hrs 20 minutes, we could tell the stresses of racing were taking a toll on him.
As time went on, the rain changed to drizzle, the track started to dry, lap times dropped from 2 minutes 13 to 2 minutes 1 second. Random puddles and wet spots were still on the racing line. Many BMW's got overconfident and spun. I still could not muster up the courage to take turn 2 flat.
One and a half hours into my stint, just after turn one, I went change into 5th gear, 'zing' goes the motor! WTF??!? I say to myself, did I miss the gear and mess up the shift? Back to 4th add power, good, back to 5th, 'zing, zing'. CRAP!!! 5th gear is gone! I radio into pit, and report. We have a brief discussion to continue on, or bring the car back in hopes to save some parts from this gear box. I soon learn that 6300rpms the car will do exactly 100mph. Not enough! Normally 112 is what we enter turn 3 at. Plus running the car that hard is really hard on the motor. Park the car, we are done. At this time we were in 6th place, 7 laps down from the 5th place car and closing.
*Photo Credit to: http://www.alexbellusphoto.com/